Recently the BJJ and MMA super coach – John Danaher, came to Sydney for the first time to run a few seminars. Credited for being the mastermind of UFC champions George St Pierre and Matt Weidman, as well as grappling phenoms Garry Tonon, Eddie Cummins and Gordon Ryan, I knew I couldn’t pass on an opportunity to have a private with John. A small group of my BJJ and MMA students Alex, Aaron and Edward (who are purple, blue and white belts respectively) also joined me for the private session. Our goal from the private was to ask John to provide us with the necessary tools to enable us to fish rather than having the fish handed to us. John did not disappoint – in that one private session, he gave us the full fishing tackle and showed us what to do with it.
Prior to the session, my students and I had to decide what we wanted from our session with John. We ended up asking him, “Given our diverse experience, what can we learn from you in this hour that we can then take away and practice on moving forward to improve our game?” The question was very vague and it was my intention to do so to allow as much creative direction for him to answer.
John chose to highlight to us the difference between positional control versus limb control. He explained that positional control is great for scoring points in a sporting scenario, but the ultimate goal in any grappling art such as BJJ or in an MMA bout, is to break our opponent’s will by making them submit rather than outscoring them. That is, in positional control, one is under no real threat or danger from being injured or hurt. But it is exactly these points which that are necessary in order to create fear and doubt in our opponent’s head to break their spirit. The concept of limb control does this brilliantly as it eliminates your opponent’s ability to move freely, which is the objective of positional control, and it adds the extra element of offence, allowing you to achieve the end goal faster – the submission!
In BJJ and to some extent MMA we are often told the cliché, “position before submission”. But with this new limb control approach you are almost doing both at the same time. John explained that the limbs of the human body work in unison, i.e. when your left arm is being attacked, you use your right arm to defend it; and that as much as 90% of all defences will come from the complimentary limb.
Once we understood the logic and mechanics of one’s reactions and defences, for the remainder of the private he addressed this problem by showing us the concept of ‘wedging’ to separate the opponent’s arms with your legs in order to isolate your opponents arm from one another to prevent them from escaping. We practised different ways to isolate limbs from different positions, with drills and sequences that would chain together into 3-5 hit combinations. John believed that 3-5 is the optimal number for efficiency, less than that and you are not diverse enough, but more than that and your submission attempts are too loose and not tight enough to get them earlier.
John Danaher’s trip to Sydney for me was a glimpse of his expertise to be able to institutionalize an art that had endless paths leading down a deep rabbit whole to a series of systems, theories and approaches. Overall I found his methodology and approach to coaching, MMA and BJJ refreshing, giving me a new sense of rejuvenation and excitement about another aspect of the art. I have always believed that it is so important to keep furthering your skills and having a passion for the pursuit of knowledge, because I believe that without this you will not have the chance to be humbled by how much more there is to learn out there.
Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.
"Attending a martial arts gym as an "older" novice student can be quite daunting. I found ICC had a very professional and welcoming atmosphere. Having attended other martial arts gyms over the years its great to attend one where ego is left at the door and all students are treated with respect, be it the novice who takes the plunge to learn a martial art all the way through to the high level competitors. In conjunction with the atmosphere having highly technical and detailed instruction by Professor David and Steven make learning really enjoyable. Fantastic place to learn and train."
"i just wanted to say how impressed i am with ICC. You guys run a great show. All your students are respectful and courteous. I am very impressed and pleased with the way Mario and his team run their classed He keeps the class engaged in a strict but fun way. Teaching techniques but also how to be a good person too. To have respect for others and yourself... keep up the great work. The kids are really benefiting from it."
"As someone who was completely new to BJJ, when I first entered ICC I discovered a gym with high quality teaching and a friendly culture. Every student was friendly, welcoming and helpful which is a reflection head instructors David and Steven Tong.At ICC you can train to suit your interests whether its for fun, fitness, self-defense or competition. My only regret is not starting sooner."
"I've trained with a few martial arts instructors before and i have to say Mario is one of the best i've trained with. He clearly knows what he's talking about and has a great teaching style that is both serious and light hearted at the same time, which was exactly what i was looking for in a club. In the adult classes they aren't too strict with the traditional rules (which is a nice change) and focus more on effective techniques. Ann-Marie and the rest of the black belts also help to make sure each individual is getting as much attention as possible in each class, which really helps to accelerate your learning.I did both karate and kickboxing and recommend both - karate for the the focus on technique/self defence and kickboxing for smashing pads and fitness. Also, both my kids also love training at ICC - it's really helping with their confidence.David and the entire ICC team also do a great job of managing the club. It's been an overwhelmingly positive experience from day 1."
"I am proud to be a part of this amazing martial arts center. The trainers truly understand every strength n weakness in student’s n always motivates to develop for the best."