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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:20 am    Post subject: Competitions: Do They Build Falsehoods?! Reply with quote

Competitions have a propensity of building varying degrees of false security in those who train in the MA. Rules and regulations hinder effective counter attacks, which is to be expected for the safety of all who compete. Imho, it's a Catch-22 scenario!!

When competitors are limited in any shape, way, and/or form from an reason(s), that can lead to one building, and therefore hold unto false securities on owns abilities in any practitioner of any MA.

Any built up false securities in ones abilities to defend themselves has to be guarded closely by the instructor without violating safety protocols while training.

For example, with all of the rules and regulations for competitions forgotten, if you try to spear me in the hopes of wanting to take me down to the ground, and I'm allowed to do whatever I can outside of any rule and regulations to prevent it, and I'm aware of your spear possibilities, I might just simply transition off-line and target a vital point/target with extreme prejudice and force, and I thwart your attempt, your attempt might be for not!

Nothing is guaranteed by either individual in real-life situations. We can only hope because we believe in our abilities! Hopefully, any built up false securities through competitions and the like will be minimal to non-existent!!

Your thoughts, please!!



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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2387
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we cannot train with 100% realism, it stands to reason that we also cannot compete with 100% realism. Anything that is not 100% realistic is going to develop expectations based on theory or experience that may not be accurate. This is something we have to keep in mind when we train or compete, lest we become complacent. When you're great at hitting pads, or have great success in competition, you might feel that you are fully prepared for self defense, even though you are not. Of course, if you only ever practice with a compliant partner, and never hit pads, you'll be even worse off.

Personally, I'm not fond of competition--winning doesn't give me any sense of accomplishment, losing makes me feel terrible, and I'm very non-confrontational. I will say that competition certainly has benefits, though! Dealing with someone who is fighting back and resisting you, developing a sense of distance and timing, being forced to perform under pressure, etc. I really do think that the key to avoiding complacency is maintaining an understanding of the limitations of your training and competition. Unfortunately, many instructors don't seem to foster this understanding in their students.
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Harkon72
Black Belt
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Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, how often have you heard it? "Our Martial Art is the most Realistic." I've said it before; you never know how you will react in a real situation. My current Sensei knocked the nail on the head; "You have a black belt in attacking and defending in a certain way. I for example have studied karate too; so I know what you are going to do. Your timing, your angles and everything. Because our tradition of Aikido is formless, I can apply its principals any way the situation takes me. There are no rules and you have no idea of what I'm about to do." This is why our Aikido is non competitive, you can't fight under any rules like this, there is nothing to apply them to. Tomiki Aikido is competitive, and very effective. There is an elder member of the Dojo who practiced it for many years, and I admit, he's a gentleman and very kind but the most scary guy in the club.
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vantheman
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 249

Styles: Chinese Kempo Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't go so far to say they build falsehoods. While there really isn't too much out there that is going to expose you to true self defense scenarios aside from going around and getting in bar fights (which I do not condone), I think competing gives martial artists invaluable experience that controlled training in class cannot foster. Furthermore, while competitive fighting is not a true representation of an actual self defense situation, its the closest thing you are going to get to while still ensuring the relative safety of those involved. If you can fight well against someone within limitations, all it takes is one seminar to learn the mindset and applications of those techniques in a "real" scenario. Competitions are a great place to demonstrate what works and what doesn't outside of life-threatening street fights. I'm not saying that every martial artist needs to test their skills in combat to be legit, but the competitive aspects of martial arts have showcased the effectiveness of arts such as Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, Kickboxing and Wrestling in combat. MMA provides a great regimen as far as training in the martial arts is concerned. It doesn't take much to adjust these skills to a self defense situation. You don't need years of training to kick someone in the groin, pull hair, bite, or gouge eyes. Several years of MMA and maybe a few weeks or seminars in Krav Maga or some other basic self defense course can turn any competitive fighter into one of the best suited artists (skill and conditioning wise) for self defense.

In short: it is hard to argue that someone that can beat you up in a sparring match isn't suited for real world self defense because you weren't allowed to poke their eyes/snap their neck/kick them in the groin.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27542
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
Since we cannot train with 100% realism, it stands to reason that we also cannot compete with 100% realism. Anything that is not 100% realistic is going to develop expectations based on theory or experience that may not be accurate. This is something we have to keep in mind when we train or compete, lest we become complacent. When you're great at hitting pads, or have great success in competition, you might feel that you are fully prepared for self defense, even though you are not. Of course, if you only ever practice with a compliant partner, and never hit pads, you'll be even worse off.


I agree. Its really tough to find a happy medium. Competing helps build up certain skills that can translate to helpful self-defense, but there have to be rule sets in place for safety. Likewise, its important to realize the deficiencies in the rule set and do what one can to alter the training from time to time to work on them for self-defense purposes.
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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Competitions: Do They Build Falsehoods?! Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Competitions have a propensity of building varying degrees of false security in those who train in the MA. Rules and regulations hinder effective counter attacks, which is to be expected for the safety of all who compete. Imho, it's a Catch-22 scenario!!

When competitors are limited in any shape, way, and/or form from an reason(s), that can lead to one building, and therefore hold unto false securities on owns abilities in any practitioner of any MA.

Any built up false securities in ones abilities to defend themselves has to be guarded closely by the instructor without violating safety protocols while training.

For example, with all of the rules and regulations for competitions forgotten, if you try to spear me in the hopes of wanting to take me down to the ground, and I'm allowed to do whatever I can outside of any rule and regulations to prevent it, and I'm aware of your spear possibilities, I might just simply transition off-line and target a vital point/target with extreme prejudice and force, and I thwart your attempt, your attempt might be for not!

Nothing is guaranteed by either individual in real-life situations. We can only hope because we believe in our abilities! Hopefully, any built up false securities through competitions and the like will be minimal to non-existent!!

Your thoughts, please!!




Competitions ARE realistic (for competition sake...)

Seriously though, whats good about competing (in my line of competition anyways) is learning what a fully resisting opponent feels like and learning how to deal with the adrenaline dump. After dealing with competition "real life" stuff is a walk in the park and mostly humorous at times.

The other thing is learning how to adapt. Look at rule sets as a challenge to your style. Just because you're good at a particular technique doesn't mean you're going to be able to hit it equally effective against everyone. Different people yield different results.
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Archimoto
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 548

Styles: JKD / Muay Thai / TKD

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vantheman wrote:
I wouldn't go so far to say they build falsehoods. While there really isn't too much out there that is going to expose you to true self defense scenarios aside from going around and getting in bar fights (which I do not condone), I think competing gives martial artists invaluable experience that controlled training in class cannot foster. Furthermore, while competitive fighting is not a true representation of an actual self defense situation, its the closest thing you are going to get to while still ensuring the relative safety of those involved. If you can fight well against someone within limitations, all it takes is one seminar to learn the mindset and applications of those techniques in a "real" scenario. Competitions are a great place to demonstrate what works and what doesn't outside of life-threatening street fights. I'm not saying that every martial artist needs to test their skills in combat to be legit, but the competitive aspects of martial arts have showcased the effectiveness of arts such as Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, Kickboxing and Wrestling in combat. MMA provides a great regimen as far as training in the martial arts is concerned. It doesn't take much to adjust these skills to a self defense situation. You don't need years of training to kick someone in the groin, pull hair, bite, or gouge eyes. Several years of MMA and maybe a few weeks or seminars in Krav Maga or some other basic self defense course can turn any competitive fighter into one of the best suited artists (skill and conditioning wise) for self defense.

In short: it is hard to argue that someone that can beat you up in a sparring match isn't suited for real world self defense because you weren't allowed to poke their eyes/snap their neck/kick them in the groin.


I wholeheartedly agree with this post.
I think of competitions as any other aspect of training as a martial artist, right up there with eating well, working cardio, forms, shadow boxing, the list goes on. I think there is a lot to be learned in competitions.
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Kanku65
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Joined: 31 Mar 2014
Posts: 161

Styles: Shotokan Karate-do

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favourite terminology in this sense is "paper tigers". This term has a double meaning. Those who are only their current rank on paper, and those who are flimsy like paper. For example, "Yes, he won gold in the tournament, but he is a paper tiger." Meaning he is good at tag, but probably couldn't defend himself if he had to. Now, "tag" is referencing shotokan style tournaments only, for its all i'm familiar with. I'm aware that there are full contact styles of competition which are MOST definitely not tag.

In my opinion, just because you win a tournament does not mean you can defend yourself. This also goes the other way. Just because you can defend yourself, does not mean you will excel in tournaments. Tournament training is very, very different than self defense training. In shotokan at least.
I think that it is very important that Senseis make it clear to their students that tournaments are purely for club representation, and are ultimately unimportant when looking at the broad picture of MA.

That being said, tournaments are a GREAT way to build a student's confidence, and confidence is of course one of the most important parts of being a martial artist.

In conclusion, competition CAN most definitely build falsehoods in those who are not properly informed about what a competition is for. But not always.
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jaypo
Purple Belt
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Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 520

Styles: Shotokan, Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funakoshi Sensei despised tournaments. He felt that it wasn't representative of what he was teaching.

I believe there is a benefit to competitions if they're approached with the right mindset. If you go in there with the goal of just "getting the trophy", you're missing the point. Sparring has great physical benefits- enhancing timing, angles, speed, reflexes, getting your muscle memory right, etc. But I doubt that a fast reverse punch will be all you need to save yourself on the street, and usually, a fast reverse punch will win a tournament.

I 100% agree with the statement about not feeling great if I win and feeling horrible if I lose. Although I enjoy sparring with a lower belt, it still feels bad when I get scored on by one! Especially when I know that I could have easily dispatched them "on the street" using techniques that I can't use in sparring. It gives them a false sense of accomplishment as well- they just scored on a black belt, so they should be able to do that to anybody on the street. However, I could have easily absorbed the strike to my body and got inside and applied a choke or throw. So I may have lost a "point", but I could have easily taken the fight. That's when I believe that competitions give a false sense of the effectiveness of our arts.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27542
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are lots of things that can create falsehoods in the MAs. One-steps can do it, if they are not taught properly. Basic can develop falsehoods, if you never learn to strike a bag or break a board. The list goes on. An instructor has to bring it all together for the students.

I think competition gets picked on a lot more than the other aspects of training because not everyone is good at competition, and its how some of those that don't do well in competitions justify it. I think many times, it becomes a pride/ego thing. Not always, but sometimes it is the case.
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