We believe the importance of John Danaher in jiu-jitsu has far exceeded his highly praised enhancements in the footlock game over the past few years, as he has moved on to become one of the better communicators in our community, making great use of his massive following to spread a well-planned and fundamentally sound approach to our martial art as a system of combat, as proven by his most recent vlog (see below).
Before you read any further, we should disclose that we (BJJ Heroes) are sponsored by BJJ Fanatics,the creators of said vlog, however, we believe this has not clouded our judgment in assessing the aforementioned video talk, as the importance of the thoughts laid out in it are very much in tune with our vision of what is this sport/martial art, as proven by the numerous editorials we have written over the years.
On his recent monologue, Danaher addressed, to further detail, his famous conversation with black belt Joe Rogan (JRE MMA Show #11), in which he had pressed upon the 4 fundamental steps of jiu-jitsu’s system. It is likely that, to someone who’s studied BJJ for a while and has had solid tuition, this may not have been groundbreaking material, but as BJJ grows and spreads itself thinner and further away from its source, it is of the utmost importance to have intellectuals who can point out the basic structural concepts of our combat style, and raise awareness of these to coaches and students around the world.
A clear example of this is often on full display in one of the fastest growing aspects of grappling, i.e.: submission-only, which, although entertaining, carries with it an element of danger to the BJJ structure, as its matches have often proven to step outside of our martial art’s structure and may end up blurring the boundaries of what is taught going forward. An issue we alluded to in our piece a few years ago entitled “Is Sub-Only Jiu-Jitsu?” (read here).
But back to Danaher, in this piece, he returns to the BJJ mantra in which its foundation is clearly outlined, a progressive system of hierarchical positions.
THE GENERAL CONCEPT OF BJJ AS A MARTIAL ART
As explained by Danaher in the first section of the vlog, as a general rule, jiu-jitsu was created to avoid confrontation on the feet, where a faster, more explosive opponent can make use of his power to generate what John classifies as “a catastrophic loss”, meaning a KO. As such, the step by step guideline for BJJ should be:
2. Pass Guard
3. Establish mount / back
4. Isolate limb/neck for submission
On this talk, Danaher goes in further detail to this simple step system, by adding more layers of depth to the main points, including the all-important bottom player’s role in these dynamics. We highly recommend you listen.