KIHION O MANABU – From the book Flashing Steel
There is always a great temptation, particularly for beginners, to learn the flashy, fancy, or difficult techniques of any martial art. It is natural for you to feel this way. Especially if you have a desire to excel…and truly master it. However, your primary emphasis must be on the fundamentals.
It is true with any martial art that a practitioner who has truly mastered the basics will handily defeat one who has trained in advanced techniques after having only cursory knowledge of the fundamentals. If you understand the true nature of basic techniques, it is easy to see why this is universally true.
Basics are no more or no less than the ideal technique as it would be performed under ideal circumstances. Fundamentals demonstrate the perfect method of maximizing power, balance, self-protection, and effectiveness of technique. It is only after you have mastered performing under such ideal conditions that you can learn how to best adapt basic techniques to less than ideal circumstances.
It is also a mistake to assume that basics are only for beginners. Emphasis on fundamentals must be a lifelong habit. Anyone who has studied the lives of the great martial arts masters has observed that, without exception, they have shared a continuing passion for improving their basics.