Which goes right back to my point. You saidGiven the standards at the time, they where studying good material. Everyone that went in was a good fighter, and many had good lineages.
The problem with claiming to be the best, or most effective is that there is always someone better.
Very simple test to see if what you are doing is effective or not. Drop as many rules as you can and go as hard as you can.
"And beyond that it won't take long after starting training with them to realise what there skill level is, and what there knowledge is. "Worse, this is in addition to a "ignore the liniage, they will either have it or not" statement (too lazy to go cut-n-paste).
On the one hand, you seem to be saying that a neophyte will quickly determine good from bad, but you are making good "the standard at the time", which would neccessitate that the neophyte have access to, and look at, that material; which many do not.
Many who came into the early UFCs didn't simply loose to ebtter fighters; they lost due to inherent flaws in their system / skillset... flaws that they had not seen in years of training and in a lot of competition. (BTW, are you suggesting that "it won't take long after starting training that anyone will engage in multiple limited-rules fights"?).
A neophyte does not have a feel of "standards" (that's what makes them a neophyte) and most will not go compete in NHB competitions sans the instructor telling them. They will be fooled... they are fooled. About once a month I used to see a long-time student from somewhere or another who was convincced he had "the stuff" when it came to material and did not... because the school he was studying at didn't have it to teach him.