“I need not be the best in the world, best in my country, best in my region, city, dojo or even best in my class. So long as I am the best I can be.”
– Kyu Doug
I hear a lot of people talking about competition lately. Kata, kumite competitions at various levels. Even just the internal spirit of competing with classmates for who has the highest belt or who knows the most kata or bunkai.
While some level of competitive spirit can inspire us to be better or learn more, Karate was never started to compete. It was a self defense system, and a way to discover your inner self. Funakoshi O Sensei never cared for trophies or medals. Neither did many of the great masters of the art. It’s a modern day phenomenon that all too often disrupts Karateka from the art’s true purpose.
If you want to compete, that’s great. Just remember that you are Karateka first, competitor second.