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Old 11-15-2001, 02:59 AM   #1
momentrylapse
Dojo: Lancashire Aikikai
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non competetive art

Just a thought about some of these clubs/associations that engage in competition Aikido.

how can competing in aikido be justified, when one of the main principles is that it is a non competetive martial art, this isn`t just my interpretation but is said by O sensei himself, the current doshu and many of the Japanese masters of the art.

means harmony, this idea is immediately removed as soon as the idea of competing against others is introduced.
how can one be in harmony iwith your uke if you are only thinking how can i beat him or 'get one up on him'??

as i say this is just a loose random thought that ws rattling round in my head.
please dont get upset, it is only my opinion.
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Old 11-15-2001, 05:15 AM   #2
Thalib
 
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True...

I can't see how can be used competitively. It's quite controversial to the philosophy. It did surprise me when I found out there are competion aikido. I can't even imagine how it is done.

When one is engaged in a competition or a fight, the purpose is to win, wether you like it or not. This will create conflict.

The purpose of aikido is to end conflict, no winners and no losers.
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Old 11-15-2001, 06:11 AM   #3
L. Camejo
 
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Dead horse

Hi guys,

This question has been done to death already.

Check out the links below to other threads that had something to say about this.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...&threadid=1238

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...&threadid=1191

and this is the one with the O-sensei question

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...=&threadid=998

Hope it helps
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 11-15-2001, 06:31 AM   #4
Paul Turner
Dojo: Sheffield Hallam University Aikido Club
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Hi

I agree this question has been done to death but for what it is worth I have met "traditional" aikidoka who have had an intensely competitive attitude. You know the sort of thing - "my style is more effective than your style and I'm going to smash you into the mat to prove it". At the same time I've met many Tomiki/Shodokan style aikidoka who have had a superb attitude and who it has been a joy to practice with.

In the end the issue of competition is a very minor part of Aikido and we shouldn't let it become a barrier between us.

Paul

Paul Turner
Sheffield Hallam University Aikido Club
www.shef.ac.uk/misc/rec/aikido/
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Old 11-15-2001, 07:29 AM   #5
PeterR
 
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Let's not forget the very recent set of articles on Shodokan Aikido, Kenji Tomiki and the article by Shishida sensei (just because he was a student of Kenji Tomiki) just made available at http://www.aikidojournal.com

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-15-2001, 05:47 PM   #6
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Let's not forget the very recent set of articles on Shodokan Aikido, Kenji Tomiki and the article by Shishida sensei (just because he was a student of Kenji Tomiki) just made available at http://www.aikidojournal.com
Just to expand on Peter's post a little: any Aikido Journal subscribers who're curious about 'competitive aikido' could do a lot worse than to take a look at Stanley Pranin's excellent interview with Tetsuro Nariyama, the current technical head of the Shodokan system. (I'm afraid non-subscribers dont get to see much of it.)

Theres also some information about 'competitive' aikido on the Shodokan honbu dojo website. Some of Professor Tomiki's essays may be of academic interest even to people who quite strongly disagree with his ideas.

As for the seemingly endless debate about the rights and wrongs of the matter, I refer the honourable gentlemen (or indeed ladies) to the answers given above.

Sean
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Old 12-02-2001, 05:36 AM   #7
Edward
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Hello,

Even though this subject has been exhaustively discussed, please allow me to tell you my own experience. I started Judo when I was 17. My Dojo was quite famous and a regular winner at national level championships. Training was very competition-oriented. I was (and still am) quite weak physically and started up MA in order to learn self-defense. I practiced Judo for 7 years during which I could never win any championship. I was always looked down at by my fellow Judokas. I got very bad knees from kneeling Ippon Seoi Nage. I never felt comfortable at my Dojo, had a guilt feeling and was continuously very frustrated. Needless to say that we never received any self-defense training. I was never welcomed at other dojos because we were competitors.

I have been practicing Aikikai Aikido for a year now. The only competition that we have is about serving our Dojo and eachothers. I practice everywhere I go at my frequent travels. I am welcomed everywhere I go, no matter the style. I am sure I can practice until an old age. I think my position concerning competition is quite clear.

Thanks,
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Old 12-02-2001, 12:23 PM   #8
PeterR
 
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Well I can only say that I have never done well in competition but am welcomed in any Shodokan Dojo I go to and relative to my level - well respected. Sorry your experience was bad but this does not reflect the attitude within the Tomiki family.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-02-2001, 10:19 PM   #9
jimvance
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Re: non competetive art

Quote:
Originally posted by momentrylapse
means harmony
Only by a long stretch. "Ai" (awasu) is better translated as "unite", "put together", or "blend". The word best translated as "Harmony" would be WA.

Just thought I would beat the horse a little longer.

Jim Vance
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Old 12-02-2001, 11:22 PM   #10
ranZ
 
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I really have no say in this, since i've never met somebody from Shodokan/Tomiki. (*and all those articles/forum may have answer the question anyway*)
but just my 2 yen, i think Shodokan competition is diffrent from other MA competition. I think Tomiki sensei have a reason for making competitive aikido .. but the reason is not to "win".?
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Old 12-03-2001, 06:03 AM   #11
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by ranZ
I really have no say in this, since i've never met somebody from Shodokan/Tomiki. (*and all those articles/forum may have answer the question anyway*)
but just my 2 yen, i think Shodokan competition is diffrent from other MA competition. I think Tomiki sensei have a reason for making competitive aikido .. but the reason is not to "win".?
Whenever I enter a tournament, I would like to win the trophy, but that isn't the real prize. Like seminars, its a good way to meet people and make new friends. Its also a learning experience, its a way to objectively test your abilities, and identify where you need to concentrate your training.

So far I have never won a prize at any tournament, but I have certainly never come away feeling like a 'loser'.

My experience of judo in my youth was also like this. I believe all MA competition should have similar aims, but maybe some of them are a bit more 'macho' about it than others.

I found it rather sad reading about Edward's experience of Judo, it seems that, at least in Thailand, Judo has really lost its way.

Professor Tomiki spoke of kata and randori (in both Judo and Aikido) as like two wheels of a cart, you have to have both wheels, in balance, or you're not going to get anywhere. It sounds like Edward's former Judo dojo has only one wheel on its cart.

Sean
x
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Old 12-03-2001, 07:35 AM   #12
Edward
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Please allow me to clarify something. At the time when I practiced Judo I was still living in my country, Lebanon, not in Thailand. Judo is not a MA. It is an olympic sport. Originally maybe it was, but very few dojos practice it this way, especially if they have any ambitions of winning championships. Judokas are professional athletes, sponsored by companies. They have very tough training schedule and performance is very important. We had specialists taking care of our diet, physical condition ...etc. In Lebanon, the only dojos not competition oriented are at schools.

Therefore it is obvious that Shodokan Aikido is nothing near Judo in this respect.
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Old 12-03-2001, 07:37 AM   #13
jaemin
Dojo: Korea Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Though I'm not a member of Tomiki school,
I think that randori and competition system
is quite good and reasonable. I think, in that system, one can see his/her technical
problems with ease. I see that some aikikai
people tend to believe that they can do
everything without any doubt. Of course,
tomiki students shouldn't concentrate
on 'win' itself.


ps.

One of my teachers is also from Sheffield.
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Old 12-03-2001, 10:50 AM   #14
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaemin
I see that some aikikai
people tend to believe that they can do
everything without any doubt.
This belief in one-self is one of the most important elements of Aikido. If you believe in your abilities, you can successfully turn a situation to your advantage, just because this self-assurance gives you a clear mind. You will probably thus avoid any confrontation at all and you won't have to actually fight. The secret for efficiency is training, repeating the techniques thousands of times untill they are carved in your body's memory. With all due respect, I don't believe that competing against fellow aikidokas who know exactly what your reflexes are, does much to improve your self-confidence. Randori, however, is a great tool of self-evaluation, and I guess is practiced at all Aikikai schools.
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Old 12-03-2001, 11:38 AM   #15
PeterR
 
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Well first of all I agree - self confidence is a major factor in coming out of any situation positively. There is however such a think as misplaced confidence and that has been the bane of many. Unless you have some way of testing your beliefs there is no way of knowing whether you are living the lie. In the old days (and this includes a number of Aikikai shihan) you went out and either kicked butt or had yours handed to you. The dojo training environment can not do this for you. Quick qualifier - I am happy staying in the dojo environment but I do know its limitations.

With all due respect, I don't believe that competing against fellow aikidokas who know exactly what your reflexes are, does much to improve your self-confidence.

Well actually the point is to improve your Aikido technique not self confidence per se. Secondly with Shiai you face highly skilled Aikidoists who may or may not have an idea of what you are capable of. Most randori is done in the dojo with your mates but the true test is facing a stranger.

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
This belief in one-self is one of the most important elements of Aikido. If you believe in your abilities, you can successfully turn a situation to your advantage, just because this self-assurance gives you a clear mind. You will probably thus avoid any confrontation at all and you won't have to actually fight. The secret for efficiency is training, repeating the techniques thousands of times untill they are carved in your body's memory. With all due respect, I don't believe that competing against fellow aikidokas who know exactly what your reflexes are, does much to improve your self-confidence. Randori, however, is a great tool of self-evaluation, and I guess is practiced at all Aikikai schools.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-03-2001, 04:49 PM   #16
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Please allow me to clarify something. At the time when I practiced Judo I was still living in my country, Lebanon, not in Thailand. Judo is not a MA. It is an olympic sport. Originally maybe it was, but very few dojos practice it this way, especially if they have any ambitions of winning championships. Judokas are professional athletes, sponsored by companies. They have very tough training schedule and performance is very important. We had specialists taking care of our diet, physical condition ...etc. In Lebanon, the only dojos not competition oriented are at schools.

Therefore it is obvious that Shodokan Aikido is nothing near Judo in this respect.
Apologies, I just assumed you were talking about Thailand because that is where you are now. Anyhow, I agree with what you say about many judo dojos, it is indeed mainly an olympic sport rather than a MA, and this is rather sad in many ways.

(Not, of course, that there's anything wrong with looking after your diet, training hard or participating in an olympic sport, per se.)

I like to believe there are still dojos out there practicing the 'martial art' of Judo, though. The one where I trained as a youth was one of these, we spent at least as much time practicing kata, and working on technique in a 'cooperative' format as we did practicing randori. When we did do randori, deep jigotai and overly defensive play was discouraged, as our teacher was more interested in seeing good posture, movement and kuzushi than in just winning contests.

Ultimately, as long as real Judo is still practiced at least at the Kodokan, the martial art lives on. Hopefully it will become more popular some day, because the guys just concentrating on the sport are really missing out on some great budo.

You are right in saying that Shodokan Aikido doesn't share Judo's problems in that regard. Even in the 'sportiest' dojo, the focus is still first and foremost on budo.


Quote:
Jaemin wrote:
One of my teachers is also from Sheffield
That wouldn't be Rupert Atkinson would it? I've never met him, but I have often heard his name. He is still quite famous in this town!

Sean
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Last edited by deepsoup : 12-03-2001 at 05:03 PM.
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