There’s a Dog Brothers article called “Tao of the Dog” that addresses some issues about training and fighting at the different stages of life. The whole thing is here:
Here’s a few quotes from it that I think are relevant to this discussion:
“ If, as a tribe we are going to defend our land, women and children, it is in our respective individual interests that the other warriors of the tribe become good fighters as well. If I push you too hard and break your spirit, it does not serve my interests. If I push you too little and you are soft, it also does not serve my interests. And vice versa. “
I think that this is a good way of thinking about training: those we train with are members of our tribe, and we can even expand this to competition. Of course, not everyone competing feels this way but I try not to pick up any negative notions from others at competitions. This quote is also very good IMO:
“ To last over the years, one needs to be intelligent-the secret of life is to get smart faster than you get old. If we try to always operate in that young male testosterone frenzy, just like Bruce Lee we're not going to last very long. In training, there must be the "three Fs" (Not those! Baaad Dogs!) Fun, Fit, and Functional. To be functional, we must be fit and healthy, and what we do to be fit and healthy must be fun to do or we will not do it. Now, "fun" can be a superficial word, but what we really mean is with joy in life-but that would have ruined the alliteration. “
If you have fun competing, do it!