Can hard work make up for lack of talent?

Buka

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Sarah, I have some ideas you might consider. But our cable and internet keeps going third world on us, so I'll get back to it when it straightens out.
 

Buka

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Primarily kickboxing sparring. Karate comes much more easily to me than kickboxing somehow.

Okay, in order to better help you, are you using -

A floor marked off with tape to represent a ring?

An open floor with no tape boundaries?

A ring with ropes?
 

Orion Nebula

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@Sarah Mc Congratulations on having your thread go into new and exciting directions, including multiple arguments. At least your thread didn't get locked like mine ;)

I totally understand the feeling that you suck at martial arts, lack talent, etc. I have often thought to myself, "man, I'm really awful at this really simple thing. Why won't my body obey?" It also doesn't help that I'm usually training with people far beyond my skill level and I am woefully uncoordinated and slow in comparison to them. It was quite nice to hear last week that I'm doing quite well for someone testing for 8th kyu, since I don't have any other beginners to compare myself to.

As almost everyone has pointed out, hard work and repetition will get you where you're going. I think that there are some rare cases where someone can be so unsuited for something that they will never be particularly good at it, and that's ok. However, the vast majority of the population can work hard at something until they succeed. Sometimes it just takes a while.

Regarding genetics, in a lot of cases genetics only works as a guidepost and not an immutable truth, particularly because we have a fairly shallow understanding of the genome. Some things like genes for eye color are simple and well understood, but many traits are influenced by several genes and can involve epigenetics, which is a process in which parts of your DNA become methylated (a small compound attaches), which makes it unreadable. Environmental conditions can modify the epigenome and it can be inherited as well. Which is why genetic studies will generally say that having a specific gene variant will increase your likelihood of having some trait, but does not guarantee it. Heck, according to my genes I should be lactose intolerant, but I'm not, and that's a pretty well understood mutation.
 
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Sarah Mc

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Okay, in order to better help you, are you using -

A floor marked off with tape to represent a ring?

An open floor with no tape boundaries?

A ring with ropes?

Just with regards to sparring? We have a space on the mat marked off with cones to designate sparring stations.
 
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Sarah Mc

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@Sarah Mc Congratulations on having your thread go into new and exciting directions, including multiple arguments. At least your thread didn't get locked like mine ;)

I totally understand the feeling that you suck at martial arts, lack talent, etc. I have often thought to myself, "man, I'm really awful at this really simple thing. Why won't my body obey?" It also doesn't help that I'm usually training with people far beyond my skill level and I am woefully uncoordinated and slow in comparison to them. It was quite nice to hear last week that I'm doing quite well for someone testing for 8th kyu, since I don't have any other beginners to compare myself to.

It really is helpful just to hear that other people have had similar experiences, & there's no prophesy that where I'm at = I suck forever.

@Sarah Mc Regarding genetics, in a lot of cases genetics only works as a guidepost and not an immutable truth, particularly because we have a fairly shallow understanding of the genome. Some things like genes for eye color are simple and well understood, but many traits are influenced by several genes and can involve epigenetics, which is a process in which parts of your DNA become methylated (a small compound attaches), which makes it unreadable. Environmental conditions can modify the epigenome and it can be inherited as well. Which is why genetic studies will generally say that having a specific gene variant will increase your likelihood of having some trait, but does not guarantee it. Heck, according to my genes I should be lactose intolerant, but I'm not, and that's a pretty well understood mutation.

I realize you've specified what we've been talking about in the abstract. When asking about natural aptitude, we're talking about genetics.

I don't have the first clue about what my genes say. Aside from observing parents & half-siblings who are reasonably athletic, anyway. as someone else pointed out, I don't actually know what my capabilities are yet. What I've been doing is interpreting my perception of what I feel (or don't feel) compared to what I *see* in others. Apples and oranges.
 

oftheherd1

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Yes, that's exactly what he does.

I think what others have said about muscle memory makes sense - I may be making very slow progress because there's so much that's new, I'm only learning / practicing so much at one time.

Over the weekend I started setting additional time aside to practice some of the basics that I feel comfortable with on the bag, & so haven't been practicing at home. I can do them but that doesn't mean my body remembers them without having to think about it each time.

Stay with it. It will come. One day you will look back and wonder when it changed, and marvel at how easy it is.
 

Tez3

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When people said, "I suck". The may mean that he is

1. humble.
2. joking.
3. losing confidence.

1 and 2 are OK. 3 is not.

4. in the UK you will get a lot of funny looks and even perhaps a couple of propositions you don't want especially as a female if you say 'I suck'. ;)


On a more serious note, I really dislike when it's 1. because that's not being humble, that's someone who wants others to disagree and tell them how good they are.
 

ShortBridge

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I will go a step further and suggest that the notion of talent is ALMOST a myth. Occasionally there will be a 5 year old concert pianist, but as I meet and get to know people who I have thought of as talented for years, I've heard their stories and realized that they just put their work in and stuck with it. Sports, music, art, martial arts, it doesn't matter.
 

AndreaLola

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Yes, hard work can take you a long way! I'm not really naturally athletic, I began training when I was 24. I could hardly tell my left from my right back then. Some folks are just athletic, some come from various sports or dance, and some of us need a little extra time to get it together. Believe in yourself, ask questions, and try. Best of luck!

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Monkey Turned Wolf

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I will go a step further and suggest that the notion of talent is ALMOST a myth. Occasionally there will be a 5 year old concert pianist, but as I meet and get to know people who I have thought of as talented for years, I've heard their stories and realized that they just put their work in and stuck with it. Sports, music, art, martial arts, it doesn't matter.
My brother started telling people something when they told him he was talented in piano, guitar, songwriting, music whatever. "I'm not talented. I'm musically inclined with a lot of dedication."
 

dvcochran

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It really is helpful just to hear that other people have had similar experiences, & there's no prophesy that where I'm at = I suck forever.



I realize you've specified what we've been talking about in the abstract. When asking about natural aptitude, we're talking about genetics.

I don't have the first clue about what my genes say. Aside from observing parents & half-siblings who are reasonably athletic, anyway. as someone else pointed out, I don't actually know what my capabilities are yet. What I've been doing is interpreting my perception of what I feel (or don't feel) compared to what I *see* in others. Apples and oranges.
That is a very cogent observation. In one of you previous posts you referenced hard work and repetition. REPETITION can override most of what we believe science tells us we are not supposed to be able to do. Keep at it.
 
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Sarah Mc

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Yes, hard work can take you a long way! I'm not really naturally athletic, I began training when I was 24. I could hardly tell my left from my right back then. Some folks are just athletic, some come from various sports or dance, and some of us need a little extra time to get it together. Believe in yourself, ask questions, and try. Best of luck!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Much appreciated!! I will!
 
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Sarah Mc

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That is a very cogent observation. In one of you previous posts you referenced hard work and repetition. REPETITION can override most of what we believe science tells us we are not supposed to be able to do. Keep at it.

Yes, I will. Since making this post I've noticed I was better able to focus in class & it absolutely made a difference. While I knew the looming question of "is it possible I just can't do this?" was affecting me (though I tried not to let it - tried to shove it aside, etc), I didn't realize how much until I had a reasonable counter-argument.
 

ShortBridge

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My brother started telling people something when they told him he was talented in piano, guitar, songwriting, music whatever. "I'm not talented. I'm musically inclined with a lot of dedication."

I am a jazz musician. A local one and kind of a hack at that, but I've played with some excellent musicians and have gotten to know some of the greats. To the very last one of them, they HATE to be told they are talented. Hang out and talk with them, get their stories and you'll understand why. Calling them talented dismisses their work and struggle.

I also know some ball players, journalists, photographers...same. I don't personally know of an exception, though mostly likely there are a few somewhere.
 

Buka

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Just with regards to sparring? We have a space on the mat marked off with cones to designate sparring stations.

One of the things you can do is work on your distance. The distance between you and your sparring partners. Try moving around the ring with various partners. Maintain the same distance, whatever distance is good for you. A distance that you can work your fighting techniques from. It will be a little different with each person you partner with, depending on their steps, ability to close distance, size etc.

Watch out for breaking out of a viable stance. You have to keep a good stance to fight from. And be aware that the easiest thing Martial Artists tend to do is go forward and back. Do not get stuck in that game. Having the cones to mark off the area allows you to skeedaddle backwards if you get in distance trouble. Work on your angles, all your angles. Sometimes you're the bull and sometimes you're the matador.
 

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