No Contact • No Competition
At the Boston School of Boabom, we teach without contact or competition. What do we mean when we say no contact and no competition?
First, we mean that in our classes we work without contact—without practicing our movements on our classmates. We do have partner work, but this partner work is done without contact—without striking the other student in any way. This allows us to express each movement with its fullest energy, rather than pulling punches or altering movements as we practice on others. Not only does this drastically reduce the chance of injury, it also requires a refined development of precision and control, while creating a space that is safe, comfortable, and positive for all—a space of fundamental relaxation.
Second, the Boston School of Boabom never participates in any kind of martial arts competition, nor does it encourage its students to. If this is what you’re looking for, we’re not the school for you.
But there is more to no competition than just not participating in “competitions.” It also means that we do not encourage competition amongst our students. Each of us is unique, with our own body, mind, experience, and way of learning. We will never say “Student A is so much better at this, Student B you should be more like them!”
Rather, we encourage each student to develop at their own pace and to the maximum of their own capacity and potential, through positive reinforcement and personal attention. At the Boston School of Boabom we believe that each and every student has the capacity to learn and to develop themselves in body and mind, and our practice follows our commitment to this belief. If there is any competition at all, it is with oneself, mediated through the progressive addition of new movements designed to build physical and coordinative capacity, one movement at a time.
Following this maxim of no contact, no competition helps us create a safe, positive environment where all are welcome and valued. It also contributes to the relaxation so necessary to an effective practice. Contact and competition cause stress, which we just so happen to have enough of in our lives already! Repeated contact and competition may create a feeling of “toughness”, but that superficial toughness comes at the price of an underlying stress, or fear, built by the repetition of contact and competition.
Rather, through strong movement combined with a fundamental relaxation, Boabom builds a deep confidence and security that is vital in any situation. Not only can we reduce the stress we’re already accumulating in our everyday lives—we can maintain a clear mind and a balanced perspective when we feel pressured, threatened, or afraid.
In the end, this is one of the deep goals of Boabom and Seamm-Jasani: to build confidence and relaxation. We do this through Boabom’s unique system of meditation in movement, which is based on this fundamental principle of no contact and no competition.
If you’re interested in seeing how this works in practice, you’re welcome to come try one of our free intro classes!