David Jacobs' BJJGround Danaher takes credit for leglock revolution-fair?

9/25/20 8:56 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 16570


At :45 "When I first started with leglocks, the great problem that I saw with leglocking in the 1990s was that there was no control...My whole thing was to change the nature of leglocking into a control based game, to really make a deep study of ashi garami, or entangled legs"
9/26/20 3:20 AM
9/12/06
Posts: 249

In terms of "making a deep study" he's probably right. Roy Harrris and Stephen Kesting both had VHS tapes out showing half decent leglock mechanics by the mid 00s but I wasn't really aware of a systemised method out there before Danaher's / Cummings' stuff.

That said, of course, there is that infamous video of Frank Shamrock utilizing a very modern leglock game however long ago; however whatever system that was wasn't apparently codified and made available for study so make of that what you will

 

 

9/26/20 5:13 AM
10/27/03
Posts: 26960

Scott Sonnon’s saddle system was the first control system I saw and I know a lot of sambo guys at the time were criticising it saying it was just sambo Leglock stuff.

Edited: 9/26/20 8:25 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 1759
Stephan was ahead of his time. I remember everyone at the gyms knew about his leglock game. We all sort of understood that he learnt it. <br /><br />I think the only thing Danaher was, was taking it to the competition level. He was able to take competitors and turn it into what everyone BJJ instructional video is doing now and "Creating a system."
9/26/20 8:26 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 1760
God, I realized that didn't make sense.

Yeah, Danaher took it to the next level and we should all appreciate it.
9/26/20 11:22 AM
9/20/19
Posts: 4870
CWolvie - God, I realized that didn't make sense.

Yeah, Danaher took it to the next level and we should all appreciate it.

No he didn’t, he just injected it into a sport that wasn’t ready for it and had to adjust. In the meantime nobody had any answers.  

9/26/20 12:21 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 4187
HillboFrateTrane -
CWolvie - God, I realized that didn't make sense.

Yeah, Danaher took it to the next level and we should all appreciate it.

No he didn’t, he just injected it into a sport that wasn’t ready for it and had to adjust. In the meantime nobody had any answers.  

Also known as... revolution?

9/26/20 12:34 PM
9/20/19
Posts: 4875
The Diet Butcher -
HillboFrateTrane -
CWolvie - God, I realized that didn't make sense.

Yeah, Danaher took it to the next level and we should all appreciate it.

No he didn’t, he just injected it into a sport that wasn’t ready for it and had to adjust. In the meantime nobody had any answers.  

Also known as... revolution?

Within one abstract group of athletes.  A revolution would be no one having seen it before or it being used in a way it never had before.  

There’s still this air of belief that BJJ actually invented something.  

9/26/20 12:45 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 4188
HillboFrateTrane -
The Diet Butcher -
HillboFrateTrane -
CWolvie - God, I realized that didn't make sense.

Yeah, Danaher took it to the next level and we should all appreciate it.

No he didn’t, he just injected it into a sport that wasn’t ready for it and had to adjust. In the meantime nobody had any answers.  

Also known as... revolution?

Within one abstract group of athletes.  A revolution would be no one having seen it before or it being used in a way it never had before.  

There’s still this air of belief that BJJ actually invented something.  

If not the leg lock game in the past few years, what would qualify as a revolution then?

9/26/20 2:17 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 2757

From my perspective as an outsider, it seems fair for him to take credit for popularizing leglocks.

 

However when he says, "My whole thing was to change the nature of leglocking into a control based game" that sounds like it's coming straight from Sonnon's introduction to The Saddle. Hearing that Cummings studied Sonnon's instructionals and brought them to Renzo's, it seems like Danaher's taking credit for something he doesn't have a right to.

9/26/20 3:53 PM
10/31/05
Posts: 8273
Guys were doing leglocks well before JD (especially the Japanese and Sambo). If you look at a guy like Imanari, that was 90% of his game and he was in his prime almost two decades ago. Even guys like Takarov and Shamrock were going for them in early UFCs in the 90's.

I do think he was successful at really breaking it down and making it a common tool though.
9/26/20 4:26 PM
12/26/02
Posts: 12190

I think he deserves partial credit. 

When he says that guys were diving on legs without control in the 90s, he's absolutely right...but that wasn't unique to legs. Back then nobody was talking about systems of minor control positions...for anything. Armbars were a hope and a prayer and a spin from mount.  And since leglocks were exclusive to no-gi back then, it was doubly true, because the "no-gi is just scrambly and fast" narrative was gospel back then.

It's true that there wasn't much in the way of instructionals on leg control back then.  Stephan Kesting's Kneebars and Roy Harris BJJ 101 Vol 3 are the first 2 I can think of that dedicated time to the minor control positions.  I haven't had the pleasure of working with Stephan in person, but I can tell you that in 2003 I hosted a Roy Harris leglock seminar in which he focused on 4 minor control positions - controlling from them, flowing between them, and dealing with people who try to escape or counter. When I last asked him about it, Roy Harris said that the control positions he teaches are largely unchanged from the Sambo he learned. Personally, I feel I've seen him make some changes in emphasis over the years, to shore up some of the aspects where control is difficult, but that could also just be my subjective experience of it. 

In the instructional world, Eddie Bravo probably deserves the credit for being first to show an entire series of minor control positions, and to make that the primary topic. His rubber guard laid a template for how to teach the entire path from major position to finish.  

John definitely deserves credit for the level of his teaching, and for putting his systems onto film in an organized and thorough fashion.  He is undeniably a major contributor.  But there are plenty of other folks (far beyond the couple I've mentioned here) who deserve a share of the credit for the state of leglocks today. 

9/26/20 8:40 PM
3/2/04
Posts: 505

With BJJ, I think it's often a little silly for one person to take credit for creating something, in terms of creating technique. People have been grappling since we evolved from apes thousands and thousands of years ago, so I'm pretty sure just about everything you can do in terms of manipulating two arms and two legs has been done. On a much less broad historical sweep, each individual is also going to take a lot from their training partners and indeed students: in Danaher's case, as far as I'm aware his leglock system benefitted a lot from people like Aaron Milam and Eddie Cummings. 

However, one person can certainly take credit for popularising and systematising techniques. So on that I think Danaher has a fair claim, same as Eddie Bravo can take the credit for making rubber guard popular and systematising it (even if he probably wasn't the inventor, given Nino Schembri and others). 

9/26/20 10:55 PM
6/2/05
Posts: 752

We always hear about Eddie being the true brains behind the DDS leg lock stuff, yet he never comes out to confirm that. I imagine because it’s either not true, or because he just doesn’t care. I guess history is always remembered by those who write it. 

9/26/20 10:57 PM
10/27/03
Posts: 26969
Balance -

From my perspective as an outsider, it seems fair for him to take credit for popularizing leglocks.

 

However when he says, "My whole thing was to change the nature of leglocking into a control based game" that sounds like it's coming straight from Sonnon's introduction to The Saddle. Hearing that Cummings studied Sonnon's instructionals and brought them to Renzo's, it seems like Danaher's taking credit for something he doesn't have a right to.

Wait is that true?  Per earlier post I watched Sonnon’s stuff when it first came out but I’d never heard it ended up at Renzo’s before

9/26/20 11:09 PM
3/15/15
Posts: 13795
vidavaletudo - 

In terms of "making a deep study" he's probably right. Roy Harrris and Stephen Kesting both had VHS tapes out showing half decent leglock mechanics by the mid 00s but I wasn't really aware of a systemised method out there before Danaher's / Cummings' stuff.

That said, of course, there is that infamous video of Frank Shamrock utilizing a very modern leglock game however long ago; however whatever system that was wasn't apparently codified and made available for study so make of that what you will

 

 


Roy Harris had an organized system of leglocks and entries, I think around 12-15 years ago, which he would teach at seminars. He was a huge advocate of them from at least late 1990s. He also actively taught wristlocks in the 1990s when people laughed at him because they felt they were to Aikido-like to consider in BJJ and he felt both wrist and leglocks were effective and people neglected particular joints on the body. He was ahead of his time in a few ways, these two are just examples.
9/27/20 12:09 AM
3/2/04
Posts: 506
HotSteppa -
vidavaletudo - 

In terms of "making a deep study" he's probably right. Roy Harrris and Stephen Kesting both had VHS tapes out showing half decent leglock mechanics by the mid 00s but I wasn't really aware of a systemised method out there before Danaher's / Cummings' stuff.

That said, of course, there is that infamous video of Frank Shamrock utilizing a very modern leglock game however long ago; however whatever system that was wasn't apparently codified and made available for study so make of that what you will

 

 


Roy Harris had an organized system of leglocks and entries, I think around 12-15 years ago, which he would teach at seminars. He was a huge advocate of them from at least late 1990s. He also actively taught wristlocks in the 1990s when people laughed at him because they felt they were to Aikido-like to consider in BJJ and he felt both wrist and leglocks were effective and people neglected particular joints on the body. He was ahead of his time in a few ways, these two are just examples.

Yeah, Harris was something of a pioneer in that regard for sure, at least in the context of US BJJ (though naturally he did a whole bunch of martial arts outside of BJJ). Hence why heel hooks pop up on his student Roy Dean's 'Blue Belt Requirements', which you wouldn't normally think of as an entry level technique. Unless you were Harris lineage (among other leg lock heavy lineages, or CACC and subwrestlers, I guess), like Dean is. 

9/27/20 1:51 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 2758
FingerorMoon -
Balance -

From my perspective as an outsider, it seems fair for him to take credit for popularizing leglocks.

 

However when he says, "My whole thing was to change the nature of leglocking into a control based game" that sounds like it's coming straight from Sonnon's introduction to The Saddle. Hearing that Cummings studied Sonnon's instructionals and brought them to Renzo's, it seems like Danaher's taking credit for something he doesn't have a right to.

Wait is that true?  Per earlier post I watched Sonnon’s stuff when it first came out but I’d never heard it ended up at Renzo’s before

I've read that Cummings took the Sonnon approach to Renzo's. I don't know if the people saying that were right or wrong, had first-hand information or heard rumors. Maybe other people will be able to confirm if it's true or definitively state that it's false and say how and why they know.

 

I do know that Sonnon talked about trying to develop a system of control to attack legs.

9/27/20 4:50 AM
3/2/04
Posts: 507

From what I gather, Aaron Milam was important too, he's just less well known than Cummings. E.g., this artice from a few years ago: 

From Straight Ankle Locks To Stardom: A Brief History Of The Danaher Death Squad


"Another one of Danaher’s black belts named Aaron Milam was a massive influence on Cummings (and, ultimately, many of today’s top leglockers). Described as “the most diverse and creative black belt under Danaher at the time”, he was able to both pass and play guard effectively in addition to expertly controlling and submitting his opponents.

But it was his leg locks that not only defined his game, but also became a base for many of today’s top leg lock experts (even if they don’t know it). Milam worked a lot of reaping positions that didn’t even have names at the time and put a lot of focus into mastering inside positioning with the lower body — a strategy that is now taught like leglocking 101 in many leglock-heavy academies."


I'm a bit biased on this, as I've trained with Aaron and think he is an incredible instructor, but it does feel like he doesn't get enough credit. Possibly also down to his personality, he's fairly quiet. 

9/27/20 5:25 AM
9/20/19
Posts: 4915
GB Dave Jr -

We always hear about Eddie being the true brains behind the DDS leg lock stuff, yet he never comes out to confirm that. I imagine because it’s either not true, or because he just doesn’t care. I guess history is always remembered by those who write it. 

Cummins is a very low key out of the spotlight guy and he doesn’t need to be on the bad side of retards like Gordon. 

9/27/20 9:41 AM
6/2/05
Posts: 753

Yea it would seem so, and good for him. His Digitsu seminar is pretty good, wish he would do more videos. 

9/27/20 1:19 PM
12/1/00
Posts: 17291

Cummings isn't very focal, but his old long time training partner Matt Kaplan is.

9/28/20 2:07 PM
11/10/05
Posts: 7481
Lot of good posts here... Sonnen had a good control system... guys like lister and cummings had an influence with him (along with others whose names I can't remember... blond guy). I think Danaher should get credit for popularizing it in helping to bring it back into the cycle of the mainstream.

Many people weren't familiar and there's been a pretty big adjustment period where it's not as dominant as it was when DDS first started tearing it up. Pretty similar to the berimbolo thing.

The sub only format really helped a lot too. Kind of took the position before submission thing out of the equation. I still think there's a ways to go to integrate the positional aspect better.
9/28/20 2:30 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 4360

How good were Imanari's leg locks by today's standards?

9/28/20 2:32 PM
11/10/05
Posts: 7482
Anek - 

How good were Imanari's leg locks by today's standards?


I don't think too good. Definitely for the time and the imanari roll was flashy and highlight worthy, but tonon didn't really have any trouble with him.