I Love This Controversial Statement

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Gordon Ryan the king of no-gi grappling writes:​

Everyone says I’m over critical when I say everyone sucks, but they just simply do. I watch these matches and just see mistake after mistake, especially in the heavier divisions. When you have the best guy in the world losing to someone 3 divisions lighter and the random hobbyist, you know your sports a fucking joke, and that’s sad because I’m part of this sport.

— Gordon Ryan

For those of you who don’t know the context of Gordon’s statement, he’s talking about the recent Who’s Number One tournament. He’s mainly roasting Kaynan Duarte of ATOS (ADCC 2019 champion in the +99kg division) for getting heel-hooked by Lachlan Giles (-77kg) in an open weight match at the said ADCC and by Tim Spriggs at the said WNO tournament. Tim is definitely not a random hobbyist by almost everyone else’s standards, given that he has wins over top-tier competitors both in gi and no-gi. But the point Gordon is making is that Tim now trains only three times a week while Kaynan probably trains all day everyday… and still gets heel-hooked by someone Gordon would consider a random hobbyist.​

Gordon trolls and roasts pretty much everyone, especially those from ATOS… and makes controversial statements like above, which would make his haters hate him even more, and fanboys/girls praise him even more.​

The thing is, he backs up his claims with solid results, and as far as no-gi grappling is concerned, he is definitely one of the best grapplers out there. So he is in a position to say everyone sucks.​

I love his statement!​

I’m far from the best, so I’m one of “everyone,” and there’s no doubt about it. I don’t feel sulky or anything like that… instead, I feel like, “Ok, I need to get better.”​

At the same time, Gordon’s statement somewhat helps me see that… maybe even some of the best competitors may not be as technical as we might have thought.​

Surely, they are still better than me and almost everyone else… but it’s an interesting perspective to entertain.​

On a positive note, as Gordon also mentions in his post, there are new generations of grapplers like the Ruotolo brothers who display exceptional skills by taking out seasoned competitors. Hopefully, these young folks will raise the bar, and grapplers of future generations will have access to much better instructions, etc., and become better more quickly than us.​

This is one of the points I’ve been making over and over in my emails, but… it’s worth stating again.​

The best thing you and I can do, I believe, is to care about our skills and to try our best to improve them as much as we can.​

Focus on getting better. Everything else is a red herring.