David Jacobs' BJJGround Will John Danaher go down in history?

Edited: 9/25/20 5:19 PM
2/15/14
Posts: 979
joe canada - What strikes me as the most revolutionary of John's history to date is that he still flies the Renzo flag.

He didn't start his own team.

He didn't fabricate a beef with Renzo.

They didn't have money issues (or at least such issues as would have prevented them from working together).

He still refers to Renzo as his instructor.

Compare that to every other successful instructor of a successful team out there.

John's an outlier.

Fabio Gurgel is still Alliance, with his same original instructor 

Mendes Brothers are still on good terms with their instructor who gave them their BB, but just jumped affiliations when their instrcutor did

 

If Danaher left Renzo, his relevancy and popularity would not receive as much support as it would if he were connected to Renzo. He probably is paid well and loves Renzo as a friend

I've met and trained with John on a few occasion and regardless what people say about him being odd, he's a good likeable guy

9/25/20 5:25 PM
8/28/10
Posts: 13812
mideastgrappler -
joe canada - What strikes me as the most revolutionary of John's history to date is that he still flies the Renzo flag.

He didn't start his own team.

He didn't fabricate a beef with Renzo.

They didn't have money issues (or at least such issues as would have prevented them from working together).

He still refers to Renzo as his instructor.

Compare that to every other successful instructor of a successful team out there.

John's an outlier.

Fabio Gurgel is still Alliance, with his same original instructor 

Mendes Brothers are still on good terms with their instructor who gave them their BB, but just jumped affiliations when their instrcutor did

 

If Danaher left Renzo, his relevancy and popularity would not receive as much support as it would if he were connected to Renzo. He probably is paid well and loves Renzo as a friend

I've met and trained with John on a few occasion and regardless what people say about him being odd, he's a good likeable guy

The real reason he hasn't left is that Renzo has hidden security footage of John killing and eating prostitutes in the gym in the middle of the night and has told him if he leaves he's releasing it to the world

9/25/20 9:56 PM
12/21/04
Posts: 2209
joe canada - 

What strikes me as the most revolutionary of John's history to date is that he still flies the Renzo flag.

He didn't start his own team.

He didn't fabricate a beef with Renzo.

They didn't have money issues (or at least such issues as would have prevented them from working together).

He still refers to Renzo as his instructor.

Compare that to every other successful instructor of a successful team out there.

John's an outlier.


The majority of Carlson Gracie black belts remain loyal to the Carlson Gracie Team. Carlson promoted over 100 black belts and only a small fraction were expelled and/or left during the BTT split. Even those who left retained the upmost respect for Carlson and some even rejoined Carlson Gracie Team after his passing.    

25 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 2636

major catalyst of "American jiu-jitsu" and opening the mind of other arts to make a more complete package outside of the rule set

18 days ago
9/7/17
Posts: 674
kying418 - 

I like John, but he aside from Gordon, he doesn't have another no gi World Champion in his stable- and he's been teaching since 2000.

I agree that the leg lock stuff is amazing, but some people have even mentioned that Eddie Cummings had an equal part (if not more) in developing it at Renzo's- and even with the leg locks, as already mentioned, only Gordon has been world champ.

 

Heck, you could argue that Andre has been a more successful no gi coach than John- he's taught for less time, and has had more ADCC champs (I'm not including Fabio Gurgel who has had more, but has been teaching longer)


Some of this may be due to marketing and perception (or maybe not) but at this point Danaher's influence goes beyond however many champs he will or won't produce. If Danaher never produces a single new ADCC medalist I think he's one of the most influential figures in the internet/modern era of the sport.

Some people may think he invented fire. Some may think he reinvented the wheel. Some may think he didn't do anything at all.

No matter what old-timers think on either side of the argument there is no denying that is has influenced countless up and comers and lower belts. Every other blue belt that does even a little bit of no gi thinks he's a genius. And many of these blue belts are going to become black belts. And they're going to thank Danaher for a lot of their skill development.

Perception is reality and this is some basic arithmetic. When the new generation today become veterans they are going to hold Danaher in very high regard and pass that down as gospel to the generation after them.
18 days ago
9/7/17
Posts: 675
mideastgrappler - 
Animal Mother -
kying418 -
Animal Mother - 

John does not have as many champs, but there is no question the basement has had a bigger impact on bjj in the last decade than any other gym. 


It could be argued that Marcelo has had a bigger impact in the last decade- since a lot of the DDS guard work, grips, and back attacks initially came from him.

Additionally, in this decade- as a coach and competitor, Marcelo has won ADCC, coached/taught Matheus to ADCC win, and coached/taught Bernardo Faria to a world title and absolute title (gi), and Dominyka Obelenyte to a world title and absolute title (gi).

Andre and Atos has had similar achievements in bjj in the past decade (if not more achievements)- it can be argued that they have also made a bigger impact than the DDS squad.
 

You can definitely make an argument for Marcelo, but you cannot make that same argument for Andre or Atos imo. 

Marcelo hands on goes down in history as making the biggest revolutions in the sport

 

Andre & Atos come to a close second by revolutionizing the berimbolo, 50/50, and leg drag game. However, Leo Vieira/Terere mainly started the leg drag revolution, and the berimbolo, 50/50 game was mostly introduced by Bruno Frazatto, and then Galvao and the rest innovated the crab ride/back attacking game. Watch how the Atos guys take the back in recent competition and it is by far an improved version of what we saw just 2-3 years ago. I did not point out Rafa as a pioneer of the berimbolo & 50/50 as he made it popular in competition, but Bruno Frazatto paved the way for him with those techniques and Rafa will admit to it.  However, he took the game further and added his own innovations into it that he should get credit for it today.  But, Atos did this as a team and brought things along slowly through the years. Funny thing is the Bruno Frazatto vs Cobrinha rivalry which turned into the Rafa Mendes vs Cobrinha rivalry paved the way for a lot of the modern game you see nowadays in terms of strategy and tactics that required these techniques.

 

Marcelo still outdoes them in this department. Don't even get me started on Marcelo and his total BJJ revolution with his seatbelt. Nobody, I mean nobody refined the back game like Marcelo introducing the seatbelt + handfighting in competiton to setup the RNC. We know the seatbelt from the back as a fundamental technique/position today, but back in pre-2003 era, that was not the case. In fact the seatbelt didn't catch on until almost 2007/2008 as social media and youtube were not around to contribute to the rapid spread in technique information. Marcelo popularized the seatbelt in his use of it and tuaght it as a superior control & attack position. Take it for granted today, but I shit you not in the era of 2004 and prior years, the priamry form of back control taught was double unders, which meant the RNC was more than a step away due to the hand positioning. ANd this was quite universal, as quality black belts like Mario SPerry and ROger Gracie were still teaching this stuff during that time.

 

Marcelo wasw the first to vocally pronounce the seatbelt as superior control and proved it in comeptiton against the best right off the bat. Others studied his matches and intensely and mirrored him and taught their students the same. Marc Laimon was one of the frist to follow suit and taught Marcelo's seatbelt system in seminars as he traveled.

 

Now explain to me how in any way does Danaher totally ripping off Marcelo's (butterfly+1legX+arm drag+back attacks+front headlock) game and adding Eddie's leglocks to call a system his own >>>> Marcelo's or Atos's contrubutions to the grappling world.    

 

For anyone saying Gordan would defeat Marcelo today, they're probably right. And that's no shame to Marcelo, who peaked in his prime around 2003-2008, making his debut nearly 17 years before Gordan reached his prime. I sure damn hope Gordan would defeat Marcelo if they ever faced off in the near future because if he didn't, that would be sad because that means the sport and it's competitors didn't evolve and improve over time using the previous generation's achievements and discoveries 


Great post and good history. I also think the early Rafa, Gui, Andre, and the early Atos team deserve some no gi credit for the now common rolling kimuras and rolling head and arm choke games.

Andre Galvao wasn't the first person to use a rolling kimura to the back but he was the first major name person to use it on another major name person (Rodolfo Vieira) in a major name event (ADCC Trials) and have it look textbook beautiful in the process.

Rafa really blew a lot of minds with the rolling head and arm stuff at his ADCC debut. I don't know if that was his own idea or what. Matter fact Calasans always did a lot of rolling guillotines himself. Rafa also was fantastic at the kidd of the dragon reverse Delariva inversions and helped put those on the map. In his first ADCC he did a lot of those inversions to the rear calf slicer position which funny enough is very similar to the K-guard to backside 50/50 game that Lachlan Giles just used last ADCC to get absolute bronze.
18 days ago
9/7/17
Posts: 676
liquidrob - At this point though, in BJJ history Danaher and DDS are/will be seen as pioneers most likely, I would agree, but alot of things came before that it just all came together for Danaher and DDS at the right time, sub only format, EBIs, Gordon being Gordon, social media, the instructional market, etc...

Like I said, I am a fan of what he does, but a lot of statements made by Danaher and new people saying the same things are somewhat overblown at this point

Yeah I'm starting to also get the perception that a lot of stuff pre-youtube era will be sadly overlooked. There are things that were considered brand new when I started training in the 00's (that probably even then were seen as repackaged buy the veterans then) that I'm seeing right now repackaged and sold as new.

I'm seeing the high elbow guillotine for example sold as sort of a new thing. And if you tell someone it's not super new they'll say that the new way of doing it is new with the high wrist position at what not. Fair enough. Because that definitely wasn't as common as the way people used to do it but even still you can see Bas Rutten doing more of the new school style high elbow guillotine back in Pancrase.

I've seen the step-over/mounted D'Arce choke presented as a DDS innovation and I remember working on that after seeing it used in old Cobrinha, Ryan Hall, and Lovato Jr matches.

When the "kimura trap" term came about in the 2010's it was a kind of rebranding of old stuff that Sakuraba (and I'm guessing others) was doing in the 90's and 00's. And right now there are people that think of kimura grip style attacks (rolling kimuras, kimuras to various armbars and various triangles) as a very new/current thing.

I think that Danaher and his team have been able to refine and polish some existing techniques, systematize them, and link them together with each other. It's a huge contribution and at the same time I think a lot of new grapplers think all of the individual components are brand new too.
17 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9266

I am surprised a lot of you sport fans don't give more credit to Cobrinha. I am not as knowledgeable about the sport as some of you are but from what I remember it seemed to me like he was kinda the start to a more modern game. 

17 days ago
9/7/17
Posts: 677
Calhoon - 

I am surprised a lot of you sport fans don't give more credit to Cobrinha. I am not as knowledgeable about the sport as some of you are but from what I remember it seemed to me like he was kinda the start to a more modern game. 


Cobrinha added a ton. I think he maybe doesn't get as much credit as he should for a few reasons.

1. There are very few interviews of him and very few instructionals compared to many of his peers.

2. Most of his Mundials titles were before the youtube era.

3. A lot of his innovations were sort of similar to some other innovations.

4. Rafa got more titles while happening to be younger and putting himself out there more. I think that ended up unfortunately eclipsing a lot of the credit that Cobrinha should get.

Cobrinha did a lot of things I saw before anyone else though.
14 days ago
3/10/11
Posts: 209

I have watched tens of BJJ instructionals in my time. Johns instructionals are incredible.

I believe John will go down in history for the work he has done.

14 days ago
10/28/08
Posts: 2001
SportScience -

I have watched tens of BJJ instructionals in my time. Johns instructionals are incredible.

I believe John will go down in history for the work he has done.

Hi John!

 

I, literally, can't watch them.  I'm sure there is some useful information in there.  But I just can't.

Edited: 13 days ago
2/25/20
Posts: 6
SportScience -

I have watched tens of BJJ instructionals in my time. Johns instructionals are incredible.

I believe John will go down in history for the work he has done.

I 100% agree for his nogi instructionals. He's done a truly great job of explaining and systemising a bunch of positions. This may sound controversial but I think that generally his gi instructionals aren't particularly great. There's nothing wrong with them, but I didn't feel like I broke as much of a knowledge barrier compared to his leglock and back attack instructionals. In fact, I would recommend some other instructionals over John's pin escapes - Xande's diamond defense comes to mind.

13 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9290

I agree that Xandes diamond defense is excellent material

 

13 days ago
3/10/11
Posts: 212
Setree -
SportScience -

I have watched tens of BJJ instructionals in my time. Johns instructionals are incredible.

I believe John will go down in history for the work he has done.

Hi John!

 

I, literally, can't watch them.  I'm sure there is some useful information in there.  But I just can't.

I totally hear you, there are a couple of guys at my gym that can't watch his stuff.

The DVDs that changed my game were:
-Armbars
-Front Headlocks
-Locklocks
-Back Attacks

All four are in my opinion the best ways to teach Jiu Jitsu and those positions, that I have found. The way he explains things is just perfect for new learners. He breaks it down the way an actual university teacher would break down a topic.

We all stand on the shoulders of giants. It will be very interesting to see what the next batch of black belts take from Johns ideas and create for the future of instructionals.

13 days ago
3/10/11
Posts: 213
shootbjj -
SportScience -

I have watched tens of BJJ instructionals in my time. Johns instructionals are incredible.

I believe John will go down in history for the work he has done.

I 100% agree for his nogi instructionals. He's done a truly great job of explaining and systemising a bunch of positions. This may sound controversial but I think that generally his gi instructionals aren't particularly great. There's nothing wrong with them, but I didn't feel like I broke as much of a knowledge barrier compared to his leglock and back attack instructionals. In fact, I would recommend some other instructionals over John's pin escapes - Xande's diamond defense comes to mind.

Ill have to check that out. Yeah I watched his escapes instructionals and can't remember as much from it as say the Armbars videos or the Front Headlocks videos.