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#301905 - 11/16/06 03:14 PM Balanced balance
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
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Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
The philosopher kierrkegaard apparently said that to be great you basically have to specialize and full commit to one thing while sacrificing everything else. You cant be a jake of all trades and master of all. How does this mesh with the idea of balance?
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Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#301906 - 11/16/06 03:37 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
butterfly Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Who said being great would necessarily mean balanced? In any case, I think it's all relative to the individual.

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#301907 - 11/16/06 04:25 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Thank gawd history's most creative thinkers didn't believe that.

Leonardo Da Vinci comes to mind. Was it painting that he 'dabbled' in or was it engineering? or was it the combined advanced and in-depth skill at painting+engineering+anatomy that allowed him to excel in each of those fields? his knowledge in anatomy enabled him to paint with more realism. his knowledge of painting allowed him to draw technical engineering plans. his knowledge of engineering allowed him to materialize his ideas into application.

...the problem is, there aren't many Da Vinci's born every century....and there will be even less creative thinking by limiting people to specialize in one area.

I've found that the people who usually drum that mantra: 'jack of all, master of none', enjoy the 'balance' of the safety zone those words provide.

another way to think of balance is not falling over when things are shaken up.

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#301908 - 11/17/06 11:31 AM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Ed_Morris]
Stormdragon Offline
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Leonardo Davinci also didn't actually build or develope anyhting, he just made the early designs. Imagine what he could have done had he focused on only a couple areas. I guess oyu can either be great at one hting or be mediocre at many things, or if oyu are like Davinci be great at many things but be spectacular at one. You still need a little from other stuff though I think.
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#301909 - 11/17/06 12:25 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
ThomsonsPier Offline
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Registered: 06/24/04
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Loc: Reading, UK
Balanced knowledge is necessary for continued advancement. A great many innovations spring from existing ideas combined in new ways rather than any great intellectual endeavour. An exhaustive knowledge of one subject will achieve very little, but that little achieved at the cutting edge will enable a hundred more who are less able, but more flexible, to advance further in other fields.

It occurs to me that there must have come a point where it became impossible to learn everything in a field without specialising. Newton was a scholar and leader in all sciences, it just happens that he is remembered for physics because it was in this field that his influence was the longest lasting.
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#301910 - 11/17/06 01:04 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
JoelM Offline
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Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Archimedes is another great scientist/mathemetician who did a lot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes

Storm, your original question is interesting, but what do you mean by "balance" and what is the importance of said balance? Balance between what? Is balance necessary?

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#301911 - 11/17/06 03:24 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: JoelM]
Stormdragon Offline
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Loc: Salem, OR
Blance in life activites. Trying to be great at everything vs. be amazing at one or 2 things. Specialization vs. generalization. Commiting vs. being half assed. that sort of thing. I hope that answers your question, I know htis is a very expansive topic though.
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#301912 - 11/17/06 05:11 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
JoelM Offline
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Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Quote:

Trying to be great at everything vs. be amazing at one or 2 things. Specialization vs. generalization.




Is much different from
Quote:

Commiting vs. being half assed.




but I do think I understand what you mean.


The whole answer is up to each individual. It is part of life's journey, finding out if we want to specialize and climb to the heights of the ladder or just try a bunch of smaller step-stools.

You have to define balance for your own life. Is balance doing one thing without stopping? Or is balance trying a little bit of everything.

You have a buffet in front of you: do you make a full meal of the steak and potatoes or do you have a small piece of steak, chicken, and roast beef with some potatoes, green beans, and macaroni and cheese? Totally different approaches, but either way you do it, your stomach will be full and you have had a complete meal.
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We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#301913 - 11/17/06 06:50 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Quote:

Leonardo Davinci also didn't actually build or develope anyhting, he just made the early designs.



100% false. He was commissioned on many occations and for years on end to design, develop and oversee the construction of war machines and civil projects that were actually made and used. his principles developed for harnesing water power in particular are still used today at a fundamental level.

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#301914 - 11/17/06 09:06 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Ed_Morris]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
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Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
I mean you really cant fully commit to very many different areas. you can commit to several related and similar areas but not lot's of completely different ones. For example being a spectacular powerlifter and basketball player or something.
Anyway, no I'm pretty sure, in his day, maybe not all, but most of what Davinci designed he never actually built or even finished. That's what I've been taught. Even if we use it all today or most of it. And he would destroy his designs for some of his war machines becuase he was a pacifist I believe.
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#301915 - 11/18/06 07:30 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Stormdragon]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
well, I can't argue with what you believe and what you've been taught.

back on topic...
do you know how the rest of the phase goes, "Jack of all trades, master of none...."

the full phase is: "Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one".



people forget that part.

I believe diversity in any Art allows a person to see aspects of the wider view of their Art of choice. you need to look outside the artifical boundries (styles), in order to make the Art your personal own.

That philosophy follows thruout history. Samurai studied shodo to great depth...the parallels, if only in mindset, to mastery of sword and brush are well established.

The concept of niche 'styles' are more accurately mostly political and economic divisions.

nobody can really tell me, for instance, the fundamental differences between matsubayashi, kobayashi and shobayashi with other homegrown types of 'shorin ryu'. I've heard traditional dojo say that 'jack of all trades' phrase and drill into people that sticking with one was the way to go. I question what that philosophy is based upon other than student retention. Then within the same class, see them incorporate things that I know came from their alternate training. perfect example is someone learning a traditional art and all of it's kata, then later incorporating jujitsu techniques for the 'bunkai' of the kata which they might have picked up over the years at seminars and whatnot - which is fine, but don't tell me the anti 'jack of all trades' bunk. or worse, make stuff up when they are at a loss to explain the technique due to their extreamly narrow experience of the martial arts in general.

one style can't train it all...and neither can one person. but it's a fact that certain dynamics and economies of movement derive from other arts...by looking closer at those tangental arts, I emphatically believe it gains insight into our art of focus.

name anyone who started a ryu during the 20th century, and you'll find that they studied more than one Art prior to starting their own system. often times even simultaneously training in multiple arts. by your definition, they are masters of none.

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought".

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#301916 - 11/18/06 07:45 PM Re: Balanced balance [Re: Ed_Morris]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Fair enough, I see what you mean. I guess it's a matter of opinion and maybe not. Some good can come form other areas of study however I still think that to be great at something oyu have to at least specialize somewhat. you can't put 100% effort into everything hence why in the old days you devoted the majority tho maybew not all of oyur study to your specialization. Like the samurai specializing in war but learning othber arts somewhat to.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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