Performing Chess Under Extreme Stress with John Danaher
Few instructors have spent the amount of time studying jiu-jitsu that John Danaher has. For years he’s immersed himself daily for countless hours, absorbing, learning, teaching, innovating, and creating. His students have become some of the finest grappler’s in the world, and with the release of his new “Enter the System” series, it seems that he’s cementing his place in BJJ history. The ETS contains some of the most comprehensive and forward-thinking content ever released, and there’s more to come. This instructional series has already made a massive impact on the BJJ community. Since the release of his first instructional on leg attacks, Danaher’s approach has triggered light bulb moments for BJJ players all over the spectrum.
In the beginning of this interview Danaher likens BJJ as many do to chess.
Chess is one of the most common analogies whenever BJJ comes up in conversation. Especially when you’re attempting to explain it to a non-practicing person. Its true, BJJ is in many ways like chess, but with a physical element, and the stress of combat. How good is your ability to make decisions while under extreme duress? Chances are if you’ve been practicing BJJ for a little while it is getting better. I find this to be incredibly beneficial in all aspects of life.
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Sure, we’ll continue to become more proficient at performing under stress over the duration of our BJJ careers. But, are you impeding the process? How well do you understand the mechanics of the techniques you’re trying to apply? This is where I feel Danaher has really shone a light. The finer details, and the mechanical properties of his technique set him apart from the rest. I can’t tell you how many times since the release of Danaher’s content I’ve sat in front of my computer, absolutely blown away by a tiny detail that’s been absent from my training for years. What even better, is that some of these things, I would literally add to my game instantly and use them the very same night with success. Let’s take a look at an example.
Give this video a watch. Danaher discusses some key points on back control. Can you pick up anything you’ve been missing?
Most of us know what a seatbelt grip is, but what about the science of using it? Do you haphazardly just lop your arms around your partner’s body, or do you consider the position of your elbows? One of the most critical factors in maintaining the back position is stopping the turning of your opponent’s body. If you permit them to rotate left or right, it could be the beginning of the end. Danaher mentions the common misconception of the hands performing the task of controlling. Control is made possible by the elbows, with the assistance of the hands. With an elbow behind and an elbow in front of our partner we can effectively stop rotation.
Going further, Danaher delves into the concept of diagonal control. When we add the legs into a back scenario, we must at minimum have control over two sides of our opponent’s body. These two points of control must be on opposite sides to prevent left and right rotation.
So how can we become more proficient at performing chess under extreme stress? Pay attention to the finer details, and strive for more efficiency, with less wasted movement. This back-control concept is just one example of many game changing details. John Danaher has packed his instructional series with hundreds of concepts that will help you add true value to your game. Don’t miss out!
John Danaher is widely regarded as one of the most sought after minds Jiu-Jitsu. If you have a question, he has an ANSWER!