So is it fair to say that things don't necessarily have to be perfect, but one must at least get a solid grasp of the basics?
No, the basics are the foundation, they must be flawless. Think of it the same way you would think of lifting.
The depth, and body mechanics of a squat must be perfect for one to recieve the fullest benefits. Anything less than perfect mechanics can lead to serious injury. Or in the case of MMA, a knockout loss.
Sig courtesy of that photo-matic magician limba
I went out the way that I fight. I went out on my shield. That’s it. Done. --Chuck Liddell
My goal is to end my opponent --Carlos Condit