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Old 02-08-2005, 07:41 AM   #1
Wynand van Dyk
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 16
South Africa
Competition in Aikido

Not having competitions is almost a point of pride in some Aikido institutions, what nonsense, how better to curb the growth of an ego than with a good butt-kicking now and then. The flipside to this argument is that Aikido is not competitive - sure, so just take part in the competitions without being competitive, its easy, you cancel the pyro guys who want to install fireworks around the mat for your "entry", you put a sensible pair of pants and shirt on, you give the audience their money back and tell them to go home and you go on and test yourself in honesty and humility against another Aikidoka.

In Aikido, because of the lack of competition in most schools, there is no official "pecking-order" based off of skill, often this manifests as a competition for who can brown-nose sensei the most, who stays the latest and practices the "hardest" etc... The lack of clearly defined skill levels between ranks often comes up in the much maligned passive-aggressive behaviour of Aikidoka. There is no need for this kind of behaviour in a truly "non competitive art"

People often bring up that old chestnut of osensei whereby he declares competition absolutely verboten and taboo. I am utterly and completely convinced that osensei's notion of competition has nothing to do with "sparring" or "randori" and everything todo with the behaviours described in the previous paragraph.
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