View Single Post
Old 07-08-2009, 03:09 PM   #53
Location: Germany
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 219
Re: Kyoso and shiai

Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
The difference between kyoso and shiai is subtle in my eyes, and I guess that what I discussed in my column is how to avoid both.
As described by Prof. Goldsbury, the difference is very clear.
Shiai gives a frame to the opposition between contestants, for the benefit of one and the defeat of the other. Success is relative to the other's strength, it isn't measured by how well you performed in the absolute. There is also another fundamental aspect : modern sports always include an element of publicity. A sporting event is a show with spectators. Without them it becomes meaningless in the strict sense of shiai. This is why, the way I interpret O Sensei's thought as explained by Prof. Goldsbury, it detracts people from the more essential goal of striving for excellence, improving oneself, pushing one's personal limits (not just according to the rules), and achieving an improved connection with the world.

Whether competition is to win a contest or sell more cars, it has its narrow limitations. In the martial arts we know that there is none as challenging to defeat as oneself. In business, setting your standards just to better the competition is making yourself dependent on it.
The way I see it, kyoso is a trick of the mind. One uses consciously the human impulse to measure up with others, keeping in mind that it is only a way to push oneself further towards excellence. If you don't like the car industry analogy, imagine musicians from the same era, reaching summits of their art, motivated by the challenge of the other's excellence.

Competing with others to further one's own professional or social career may bring some rewards, but at a tremendous cost to one's character.
Well, not everyone can afford to live by the principles of the high philosophers.

I think it's about time we learn how to win by joining instead of competing. The win-win thing.
Please allow me to recommend the book Co-opetition (by A.M. Brandenburger and B.J. Nalebuff), where the authors exploit the discoveries of game theory to explain how the need for competition and cooperation between agents can be articulated in business. In one sentence : cooperation to create a bigger business pie, competition to divide it up.

Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Actually, I think that's one of the major attractions in aikido - even to those who claim to do it for self defense or to learn the ultimate martial art. Whatever we say, we love aikido because it allows for everyone to be a winner.
I do aikido out of an insatiable curiosity, being a winner doesn't have anything to do with it.

Last edited by aikilouis : 07-08-2009 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Clarity and spelling

  Reply With Quote