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?