Intensity vs. Efficiency

bear fighting exercise fitness skill training

When training yourself, you have the option of developing the skills to make the most use of your abilities and the environment, or increasing all your abilities as much as possible with no concern to practical application.

Fitness without intelligence or cunning is useless. It is like a powerful car with no driver to direct it.

In the bear example, fitness is only related to your work capacity up to a certain extent. Once you have the basic strength to move your body quickly and efficiently through your environment, you aren’t well served increasing your size. Instead, it would be better to develop your cunning. Outsmarting a bear is much easier (and safer) than attacking it head on. In this case, fitness is related more to your ability to navigate your environment quickly and efficiently. If you can do that well, then you can avoid having to fight at all.

This attitude is mirrored in the traditional martial arts, which place a premium on intelligent application of limited force. Strength and size are useful only as far as they enable efficient self-defense.

Contrast this with brawling or the popular perception of mixed martial arts. In this case, size and brute strength is more valuable, but injury to both fighters is more likely. Generally speaking, in a realistic situation (not a cage match), a well-trained martial artist will defeat a brawler, possibly by simply defusing the situation.

Even for real-world Warriors, the ability to get to a location was as important as being able to perform your task once there. Roman troops were extremely fast marchers, and ninjas were renown for their ability to overcome any obstruction between them and their target. If you can outflank your opponent or catch him off guard, you won’t even have to deal with his strength.

The correct application of a little money at the right time is worth more than large amounts of money poorly managed or left stagnant.

The correct application of a light push at the right time can topple enemies more easily than a full body slam at the wrong time.

So don’t neglect skill in favor of capacity.

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