The distaste for strength in martial arts

Oily Dragon

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As a professional instructor teaching in Japan I would agree if is for younger people. As we mature the actual practice is most of what we require. But even that should be done to a level that brings us to our knees on a "daily" basis. I used to practice at least ten times a week. Real fighters are good because they have natural ability. We hand pick them as we watch them come up from elementary school and rise through he ranks. One can clearly separate the fighters from those that do things more as a hobby.
Everyone has the natural ability to become a real fighter?

I agree.
 

Hyoho

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Everyone has the opportunity, not the ability. But still essential members of a dojo pushing the best and natural fighters to an even higher level.
 

Oily Dragon

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Everyone has the opportunity, not the ability. But still essential members of a dojo pushing the best and natural fighters to an even higher level.
This is a chicken and egg dilemma.

Were the Williams sisters born tennis masters because of natural abilities, or was it because their father pushed them to excel while nurturing their natural gifts? You could argue that without their driver, the girls would never have ended up being world champions.

I'm on the fence. I like to believe everyone can learn kung fu, but most won't because they're not driven enough, which if you know anything about kung fu, is the most important part.

Strength training is a great example of something everyone says they want to do, but few actually do, and even fewer do well.
 

Damien

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I'm on the fence. I like to believe everyone can learn kung fu, but most won't because they're not driven enough
100%

When most people start they realise they can barely control their body and are super uncoordinated. Stick with it long enough and most get through that. I've only ever seen a few people that remain uncoordinated and sloppy after years of training and being shown different ways to correct the same techniques.

When I first started I was terrible, but I trained hard absorbed information like a sponge and in time my body caught up with my brain.
 

Gyuki

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I'm on the fence. I like to believe everyone can learn kung fu, but most won't because they're not driven enough, which if you know anything about kung fu, is the most important part.
So in the end not everyone can do it. I understand what is meant by everyone can learn it physically (physical disabilities should not prevent one to learn martial arts as they can and should be adapted for such situations). It seems to be a mental component and the not giving up attitude that is the issue.

On one hand there is the mental state of the individual and how dedicated or invested they are into learning an art and making their body develop accordingly.

On the other hand, there is natural talent and abilities. I could train for the rest of my life to run faster than Usain Bolt but the man is naturally more talented then I am in that department. Yes training can bring people to great heights that they would not attain on their own. However, they can never become more then what/whom they truly are. It will help develop ones potential to it's full ability yes. But the potential bank of everyone is definitely not the same.

Hence why and how we end up with various arts that produce Black Belts that barely can handle themselves in non scripted or non tournament rules combat... They get promoted on the difference in potential they developped since they started. Not an arbitrairy set of skills or standards (physically) that need to be met. Only criterias or standards seems to be on an intellectual level such as knowing names of techniques. How they are executed is judged on form not efficiency of the user making the technique.

Too many Martial Arts based "re enactment acting" classes in TMA or sticking to tournament rules (closest is Full contact but there are still rules) then actually be Martial Arts...
 

Oily Dragon

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So in the end not everyone can do it. I understand what is meant by everyone can learn it physically (physical disabilities should not prevent one to learn martial arts as they can and should be adapted for such situations). It seems to be a mental component and the not giving up attitude that is the issue.

On one hand there is the mental state of the individual and how dedicated or invested they are into learning an art and making their body develop accordingly.

On the other hand, there is natural talent and abilities. I could train for the rest of my life to run faster than Usain Bolt but the man is naturally more talented then I am in that department. Yes training can bring people to great heights that they would not attain on their own. However, they can never become more then what/whom they truly are. It will help develop ones potential to it's full ability yes. But the potential bank of everyone is definitely not the same.

Hence why and how we end up with various arts that produce Black Belts that barely can handle themselves in non scripted or non tournament rules combat... They get promoted on the difference in potential they developped since they started. Not an arbitrairy set of skills or standards (physically) that need to be met. Only criterias or standards seems to be on an intellectual level such as knowing names of techniques. How they are executed is judged on form not efficiency of the user making the technique.

Too many Martial Arts based "re enactment acting" classes in TMA or sticking to tournament rules (closest is Full contact but there are still rules) then actually be Martial Arts...
It's not fair to ever compare yourself with Usain Bolt.

First of all, his last name is Bolt.

1647836469186.png
 

Gerry Seymour

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This is a chicken and egg dilemma.

Were the Williams sisters born tennis masters because of natural abilities, or was it because their father pushed them to excel while nurturing their natural gifts? You could argue that without their driver, the girls would never have ended up being world champions.

I'm on the fence. I like to believe everyone can learn kung fu, but most won't because they're not driven enough, which if you know anything about kung fu, is the most important part.

Strength training is a great example of something everyone says they want to do, but few actually do, and even fewer do well.
Relevent research in Psychology suggests a significant portion of our personality (not all of it, by any means) is heritable - meaning it is demonstrably influenced by genetics. I don't recall specifics off the top of my head, but I recall there was significant heritability in factors that probably contribute: aggresssion, emotional regulation, tolerance for pain, high motivation, etc.
 

Gerry Seymour

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100%

When most people start they realise they can barely control their body and are super uncoordinated. Stick with it long enough and most get through that. I've only ever seen a few people that remain uncoordinated and sloppy after years of training and being shown different ways to correct the same techniques.

When I first started I was terrible, but I trained hard absorbed information like a sponge and in time my body caught up with my brain.
Just for clarity, what @Hyoho is talking about goes beyond the ability to become technically proficient. I think the vast majority of folks have the ability to do that, if they prioritize it (most have other priorities that take precedence).
 

Gerry Seymour

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It's not fair to ever compare yourself with Usain Bolt.

First of all, his last name is Bolt.

View attachment 28257
And, oddly, there's an actual correlation of last names to professions. I need to dig up the research I saw on that. Of course, he could also have become an assembly line worker. :D
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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This is a chicken and egg dilemma.

Were the Williams sisters born tennis masters because of natural abilities, or was it because their father pushed them to excel while nurturing their natural gifts? You could argue that without their driver, the girls would never have ended up being world champions.

I'm on the fence. I like to believe everyone can learn kung fu, but most won't because they're not driven enough, which if you know anything about kung fu, is the most important part.

Strength training is a great example of something everyone says they want to do, but few actually do, and even fewer do well.
Along with what Gerry said about even the personality aspects being heritable, there is definitely a level that dedication can't take you, but talent/genetics can. Even if you take out things like a person below 6ft is much likely to make it in the nba, less obvious stuff exists.

An example came up at dinner yesterday with my brother actually. We were talking about music, and he was dedicated to piano. Playing hours a day, started young, and we had a really good piano teacher. He even went to a competitive college for it. He met people that were a lot better than him, and probably practiced an equal amount or less as him.

No one in our family has played a musical instrument to our knowledge. A few have tried, found they were bad and stopped, so we don't have a genetic component. He probably reached the limit of what someone without the genes for music can reach, and he is really good. Anyone I've met that heard him play will talk about how amazing he was...except those people that went to the college with him, where he met many people better.

Similarly, there are tennis players who have probably put in the same effort as the Williams sisters, until they realized they would not be world champions. And you (if you're not naturally talented) can reach a certain level in your kung fu (as a martial art, not the literal meaning of the word LOL), with hard work, that's leagues above the average person. But still a league behind those who have both talent and determination.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Relevent research in Psychology suggests a significant portion of our personality (not all of it, by any means) is heritable - meaning it is demonstrably influenced by genetics. I don't recall specifics off the top of my head, but I recall there was significant heritability in factors that probably contribute: aggresssion, emotional regulation, tolerance for pain, high motivation, etc.
Sure, you can see that I certain types of working dogs some are born with the herding ability already downloaded at a level above what a non herding breed could even be trained to. Best thing is, I get to blame my parents for my distemper.
 

Steve

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While some folks may not have the combination of physical and non-physical traits to be an elite performer, most can become competent experts if they have good training and a way to gain experience to apply the skills theyre learning.

Pretty much anyone can learn to play the piano or to play tennis. Only a few have it in them to be elite.

And really, isnt that okay? I always scratch my head when someone asks a question like, Can anyone learn king fu? And we end up talking about the Williams sisters.
 

Oily Dragon

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While some folks may not have the combination of physical and non-physical traits to be an elite performer, most can become competent experts if they have good training and a way to gain experience to apply the skills theyre learning.

Pretty much anyone can learn to play the piano or to play tennis. Only a few have it in them to be elite.

And really, isnt that okay? I always scratch my head when someone asks a question like, Can anyone learn king fu? And we end up talking about the Williams sisters.
Never gets old. My favorite pandemic meme of all.

1647883656095.png
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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While some folks may not have the combination of physical and non-physical traits to be an elite performer, most can become competent experts if they have good training and a way to gain experience to apply the skills theyre learning.

Pretty much anyone can learn to play the piano or to play tennis. Only a few have it in them to be elite.

And really, isnt that okay? I always scratch my head when someone asks a question like, Can anyone learn king fu? And we end up talking about the Williams sisters.
Yup. To use my brother again, it's perfectly fine that he's not elite or going to be in a renowned orchestra. He could even become a professional piano player with just the hard work, either through something like a dueling pianos, or as a piano teacher.

And if anyone asked me if they could learn piano, my answer would be yes. Regardless of talent, regardless of age. I was just replying to the point that got brought up with the william's sisters and "masters".
 

Oily Dragon

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Along with what Gerry said about even the personality aspects being heritable, there is definitely a level that dedication can't take you, but talent/genetics can. Even if you take out things like a person below 6ft is much likely to make it in the nba, less obvious stuff exists.
Dedication, personality, talent, genetics, sure.

What about what I said about "driver". That's an external human being, dude. Family, teacher, muse, inspiration, whatever.

You left out environment! Just think about all that raw talent out there lost forever in the wasteland. Not every natural born talent gets a break or a helping hand. It really does require a meeting of minds. Even virtuosos have their muses.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Dedication, personality, talent, genetics, sure.

What about what I said about "driver". That's an external human being, dude. Family, teacher, muse, inspiration, whatever.

You left out environment!
I think I mentioned in the example I provided that we had a really good teacher. That's your driver I guess. Yes, you need someone who knows what you're trying to do to teach it, but motivation doesn't have to come from an external locus of control.
 

Oily Dragon

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I think I mentioned in the example I provided that we had a really good teacher. That's your driver I guess. Yes, you need someone who knows what you're trying to do to teach it, but motivation doesn't have to come from an external locus of control.
Are we sure it doesn't? I added some meat to my last post but this is a great topic. Strength training, is it best done on your own or with a coach? Do people who go en solo excel best? I doubt it.

It's a basic question anybody can ask themselves "what's driving you today". For me it's always family, I train a million things every day so that I stick around the longest (because nobody I know has the patience I do).

Going back to the Williams sisters, I think it's safe to say that if their dad had been a deadbeat, we'd never hear of either of them, and no amount of natural skill OR dedication would have changed that.

Can we name a single person who became an elite strength trainer/trainee and/or fighter who didn't sit on the shoulders of giants? I can't.
 
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