John Danaher is the most known about and, arguably, the most knowledgeable BJJ Professor today. The successes of his students are the testament to his success as a coach; whereas his mind-blowing level of details on instructional videos and Youtube is a gift to every Jiujiteiro that wants to get better – and proof of his genius.
More than anything else, it’s his analytical approach to BJJ that differentiates him from so many other instructors, and that makes him so successful in what he does.
So what can you learn from John Danaher’s analytical approach… And then apply to your Jiu Jitsu?
1) DON’T BOTHER WITH SURFACE ISSUES, BUT TACKLE UNDERLYING PROBLEMS
One of the things that enable John Danaher to provide such great feedback to his students and viewers alike is his ability to tackle the underlying problem, instead of bothering with the surface issues. That is, it seems that he is extraordinarily capable of identifying what truly makes a technique work or fail.
He doesn’t just focus on one move of the technique at a time but looks at the whole movement; and how the individual moves, that make up this movement, work together.
What this means for you is: the next time you’re thinking about why you failed at a technique, don’t place all of your focus on one or two aspects of it. Instead, look at the entire movement that’s required to carry out the technique – and look for problems within it as a whole.
For, once you figure out the true problem that underlies it, you’ll be able to transfer the lesson to other, similar movements later on.
2) FOCUS ON CONCEPTS A BIT MORE
What you’ll find, upon analyzing your problems through the approach stated above, is that a lot of them aren’t due to your „technique“ being wrong; but due to lack of understanding of concepts that make it work.
Professor Danaher understands the importance of concepts very well. Pay attention to his Facebook feed: how often have you seen him post about details that make a technique work… And how often does he post about concepts that underlay multiple techniques and that can be used all across the BJJ chessboard?
You should start focusing on concepts more, at least more than you did in the past. It’ll open up doors for improvement.
3) TO BE LIKE DANAHER – EXCEPTIONAL AT SOMETHING – YOU SHOULD DEDICATE TO IT FULLY
Professor Danaher’s knowledge and success did not come to him overnight. He has been training BJJ since 1995 and has dedicated much of his time to the sport afterward. Fast-forward to today, it’s obvious that his achievements as a coach come from spending NUMEROUS hours on the mats; of rolling, watching other people train, analyzing his own and the game of others, coaching his students, and constantly looking for ways to improve his coaching skills.
In other words, if you want to become exceptional at something (perhaps in BJJ, too) like Professor Danaher is, realize that it’ll take a lot of time and effort for you to get there. It will need your full dedication.
4) PICK UP ACTIVITIES THAT ENGAGE YOUR MIND
Professor Danaher holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy; the understanding of which helps him look at and explain techniques, setups, and concepts more clearly.
You don’t have to study Philosophy as he did (although it would certainly help in more ways than one), but remember that BJJ is a thought-intensive sport. Therefore, picking up activities that will exercise your mind, and help you become as mentally sharp as possible, will assist you greatly in your growth as a Jiujiteiro.