Temporal competence

When throwing a punch, there are a few things to consider:

– The force of the punch.
– The path and point of contact with the target.
– The speed with which it is thrown.
– The time at which it is thrown.

Now, a question: which of these is the most important? The force, the accuracy, the speed or the timing? I believe the answer is demonstrated by a passage from Stephen Erikson’s Midnight Tides:

“ ‘You’re suggesting diabolical genius, Gerun.’
‘I am. Tehol possesses what Hull does not. Knowledge is not enough. It never is. It’s the capacity to do something with that knowledge. To do it perfectly. Absolute timing. With devastating consequences. That’s what Tehol has. Hull, Errant protect him, does not.’ ”

The force of a punch, the accuracy of a punch and the speed of a punch are all made irrelevant if it is not thrown at the right time. The strongest, most accurate, fastest punch will never hit its target if unleashed at the wrong moment. So perhaps, in the practise of our art various arts and disciplines, we should spend less time on the why and the how, and more time on the when? Maybe temporal competence should be just as much a priority as technical competence?