Master in a specialty or all do?
That’s a question you’ve definitely asked yourself.
“All-rounder or master in a specialty?”
Many will say that the only way to be a true martial artist is to train in everything others will say that you have to focus on one art.
Now regardless of your answer I wouldn’t put it in these terms but with a more combat-oriented approach.
I think if you want to learn well you have to go to a specialist and if you follow the blog you know that sound more oriented to specialization than systems but the problem is that to do this you have to devote a lot (several hours a day), start traveling the world and for most people this is unrealistic.
But consider that regardless of your answer you definitely don’t just study a martial art if you want to become an expert really.
- 1 So what’s the answer?
- 2 The principle of 80/20.
Why am I telling you this?.
It’s like music if you want to get good you can’t think of playing a single genre because even to become good at yours you still need to explore the fundamental genres, but that doesn’t mean studying all genres because you also have to respect your taste and pleasure but the fundamentals you have to explore them.
In martial art and the same thing.
It is also essential to practice with passion and it makes no sense to force yourself to study something that you do not like because there are mandatory steps to be able to complete your training and take the path of those who want to become an expert and you can not do it by doing something that you do not care.
Martial art also has to do with our psychology and it’s something you have to respect even if I ask you to get out of your comfort zone because it doesn’t have to be the fear that dictates your choice.
Specializing and doing only martial art is actually fine if we talk about something very complex like medicine where I agree that you have to go to a specialist because the vastness of the arguments and the delicacy of the theme need this but if we talk about martial arts we are actually always talking about a man who has an identical biology whatever the martial art , so you can learn a lot and well because the reality is that the level of learning has a strong acceleration compared to when you are a beginner.
This allows you to study multiple subjects at the same time.
Ps. A clarification that I will make you several times in this post, a concept that I want to reiterate, I’m talking about amateurs and amateur athletes who dedicate themselves as professionals but it is clear that if you are an athlete who fights it is normal that you devote so many hours to your art and only to that because a professional has to work in a range of age favorable to him maximizing the results and to fight at a high level it is essential to devote to art or sport for it competes with.
If you consider that martial art is actually something simple they are often bad teachers or unhealed people who complicate it also because they do not have the tools and teaching methods to communicate effectively to the student.
Now if you want advice start with a clear but then based on your feelings and curiosity expand your knowledge.
This means, as I have already told you, to devote many hours and engage like you have never done but this all depends on your desire to learn that must go beyond how much time you have to devote.
Ps. Think about how many hours you spend on Facebook or in front of the TV/video games, I think you find time for everything.
So as you’ve already figured out, make no excuses for me.
Your craving as it is?.
I’ve been training three to four hours a day six days a week for years, is that a sacrifice?
Yes, but I would do it again with so much passion and when some days I could not train it was a moment of discomfort, like a sense of guilt.
This approach allowed me to study more martial arts and with a high level of quality.
Even today I continue to study because martial art has no end but only a beginning, it is a continuous research.
Attention!!!. If you have to be a champion of a sport you can not do this because you have to focus if you want to excel because you have to make the most of the years of TOP fitness, although today some disciplines such as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) have broken this paradigm of doing a solo martial art having to insert multiple disciplines and even athletic preparation at levels that require specific sessions of Olympic athletics.
Now returning to our discourse the Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling,wrestling Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling, Judo for competitive competitions, Kali for weapons, and then reality-based martial arts in self-defense, and so on all have been tested under pressure and proven to be effective, I have no doubt about that. but there are two important questions that every martial artist who trains in this way has to ask himself and that you also have to ask yourself:
- Is it much more useful to switch from one art to another (and often to a different training system to another), than to have a single art from which I can use all my attacks and defenses?
- Can a build-up of techniques really make me a better and stronger fighter, or could I benefit more by limiting the amount of techniques and tools I support in order to refine each of them to a much higher level?
Make the most of it with a specific purpose.
If you take into account that fighting arts such as boxing, wrestling, or JKD require athletic abilities that often begin to disappear when you reach middle age, the efficient use of time for training becomes important but also critical.
You don’t have time to waste or if you’re already an age oriented on an art that allows you a high level of training starting from where you are.
What I don’t want and ask you is to give up studying martial arts because you think it’s late,never do it because it’s not like that, start, write me, talk, but don’t think for yourself, because I want you to do martial arts because I know that tomorrow I will be grateful for “pulling” you into this world.
I want to make you better than you are today.
How can I perform the repetitions necessary to become a “master” of any technique I know if I am spending my time in new training and to add new techniques or practice many different limbs that using different basic combat structures?
This is one of the reasons why daily decrease is an important principle that many older practitioners begin to do with time.
Now you have to learn the functional technique to your goal but remember that the knowledge and exploration of techniques is something fundamental to understand also the other techniques that over time you have to filter in a functional way to your goals but to do so you have to know a lot.
This stage of technical decrease is something that over time the older, veterans, etc. do is indeed a natural process that happens but after seeing thousands of techniques so do not find the excuse that I learn few because those techniques do not serve is not the principle I’m talking about.
Putting a filter on your martial art then it is a natural process that happens as a result of increasing your experience and knowledge but requires a wide technical baggage that you are adapting to the moment you are living, to your athletic condition, to your age.
Personally, if you do self-defense however returning to the discourse of practicing more martial arts considers it a fundamental necessity because scenarios compared to a combat sport are not defined accordingly you have to explore different sectors standing barefoot, on the ground, with armed hand, etc.
So what’s the answer?
You have to practice over time or at the same time (if you have the chance) in multiple martial arts specializing equally in different sectors.
This does not mean that you will have a personal preference of your own but the knowledge must be in the various sectors.
I have often given you examples of great masters and athletes (Dan Inosanto, Erik Paulson, etc.) who practice and teach their art but are also Black Belt in many other systems that apparently have nothing to do with their sport and art.
For me to do the same martial art all my life is wrong to practice that yes but learning new ones.
Doing the same thing all your life doesn’t mean it makes you better indeed I often see athletes who tell me it’s 30 years practicing martial arts but to me it seems to me that instead they have a year of experience repeated for 30.
Apply and then filter not vice versa
You must always be looking for a way to improve yourself, look for methods and tools that constantly improve you by also going to examine your own weaknesses and gaps to work on them.
Continuous research and experimentation of techniques and methods are necessary but to get the maximum benefit in the time dedicated to training you must still have a knowledge of a large amount of technical material and training methods without having to train everything.
“It’s not what you can learn, it’s what you can throw away.” – Bruce Lee
In simple terms, this is how you should analyze the things you see or the new material you have available or what you learn during internships, the 4 questions:
- Necessity – Is it to add something that’s missing from your training?. Is it contextualizing your strategy?.
- Structure – Do we have to change our attack system to use the new technique or does it do so in line with what we’re already doing? Do we have to change our guard?. Do we have to change our footwork?. An example, this technique works well from a guard or footwork position that we always use or forces us to change the position of the hands or weight in order to use it and therefore goes to negate the advantage of my current dominant structure of my strategy?.
- Adaptability – Is its application limited to a context? Does it work against different types and styles of fighters or is it too specific? Against what different methods of defense works? Does it work in all conditions?.
- Vulnerability – Does it leave us exposed to attacks?. Does it make our strategy effective or is it inconsistent with our strategy?. Is it an advantage or can it be more harmful?. Do you know the defense from such an attack?. Would you know how to defend yourself?.
Example: If you’re boxing and want to add some self-defense technique, it’s not complicated by your guard inserting the diagonal elbow descending Muay Thai or the vertical elbow to climb without changing your structure, what would be different would be to insert Wing Chung’s BaiJong guard.
How easy to insert techniques such as finger Jab or Palm Strike.
Another assessment, however, concerns learning defense techniques such as the football parade to the genitals where it may require a change of the often open guard that is seen in certain combat sports that it becomes important to change if carried in a condition of self-defense.
Discard, De-emphasize, or Replace techniques and training methods.
Sometimes a technique that you don’t like very much or that is not useful to your strategy you do not have to totally discard it but de-emphasize it because you can not totally filter it because the question is that others use it and therefore you need to know the defensive and evasive system against that technique.
It is therefore necessary to maintain the technique even if only for the formation against and defensive.
You also have to make a technique very familiar that can be used against us even if with a different purpose for this you can not fail to know the techniques a priori because your opponent does not use your same filters.
If you are fat certain things will not do but your opponent on accordingly you have to know how to defend yourself from certain blows that you will never use but that will pull you.
The principle of 80/20.
Also known as the “Pareto principle or law,” the 80/20 rule states that very often 80% of the results will come from 20% of your efforts.
Therefore, to get the most results, you have to spend 80 of your time on the 20 of the fundamental shots.
This is a very useful idea that has been successfully applied to numerous disciplines.
The trick is exactly what techniques make up the vital part of combat are the 20th of the techniques you know and that will allow you to get 80 of the results.
When it comes to fighting for sports like MMA and boxing the task is a bit easier for you or your coach because of the detailed statistics available.
Type of shots, projections, kicks, etc.
We can see that for a light weight of MMA there are more fights finished by submission than KO, so the habits (20) of these fighters as training type need more fighting skills.
The opposite becomes for the heavyweight class.
In addition, there are also other ways of interpreting data for example smaller fighters of stature need to work on their power to strike as strikers and higher fighters need to work harder on the fight or Submission but that is not relevant to the ongoing discussion we are doing However, to make you understand that physical characteristics also affect what preparation you need to do and that you need to focus on to improve.
In statistical boxing the boxer who pulls the most shots usually wins.
The problem with self-defense is that there is no precise way to get these types of statistics then how do you decide what techniques are our vital primary responses (the 20th)?
The solution to this problem is this:
- Use the principles of your martial art.
- Discovery – Improve your system’s strengths and know your weaknesses, work on approach and temperament.
- Testing – Learning from successes and failures by doing sparring
For those who practice personal defense it is always said in the street you have to avoid going to the ground at all costs, if you go to the ground the goal is to damage or get rid of the opponent and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Having said that it is an unrealistic theory it is still if it is highly desirable for us to put the opponent on the ground and kick him from a higher position while we stand and finally escape the situation altogether the reality is that it is not easy to stand and therefore it is essential to know about the techniques of fighting at least one blue belt of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Let’s take a look at surveillance video footage or smartphone footage of one-on-one fights on the street you’ll see that very often they end up on the ground and landing is also what often happened in MMA competitions.
Any fighter who uses full and unique standing blows must be aware of their vulnerability on the ground where many of their “weapons” do not work.
Now you can do a lot of specific workouts to improve your ability to withstand assaults that want to take you to the ground or grab you, but that doesn’t rule out the need to expand your technical knowledge of ground combat.
Of course if you are a standing fighter the fight violates your structural principles but you can not avoid learning these techniques and the same thing for a fighter needs to learn the fundamentals of boxing and Muay Thai.
There are positions on the ground that you need to know to control, free yourself, reverse, escape, etc. because there are positions and half guards that can be very dangerous with an enraged attacker.
You need to know what to do.
Note that there are times when you may need to take an opponent to the ground to neutralize a significant advantage for example (faster, more reach, more skilled, etc.), but for us there are no more alternatives and ways.
Remember that the fight is an equalizer
The filter on the techniques you know and the principle of reduction you can and must do it periodically and something that can be applied to any type of training in all martial arts, whatever the style.
Whether your art is Muay Thai, Judo, Karate or, and a system for self-defense, combat spots, or both.
Remember that solid fundamentals will force your opponents to respect and prepare with the basic tools and it’s always an aspect to be underestimated and never overlooked, because it’s often also the shots you’ll use the most, making all your secondary attacks more and more numerous if you need to maximize and optimize the training time becomes complicated.
Clearly the more time you have for your training and the more you have the opportunity to explore, instead if you are a competitive focused in your specialty and at the end of your career explore all the martial arts that interest you or even other forms of art.
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport