A Different way of looking at BJJ / Submissions
Until recently Danaher has been a somewhat below the radar coach to many of the arts best practitioners.
Leader of his Danaher death squad base dout of the famous Renzo gracie academy in Manhattan he’s been hidden gem to the public at large until now. Things recently changed with the explosion of Grappling events and his team fairly consistent domination of the competition.
I’ve never personally trained under Danaher but heard great things about him as a technician going back as far as the late 90’s through friends who made the journey to New York to visit Renzo’s Gracie academy.
Today with the success of his team on all levels of competition the cat is out of the bag and as always there are two sides to opinion.
1- He is a mad scientist of sorts / visionary refining Jiu-Jitsu in ways we haven’t seen before
2- A slick talking guy in the right place at the right time training a strong crew of competitors and ridding off their success
*** Personally I count myself a part of group #1,
My thinking being, with so many of the best fighters I know personally that are acclaimed as master technicians themselves deferring to John for insight on detail , technique and strategy it says a lot. This is even more impressive given the fact he doesn’t train with the students ( due to injury) when in most cases atheltes are respected because of how well they perform
In BJJ for example (so and so champion) beats everyone he faces which makes him the best so we should listen to them
When a man gets this much respect from those at the top without rolling / training or even hitting the mats with them its for a reason.
The Most insightful BJJ Interview Ever
Being fairly silent and letting the teams work speak for itself for the most part John didn’t really have that many extended interviews or conversations with the public in the past so those in the know got super excited when word broke that he would the special guest on the Joe Rogan podcast.
Joe is a black belt and long time practitioners of BJJ both gi and no gi + other martial arts so he definitely knows whats up in a wide variety of fight related topics, but in this encounter with a BJJ mastermind he along with all the other listeners are left questioning everything they thought they knew about the universe lol.
for some reason many part interview of this had me thinking of silence of the lambs?? 🙂
One of my all time favourites and very interesting even if you don’t train in martial arts.
Don’t feel like watching it all? take a quick read over the text of a 15 min segment below and put that brain to work 🙂
John: What is the system of Brazilian jiu jitsu? Well it can be described in a few different ways, I will give you one rendition which is pretty simple and will resonate with most of your listeners. Jiu jitsu is a system based around four distinct steps, you can add steps, you can subtract steps but the rendition I’m going to give you know is probably the most widely known. Okay lets say a friend of yours asks for your advice on fighting, he knows you are a Brazilian jiu jitsu expert, you are a black belt in BJJ and he says Joe Rogan tell me, I want to fight someone else using your brazilian jiu jitsu, what are the steps of Brazilian jiu jitsu, what is the system that it uses? You are going to see always that step number one is take your opponent to the ground. Okay, why? Why do you think the ground is so special? Why did brazilian jiu jitsu choose the ground as step number one in the system? Why do you think?
Joe: well it all came out of judo right so brazilian jiu jitsu took the effective submissions techniques of judo and then just refined them.
John: that is the historical reason but what is the mechanical or physical reason?
Joe: cause you can control someone on the ground far better.
John: yeah Lomachenko can control people in a standing position with angle and distance, there are different ways to control people.
Joe: yes in boxing if you only are boxing.
John: but why the ground, why did they choose the ground? What is the mechanical reason? What happens when you take a human being to the ground?
Joe: well there is a whole barrier behind them that you can press them against.
John: what about if you are in bottom position?
Joe: well you could use that barrier as leverage
John: true, but there is something that occurs when someone goes down to the ground, something big that you are maybe missing here.
Joe: what am I missing?
John: whats the most explosive event in the Olympic games? The event that probably requires more transfer of energy and development of kinetic energy than any other. There is a bunch you could name but one of them for me is always going to be the javelin throw. The javelin throw involves a full powered sprint, a jump, a massive explosive turning of both hips and shoulders and a throw. All the quintessential explosive elements of the human body are involved in the javelin throw probably to a greater degree than any other Olympic event and as a result people can throw a javelin 80-90 metres. What would happen if you took those same javelin throwers and made them perform the same event on their knees?
Joe: wouldn’t be so good.
John: they probably couldn’t throw it more than 10 metres. Whats changed? The closer they get to the ground the less they can employ explosive force. What is the first thing cowboys do when they go to brand a steer?
Joe: Take it down.
John: yeah they lock up its legs and put it down on the ground. Nobody tries to brand a standing steer, you are gonna get killed because it can employ explosive dynamic movement to hurt you. You put him on the ground, dynamic explosive movement is massively curtailed it takes away the single riskiest element of fighting which is quick dynamic movement that can generate kinetic energy. So step number one of brazilian jiu jitsu is get it to the ground. It is inherently safer, less things can go catastrophically wrong on the ground than in the standing position. What is step number two?
Joe: secure dominant position, control.
John: control – too vague, there are many ways to control people, there is a definite step. You’ve just taken a guy down, what is your first thing in brazilian jiu jitsu?
Joe: well the first thing I would try to do is get to a dominant position.
John: what do you mean by that? Be more precise.
Joe: pass to side control, try to mount.
John: good good good good – you just answered it right there. Get passed his legs.
Joe: passed his legs.
Joe: legs are strong, they carry you around, you could hold a person in position, they are very good defensively.
John: they are dangerous.
Joe: they are dangerous.
John: okay if I end up inside your legs, if you are a skilled ??? you could arm lock me, leg lock me, strangle me. Even if you were an untrained fighter you could upkick me, many a man has been knocked out by an upkick, even an un??? Guy could form an upkick. Legs are dangerous so step number two is get passed those dangerous legs. What is step number three?
Joe: go for submission…no?
John: he must be ??? black belt, sorry I had to throw that in somewhere Joe I’m an asshole. Step number three Joe, you’re failing.
Joe: okay yeah pass the legs, well I’m going to try to control, mount, or like I said side control. I’m gonna try…
John: you’re on the right track. You are going to work your way through a hierarchy of positions. You are going to go neon belly, you gonna go side control, you gonna transition to mount, gonna transition to rear mount.
Joe: depending upon my game.
John: there is a sequence of pins once you get passed your opponents legs and jiu jitsu encourages you to go through those various pins. If you look at the sport of jiu jitsu, the pins score different amounts of points. Neon belly scores a certain amount, mount position scores more, rear mount scores more. Why? Ever wondered about them? Why do we score the pins of jiu jitsu differently?
Joe: well there is more available for rear mount of course. You can attack the neck, you can also attack the arms, you have a positional advantage where you can’t be attacked, you are behind them so it is one of the most superior positions to achieve.
John: mmhmm, very good, what about the mount?
Joe: A mount when the striking is involved is phenomenal.
John: you just put your finger on it right there Joe. Every one of the pins of jiu jitsu, the value of it is measured by your potential to strike your opponent on the ground. That’s why they score more. Neon belly scores more than side control because from distance of neon belly you can strike with more power, it is inherently unstable however so it scores less than mount which is inherently more stable and offers the same punching platform. Step number three of jiu jitsu is to work your way through a hierarchy of pins, where the pins are graded in value according to your ability to strike with a ??? on the ground. So far we have three elements in this system of jiu jitsu. Step number one – get the fight down to the ground where explosive kinetic energy is less likely to be developed by a dangerous opponent. Step number two – get passed his dangerous legs. Step number three – work your way through this hierarchy of pins with the pins understood in terms of the potential to harm your opponent with strikes on the floor. What is step number four?
Joe: step number four is try to secure a position where you can submit them.
John: you’ve already got the position so what is step number four?
Joe: attack with a submission
John: correct, so we have just described brazilian jiu jitsu. It is a four step system. it is beautiful, it is elegant and it is deadly effective. Step number one – take the fight to the ground, take away the danger of explosive kinetic energy. Step number two – get passed his dangerous legs. Step number three – work your way through a hierarchy of pins, each one graded upon your ability to harm your opponent with strikes on the ground and step number four – submissions. And now the question that needs to be asked where do leg locks fit…