Mastery vs. smart training

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

~ Bruce Lee

What Bruce Lee probably meant is that the more focus you put on one thing and keep doing it continuously, in a disciplined matter over some time, the better you master it. There is also the saying “A jack of all trades is a master of none” which would be the reason why Bruce Lee wouldn’t have feared the practitioner who knew 10 000 kicks but only done them once.

I could to a certain degree agree with him since I have similar experiences. As a martial artist (Taekwondo) myself I would not have been able to compete on elite level unless I had invested a significant amount of time, in fact years of training, on my kicks.

Ok, we brought up the pro mastery training side.

BUT sometimes it is not only about mastering one specific dimension to become good at one thing.

The other side of the coin is something I also discovered by experience.

It is possible to perform well fast by applying smart training.

I have managed to perform pretty ok in a 5,10 as well as 21 km running-race without practicing much running at all.

HOW is that possible?

Dare to approach the goal through a different angle and use a different technique!

I applied:

HIIT/ Skipping rope sessions (30-40 min each)

HIIT/ Running up hills (20-30 min)

– Free weight training (30-45 min)


I see the importance of both mastery as well as smart training.

To be able to run a half marathon in a decent time it is surely good to have ran 21 km at least once before the race. It is crucial to do things continuously in a disciplined manner to become good at it.

But it is also possible and probably good to approach your goals with different solutions too. Expose yourself to other dimensions and you may find smart solutions you can apply!


– Read an article about the discussion against the 10 000-hours rule here
– Another article about how practice makes perfect here, with great visual content in the end of it.

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