Nature vs. Nurture

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Free_MMAson, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Free_MMAson

    Free_MMAson Banned Banned

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    There are quite a few threads now debating MMA fighters' abilities as either naturally gifted athletically/genetically (raw talent) or due to a strong work ethic, a great training camp/regiment and always keeping in shape -- essentially the age-old genetic factors vs environmental factors debate.

    I am curious to hear the thoughts of others here on Sherdog about this topic about which factors are most important and why. In my mind, both factors are both very important, with genetics setting the starting baseline and perhaps the upper limits of potential, while the level of training and dedication is what allows said fighter to slide either up or down that scale from starting point to top potential.

    Also, I am curious if you were to rank each UFC Champion from 0-10 for both raw athleticism (genetics) and for work ethic/dedication to training (environment), how do you see different UFC champions rated?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  2. Cake4Breakfast

    Cake4Breakfast Gold Belt

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    so personality is nurture?
     
  3. Free_MMAson

    Free_MMAson Banned Banned

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  4. MP15

    MP15 Blue Belt

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    Three key examples:

    1. BJ Penn (nature)
    2. Bisping (hard work)
    3. Jon Jones (nature + hard work)
     
  5. Brotha Will

    Brotha Will Blue Belt

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    Pretty sure you Nurture a competitve/type a personality
    Nuture means provide for growth.....sorry about your up bringing, wheaties is better than cake.
     
  6. TicoMMAfan

    TicoMMAfan Banned Banned

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    Essentially there are genetic (nature) intangibles that are the foundation for potential nurtured capability.

    These include all meta-personality data: Response to positive/negative reinforcement, proper cognitive connectivity principals, etc.... From there it's a lot of science and VERY case-by-case to understand it.

    But I wholly applaud the potential for very interesting conversation that is not about "robberies" or "exposed fighters" being in this forum.
     
  7. JDawg9

    JDawg9 Black Belt

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    Best is natural gifted for fighting since most guys coming up are all going to be training hard for their technique and strength/conditioning. It's why a guy like Kenny florian could never get the belt, he was a pretty good, well rounded fighter but he would always be at a disadvantage when it gets to top guys in their athleticism and just natural gifts for fighting.
     
  8. BreakingBad

    BreakingBad Blue Belt

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    Both are extremely important. Either have the potential to make-or-break an athlete/fighter's career.

    How exactly does one drawn the line between nature and nurture? It's not easy for us, the fans, to determine the origin of an attribute, whether genetic or environmental.
     
  9. Brotha Will

    Brotha Will Blue Belt

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    Well said/ perfect example
     
  10. Free_MMAson

    Free_MMAson Banned Banned

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    What observations about Bisping lead you to think he is not as genetically endowed as other fighters, and that for him it is all just work ethic?
     
  11. Tibbles

    Tibbles Tibbles is a good boyyy

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    He has no natural knock out power and a very average chin. But has excellent cardio and work rate in the cage.
     
  12. JDawg9

    JDawg9 Black Belt

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    Only guys like Melvin, rashad, and randleman are naturally athletic and explosive..
     
  13. SnowBlynd

    SnowBlynd Red Belt

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    Gsp is probably a factor of nature though I usually believe nuture is the main ingredient for success. Maybe if gsp came up rich he wouldn't give a fuck like a BJ
     
  14. hadrian999

    hadrian999 Green Belt

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    to ba at the top of most sports you need both
     
  15. MP15

    MP15 Blue Belt

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    I'm definitely not an expert in this area but one of the main things I would generally associate with natural talent is rapid development in skills in the early stages with respect to peers. With Penn's mastery of BJJ in several years of training and Jones' drastic improvement in striking and all aspects of MMA in general, which we see from fight to fight, it seems talent does play some role along with obviously their dedication and hard work. But more often than not, talent lets fighters pick up certain skills significantly faster at an early point in their career, and seems they have dramatically improved or changed from fight to fight.


    With Bisping, I can look over all of his fights since TUF and see a much more gradual improvement in striking and wrestling. Many give Bisping little credit, saying he has padded record and outline his many flaws (questionable striking defence, chin, finishing power, maybe even instinct and explosiveness, etc.), whether I agree with these or not is not the question. The main thing is though the fact he is at top after many continuous years of hard work and improvement step by step. This is much credit to his hardworking nature.
     
  16. Free_MMAson

    Free_MMAson Banned Banned

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    But maybe Bisping then is just training in the wrong ways. I am definitely not an expert either so this is just for discussion, but it seems that the more you push yourself IN THE RIGHT DIRECTIONS (being not only dedicated & motivated to be the best, but having those chance opportunities to be with the right mentors that can train you in all the right ways -- most efficiently -- can make you seem like a more athletic, superior genetic specimen. For example, those born into a rich family have the opportunity to go to Harvard learning things most of the world will never get to know, while those born in a poorer family are lucky to go to community college getting out with a mediocre job. My point here is maybe back then BJ was motivated to be the best, had the money to fund him to train with the best the right ways so he learned as fast as he did, while others had to train on the side with full-time jobs taking precedence to pay the bills and could not reach that potential as fast.

    They always say that the fighters that go on the TUF reality show dramatically improve from start to finish of season since they are exposed to top UFC trainers teaching many of their secrets and proved methods for success. My instinct tells me nurture is far more important than what you are born with, since if this were the case, all top athletes would have offspring as successful as the fathers, and this is rare to hear.
     
  17. Saskatoonmike**

    Saskatoonmike** Brown Belt

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    Yup.

    When MMA was younger you could get away with one or the other. Now with high level athletic guys also training at top levels it is near impossible to stay at the top without a healthy dose of both.


    Bj is a prime example of Nature >>>> Nuture. Forrest Griffin is Nuture >>>>> Nature.
     
  18. MP15

    MP15 Blue Belt

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    I agree with you on the whole elitism aspect of education and sort of the MMA equivalence. Clearly, if you are born in a privileged environment, you are presented with more opportunities. But to a certain extent, it is how you can make use of those opportunities.

    I do understand having a superior camp and coaches (e.g. Zahabi, Greg Jackson, Humes) can do wonders for you. But it seems some fighters progress significantly faster than others. Personally, I don't think just any person with money can accomplish great feats even if they are under the instruction of top mentors. I would probably give the example of Kenny Florian here, who had the money and was hardworking, but never quite reached the pinnacle.

    I do see where you're coming from on the importance of nurture and having the correct set of people to guide you in the right direction. But even at Harvard, MIT, Oxbridge etc, there are those at the top and those at the bottom (taking into account they may have different backgrounds before entering. the institution, there are still large gaps between those with similar backgrounds).

    One important thing I think is missed out in the nature vs. nurture debate is an element of luck along way in your circumstances and progress throughout your career. For example, I think Machida is both talented and hard working. He just happens competiting in the same generation as the likes Jon Jones and Shogun.
     
  19. gopackgo555

    gopackgo555 It's the music that we choose

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    Ricco Rodriguez is a great example of nature.I would put shogun up there as well

    On the other hand Fitch is a perfect example of nurture
     

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