Can a high IQ make you a better performer?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussions' started by Alwi, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Alwi

    Alwi Disciple

    Just wondering if being smarter than the average person with the hard work and athletisism that you already have as a martial artist make you perform better in your discipline.

    I look at Bruce Lee, Mohamed Ali and say most probably. Then I look at Mike Tyson and I say probably not.

    What do u guys think?
    Vldz likes this.
  3. Grimjow

    Grimjow Initiate

    A studious martial artist would probably soar higher than the rest in my opinion.
    SifuPhil and RJ Clark like this.
  4. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    It may enable you to grasp concepts and other data related to martial arts more quickly, but doesn't make you a better fighter, per se. Some of the greatest fighters and generals/military commanders sure wouldn't be considered "rocket scientists". I think Grimjow had a great response to this question. A studious, dedicated martial artist can progress faster than average (but that doesn't necessarily mean that person needs to be "book smart"/have a high IQ)

    To make a quick example to illustrate the above: Let's say I'm rolling with a medical doctor. His knowledge of the human body and how the body is affected by each joint lock or choke won't stop me from folding him up or sending Mr. Smarty-Pants to naptime. But it very well could help him in the technical improvement of his techniques in training and when he is teaching/coaching techniques to others. My experience, transitional flow, etc overwhelms any miniscule bonus he gets for a high IQ...
    Mr.Bond likes this.
  5. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    I think natural athleticism is probably more relevant than IQ.
  6. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Einstein sucked at BJJ...however it is all RELATIVE...e=mc2, get it?
    DeeD, Dave76, JesterX and 1 other person like this.
  7. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    IQ is a faulty measure of intelligence anyway ...

    I guess it wouldn't hurt to be intelligent AND athletically gifted, as opposed to just athletically gifted. But depending upon how it manifests that intelligence might get you into a world of hurt.

    Example: Bobby Brain has an IQ of 240 and is a black belt in several styles. He fights against an opponent, Bubba, who has an IQ of a box of damp tissues, owns no rankings and has never had a lesson in his life.

    Bobby might hold back out of pity, remorse, or just some socially-instilled sense of fair play and decency. He will recall the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Jesus and all the other gurus that advocated non-violence. He will hesitate to strike Bubba too hard.

    While all of this is coursing through his enlarged cranium, Bubba, having no such limitations, proceeds to choke the snot out of Bobby.

    Game over.
    dmach and Locutus like this.
  8. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    My name is BOBBY!
    SifuPhil likes this.
  9. Void_Karateka

    Void_Karateka Pauper Karateka

    I think the question of natural talent comes into this one. I don't know about a high IQ specifically but some people have natural abilities in a range of things. Personally I regard martial arts as something I have a natural affinity for and because of that I've maintained interest and progressed fairly well so far. Math on the other hand I would like to punch in the pi.

    I think IQ as a measurement will be flawed as SifuPhil said, but I think some are born with those natural synapses hard wired for fighting and learning fighting. Sort of like a combat IQ?

    I think having that higher natural mental ability is a definite factor in training and picking up principles. Even being able to gain finer motor control and more quickly train muscle memory.
    Ryannmnzo and Alwi like this.
  10. JesterX

    JesterX Disciple

    Frankly in a match between Ali and Tyson (provided both were in their prime) my money would be on Ali. Natural talent and athleticism can only carry you so far. At some point intelligence is going to become a factor, the ability to plan and execute strategy requires a certain amount of brain power.

    "Book learning" is a poor measure of true intelligence. If you were to give the inventor of the wheel an "I.Q." test he would probably fail miserably.

    On the other hand what if Bobby decides the smart thing to do is rip Bubba's head off and shit down his windpipe?
  11. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon

    I.Q has nothing to do with book smarts. It's a measure of your potential to problem solve. This is why Military generals and admirals will generally have quite high I.Q's. In recent years other facets of I.Q testing have been applied to give a better estimate. Such as emotional I.Q, i.e. - your ability to understand a given emotional context or situation arising in daily life. Many former high scoring people fail miserably at this as they so commonly seem to have social barrier's that limit their ability to understand or empathize with others.
    A good example I guess would be this stunningly handsome fellow I know:cool: , with an I.Q of 140 I'm, I mean he's, no genius, but he's definitely ahead of the curve. But due to a greater interest in partying and fighting when he was younger, he's now working 12hr days away from home and family wishing he had gone to Uni and got himself a piece of paper.
    Alli, a friend of mine, has an I.Q of 90, and yes, I really do know this..... She on the other hand has her PhD in Phycology and is already earning more money than me:(, err, I mean him...:oops:

    What's the point to all that???

    DRIVE, she has drive and determination. If she has to study twice as hard to pass something, then she'll study three times harder.
    Your I'Q is just a guideline for what your potential is. It doesn't give you wisdom. It doesn't give you enthusiasm or passion, determination, drive or focus.

    Thomas Edison undoubtedly had a high I.Q, but if he hadn't had the drive and determination to keep on trying, who knows? He might have given up on test 999 and never discovered the incandescent light bulb.

    Insofar as MA are concerned, I'd take natural drive and determination over 'Super Genius' any day...
    dmach, Sabomnim Dan and Alwi like this.
  12. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    I think a higher IQ can help, but you are still limited by your natural abilities and physicality in fighting. I think Ali had natural ability, it is just different than Tyson's. Ali had timing, distancing, and reaction time on his side, whilst Tyson had sheer power and anger. With a higher IQ, you might be able to train better, with better people, but in the end, it is a physical thing almost purely. Your brain is limited when the instincts kick in, and you do what you trained.
    Mr.Bond likes this.
  13. Alwi

    Alwi Disciple

    Well said to all of you, this is a great explanation... Thanks guys
  14. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    But he wouldn't, for the reasons I listed. It would be against his very nature. So he'd always be fighting with a handicap.
  15. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    As pointed out, innate intelligence is not affected by one attending school, one is just as intelligent entering school when one departs, BUT learned knowledge "should" be greater. Wither or not one has the mental ability to utilize, recall or apply the knowledge they have acquired is another thing entirely, I have worked with many morons with college degrees in aerospace, engineering degrees AAMOF. There are many STUPID and illogical people sporting degrees, some of their teachers are also in that category.

    There are different measurements of intelligence and ones innate intelligence is a measurement of ones ability to reason, to think logically, AND to be able to apply the reasoning and logical thinking to IRL subjects and items.
  16. JesterX

    JesterX Disciple

    That was my point as well Michael, just better stated. And IMHO someone with those characteristics would in fact make a better fighter then someone in whom those characteristics were lacking or not as strong.

    Not necessarily so SifuPhil, you're assuming that a greater degree of intelligence automatically equals a greater degree of; oh I don't know, civilization? By all reports Josef Mengele was a highly intelligent individual, but not someone I would imagine "pulling punches" in a fight.

    And what if Bubba was an old line "turn the cheek" christian?
    SifuPhil likes this.
  17. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Not in EVERY case, no. But I still think in the majority of cases higher intelligence equals higher civilization. Supposedly that's how we differentiated ourselves from the apes - through our intelligence.

    You'll always have the "criminal masterminds" like Mengele, but I think they're the exception.

    In all truthfulness, I can't say. I've never met a self-professed Christian that would offer me their other cheek after I slapped the first one.

    Maybe I'm not hanging out in the right places. ;)
    JesterX likes this.
  18. Locutus

    Locutus Your fight is futile, my hands are pounding you!

    It was you at the S&M bar down the road I am sure of it. Admit it! :troll:
    SifuPhil likes this.
  19. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Damn - you saw me in my gimp suit!

  20. Locutus

    Locutus Your fight is futile, my hands are pounding you!

    Hey I have the same model, in chartreuse.
    SifuPhil likes this.
  21. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    WRONG! 140 is Genius category entry point on the curve. Now I doubt the score is correct by way of the failure statement. LOL

Share This Page