During his talk at the Combatives Camp, Greg Glassman spoke a bit about the concept of "virtuosity".
Glassman borrowed the term from the sport of gymnastics, where it apparently means “performing the common uncommonly well.” He described it as looking at someone performing an l-sit (a basic gymnastics movement), and saying something to the effect of "yeah, but that's a damn good l-sit."
Glassman goes further with it: What will inevitably doom a physical training program and dilute a coach’s efficacy is a lack of commitment to fundamentals.
I see this a lot, particularly (somewhat strangely) in intermediate, not beginning students. Partly I think because often, beginners are struggling so much with the basics that they can't be wooed away by other things as easily. But once they've achieved a point where they feel they've "got it", they stop worrying about silly things like jabs and crosses, and start wanting to learn spinning backfists and flying knees. They want the flash, but it is the substance that wins fights.
You can see this in the great fighters. How solid was Muhammed Ali's jab? How diligently did Mike Tyson work on his left hook? A good friend who spent time studying with Rickson Gracie told me that Rickson's entire guard game consisted of a guillotine, a kimura, and a hip bump sweep. Fundamentals win fights, over and over, but because we see them so often, we forget how extraordinary they are.
One of the biggest breakthroughs I had in my ability to perform the physical drills in the PDR/SPEAR system came when I spent a solid year and half doing just the SPEAR strengthening drills for an hour or two every week. Sure, I did BMFs, and Weapons Protection Drills, and all kinds of other stuff, but I always got those fundamental drills done first. Guess what? It made all the other stuff way easier.
I think there's a synergy between this idea of virtuosity and the concepts of minimalism that I've been exploring. If virtuosity is a mastery of the fundamentals, and minimalism is the elimination of everything inessential, then coordinating the two should leave you with a focus solely on mastering the only things that really matter.
I suspect this probably ties into some of the Gung Fu/Qi Gong concepts that Maija has been throwing at me as well. But I have not delved into those ideas nearly enough to know if there's a connection.