Natural talent and martial arts

What is the impact of natural talent in martial arts?

When we talk about martial arts, natural talent is a widely used excuse to justify an absence of real discipline, concentration and preparation.

In the vast majority of cases to have natural assets offers:

  • A slight / null advantage – In a combat filed what can do a natural talent if compared to a serious workout of a “normal” person? It offers a near-to-zero surplus in terms of incidence
  • A possible disadvantage – Being born with abnormal abilities often pushes us not to strengthen them or to rely on them too much (eg. “I can already beat my friends in combat, I do not need to study martial arts”)

The truth is that we disguise things like passion, commitment and sacrifice with this “comfortable mask”.

A little anecdote

For respect, we censor the protagonists of the story.

A little boy X had a very aggressive Y friend who always wanted to fight with him and who, thanks to his natural psychophysical skills, was used to beat him (although X was already practicing martial arts since 1-2 years).

When X started taking the reins of his martial training (changing workout and instructor), even though Y has always practiced sport at a competitive level (and therefore was in a perfect body shape) after only another year for Y it was already impossible to subdue X.

In their last “fight” Y, even with a constant training and his physical attitude, remained with a heavy breath and X was far from making even the slightest effort.

Is talent useless / not incisive?

The advantage that talent can offer is manifested:

  • In 1% of cases – In extreme conditions that rarely occur except in contexts of particular preparation (military special corps, sports champions, etc.)
  • In conditions of absolute equality – In (rare) conditions of a perfect balance of mental discipline, technical training, improvisation skills, tactical skills, physical training and in the same field (weight category, type of sport competition, etc.)
  • Against a bad martial artist – Against the classical 1-hour-per-week-black-belt style “champion” even a normal untrained person has a probability to prevail

In all the other cases, serious and daily martial training offers an abysmal advantage:

  • On normal people
  • On experts of other sports not related to fight
  • On people with “natural talent”

What are the most incisive natural skills?

The only innate qualities that can really make the difference are the intellectual related ones:

  • Cunning combined with intelligence (adaptation, deception, etc.)
  • Determination and discipline (nothing is stronger than a person with these disposal taken to an exponential level)

This kind of skills, outside of a regulated context, cannot be overcome by any purely physical ability.


We are not all the same and we can not achieve the same results in the same way (times, quality, etc.) but to every strength always corresponds a defect, a limit of growing and on the other hand to every lack an opportunity to reflect, improve and find new ways.

Trust yourself.

In-depth articles

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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