PDA

View Full Version : The truest form of Competition



Markaso
13th February 2003, 12:39
Something to ponder.

Is not the truest form competition in the practice of Budo the competition within oneself to master ones self within ones Ryu?

Steven Malanosk
13th February 2003, 15:02
Hello,

You are correct sir!

To battle and baffle 1000 opponents is nothing, as compaired to the self.

Our biggest challenge lies within.

You can outwit almost anyone.

But you must be true to yourself.

You can slay all of the vampires in Buffy's world, but your still a loser if you have not battled your own demons.

To put it in the least important of physical perspective,ie competition:

There have been numerous times, when in KaraTe, KoBuDo, or Iai forms competition, that I have brought the house down, taking 1st place and receiving award, when in fact, all I could think of, where the rediculous mistakes that I made, or high notes so to speak, that I failed to hit.

It is one thing to be easily impressed by others.

It is another, to be easily impressed by yourself.

When all is said and done, it is YOU that you have to face in the mirror.

Thats my SATORI, and I'm stickin to it!

Nyuck3X
13th February 2003, 21:41
Yeah, what he said. :D

PingAnTu
14th February 2003, 18:43
I think I read this quote here somewhere but its:

Be kind to your body,
Exercise it in coordination with your mind,
Your only competititor is yourself

-- old Okinawan Saying

I guess this's the purest form of competition but if you never compete with other guys you don't know who are trying to take your head off, you have a tendency to think you are better than you actually are -- it helps keep you humble. Although the superstar compeitiors have a tendency to be big headed, but that's because they only do one kind of compeititon-- there's ALWAYs somebody better than you are.

Markaso
14th February 2003, 22:53
Originally posted by PingAnTu
there's ALWAYs somebody better than you are.

Of course there is.



Originally posted by PingAnTu B]it helps keep you humble[/B]


Is this not part of the mastering oneself?

Sochin
15th February 2003, 18:13
Doesn't the self introspection to "reach a peak' or to "be the best we can be" sometimes feel just a little narsicistic?

Do I really have to be a champion at kata or a 1st place winner internationally to be a better father, brother, husband or son?

Sometimes it feels that the focus on being the best you can be is just a little too narrow. I sincerely believe that martial arts training can do this but I doubt that the best place to express it or teach it is in competition.

MarkF
16th February 2003, 10:52
Originally posted by Sochin
Do I really have to be a champion at kata or a 1st place winner internationally to be a better father, brother, husband or son?

Sometimes it feels that the focus on being the best you can be is just a little too narrow. I sincerely believe that martial arts training can do this but I doubt that the best place to express it or teach it is in competition.


No, you don't have to be a champion, the reward is in the chase, not the end of the road.

It can be a bit too narrow, but again the prize is in the participation and not in whether or not one loses or wins. At least, it can very well be a good teacher, competition, but participation is the better value.

Imagine getting to the top of the mountain only to realize the road down is a slippery slope. As long as you continue on the path to the top, you will never have to worry about slipping on your ego on the way down. Tournaments are no better and no worse than any other type of learning along 'the way.' It has a purpose, but if you really think yourself at the top of the mountain, well, good luck in staying there. Be careful of falling rocks on the way down. It will happen to most of us but we also know that the end of the road is just beyond our reach.

For some, this realization can take a while.


Mark

Kimura
16th February 2003, 13:42
CMON GUY'S THIS IS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!

2ND PLACE IS ONLY FOR 1STPLACE LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!just kiddding lol




PS.Hey mark f. did you see the fights on hbo last night?

hector gomez
17th February 2003, 16:20
Forgot to sign my name on my last reply.

HECTOR GOMEZ

shotofan
4th March 2003, 06:10
The best thing about touraments, though is that the road never ends... You get to test yourself all the time. You can improve yourself or at least learn your flaws. But the road will get old it will always be different......


A. Young:cool:

Machimura
6th March 2003, 01:38
In competition who evaluates your forms or if you scored a clean hit in a point competition? Is it people that may not even know what your kata is suppose to look like? How would a panel of judges know what your potential is, or if you're even doing the kata the way you were taught? I've seen people win with BS kata, flash and dash, and I've seen participants and fans at competition laugh at performance of a true, orthodox form. This is what I remeber from the last tourney I saw-"HAI--Yahhhhhhhhhhh!"- 10 second kiais and isht. Just ridiculous. I've seen little arsed, poo-butt, knownothings and can-do-nothings win in kumite just because people were rooting for them. I've witnessed people win competition based on "skimming" their opponent; not even connecting solidly.

Competition teaches one to get use to crowds and the pressure of being centerstage. It has absolutely nothing to do with self realization. I take that back. Maybe you'll find out how oblivious and superficial you were, after all, if you revel in this crap. I am being a little hypocritical as I participated in many such events when I was a kid. Kids don't know any better. Adults should understand the nature of competition. "Bulls on parade". Sorry just my opinion.

Bryan Cyr

Gene Williams
6th March 2003, 01:57
Bryan is right. The longer you are in the arts, the more you realize the battles are mostly internal. We are all supposed to be seeking deeper things, if not at first, eventually. Gene

hector gomez
6th March 2003, 14:36
Bryan,

I agree to some extent,competition does teach self realization in many ways.The training alone for a specific competition teaches one about the extra discipline it takes to eat right,sleep right,train right,proper committment,preserverence,dealing with anxiety and fears,and yes it should teach one respect for others.

If you are refferring to "SOME" forms of tournament karate competitions,then I must agree with you,they are sometimes pretty sad to watch as people act without respect,and the win at all cost attitude usually comes out for everyone to see.

I have a suggestion for you,try going to a national judo tournament and watch the attitude of the players there,9 times out of 10 you will not see competitors acting silly or without the proper attitude,why?

Most combat sports that due require a real physical test of both mind body and spirit have a tendency to humble or forge a person into the right attitude in both the way they act and the way they live.

There will always be some bad apples in the bunch but by in large that should not affect us from showing good sportsmanship and showing respect for others.

Hector Gomez

Bustillo, A.
6th March 2003, 19:27
Re. Participating in tournaments.

Hayward Nishioka's book titled, 'Judo, Heart & Soul' offers a myriad of short simple lessons and insight on the benefits of testing yourself in competition.

Good book for karate practitioners too.

johnst_nhb
6th March 2003, 21:20
hey anthony,

are you still writing your followup to steady training?

i enjoyed that one and am looking forward to another!

John

MarkF
6th March 2003, 22:57
I have a suggestion for you,try going to a national judo tournament and watch the attitude of the players there,9 times out of 10 you will not see competitors acting silly or without the proper attitude,why?


Probably because most who work/set up the shiai work together, the rules are known to everyone who has ever played a tournament, and relatively speaking, most know the value, not just of the competition but in how they act, and not only in the win or lose department.

Check out the Gardena Judo dojo web site for how to run a dojo. If you are in the Southern California area, pay them a visit and speak with parents and other family of the players about their role in the dojo and particularly, in their shiai. Everyone plays a role there. (I think the web site is http://www.gardenajudo.com ). The officials agree to use the same general wa of officiating, before and during big events, there is much discussion and practice leading up to it. Officials are certified nationally, and there are differnt classes of referee/judge, e.g., D class E class, etc. If they are judging nationally or internationally, they are well-versed in the practice of officiating, as are local ones, but are licensed/certified to the level at which they officiate. Even clothing of officials must meet certain reqirements (IOW, tees and sweats are out, dark slacks, blazers, and socks are in).

In general, competitors don't feel cheated, especially if they have learned to use the rules to an advantage instead of complaining about the rule which was used to make him/her the loser. IOW, it's here, deal with it, but nicely. Judo has its morons to be sure, probably because of some of the rules, the ability of line judges to make a change to the shinban's ruling on a score because they had a different angle on it, etc. Some rules are just silly, but one still has to learn to work with them instead of against them.

But if one wishes to learn from a good event, go to any, big, small, and/or ordinary kendo shiai. While I've heard stories which had me shocked and amazed, these events are amongst the best I've ever witnessed. It takes dedication and perseverance to put on a good event with the 'wa' being almost perfect.

I agree with Hector's recommendations and comments, and with Antonio's choice of books on how shiai should be played. There is more to Nishioka's book[s], but if there is a "Mr. Shiai" out there, surely Hayward N.-sensei is the man.
******

PS: If you have kids and are in the area of Gardena Judo, please note there is a waiting list for kids classes. Adult classes are open to registration, at least as of last contact with them and just now when I checked the web site.


Mark

Bustillo, A.
7th March 2003, 02:45
Originally posted by johnst_nhb
hey 'Antonio',

are you still writing your followup to steady training?
i enjoyed that one and am looking forward to another!

John

John,
...still typing away. Thanks for asking.



Mark F.

Re. Nishioka's book.
Indeed, there is more to it than just simple lessons on judo competition.

Judokas, karatemen, kata thumpers, the no more forms clan, competitors, non-competitors, Nishioka touches on a wide variety of subjects and the book is a great addition to the library.

Machimura
7th March 2003, 09:36
Originally posted by hector gomez
Bryan,

If you are refferring to "SOME" forms of tournament karate competitions,then I must agree with you,they are sometimes pretty sad to watch as people act without respect,and the win at all cost attitude usually comes out for everyone to see.


There will always be some bad apples in the bunch but by in large that should not affect us from showing good sportsmanship and showing respect for others.

Hector Gomez

I agree with all your points, and my statements aren't all inclusive. There is a lot that is forged, in the preparation for, and participation in, competition. Camraderie, fair play,fortitude, focus, planning, budgeting time, some material sense of achievement and validation; all of these things influence our actualization immensely. It does depends on what, or who you, envision yourself as.

Moderately, it enhances the practitioner. Done to the extreme it can be counterproductive, even destructive. Its absence from some styles (competition) seems to have no overall negative effect. Most folks will never have to test their mettle, unless they choose to do so. Many who have decided to use what they have learned (in competition) are rarely undefeated. I mean you guys that train hard and with bad, or good, intentions gotta be confident that what you spent your time learning will work- in real life when it really counts. Humans always need proof. Most of us are stubborn in the end, and most MAs types like to find out the hard way. Competition is good as long the positives outweigh the negatives. Like life.

I think it's about adrenaline, too. Everybody is addicted to something, hahaha!

Bryan Cyr

kusanku
8th March 2003, 02:39
The battle to overcome ones own self, is the greatest battle indeed.Whether one does any competition with others or not, is often irrelevant to the progress of this the greatest battle. Some seem never to win this battle, some never try to, deeming the conquest of others far more important though it is not.

Some only win this battle after giving up battle with others, and even seemingly with their own selves, as the Zen proverb has it:

'When you seek it, you cannot find it;
The hand cannot reach it, nor the mind exceed it-
When you no longer seek it,
it is always with you.'

Now, if I can just figure out what the Heck that means, :D, I may have something .

Point is, though, if in competing with others you seek to help others and to imrove yourself,Judo's jita kyoei, that is one thing.

If you seek to dominate and conquer to prove yourself the greatest, that is self-defeating in the end, because then you become the world's toughest jackass.Then you have to live with, and only with, yourself.

What a bummer,huh?

Might as well just wear a sign saying 'Major league Jackass,:D' or something like that.:D

So, if competition makes you a biger jackass, you already lost.If it helps you be a better human being, you already won.If you can do the latter without competition, choice is up to you, and if you are the former before you compete, better go help someone and stop whipping others, before that sign gets pinned on permanently.

I meet many people who say they do martial arts, who really seek to be the biggest badash around. Jackass signs are on them already.I meet some, true gentlemen,regardless if they can fight their way out of a paper bag, who I would want as my children's teachers, in life as well as art, and some of them Can fight quite well, who will never wear or teach anyone else to wear, that sign.

I meet the style is best people, or this my way is the only way people, and they got signs on them.I met the your way is bad people, they got signs, do you really want your children or the next generation of people, to grow up trained in the way of arrogance and haughtiness and foolish ignorance? I don't.

To me, the greatest battle, is not to be that way, and after that, to help others remove the veils from their sight and insight, and learn the cause of their ignorance so that they, too, may not be that way, but may follow the path of sincere inquiry into truth.An inquiry that is never over and always learning, open to realizations of previous error, and not fanatically holding to one way or the other as the only way.

If Kata and no competition, gives you that outlook, fine, if it gives you the other one, then away with it, too.results are what counts, and the result that counts, truly, is the one where you win or lose, not the battle with others, but that greaterst batle , with your own self.

Julius Caesar and his army, put to death a million men in battle, but then he himself was put to death by a group of men including his own beloved illegitimate son, Marcus Brutus, whom Caesar expected to succeed him. Thus the end of competition with others.When he saw that Brutus was among them to strike the death blow, Caesar merely covered his face, and ofered no further resistance, as he knew complete defeat.His hope had destroyed him.

But the man who has conquered himself, though he may, too, fall by the sword, has won no matter what befalls.Think here, of Mahatma Gandhi, for instance.Whose voctory was greater? Caesar's ended with his death, Gandhi's still continues.Both, merely men ,humans-yet one concerned with conquering others, the other with conquering himself.

Both had effects on their nations and the world. The one produced death in mass amounts, the other, life and freedoms that lasted long past his own passing.

History records this time and again. The greatest battle is to conquer ones own self, than which to conquer nations may be easier, and that the greates victory is victory over ones own self,just some thoughts folks.

Martial arts leads often to victory over others, but how often to victory over self?

Kimura
8th March 2003, 15:45
THAT WAS AWESOME JOHN !!!!!

Hector Gomez

CEB
8th March 2003, 18:33
How about competing because it is fun and you get a chance to see a group of friends that you otherwise don't get to see much of?

Kimura
9th March 2003, 13:17
I just want to drink some brewskis afterwards.:toast:

Hector Gomez

kusanku
9th March 2003, 18:11
Hector-
Thanks Buddy, that was just something I had to say.

Ed-There is also that, of course, my friend..:-)

Always had a good time especially at Judo tournaments, myself.Karate tournaments for me were best when all ones friends go out to eat after.Since I usually got tagged to ref at the latter, I usually wound up with some or other high-ranking legend( in their own mind) screaming in my face as I disqualified their student for excessive animal brutality and lack of clearly defined technique.:DIt did them no good.Karate begins and ends with courtesy.And tournaments, with a steak dinner.Or Chinese.

shotofan
12th March 2003, 07:10
In one way tourtments good to a point, if they are open to all styles..
When you have different styles at a competition you might learn have to react to different ways of fighting...
If you always go to same style fighting you don't really learn as much... For exmple: If you are a lenar fighter and go agaist a lenar that is all you will know how defend agist.. But if you fight agaist a cicular fighter you learn so much about your ability to adapt to different ways of thinking......

Sorry about the spelling

Sochin
12th March 2003, 14:56
When you have different styles at a competition you might learn have to react to different ways of fighting...

Except that,watching sparring you cannnot tell what style someone is trained it ...they alll look / act the same.

Sparring is the 2nd lowest common denominator of the arts. Sparring itself defines how it must be done to be successful, not the style of the participant - one of the reasns some of the "old guys" didn't like it.

CEB
12th March 2003, 15:13
Originally posted by Sochin


Except that,watching sparring you cannnot tell what style someone is trained it ...they alll look / act the same.

Sparring is the 2nd lowest common denominator of the arts. Sparring itself defines how it must be done to be successful, not the style of the participant - one of the reasns some of the "old guys" didn't like it.

Yes, Chinen Sensei for one is very clear on this point. He believes that competition is good for kids and novice students but at advanced levels he doesn't like it because it makes all styles homongeneous and destroys the classical flavor of the arts. I believe he is right. Everybody plays the game the same, because that is how you win. Remember the UFC when it first started. It was cool because it was style versus style. Eventually the athletes started to figure out the game. Now the styles are gone and everybody looks the same. It is the nature of game playing I guess.

hector gomez
12th March 2003, 16:25
Getting in the ring with Mike tyson or Tito ortiz does not seem to me like Game playing.Ed,I do agree that most combat sports eventualy start looking the same because of the rules but I don't really believe that this is such a bad thing.doesn't all traditional okinawan goju practicioners look about the same if you come to think about it.

It's called refinement and progress and it benifits not just competitors alike but anyone willing to learn from their trials and tribulations.Another big misconception about the sport guys is that you must compete to get any value from it.....I dissagree one can employ and benifit from the training concepts and strategies developed from combat competitions for actual self defense without even competing.

What does self defense have to do with combat sports?............
A hell of a lot within the given structure of the rules that pertain to that fighting sport.
The physical dynamics of how to properly execute and defend against a certain live non resisting strikes,throws,chokes or locks goes a long way in learning how to deal with them for real outside of the competition arena.

If you really believe that Matt hughes,Tito ortiz,Mino norueiga,Randy couture,Dan henderson,Rickson gracie or Carlos newton cannot defend themselves on the street effectively when they are way from their chosen sport,then we are wasting our time with this disscussion.


Hector Gomez

CEB
12th March 2003, 17:07
Originally posted by hector gomez
Getting in the ring with Mike tyson or Tito ortiz does not seem to me like Game playing.....

Hector Gomez

Sure it is. It is a contest between opponents that exist within the confines of certain rules. Well, unless Iron Mike starts ear munching again. You never know about Mike Tyson these days. Some games are rougher than others. The Romans used to play games where the loser died, but that was their idea of games.

The combat sports you mention have a hell of lot more to do with self-defense and learning to handle yourself on the street than the stuff I see at karate tournaments these days. You know I would not mind the homengenination of Karate so much if was being blended and evolved into something that I thought was effective, but It looks like it is being nutured to me. There are instructors out there who no longer teach the makiwara because they reason that it teaches their students to hit too hard and can cause them to be DQ'd! On March 1st, my parents came and saw my son compete at a karate tournament for the first time. It was interesting to hear the perspective of a man who was a fighter in his day who knew nothing about sport karate. Dad's assessment wasn't very kind at all but I told him not worry his grandson does good Judo and Karate. He can hold his own for his age. He told me "good because I can't see any self-defense value in what I saw here today".

I think that you are right concerning Okinawian karate looking the same to a certain point. There seems to be two styles of Okinawian karate, style that like to strike more and move in and out and style that like to grapple more and just move in. The way we do tai sabaki and ashi sabaki in Goju is definitely different than the way they do it in Shorin.

hector gomez
12th March 2003, 17:22
Ed,

I think the sport of point karate and the sport MMA(nhb) are two combat sports that are really worlds apart.

Hector Gomez

hector gomez
12th March 2003, 17:43
There is more "karate" techniques allowed in MMA(NHB)than in any karate tournament known to mankind.yet karate practicioners are more drawn to karate competitions instead of MMA.

The complaint is that It does not look anything like what karate is suppose to look like,therefore it is terrible,sloppy looking techniques being performed by practicioners that never trained in pure karate.

I believe we have a long way to go in educating not only the public but certain practicioners on what the physical dynamics of a fight looks like.


It definitley is not going to be MMA but atleast it is the closest to a real fight that we have right now and still be considered civilized.

Just because there are rules,does not equate to not being able to transfer that skill to the street.I don't care what anybody says the best throwers and pickup slam artist in the world comes from practicioners that thru competitions are able to master the art of picking someone up and throwing them,wether it is judo,wrestling or sambo these are some of the best throwers in the world............by the way they just all happen to be sports guys what a coincidence.

Why should it be any different in the striking dept?


Hector Gomez

CEB
12th March 2003, 18:16
Originally posted by hector gomez
....
I believe we have a long way to go in educating not only the public but certain practicioners on what the physical dynamics of a fight looks like. ...

Hector Gomez

Yes! :nw:

Bustillo, A.
12th March 2003, 19:12
The value of a man can be judged by the way he acts under pressure, stress, and, to an extent, in competition.

kusanku
17th March 2003, 03:17
But, who can judge the value of a man?

Another man?

can we see really, the worth of another human being by how he behaves in a competition?Or just the quality of athelticism and sportsmanship exhibited in a public arena?

What about the Pro Football and Basketball Superstars who rape women outside of the arena but display the highest levels of ability in the arena?

Is a person who would be defeated in a given competition, whether contact, no contact, MMA, or whatever, a bad father to his children? How can this be judged from that?

This was more the point I was looking at.

Always, we seem to return to the old argument, is MMA and NHB better training for self defense than TMA?I tell you- for those endowed with youth, skill and athletic ability, maybe it is. Its quicker, for sure.

But for more avaerage human beings, perhaps they may wish to train in a less painful and potentially damaging environment.

My question on this thread however, was, in answer to the original proposition;does either method of training,in striking, or grappling, or combined arts, necessarily carry with it moral development in any way? And the only answer I could come up with, or can now, is that if the teacher is moral, and transmits that, then the student has a chance of such development but may not get it, too.If the teacher is not a moral person, then the chance is good that the student will at least not benefit character-development-wise, from that teacher, and may suffer from them.

I don't think it has anything to do with what type sport or art you train in. It may have something to do with competition, in that if competition is emphasized as a tool to help both you and the opponent develop, as in the ideal of Judo, that is a better moral environment that one in which, the entire idea is to stomp the other guy into submission.

I think we should be clear here, on the issue at hand. Is the greatest contest to overcome self, or to overcome others, and does the latter necessarily help., hinder or defeat the purpose , of the former? Depending on honest answers to these questions, is the answer to the original question.

When we train to hit, or grapple, full contact, and I have, is the first thing you do under stress in life, to react with violence, or with reason, and wisdom, and true grace under pressure?I was taught, never strike or execite terchniques unless absolutely necessary, this was drilled into us, what we did is as dangerous as a gun in some ways, so respect it like that.Today,We see many athletes unable to manage their personal lives without violence. Is something wrong with the sport they do, or with the ethic drilled into them in order to win those sports? I suspect the latter may be the case.The former though, may also be somewhat at fault.

This may be why the code of ethics of karate used to be so emphasized, and Funakoshi said that religion is important in the lives of martial artists.See the Samurai connection , too, with Zen .

If all one has and all one is is martial arts, or being a fighter, then maybe all one can do in stressful situations, is react as one has been trained, and that may not be so very goood a thing.One has, first, to be a human being, then a martial artist, or one may discover that, like some athletes and fighters we all know, you may win in the ring and lose at life.

For me, that just won't do.Rather win in life any day.I know many men and women who are true champions in life, who, as far as I know, couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.

If a fighter or a warrior or a martial artist, has the same outlook on life, as one of these champions, then, more power and success to them, I say. If they don't, better round out that life with some more wholesome pursuits, before it is too late.

I been a soldier, a bouncer, a security guard, and a martial arts competitor(Judo mostly) and also done karate many years.And what., really, of all that?If I couldn't live with myself and others, it would be nothing but ashes.

Masrtial artists, competitors, soldiers, policemen,people who in their lives do violence, real or in bounds of rules,all need to face these issues.Can you do whatever it is you do, and still keep your humanity? Fine.But if you find you can't, let somebody else do that, and go find some people to help.

Some people get into competition and get addicted to it.But if you compete to overcome your own self, there's nothing wrong with that.Can be an unbelievably tough opponent, though, and doesn't always play nice or fight by the rules.:D

Markaso
31st March 2003, 08:26
Originally posted by kusanku
History records this time and again. The greatest battle is to conquer ones own self, than which to conquer nations may be easier, and that the greates victory is victory over ones own self,just some thoughts folks.

Martial arts leads often to victory over others, but how often to victory over self?


Well said Mr.Vengal :toast:

Markaso
31st March 2003, 08:34
Originally posted by Bustillo, A.
The value of a man can be judged by the way he acts under pressure, stress, and, to an extent, in competition.


Mr. Bustillo

I think you have a good point. But I think that we are always judged in every day life. Many times by people that do not have a clue :confused: Lifes biggest competition ......... Life itself!

Bustillo, A.
31st March 2003, 22:01
Originally posted by Markaso

Mr. Bustillo
I think you have a good point. But I think that we are always judged in every day life. Many times by people that do not have a clue :confused: Lifes biggest competition ......... Life itself!

Mark,

Some of you are missing the main point.

When I mentioned judging the value of a man in connection with competition I did not mention winning, scoring points, losing, nor judges declaring a champion. I was specific about how I phrased the words. I wrote,'... the way he acts....'

Meaning, how he conducts himself under the stress of facing the challenge of different situations.

I did not intend it to be that big of a philosophical revelation...just a simple observation.

Markaso
1st April 2003, 00:03
Mr. Bustillo


Sorry, a bit tired when I wrote that one. I am pretty sure I understood your point completely. But you know how these threads can sometimes wander off. :)