Ancient Awesomeness ...
We live in an age where information can be disseminated, shared and expanded upon, with almost magical ease. The expansion and rapid development of BJJ can be largely (IMO) attributed to the fact that it came to public attention at the very outset of the information age we all enjoy today.
Prior to the explosion of the internet; information on BJJ was very difficult to come by. At that time, travel wasn't as easy or affordable as it is nowadays either. There were no books on BJJ, no DVD's - the only info that existed was a poor quality VHS tape of some Vale Tudo fights in Brazil. In fact, it was a viewing of one of those tapes, that motivated me to make my own trip to Brazil and take up BJJ training back in 1986.
Upon returning to Australia in those early days, I had to rely solely on my training notebooks, to help me stumble my way forward in my training; until I could save the funds needed for my next overseas training trip. The scene back then was very, very different from that enjoyed by most BJJ practitioners today; but do not be fooled, development was still being done, and done well, it was just far more localised at that time.
It is interesting to wonder at what developments might have been enjoyed and subsequently lost, over countless generations of fighters across hundreds of cultures the world over. Although the internet was unavailable during centuries past, people have always been creative and people have always taken to the development of various fighting methods with great enthusiasm.
The grappling arts, in particular, have enjoyed an extraordinary amount of attention and development throughout history. BJJ, perhaps more than most, is enjoying not only extraordinary growth and expansion but a level of technical development hitherto unseen.
One thing to remember however, is this - any contribution that we make to the further development of BJJ, is made possible because we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us; who in turn stood on the shoulders of those who came before them, and so on.
Those who came before ... deserve our thanks, our admiration, our respect.