Aikido competition and Aikido sport - are you involved?
Is there actually a competitive attitude in the art of Aikido?
Yes, of course there is, but is it right?
Instructors and students who practise Tomiki Aikido prefer it. They have basic and advanced techniques in their curriculum, just like other styles.
But, they also pressure test their techniques, often with an attacker who tries to stab their partner with a rubber knife. Well, they can't use a real one as it can be more of a rough and tumble... its too dangerous!
As Master Kenji Tomiki was a very highly ranked Judo instructor before he began Aikido, then maybe Aikido competition was inevitable.
He was also highly ranked in Aikido!
But, the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei, frowned on any competition and resistance to techniques. This was because Aikido is very powerful, and when performed correctly, any resistance leads to injury.
He never allowed his students to resist techniques, for their own safety. Of course, human beings are a very competitive species, and many students prefer Tomiki or sport Aikido.
O'Sensei, was obviously well above the competitive level, he was a true master of the art. He ascended to levels of awareness, that most of us can't even dream of achieving. This is because he devoted his entire life to the path of spirituality and became truly enlightened.
I suspect, that only truly dedicated students of Aikido actually get past the competitive level. This means that the rest of us are working on it continuously, as we practise in thousands of dojo's around the world.
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In the west, we have been taught, all of our lives, that it is important to be a winner. In our upbringing we learnt, early on, that we are rewarded for our successes and disciplined for our failures.
Our governments, society, schools, parents, and their parents have constantly reinforced the idea that you must win, and avoid losing at all costs. This is why many human beings are so resistant to others.
But, if we all have the attitude 'I am right and you are wrong', then we must ALL be wrong. We are only right from our individual perspective in life, and the same goes for all people. So, are we all right, or all wrong?
In Aikido competition, we experience this attitude regularly. People naturally resist techniques, without even realising it... it is a habit.
Once YOU recognise this in your life and training, then you can do something about it... right?
So, exactly what can you do?
Well, first of all, most situations that come up in your life are so trivial that it just isn't worth arguing about. It's just not important enough to get stressed about, so you can...
just let it go!
If these trivial points are important to your partner, family, friends, or work colleagues, let them 'win'. Just shrug your shoulders and let them have it. It's all about power and control, and comes from weakness.
When you are practising Aikido you can just let them have the technique. Work on how you can stay relaxed and help your partner to feel good.
It's not important that you look good in the dojo, or that you try and impress your instructor. What is important is that you remove your ego and become humble. This will...
advance your skills... fast!
Whatever comes up in your life, just ask yourself... "Could I let it go"? There your answers will be found. You can learn to avoid Aikido competition in your training and become an Aikido expert!
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