Sensei Says… Competition and Competitive Spirit

Many people believe that the purpose of competition is simply to “beat up” your opponent, to somehow demonstrate that you are “better” than them. I say that is not at all what competition or the competitive spirit is about. Instead, the competitive spirit should be a test against yourself, to raise your expectations, to test your abilities and discover what you can truly accomplish.

I was once told that the word FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. The fear of the unknown can be very real; but once faced it is often much less intimidating. A number of you will be competing in the Arizona State Championships this month. And, for some of you, it will be your first ever tournament. The FEAR of competition, while very exhilarating, should not be overblown.

Remember, it is not about your win or loss at the event. It is about your effort, your training, your competitive spirit and how you used it in competition to overcome your FEAR and make yourself a better karateka and a better person. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to be competitive and I thank you for demonstrating it. Your enthusiasm showcases true competitive spirit.