Reading a post by Rory Miller on the Chrion blog created this question in my mind. Could this be one reason why testing and judging someone's ability promotes a loss of creativity? Rory does mention, I believe, that our creativity (or is it spontaneity) is important in self-defense.
Is it also a detriment if we are told that we "must remain true to the system" by not allowing any deviation in our practice. Some today think that it is critical to remaining true to the system by adhering to a maxim that "one should learn, practice, and teach the system as the creator/founder taught it." [note: this might be a good thing if those who teach today actually learned and had full knowledge of the entire system; start to mastery!]
If we practice for self improvement and remove any and all intent to use it in real fighting and/or self defense then maybe this maxim us valid yet if what I am perceiving it true then doesn't it cause us to lose an important aspect of martial arts for defense, spontaneity/creativity?
If we spend our time trying to memorize it "exactly and unchangingly and rigidly" are we not removing the trait that may actually provide us the ability to use it in defense/combat/fighting?
If we are focused on validation from Sensei, Dojo, and the governing organizations don't we lose the real focus of defense in application? If we don't actually point our focus where it does the most good then it seems we should make sure our intent is self-improvement and not delude ourselves into believing that it provides security and ability in defense.
As an instructor would it be more prudent and efficient if I am able to inspire creativity and spontaneity vs. dogmatic doctrine used to control and profit?
I advocate participation in events like seminars and tournaments but to test our mental ability to deal with pressure, etc. so also recommend when participating remove the judging and thoughts of winning and focus on training the mind to deal with stress, stressful situations and such yet leave all the fluff and glitter in its proper place.
Remove the external and remain fixed on what internals are needed to achieve a goal. It is like one of the principles of martial power being to focus on the true and efficient application of principle and forget about the opponent. Keep focus properly focused!