Athletic Records are being broken all the time.
Rarer and rarer is the statement,
“There will never be another __________.”
It’s true, there won’t be another champion like…whoever.
There will be someone better.
There is a tradition of humility in the Martial Arts that borders on fallacy.
We tend to believe that our teachers are better than we are.
And while it’s true that most students are not better than their teachers,
Otherwise, Martial Arts would be in a consistent state of entropy…of devolution.
But it’s not.
Since the popularization of MMA with the UFC in the 90s,
Martial Arts have been evolving.
Don’t believe me?
Look at Royce Gracie’s jiu-jitsu then.
Then go to a good BJJ school and you’ll see blue belts doing that same level of BJJ…maybe even better.
Many things, including Martial Arts, get better over time.
Knowing this of the past should inform our present practice.
It does mine.
Recently, I took a group of students through a critique of who I consider to be the best submission grappler there ever was:
There are those that would argue that you don’t try to alter the best of the best’s approach.
I’ve never rolled with Marcelo.
I don’t think I could do much with him if I did.
But if I don’t question his BJJ, doesn’t that limit my BJJ?
The future of BJJ will be better than Marcelo.
If we don’t critique the BJJ of the present,
doesn’t that relegate us to the past?