What constitutes competition?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by kempodisciple, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. FriedRice

    FriedRice Master Black Belt

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    I think that everything helps, from shadowboxing, to tap sparring to hard sparring and the highest level being competition fighting. In order to achieve what you're looking for, IMO, you should train like everything is a competition....even the warmup exercise (b/c it really is as other dudes are still trying to be the best at it in the class...they don't admit it, but it's true)....and as long as you abide by the rules.

    It all depends on what level you're looking to achieve.
     
  2. FriedRice

    FriedRice Master Black Belt

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    Holy hell, I didn't know you were into HEMA and that good. I've been Larping for nearly a year and it ain't as easy as I thought to beat up on out of shape nerds. I'm like 50/50 vs. the average nerd, but their top guys with 10+ years exp. can beat me 80% of the time.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    You seem to have created two different sets of definitions at once. First, you say it's about whether you mind losing or not. Then, you say it's about whether it's an open tournament or not.
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you mean "all other dudes", you're incorrect. If you mean "some other dudes might be" then you're right.
     
  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    There's a lot of talk on here about the importance/unimportance of competition, but I'm curious how everyone is defining competition. It sounds like a relatively simple answer, but depending on the purpose of competition can determine whether or not it's important. For clarification, when I mention competition here, I'm specifically asking about competition in the terms that it would be a beneficial or necessary part of training.

    For example: A UFC santioned fight is competition, I think we can all agree on that. So is a boxing match, or a WTF tournament, or a Naga competition. Some of those can be tournament styled, where you have to win to go on to the next match, others can be a one-set match. I could participate in an amateur boxing match once, and never fight again, regardless if I win or lose.

    That brings me to the first issue. If there is no pressure to win, does it count as competition? If I enter a match, with the same plan not to fight again whether or not I win, and if I'm just as happy losing as winning, I just wanted to say that I 'fought', does that count as a competition? To me, this would technically be a competition, but I don't see myself gaining anything special from it.

    ***No, if there is no pressure to win it is not competing against an opponent. Staying in the MA vein, it can be the hardest, toughest, "match" ever. But if it is for learning and honing one's skills, winning as in getting a medal or trophy, shouldn't come into play.

    The second point for me is: how much does your opponent matter in considering something a competition? If I compete in a state tournament in full contact karate or kickboxing, I'm 130 pounds, my opponent is 250, and he wins by virtue of being stronger/bigger than me. Does that still count as a competition for either of us? If I'm a black belt whos been training for 10 years, and enter a tournament with only white belts, who have never done that style, does that still count as a competition? What if there's a significant age difference-if someone decides to allow a 25 year old into a tournament with only 10 year olds, they're competing but would that count as a competition? To me, while these may fit the definition of competition in the general sense, I wouldn't gain the benefit of testing my stuff or being in that adrenaline environment, because beating on a 10 year old or someone that's never thrown a punch doesn't take a whole lot of skill.

    ***You are expressing the extremes in terms of what competing is. The examples would be competing but in a twisted sense. In the first example, because the 130 pounder COULD win it is competing. The other examples are really too irrational to refute. The short answer is "why would you".

    Next: In house competitions. If my local school holds a competition for just members of the school, does that count as a competition? It's against the people I spar with all the time, and I only need to be effective against them, not in general. But it could still have that pressure, especially if something rides on it (think the thread where a belt promotion depends on beating someone else from the school during the test).

    Yes this is competing. As stated, "in house competition". I may, or may not, be as geeked up as I might be in a different setting but I have a known opponent.

    What about street fights. If I fought in the street against some random person, is that a competition? It's something where I would be actively trying to win, the other person could have any level of skill, train in any level of style without my knowledge, and there are consequences from the loss. If not, what is missing to make it a competition/gain the benefits from one?

    NOT competing. This is a survival situation. The win/lose equation is completely different. This is the very heart of a Martial Art.

    Finally: sparring matches. If I spar with someone, from a different style, and we both have every desire to win, does that count as a competition? What if it's a hard contact sparring match, where we both are going for a KO, versus a medium contact sparring match, where we have someone unofficially letting us know who is 'better' in the match?

    ***COMPETITION - A contest between rivals.
    SPAR - (verb) to gesture without landing a blow to draw one's opponent or create an opening

    You are answering your own question. This is sparring not competition . It is doing your best at practicing you skills with an opponent to make the best outcome for your effort. The mental competition with yourself is always going to be there.


    I guess my question is, what exactly are the benefits of a competition, and do they have to be in a specific 'competition' setting in order to count for it. And are there competitions/people who can compete but not gain that benefit at all?

    ***Competition is hugely beneficial and an every day part of life. In the global sense of the word, there is no specific setting. It can to pertain to anything. In the extreme, the body is competing with germs every second of the day. Something to consider; what if you try slicing up the definitions of the word competition. Categorize it. For example, any event type participation, whether you win, lose, or planned to win or lose, should be considered competition. No matter the weird circumstances (big vs. small, etc...). Again, in the global sense, it is word usage. If I am in a true SD situation, a fight for life or limb, yes there is the win/lose component. But isn't this so much greater in importance that it should be in it's own category? I agree it is hard to separate. When I spar, I am not thinking about points or medals in the literal sense. But I am trying my very best to make my strike or block effective.

    As far as benefits, I think they are endless. With some effort, a person can find their physical, and more importantly, mental limit and learn to increase it. When one is done without the other, anomalies ensue. Part of what makes great ring/arena fighter great, is their ability to ignore or shut down their pain receptors. It is learning to think with a clear head in the face of conflict and make the right decisions. It is learning that you haven't mastered the muscle memory for a specific technique. The list goes on forever.

    [/QUOTE]
     
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  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Sparring/wrestling with your classmate in your school is different from sparring/wrestling with a stranger in tournament. When you spar with your classmate in your school, you will try to use your new skill that you have just learned. When you spar in tournament, you will only use your best skill.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  7. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Again, there are times where I will try to use my best skill to beat someone in an in-house tournament in my school, or back when i fenced, in my fencing club. There are also some people who, in their dojo, feel that they absolutely must win against others, as a point of pride. Would you view that as the same as a tournament/competition?
     
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  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    In tournament, you will never try to use a technique that you just learned a few days ago.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't think that's the common usage of the term among martial artists.
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not necessarily. I could reverse those, just as well. I've rarely used sparring as a time to work on a new skill - that's what I use drills for. Once the skill is developed enough, it'll show up in sparring on its own. The exception would be what I call "sparring-based drills" (like sparring, but with specific limitations to encourage certain techniques), which are maybe what you're talking about.
     
  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Why not?
     
  12. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    I have, actually. When what I normally do isn't working, I try something new. Sometimes I try something that occurs to me in the moment that I've never practiced before. That may just be a fencing thing, but I doubt it.
     
  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If you can shoot with 80% confidence with your right hand, but only with 60% confidence with your left, during a life and death situation, will you shoot from your left hand? I won't.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    A tournament isn't a life and death situation. In sports, I've been known to play weak-side to see what I could do. Yes, even during games, so long as it wouldn't threaten the win.
     
  15. Yokazuna514

    Yokazuna514 Green Belt

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    Most things are rarely black and white or on and off or do or not do. When looking to acquire a new skill or technique, learning follows a curve. Some folks that are more adventurous may try something new at a tournament but I expect that tournament is probably not at the highest calibre in terms of competition or the likelihood that they will be successful is greatly reduced.

    Not trying to nit pick here but general statements that include the word 'never' are subject to controversy as someone is surely going to find an example that will invalidate that statement.
     
  16. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If one technique that you have made it to work 1000 times, you will know that the chance your technique may work for the 1001 time will be high. If a technique you have only made it to work for 10 times, the chance that it may work for the 11 times will not be high. You will need time to develop your door guarding skill.

    This old man (my teacher's young brother) had undefeated tournament record (0 lose). One thing that he taught me was that on the wrestling mat, he always

    - had his left side forward, and
    - when he moved in, he always used his leading left leg to touch his opponent's leading leg.

    He told me that he had repeated that pattern all his life and he had never changed it. He was a left hand person. He had never used his right side technique in tournament.

     

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