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John Danaher’s Thoughts On Body Type & Jiu-Jitsu

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John Danaher’s Thoughts On Body Type & Jiu-Jitsu

 

There are three general categories of body types (somatotypes): ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Very few people fall perfectly into one of the three categories. People are often a mix of characteristics. Additionally, years of training and good nutrition can change the outward appearance of one’s body. For instance, a bodybuilder might be mistaken for a “natural” mesomorph when in fact, s/he is really an endomorph who’s trained and dieted hard; or an ectomorph who’s spent years guzzling protein shakes and doing the power lifts. An ectomorph who’s gained a little weight around the middle from a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition might assume they’re more endomorphic. You don’t want to make the mistake of being a natural middleweight fighting as muscled up heavyweight…

 

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John Danaher, BJJ black belt under Renzo Gracie, known as one of the best BJJ instructors in the world shares his thoughts on body types in Jiu-Jitsu.

The New Zealand born black belt has been praised by the BJJ community as being a master and brain of the art. Danaher is a highly intelligent individual, who has a Master degree in philosophy from Columbia University, and is totally focused on the evolution and improvement of Jiu-Jitsu. He is also the submission coach of none other than former UFC Welterweight Champion George Saint Pierre, Travis Stevens, Garry Tonon, Eddie Cummings and Gordon Ryan.
Danaher trains and teaches Jiu jitsu at Renzo Gracie’s Academy in New York.

Danaher’s thoughts:

“Body type and jiu jitsu: Very often people will ask me about the effects of body type on jiu jitsu. It appears that many people hold the belief that there is an optimum body type in jiu jitsu that confers advantage over other body types. Even a moments reflection will reveal that this is false. A look at the medal platform at the world championships will always show a wide variety of body types which are represented in no particular order of success.

If I ask you to name for me the five most successful jiu jitsu champions of all time, I guarantee your list will show big disparities in body type. There is no dominant body type on the medal stands.

There is however, a dominant body ETHOS. Champions always maximize their body’s ability to perform the skills of the sport.

Whilst there is no one body type that dominates the sport, there is a need on everyone’s part to maximize what you can do with your body that will improve your jiu jitsu performance.

 

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Everyone’s body has an optimal weight and conditioning that maximizes its performance for a given activity. It is your duty to find what that is for you and to maintain yourself close to that ideal (getting closer if competition is near). Thus any body type can win a world championship, but only one way of maintaining that body of yours will maximize your ability to perform the skills you hope to win that championship with.

Here are three EBI champions. All three are very different somatotypes- Garry Tonon is a classic mesomorph. Gordon Ryan an ectomorph and Eddie Cummings an endomorph masquerading as a mesomorph. Yet all three have found a way to maximize their very different bodies to perform the skills they needed to win. Thus any body type can win a world championship, but only one way of maintaining it will maximize your chances of doing so.”

 

Body type and jiu jitsu: Very often people will ask me about the effects of body type on jiu jitsu. It appears that many people hold the belief that there is an optimum body type in jiu jitsu that confers advantage over other body types. Even a moments reflection will reveal that this is false. A look at the medal platform at the world championships will always show a wide variety of body types which are represented in no particular order of success. If I ask you to name for me the five most successful jiu jitsu champions of all time, I guarantee your list will show big disparities in body type. There is no dominant body type on the medal stands. There is however, a dominant body ETHOS. Champions always maximize the ability of whatever body they have been born with to perform the skills of the sport. Whilst there is no one body type that dominates the sport, there is a need on everyone’s part to maximize what you can do with your body that will improve your jiu jitsu performance. Everyone’s body has an optimal weight and conditioning that maximizes its performance for a given activity. It is your duty to find what that is for you and to maintain yourself close to that ideal (getting closer if competition is near). Thus any body type can win a world championship, but only one way of maintaining that body of yours will maximize your ability to perform the skills you hope to win that championship with. Here are three EBI champions. All three are very different somatotypes- Garry Tonon is a classic mesomorph. Gordon Ryan an ectomorph and Eddie Cummings an endomorph masquerading as a mesomorph. Yet all three have found a way to maximize their very different bodies to perform the skills they needed to win. Thus any body type can win a world championship, but only one way of maintaining it will maximize your chances of doing so.

A photo posted by John Danaher (@danaherjohn) on