simple question, as we all have trained; we have all had individual experiences w/in our training that have helped or hurt or development as a striker, it could be mental, physical, stylistical or so on. But what are the things were a benefit (ex-being a natural, having a particular physical skillset (power speed explosiveness stamina toughness), training w/a high level of guys, training alot, etc) or things that were a deficit (not being a natural, lacking standout ability, health issues, etc) for me its as such pluses- 1)alot of experience w/very skilled proponents of a myriad of arts, it helped develop a healthy respect for different ways of doing things and diff styles because i saw so many guys w/diff b/g who could all apply their skills in their art and when facing other arts (i.e. they can fight). So im not stuck in a certain way of doing things or a certain mindset of what works and what doesn't; im much more situational in my application or assessment of skills wether it be my own or those of people i observe. I always try to understand the method because my experience tells me everyone does something for a reason. 2)sparring alot- any kind of sparring, light medium hard; up until the past few years i would get alot of sparring in, not that im a bad ass, technician or striking virtuoso. Im not; but i developed a certain functionality in my striking that comes from actually doing it, an i got a very good idea of what i can do and can't do against certain styles, body types and strategies. The biggest and best benefit is i know exactly how good or not good i am, the best way to find out where you stand is to spar; no misunderstanding about your skills when you do so. 3)humbleness-never did any sports and was never really the best at anything; meaning i didn't have any problem w/not being the best or one of the better people, nor did i have a problem w/getting beaten up or worked over. Its all a learning experience, not a reflection of me as a man or a person; some people are used to having success or competing at a certain level, when they can't initially do so or never can do so they quit or quit developing. 4)training w/people better than me, im almost always the WORST guy training; skillwise and ability wise, so it helps develop confidence cus you know your dealing w/the best guys and makes u much more confident against guys your level or worst. Also it helps you think and get more prepared for tough spots cus your always in them w/guys who are much better. 5)mentality-always try to look at sh*t from every angle possible and understand how and why sh*t works instead of saying it does or doesn't; always willing to try and add things to what i do or do things that give me a better overall understanding of the philosophy mentality and strategy behind a technique or a style 6)not being a natural, forced me to have to think outside the box and focus on the more subtle, intangible aspects of striking; since i don't have an ace in the hole physically ( power speed durability explosiveness etc)or a natural disposition to strike effectively or aggressively minuses- 1)Health issues, has limited my ability to train consistently; i have a laundry list of problems which don't keep me from training, but keep me from working at a certain intensity all the time or from engaging in certain activities.. 2)Schedule-always had a schedule that made it difficult to train frequently, its only gotten worse w/the jobs i have had and having a kid... Not impossible but much more difficult. 3)Sparring alot, helps develop a comfort and functionality; does not help develop a skillset.. You apply the skills you develop, if you spar alot, but don't do tech as much or more you kinda box yourself into a certain way of doing things based on what has worked; you never find out if other stuff works cus you don't develop other skills and the skills you do have plateau as far as technical progression. 4)working w/people way better than me; depending on how good the guys your facing are and their mindset, you will find yourself trying to survive (not get koed or beat the f*ck up) moreso than trying to put work in, you almost become def by nature because your main goal is to be able to last long enough to do offense. 5)mentality-im not the most disciplined martial artist and secondly i don't have a fighter mentality; when i train or spar i am told i don't come off as a guy who has that motivation aggression. I enjoy the martial arts can't say im super passionate or whatnot; when im training i train hard, i train good..but im not an animal, nor am i that guy who is just aching to get in and spar. Just not my mentality.