John Danaher: The Legendary BJJ Teacher

John Danaher: The Legendary BJJ Teacher

There are many the reason why I look up to John Danaher, one of the crucial essential influential jiu-jitsu instructors I have studied. Even though he did not compete professionally as a result of injuries, his vanguard instructing style, and passion for stable construction set him apart. His journey is also inspiring for each and every festival and teachers throughout the space.


John Danaher is a New Zealander Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt (4th degree) and Blended Martial Arts teacher. He was once as soon as most simply in recent years underneath Renzo Gracie at Renzo’s New York Academy. John has earned appreciate throughout the grappling group as one of the most absolute best coaches, and gurus like Greg Jackson and Vinicius Draculino praise Danaher for his instructing methods and data.

Danaher grew up in New Zealand for lots of of his early lifestyles, despite the fact that he was once as soon as born in the US in 1967. His father was once as soon as throughout the New Zealand military and was once as soon as stationed in The united states for a short time previous than shifting once more. He arrived throughout the states in 1991 to test philosophy at Columbia Faculty’s Ph.D. program.

All the way through this time, Danaher was once as soon as a bouncer at a nightclub and weighed spherical 250 pounds. He spotted a number of his fellow bouncers approach fights with grappling techniques, which influenced him to seem further into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Danaher first came upon about Brazilian jiu-jitsu from a friend at school when he was once as soon as 28 years earlier, and then he began classes at Renzo Gracie’s academy.

Martial Arts Occupation

Danaher did not get started his mixed martial arts occupation until he began training at Renzo Gracie’s academy throughout the early Nineteen Nineties. He was once as soon as one amongst his most passionate students and discovered alongside Matt Serra, Ricardo Almeida, and Rodrigo Gracie. When he earned his pink belt, he started instructing students while Renzo traveled and competed in mixed martial arts competitions.

When other students at the academy broke off to start out out their own faculties, Danaher remained at Renzo’s academy, and his instructing tasks expanded. As a result of important smartly being issues along side his hip and leg, Danaher in no way competed in martial arts competitively.

In step with Renzo Gracie, John would commit 12-14 hours consistent with day to perfecting his instructing craft. As he persevered to artwork exhausting, Danaher earned his black belt in April 2020 along side his training partner and friend, Shawn Williams.

Danaher’s Leg Lock Gadget

Danaher is understood for rising his signature tool of lower-body attacks and leg locks, specifically in No Gi Jiu Jitsu. He first discovered the fundamentals of leg locks from Dean Lister, an American grappler who trained at Renzo Gracie’s Academy for a couple of weeks. He explains the basics of his BJJ tool in this Joe Rogan interview:

On account of he consolidated rather a large number of moves and positions, Danaher formulated a predictable and systematic array of leg lock procedures that his students might simply execute. A large number of Danaher’s fighters see great success in festival as a result of his teachings.

Danaher helped turn into the jiu-jitsu group’s mindset in opposition to leg locks. Initially, many spotted it as an unnecessary and non-technical attack method. Since then, Danaher created rather a large number of arm attack strategies (like Armbars and Kimura diversifications), front headlock, rear and once more strange attacks, and guillotine attacks.

As of 2018, Danaher represents Sanabul, a struggle sports activities actions emblem, thru serving as a consultant and emblem ambassador. He moreover partnered with BJJ Fanatics to put up a DVD assortment, “Transfer Further Faster,” protective topics like guard passing, section guard, pin escapes, closed guard, open guard, and guard retention.

Danaher has a few film and television appearances, along side a showing on the Showtime assortment Billions, where he plays Paul Giamatti’s jiu-jitsu teacher. He moreover co-stars throughout the “Jiu-Jitsu vs. the Global” documentary alongside his fellow practitioners Renzo Gracie, Roberto Abreu, and Eddie Bravo.

John Danaher’s Most Well known Students and the “Danaher Death Squad”

After he received his black belt throughout the early 2000s, John was once as soon as a teacher for one of the vital international’s absolute best mixed martial arts festival. Danaher is most widely known for working with athletes like Gordan Ryan, Garry Tonon, Nicky Ryan, and Eddie Cummings. The group of successful mixed martial artists at some point transform known as the “Danaher Death Squad.”

Gary Tonon

Garry Tonon was once as soon as one of the most first grapplers who presented awareness to Danaher’s Death Squad. He dominated most no-gi submissions only tournaments, competed at the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Metamoris, and various sub-only super fights.  Tonon won recognition as one of the most fiercest submission artists on the planet.

Gordon Ryan

Gordan Ryan basically participates in no-gi submission contests and won the ADCC international championship 3 times, Eddie Bravo invitational 4 events, and the IBJJF no-gi championship one time. He started training at 15 years earlier underneath Miguel Benitez previous than shifting to John Danaher. On account of Ryan is considering shifting to MMA, you should see John Danaher’s struggle methods in upper weight classes as a result of this decision.

Nicky Ryan

Nicky Ryan, the younger brother of Gordon, is the youngest member of Danaher’s Death Squad. Ryan first made a name for himself thru winning adult tournaments when he was once as soon as merely 13 years earlier. He has respectable victories over Ricky Lule, Marvin Castelle, and other professional fighters at only 17 years of age. His greatest accomplishment is winning a gold medal at the 2019 ADCC Championship.

Neatly being Issues

Danaher was once as soon as born with deformed patellas, and he was once as soon as at risk for knee injuries in his earlier years. When he carried out rugby throughout the 1980s, Danaher professional a important left-leg knee harm that required surgical process. The ones surgeries led to deformed and shortened ligaments, which limited Danaher’s skill to retract and extend his knee.

All over the place his lifestyles, Danaher’s imbalance led to gait issues, osteoarthritis, and a hip change. John knew that he would have the following chance of success as a teacher than an athlete in festival. As he focused his time on growing his instructing style, he transform one of the most international’s very best instructors.

John’s Fresh Switch to Puerto Rico

John Danaher presented in November 2020 that he might be completing his permanent instructing place at Renzo Gracie’s New York Academy. He determined to establish his non-public gymnasium in Puerto Rico along side his absolute best students. A large number of his students had already moved to Puerto Rico, along side Nicky Ryan, Gordon Ryan, and Craig Jones.

In his social media put up announcement, John thanked the city for how it changed him. On the other hand he mentioned that his changes aren’t complete, and he wants to start out out a brand spanking new philosophy of coaching in Puerto Rico. In step with Gordon Ryan, the this present day scheduled opening date for this new academy is March 2021.

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