Jiu-Jitsu Coach John Danaher Learnt from the Best

“Brazilian jiu-jitsu has been compared to chess, philosophy, even psychoanalysis. But its real appeal is on the mat,” Stephanie Hayes writes for The Atlantic in a story about influential mixed martial arts artist Royce Gracie’s impact on the sport, with mention of New Zealander John Danaher, 54, an instructor at Gracie’s academy in Austin, Texas.

“Brains-over-brawn emphasis is a large part of the appeal for someone like me,” Hayes writes.

“Take John Danaher, a monklike New Zealander who got his first taste of jiu-jitsu as a graduate student studying epistemology at Columbia University; a guy half his size challenged him to a fight (in the philosophy-department office) and wore him out in minutes. Danaher started training, and eventually abandoned his pursuit of a doctorate to teach at the Renzo Gracie Academy in Manhattan, where he helped revolutionise the way grapplers think about leg attacks.

“Jiu-jitsu ‘doesn’t make you good, it doesn’t make you bad. It will just reinforce what you already are,’ [Danaher] told The New Yorker.

Original article by Stephanie Hayes, The Atlantic, November 19, 2021.


Tags: Atlantic (The)  Jiu-Jitsu  John Danaher  

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