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The Dojo #12 : Experience v.s. Technique

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

There is a question that martial artists have pondered for ages:

Which is more important in determining one's fighting ability, good technique or combat experience?

My answer would be that both are equally important, and neither should be ignored. Both are only useful because they help create the other. 

Consider if you will a duel that places a samurai with many years of experience in combat (A), but poor technique, against a samurai with perfect dojo technique but very little time in actual battle (B).

(A) has no fear of combat, and thusly can call upon all of his technique in the heat of battle without worrying. He has very little technique to use in the first place, but he has what he has learned in previous battles. This actually gives him some technique, because it is nearly impossible to be in so many fights without learning something.

(B) has some fear of combat, and loses most of his technique when he goes into battle. However, he has some experience with using the blade from practicing it for so long, and will remember the basics when fighting. This actually means he has a little experience, at least compared to an untrained person.

The way I see it, both samurai are evenly matched. One's combat effectiveness (skill) is basically experience multiplied by knowledge. The most skilled warrior is one that has a huge amount of experience and a mastery of technique.

This is why your sensei will always best you, no matter how much younger and stronger you may be.

-The Greeneyedninja


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