If you want to become great at something, then you’ve got to have the endurance. “Endurance” in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu means to keep going despite the hard training sessions, the inevitable periods of mental hardships – the ups and many lows… As well as the injuries and the question: “Why am I doing this to myself?”
However, all of these questions can be answered much more easily if you have one crucial component to your BJJ journey. A passion towards the sport.
Arguably one of the greatest BJJ instructors of all time, John Danaher, explained why it’s important to have passion for the Gentle Art; as well as the “type” of students he enjoys teaching most:
A coach has to be able to work with whoever is in front of him and create improvement. I’m happy teaching pretty much anyone; but, probably, my two favorite coaching situations are polar opposites of each other. I love to teach the fundamentals of the sport to total beginners, and I love to teach advanced athletes the nuances that can take them from good to great.
Interestingly, the best students must bring to me the one thing I can never give to them – passion for Jiu-Jitsu. That must come from within them. If it’s there, they can do incredible things over time. And if it is not, then no amount of coaching will help them.
I should add at this point that, throughout my career, I have been blessed with many truly outstanding students who made my task a real pleasure. All were deeply passionate about the sport and technical innovators and extraordinarily hard workers.
You must remember that I never competed in Jiu-Jitsu. And so have no achievements of my own – I owe everything to my students.
You may read the rest of the BJJEE interview with John Danaher here: