jack of all trades, master of none, or well balanced martial artist
I feel that the term "Jack of all trades, master of none" is sort of a derogatory sounding expression. This saying is one that many traditional martial artists seem to like to throw at MMA practitioners implying that while they may be good fighters, they are not good martial artists simply because they lack mastery in one style. While it's a catchy sounding phrase, I feel that it's a bit misleading.
To look outside the realm of martial arts, "Jack of all trades master of none" might apply to academics as well. Which is better? To have an A+ in one subject but fail the rest or have C's in every subject. How valuable would you be to a company if you were known for being the best salesman in the company but showed up late everyday?
There is something to be said for being extremely skilled in one area but to what extent? MMA and the world have proved time and time again that being too one dimensional is a recipe for disaster. BJJ is a great fighting style, but what does one gain by being being good at only that aspect of fighting? I understand that some people do martial arts for fun and others practice only BJJ to specifically train for BJJ competition. That's fine if that is their goal, but what about those that aspire above all things to be a great fighter or martial artist? There are some out there that claim what they are doing is martial arts, but how can it truly be considered martial arts if they are only training one aspect of it?
The concept of balance doesn't simply apply to martial arts, but to every other facet of life. Balance to me is as universal as 2+2=4 just like the phrase "everything in moderation". Being too one dimensional means having a lack of this balance that I feel is a very backwards and outdated way of thinking.
If we are to move forwards and truly evolve the martial arts, we must look towards achieving this balance. Just something to think about. Your thoughts.
Total Comments 42
4/30/2010 9:43pm, #2
I've heard it said a few times that a pure striker will beat an MMA guy in striking and a BJJ guy will beat an MMA guy in grappling, but an MMA guy will beat a striker or BJJ guy in MMA. But I can say that I don't totally agree with it. I just think that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. A good fighter should be able to play to his strengths but be good enough to hold his own at his weaknesses. I always preferred to strike. So I trained in wrestling and BJJ just to be good enough to get back on my feet.
But I have friends who hate striking and train in it just enough to not get KO'd on their way to the ground.
But I do think you should train enough to have one that you are really good at. Otherwise you would be striking just well enough to get to the ground, and wrestling just good enough to get to the feet. I don't think that is a good strategy.
4/30/2010 9:48pm, #3Calm down, it's only ones and zeros.
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4/30/2010 10:00pm, #4
I think good enough at everything and very good at something(s) is the way to go. And if you suck at one thing, then knowing how to hide it.
Since we're on the life analogy, if you are okay at everything but not good at anything, you probably won't get that far in your career. If you are really good with your hands and suck at others, maybe you can be a boxing coach. Good on the ground, grappling coach. Good at everything but not that great at anything = short career. Same with life. Gotta be professional, punctual, organized, presentable (or whatever it is you're supposed to have in that field) but if you don't have a valuable and marketable skill/idea/etc then you're pretty much stuck there. (BTW relentlessness and dedication is a skill on its own in this analogy)
edit: I actually can edit it, but whatever.
Last edited by dwkfym; 4/30/2010 10:43pm at .
4/30/2010 10:30pm, #5
I think you people need to train more and leave the writing to someone who has fully functioning frontal lobes.
Did I type that out loud? Oh dear.
4/30/2010 10:42pm, #6
4/30/2010 10:54pm, #7
4/30/2010 10:55pm, #8
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For those that strive for that path, can we really say what they are practicing is true martial arts or more of a game that limits them to only one aspect of fighting? Obviously we could go into knife fighting and all the other weapons situations, but specifically for unarmed martial arts is what I'm speaking in context of.
4/30/2010 11:21pm, #9
Part of this relies on how you define "Master" If you spend 10 years training BJJ, you'll Master it for most definitions of the word. Same for Muay Thai. Same for MMA. Since you're splitting your time between the different ranges maybe you have to spend an extra couple of years training MMA to be able to hang with the 10 year BJJ guy or the 10 year MT guy, but I don't think you need to spend 20 years training MMA to equal 10 of pure BJJ and 10 of pure MT (arts used are for example purposes only).
I've seen plenty of guys who have been doing MMA for 3 years do well in the blue belt and intermediate grappling divisions at NAGA, even though they have divided their time instead of training a pure grappling art. So I really don't think this analogy stans up very well.
4/30/2010 11:43pm, #10
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While I agree that people can become very proficient in one pure aspect of fighting taking the MMA approach, you have to admit that they simply aren't going to be able to devote the number of hours to one particular style that a pure practitioner will. When it comes down to it, it's all about the amount of hours you put into something. At the lower levels of professional boxing they might be able to win a few fights, but they are going to be no match for Manny Pacquiao based on the amount of hours Pacquiao puts into boxing vs even the top level MMA fighters.
The point isn't though would an MMA fighter be able to beat a champion boxer, but more is it truly martial arts if you are awesome in only one aspect of fighting but fall apart when your weak points are exposed?