Black Belt

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?


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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