John Danaher: “The Goal Isn’t To Win In The Gym – But To Risk & Experiment”

John Danaher: “The Goal Isn’t To Win In The Gym – But To Risk & Experiment”

A lot of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students make the mistake of turning their training partners into opponents when it comes time to roll. That is, they turn their gym into a competition place, where they go for the win in every single roll.
This isn’t a good tactic. It will make you afraid to try new things out, to experiment; and, therefore, it will hinder your progress.

John Danaher, as one of the most elite instructors in the world, knows that all too well. Here’s what he had to say in a recent Instagram post:

The more risks you take in the gym – the less risk you’ll have to take when it counts: It’s natural to want to play a conservative, low risk game in the gym sometimes. Our training partners are often very tough and skilled.
This will make you want to play a low risk game centered around your best moves and staying away from your partners best weapons. By staying in that comfort zone however, you limit your exposure to new techniques and new situations.

Competition has a way of putting you in situations you didn’t count on happening and exposing you to attacks you aren’t used to defending. This is a consequence of the fact that in competition you will face opponents you know nothing about and who come from a totally different coaching program which may emphasize very different aspects of the sport in ways very different from what you do.

Learn to really USE the gym environment to make yourself better. The gym is a place to TAKE RISKS AND EXPERIMENT – not a place to win at all costs – that’s what competition is for.


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A post shared by John Danaher (@danaherjohn)

You now know what to do… The next time you roll, try out some new things. Risk and experiment. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, because the only time it really matters is in competition.