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#391062 - 04/13/08 08:29 PM ego and competition
wannabee Offline

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 2
Hello, everyone. I am a 40ish female martial artist who has been training for ~15 years. For the past 10 years I have mostly reffed and judged at tournaments, only competing in a few. It was the right decision for me at that time. Now I am getting back into competition, having moved to a new place, in order to meet people. In my previous home I enjoyed having a circle of friends from different martial arts.

My struggle is this: I have always focused on the traditional, technical side of things and am not interested in glitz, glam and especially ego gratification that I consider to be NOT what martial arts is about for me. I don't want to judge those things. I am worried that it is possible to get caught up in that when competing. What I am truly worried about is, is it impossible to avoid becoming drawn in by that?

This is a really long way of questioning if there is anyone out there who considers these types of things when they are competing and what your experiences are?

#391063 - 04/13/08 08:36 PM Re: ego and competition [Re: wannabee]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Are you talking about competing in forms or sparring? If you can pull it off in sparring, that's nice, and will help. But not necessary.

In forms? Depends on the tourney and judges. Unless it is a traditional competition/division that you're in, the musical/back-flipping/neon-nunchaku crowd will probably always have the OOH AHHH advantage over you.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#391064 - 04/13/08 09:42 PM Re: ego and competition [Re: MattJ]
wannabee Offline

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 2
Both. Yeah, I don't care if I win. And I can say that without it being theoretical. I did not win at a tournament yesterday and I WAS surprised, not that I did not win, but which form DID win. And I am still OK with that.

To refine my question, or even change it, what philosophical/psychological approaches to you use in tournament competition?

How does competition affect you?

You're right, MattJ. It will be different at traditional tournaments. I was twitching a little because of the tournament I attended yesterday. There were some interesting forms.

I had fun noticing which judges awarded what I value and who awarded for things I don't. I helped judge some forms and I met some people. It was a good day because of some of the peopel I met.

#391065 - 04/14/08 08:14 PM Re: ego and competition [Re: wannabee]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
I did alot of tournaments in the 80's when I was a kid, here are my thoughts:

Basically I think most people enter competition for ego-based reasons, there are some that enter competition to learn and to test themselves, but they are a minority.

In my limited experience most people are in it to prove something to themselves, or to others; this is not neccessarily a bad thing, in fact I think it can be healthy to a certain degree, but I think it is near impossible to remove ego from competition as honestly they go hand in hand.

So instead of worrying about whether or not ego is involved (I don't see how it wouldn't be), to me the most important thing is simply someone's motivation for being there, as long as the competitive aspect is healthy then it's all for the good.

#391066 - 04/16/08 04:35 PM Re: ego and competition [Re: wannabee]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland

Yeah, I don't care if I win

From one point of view this might b why you have doubts about competition. I basically put my lack of success in competition down to that point. Had I wanted to win more, maybe I would have (sorry, I don't know your competition record, maybe you are very successful).

I've spoken with some competitors and even interviewed a world champion or two and ego does figure a lot in their game, many even admit the fact. I think wanting to compete and fight must involve a certain amount of ego. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. When you ned to use MA for real it is sometimes the ego which spurs you on because it wants to survive.

I think a vital question is what one does with the ego.
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

#391067 - 04/16/08 10:24 PM Re: ego and competition [Re: trevek]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Slightly off topic, but there was an article on abc news yesterday


The hormone that drives male aggression and sexual interest also seems able to boost short term success at finance. But what seems to start out well can turn bad, with elevated testosterone levels over several days possibly leading to irrational risk-taking, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge in England.

which discussed the impact that testosterone had on the success of stock trades.

It is my opinion that your desire to win, and/or your belief in your ability to win plays a large effect in your ability to win. For the most part, I compete because it's fun and I enjoy the opportunity to compete against different people, and for the most part, I'm not concerned if I win or loose, but there have been a few occasions where my desire to win was the difference between winning and loosing, especially when running out of steam towards the end of the match.


#391068 - 04/17/08 10:50 AM Re: ego and competition [Re: tkd_high_green]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884

#391069 - 04/17/08 11:05 AM Re: ego and competition [Re: oldman]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Some of us don't have that problem.

Never been bit by the competition bug. The few times I've been interested in trying out a tourney, it was with the thought of doing sparring, and with the specific intent of taking another down a notch or two...inflicting humiliation. Knowing that...I stay away from it.

#391070 - 05/09/08 04:53 PM Re: ego and competition [Re: wannabee]
headstrongBB Offline

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 4
In the almost 8 fully ears I've studied, I've found that I have the same type of feelings you have expressed. I am a VERY competitive person, but how I get throuhg it is that-
A) I tried my best, I jsut need to put more effort into my performance
B) If one of my friends won, at least they had a chance to shine and maybe I could get help from them
C) There are no losers. this is essential, becuase I have learned that you only lose when you think you've failed. Try to think of it as, "I succeded in putting myself out there and trying my hardest."
I'm not sure if I answered your question or not, but if i did not, i hope i was helpful in some way.


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