The incredible power of experimental testing, observation of results and refinement over time: The single greatest asset that combat sports have is the application of a simplified scientific method – start with a conjecture or theory, test it with various forms of experimentation, observe the results of testing those conjectures and theories in sparring and competition and make adjustments and refinements over time in the light of your observations. In time you can make incredible progress in knowledge and skill. Along the way you will discover that many commonly accepted beliefs are in fact quite doubtful and some theories that are commonly considered absurd actually have some merit. Using this trial and error method will take time, but it will furnish the most trustworthy conclusions in the long run. I will always favor conclusions attained by rigorous trial and error over the usual appeals to authority, tradition or orthodoxy. Every day on the mats gives you a chance to exercise this trial and error method. Every moment off the mats gives you a chance to think and speculate over new theories and conjectures that you can test when you return to the mats. In this sense the mats are your laboratory, your training partners your experimental assistants and your sparring your experimental testing. Here I am many years ago experimenting with triangle and Kimura overlap with the very talented Magno Gama, with whom many trials and errors were made early in my career that steered me towards my current coaching philosophy. When it comes to making progress in Jiu Jitsu you have many resources – all of them have their good and bad points – but none will ever surpass the value of your own restless and enquiring mind as it seeks to solve problems through the raising and testing of questions and theories and refinement of your answers over time

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