We are a collective of training brothers and sisters joined together with the goal of mutually beneficial martial improvement.
One of the things that attracted me to traditional martial arts was the feeling of family and belonging within the group. We all worked together to make each other better and, through that, to make the group stronger. We knew each others’ families, had dinner at each others’ homes, went out to eat together, and attended each others’ weddings. Successes were celebrated together and losses were mourned together. It was like family.
I think this is the essence of what some traditional martial artists mean when they say, “We don’t compete.” While they may think that this idea means not testing each other with resistance and not challenging each others’ limits with pressure in training, what I think this idea of non-competition really means is that we all work together, that we are all here for each other, and through this mutually beneficial practice, you are never my enemy.
-Robert Van Valkenburgh teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Kogen Dojo