Greatness. John Danaher

Greatness. John Danaher


Greatness: How great you become in any given endeavor will always be assessed by the degree of difficulty of the barriers you had to overcome to get to the top. Just as the Lion became king of the jungle not by living among sheep, but by dominating a world of elephants, hyenas, Buffalo, leopards and crocodiles, so too the greatness of an athlete will be determined, not just by his own ability, but by the greatness of the athletes he faces. Thus in his quest for greatness, Gordon Ryan owes a debt to the greatness of his toughest opponent Andre Galvao. Mr Galvao stood at the highest levels of the grappling world for two decades and atop ADCC for a full decade, setting records for super fight longevity that were truly astounding. He had a deep and complete skill set married to superb tactical sense. Like a true martial artist he evolved greatly over the course of his career, moving easily from no gi to gi, across weight divisions, culminating in a game based around standing position that enabled him to defeat many legends of the game with relative ease. Mr Galvao fought his match with Gordon like a Lion, showing great tenacity and skill. The relationship between opponents is a strange one. You end up knowing each other very well as each studies the other and interacts in the build up. In the end, the greater your opponent, the greater you can become through victory, and yes, even in defeat. In the quest for greatness you end up owing more to your opponents than perhaps anyone else, since they are the true measure of where you stand. Andre Galvao stood against the best of the best for over a decade. In this greatest of all grappling events, it was the height of his legacy that made it such a special confrontation and such a memorable event.

John Danaher