Fan or Foe?

When you compete, how do you view your fellow competitors? Are they “the enemy”, merely obstacles in the way of your victory? Do you have a hard time fighting them if you see them as people, or even friends?

Catwoman & BatmanPersonally I like to view them as partners in martial arts, and in my growth and learning. They are helping me to get better. There are so few woman training, and it just doesn’t make sense to me to not be supportive of every single one of them. I think it’s important to overcome your ego enough to be able to think of your competitors as your brothers and sisters, and not just someone who you want to defeat.

I’ve seen some of my Karate Sensei face off against each other year after year at the State Games, and their friendship is not affected by it. They all really want to beat each other when they are competing, but before and after they treat one another the same as always, as Sempai. They are all on the same side. Whether your competition trains with you or not, that is still true…we are all in this together.

They say martial arts begins and ends with respect, and we must have appreciation for the people who are trying to improve themselves through competing, just as we are. Yes, we all want to win, but we should never make that a personal thing. One of my best friends is someone who I have had to compete against in Karate many times. She has won some and I have won some, but neither one of us is counting.

“I never compete against the competition. The only one I compete against is myself, because one day I will beat the competition and then who will I compete against?” ~ Billie Akauola


4 comments on “Fan or Foe?

  1. Great timing. Last night we were just talking about whether or not teammates should fight each other in competition. My first reaction was absolutely not, but many others disagreed. Today I sit on the fence on this issue after much thought.

  2. When I think about open mat in class I really don't have any bad intentions towards who I'm grappling with. Anything I get them in I want to be safe. So I don't think I see anyone as an enemy. I haven't competed yet so I don't know if I'll treat them differently then.I guess right now because I get beat so much I'm more interested in learning where my holes are. My partners right now are doing me a favor by kicking my ass and teaching me what I need to work on. I may change my attitude later when I get better. Not sure.I think in competition I'd rather go against someone that I don't know cause it could be more fun going into it not knowing any of their tricks. I like the Batman/Catwoman pic by the way. Very fitting.

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