John Danaher Explains Why He Has A Name For Every Move In Grappling

John Danaher Explains Why He Has A Name For Every Move In Grappling

John Danaher is one of the greatest BJJ coaches of all time… And one of the many things he’s known for is that he has a name for every single technique and position.

Why is this so? Danaher begins his explanation by sharing an alternative outlook on the “position before submission” adage:

There are many ways to control someone.

Positional control is one form of control. It’s arguably the most important form, but it’s one of many forms of control. It’s control through balance or Kuzushi… There’s grip control, reaction speed control, there’s many forms of control.
And I believe it’s more accurate to talk about control leading to submission rather than just position.

Some people don’t rely on position at all, just different forms of control.

So, whenever I talk, you don’t hear me talking much about position before submission. That is an important concept to teach a beginner. But there’s deeper concepts people can learn than that.

Yeah, you want to be precise with your language.

That is, it’s important to be precise with what you’re talking about. Danaher gives a fun real-life example:

You know, I’ve always found in life that the more precise you are with your descriptions, the more precise you’ll be with your movements. You see this in every aspect of life.

Imagine you and I were fixing a car engine. And I’m, like: “Hand me the cylindrical thing with the white top and the grey bottom with the white sticking out of it.”
And you’re, like, looking around for the white cylindrical thing with the wires.

What if I could have said: “Hey man, pass me the spark plug.” Now you know exactly what I mean.

It’s the same thing in grappling. If you know the name of what you’re looking for, you’ll be much more efficient with it:

And so precision in language, a precise terminology, enables you to operate more efficiently. And that’s how you have to be with your grappling.

That’s why I always insist on nomenclature… My students speak a language so that I can communicate very quickly to them.