On a Ques­tion of the Day

A mar­tial artist we in­ter­viewed said, “I had been study­ing for a year and a half, and I knew only the front kick, side kick, front punch and re­verse punch.” In your opin­ion, is this good or bad?

Black Belt - - COMMUNITY -

Eric Robert:

It’s beau­ti­ful. But … opin­ion? If you say it’s bad, that’s your wrong opin­ion and you’re un­for­tu­nately en­ti­tled to it.

Why? Well, who knows more, you or Bruce Lee? He says, “I do not fear the man who has prac­ticed 10,000 tech­niques one time, but I do fear the man who has prac­ticed one tech­nique 10,000 times.” Also, le­git old-school gung fu schools only teach front/ fight­ing/horse stance in the first year. That’s it! Also, many sys­tems teach the tenet of “prac­tice ba­sic tech­niques all the time” or “re­peat­edly per­form fun­da­men­tals daily,” etc. [Two ad­di­tional para­graphs cut for brevity — sorry, Eric.]

Chad Tower:

I fear the guy who uses 10,000 words in a Face­book com­ment!

Eric Robert:

Your fear is well­founded, it could be much worse. LOL. Solid burn though, go­ing to seek ice.

Wil­liam Jack­son:

It’s bad. Six months was con­sid­ered the base­build­ing pe­riod in most tra­di­tional mar­tial arts I have stud­ied. If you are still build­ing ba­sics at 18 months, you need a new hobby. Be­cause that’s what that is.


It took me 1½ years to just land a round­house kick cor­rectly.

Budo Ban­ter:

It is bet­ter to be more pro­fi­cient at fewer tech­niques than to be medi­ocre at many tech­niques. But that’s just my opin­ion.

Capt Jaipreet Joshi:

It’s good to at­tain per­fec­tion, but what is more rel­e­vant is what works and what one can do. Just try­ing to ape a tech­nique is not sen­si­ble, but to learn the con­cept be­hind it and de­liver it ef­fi­ciently [is sen­si­ble].

Daniel Duerk­sen:

Ha! I know a bunch of black belts that aren’t very good at th­ese tech­niques. Pa­tience is some­thing most stu­dents lack th­ese days. Why rush? Mar­tial arts is ei­ther long term or short term. Long term, what dif­fer­ence does it make if it takes a lit­tle bit longer? Short term, what dif­fer­ence does it make how much you learn?

Juan Me­len­dez:

I’m not sure we fully un­der­stand the state­ment “knew only” those four tech­niques. Does that mean for a year and a half, two to four times a week for any­where from 30-120 min­utes ev­ery time he or she went to the dojo, all they did was those four things? Makes for a great old-style movie cliché but sounds very lim­ited and bor­ing if that’s all he or she ever did for that length of time!

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