I was responding to a Formosa Neijia blog post about doing limited moves vs. knowing many and referenced Fedor Emelianenko as a genius:

On throwing out techniques – if you take a combat sports master from the “freest form push hands formats” of combat sambo and Pride mma like Fedor Emelianenko (probably the greatest ever) – he probably has mastery of 100’s, maybe 1000’s of moves. In each fight his “style” is slightly different – always “following” the “energy” of different opponents. His improvisational, fluid mastery is always there. The move he “applies” depends on the circumstance … yet he tends to win by a limited set of armbars. Even the geniuses seem to have some favorite moves.

which, speaking of genius, makes me wonder about Josh Waitzkin’s taiji book. He is the chess genius and prodigy who was the inspiration of the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer”. He is:
– 8-time National Chess Champion
– 13-time Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands National Champion
– Two-time Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands World Champion

1) could anyone who’s read his book provide a review and relate some key lessons from it in a comment?
2) does he cover the nature of how a master deals with massive complexity (as in chess or push hands) – does he end up using favorite moves (“applications”) in chess or push hands?
3) can anyone who considers him or herself good at chess and push hands shed some light on the above questions?
4) what is the nature of such genius, especially when one masters multiple domains?
5) what can ordinary individuals learn from these kinds of people?
6) how does Josh answer these questions in his books on the learning process?

Of course I’m going to read all his books, but any comments?

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