The Importance of A Rival

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Shinobi Teikiatsu, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Shinobi Teikiatsu

    Shinobi Teikiatsu Green Belt

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    I've been wondering this lately, how important do you all think it is to have someone roughly your own skill level that you compete with? I understand that SD martial arts are not competition based (my own being one of them) but you can't deny that humans, being human, create competition. I personally don't have a rival at my dojo, but I did. He was roughly twice my size and outmuscled me quite easily, but I matched his skill with my flexibility and speed, and we had basically the same hold on techniques. While I never directly competed with him, or desired to best him in anyway, our parallel's drove me to train harder and my skill increased exponentially.

    So I ask of you, how important do you think it is for you to have a friendly (I say friendly because I don't think having someone you hate as a rival is a good idea) rival?
     
  2. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    In my club we are all newbies atm (new branch dojo) but I have previous JJ experience, and another guy my age has judo experience. We both pick up things fairly easy, and while we don't compete with each other (no sparring or randori atm) it is nice to practise forms with someone who can go at it with the same intensity.
     
  3. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    My rival is myself in the porsuit of perfection that is all that one needs.
     
  4. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    I dont play the rival game. There's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition though. When I started playing guitar my friend Mike started around the same time and we were fans of the same type of stuff so we would constantly push and challenge each other, or help each other where learning was concerned. Enter the dojo with that same mindset, it's not about who's "better" it's about working together so we'll all be better.
     
  5. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    IMO, it's better to have a variety of opponents with different sizes and skill levels. When we spar in class, we go 2-3 minutes with a partner and then switch, until we've worked with everyone at least once. It's kinda like a video game - you have to find the combination that works against each fighter's style.
     
  6. Aniela13

    Aniela13 Yellow Belt

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    Doing Kenpo with my brother growing up, we were always able to spur each other on because neither wanted to be "outdone" (ah, sibling rivalries...that aren't cutthroat!) Now that I'm in a new system, I do have a friendly competition during workouts with a fellow female student (during stretches we'll grin at each other and push that little extra bit that, otherwise, at least I probably wouldn't do) and one of my instructors who I'm friends with (when I'm at the point of giving up, and he's next to me finishing the exercise, my pride won't let me give up lol). As far as curriculum goes, I do compete only with myself (or upper belts I want to catch up with!), but that's just because of the timetable I'm working on (graduation looms ahead, so I refuse to slack off)...but during workouts those two keep me going until I have nothing left to give! :) I love my karate friends....

    ~Ani
     
  7. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    I value good training partners over rivals. Life's too short to worry if someone is looking ot show you up or tear you down. however, nothing makes training better than good training partners who you can trust and who will push you beyond what you think you can do.

    Peace,
    Erik
     
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    I definitely have had rivals to compete against in my training. All of us are friends, who happen to have similar skill levels, each with our own strong points (I am pretty good at generating power, others are quicker, some tend to have cleaner kata, etc.)

    I think having a friendly rivalry is a great tool to push yourself a little bit harder in order to compete with them, and I hope they see me the same way. In class, we help each other to "get it" (whatever it might be) and work well together; come tournament time, we definitely push each other, which I believe helps all of us get better.

    It's also acted as a bit of an ego check when someone that I've been competing with directly has been promoted before me, which is a great thing to have to deal with along the way.

    I think it would be a bit sad if I were much much better than anyone else in my dojo and had no one to compete with me and push me; fortunately, that's not an issue I have to deal with anytime soon ;)
     
  9. bowser666

    bowser666 2nd Black Belt

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    No need to compete. If you want to compete go sign up for a tournament. I could care less what the next guy is doing if he is competing against me. I am not there for that. I stick to my own agenda and try to find some one who is there for similar reasons and train with them.

    Why not help them achieve their goals and vice versa. Why does someone always have to be better ? That is not progress , that is going the other way in my book.
     
  10. Shinobi Teikiatsu

    Shinobi Teikiatsu Green Belt

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    Okay, a lot of people are missing entirely the point of what I said. I'm not asking about someone who you compete with to get better, I'm just saying someone who you train with that constantly drives you to train harder, someone that keeps you focused. Bear in mind that there are some places where your fellow students may not work as hard as you, and so you're forced to take it easier than you would like to.
     
  11. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    That's not a rival...that's a good training partner.
     
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    I think the line can blur sometimes... there's no reason someone can't be a good friend, training partner, and rival all rolled into one. I think many are taking the competitive aspects of this question and looking at them in a very negative light, which certainly doesn't have to be the case.
     
  13. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    I think I understand you and can come from a similar situation.

    all my friends are martial artists to some degree as are my brothers. When one of us goes up a level in skill the rest of us seek to find a way to match it most of my friends are decent training partners, but I would consider two of them to be rivals in a sense.

    I think it is important to train with people of all different sizes and shapes to better round out ones ability, but I think most people have a few favoirte training partners.

    My brother was my first rival. He's 3 years younger than I and is a MMA as well as a 3rd dan in Isshin ryu karate. He and I would go back and forth comparing techniques under different kinds of situations. We used to spar a lot (MMA style) which he was far better at than I was, so he would get the best of me there. I would take my losses and turn them to lessons to find ways not just to beat his technique, but to beat people who could possibly fight like him. In turn I would help him improve his practical self defense skills. There were times when I would get upset thinking I wasn't good enough at a certain thing (cause he'd be better), but then I realized that his method was not the route I wanted to go and so after I realized that I was able to imporve myself a lot more.

    My other "rival" is my favorite training partner at my dojo. His name's mike and he's a good 60-70 pounds smaller than I am, but in far better physical condition. We've trained so much together that we know exactly how we will react to each other when a certain type of attack is given which allows us to experiement more and try to change it up and turn up the heat a bit more than we can do with other training partners. Mike has been a good way to measure my skill, as we improve at roughly the same speed and test for ranking together I can compare how well I am doing by watching how well he is doing. We try to out do each other during training, to see how we will react to each other, but it never became about beating each other at anything, it became about how can we improve faster?

    My teacher noticed how much tougher mike and I are with each other, and has sort of forbidden us to train with each other when other black belts or higher ranked kyus are available. He doesn't want us to be so used to each other's body type that we react poorly to different people. But we still attack each other and test each other in a friendly way. I like training with the other black belts and higher ranked kyus as well ( I get to try different things with them), but mike is my "rival" I guess because I know the ins and outs of his technique and he knows mine.
     
  14. hkfuie

    hkfuie Purple Belt

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    Yeah. I get what you mean. I started as an adult in my 20's and my best rival/training partner was this 13 y/o girl. Our instructor called her "Scrappy." Whereas my tendency in sparring is to go a little easy, she would light out as soon as he said go and man she kept me on my toes!

    So in lines we would always try to go faster, stronger, more precise than each other. It was all in good nature. And it was so cool to have this relationship with this kid.

    Since then I have had a few training partners like this. I enjoy them when I find them. It's good to have someone like this to train with.
     
  15. Shinobi Teikiatsu

    Shinobi Teikiatsu Green Belt

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    Yes thank you, that's almost exactly what I meant. Someone who knows you in and out so you constantly drive to improve yourself with them
     
  16. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    I feel, as long as it's friendly, a bit of rivaly is quite helpful. It forces you to practice more, study more, and THINK.

    The best combination is to have a workout buddy AND a rival (maybe even the same person.)

    Deaf
     
  17. Laurentkd

    Laurentkd Master Black Belt

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    I definitely think it helps to have a good "rival" and I have many! Being a fairly young female of a fairly high rank, I often am standing next to men a little older than me. Having someone next to me of similar skill makes me want to kick faster, run harder, push farther, etc. For example, when training at home alone I might decide that I have done enough pushups and have to stop. But when I have someone next to me continuing to pump them out, it motivates me to do a few more. I think it is human nature and always makes me think of the old saying "Iron sharpens iron." This good natured rivalry motivation is what I miss the most when I am forced to miss out on group lessons.123
     

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