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John Danaher – A genius Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and combat sports coach

Who is John Danaher? Well he is a genius BJJ and combat sports coach, easily one of the best in the industry and right here at the MMAGateway we are going to be taking a closer look at some of the best coaches in the world over the next few months.

So John Danaher is a name you will have heard if you are familiar with the top MMA and Jiu-Jitsu coaches – then you will know that John is credited as being the head coach for the likes of: Georges St. Pierre, Gary Tonen, Gordon Ryan and Eddie Cummings among others at the “Danaher Death Squad”.

John Danaher is a BJJ black belt under Renzo Gracie as well as being an instructor at Renzo’s academy in New York City and he is seen by many in the grappling community as one of the best coaches in the world.

Watch this video of when Danaher was on the Joe Rogan podcast so you can get a real understanding of his mind for combat sports coaching –

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Wheres the guy from?

As you can tell from the above interview John Danaher is a very interesting character, with a wealth of life and martial arts knowledge – he was born in New Zealand in 1967 and didn’t actually start Jiu-Jitsu until very late in life around 28 years old.

At the same time he was working through grad school (later finishing a Masters Degree in Philosophy at Columbia University) as well as working part-time as a club bouncer, while lifting weights to stay fit weighing as much as 250 lbs for his first Jiu-Jitsu lesson.

As a Purple belt and after Matt Serra and Ricardo Almeida left his gym, that was Danaher began his coaching career always taking it incredibly seriously, being in the gym all the time in his schedule – as he kept improving Danaher received his black belt on the April 2nd, 2002 together with his friend and training partner Shawn Williams.

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Why is he so good?

Its his mind predominantly, many in the Jiu Jitsu communities around the world call him the encyclopedia of Jiu-Jitsu – his knowledge of Jiu-Jistu is unrivalled and his understanding of philosophy and psychology makes for such an amazing technical and mental coach for a fighter.

Many of the top coaches tend to have this well balanced blend of training support in my eyes, because as with other high level coaches in the word of MMA like: Firas Zahabi, Greg Jackson, Mike Winklejohn, Mark Henry, Duke Roufus etc. They all have a phenomenal mind for all aspects of combat sports preparation particularly from a technical and mental stand point – then all a fighter needs to do is get himself physically ready and the Martial artist has everything they need to succeed.

John is also known for being eccentric, fro instance he is rarely seen without a rash guard on – it has been said for instance that once he even went to Matt Serras wedding in a rash guard lol.

He also is a huge advocate of leg lock techniques, having an excellent system centred around getting a variety of leg locks from various positions and transitions in Jiu – Jitsu, which has caused a storm at the top level of Jiu-Jitsu because of his students effectiveness at locking in deep leg locks in high level BJJ tournaments.

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Know a quality coach from an average coach

When you are n athlete at any level of the game  – having the right coach can be the difference maker between your career going to the next level and always improving, or your skills and career plateauing/declining under a sub-standard coach.

John Danaher is an elite rare coach and if you are serious about your Jiu-Jitsu or MMA training then I highly suggest that you look into attending a seminar with Danaher and maybe getting the opportunity to train with the man himself or some of his top students.

Danaher is the type of coach that can make fight preparation so clinical, that majority of his students have such a slim chance of losing more often then not.

But that’s all for today, i hope you have enjoyed today’s post watch out for the next part in this top MMA coaches series – leave some comments and questions below and as always stay tuned for more from the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway.

Stay cool!

Marley Dawkins

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