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.
"I had heard about ICC through a friend who had been training there so I decided to visit for a training session. The head instructors, David and Steven were friendly and knowledgeable and the community was beyond welcoming. It definitely won't be the last time I'm visiting! I would highly recommend ICC for those interested in getting started on the journeys!OSS!"
"Stopped by for a visit, everyone was friendly and welcoming. David and Steven are both excellent instructors taking the time to share finer details. Would highly recommend for those looking to try something new or those who already have some experience in martial arts."
"it’s a really nicely fitted out gym. The instructors are great and the atmosphere is very friendly. Amazing place to train!"
"Great place for training martial arts! Everyone is super friendly and just like a big family, plus there's heaps of events on. 10/10 recommend!"
"Joined this gym a couple of years ago and little did I know it would be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can honestly vouch for the kind and supportive nature of the ICC team and family on and off the Matt’s.
I’ve progressed from not knowing a thing about Brazilian jiu jitsu and feeling unsure about joining up to recently entering grappling industries under the guidance of coaches David and Steven coming out winning 2 golds and a Silver medal having 15 fights on the day.
There is not a day I can think of where training has been unenjoyable. Rolls are always fun and challenging and improvement is always recognised and commended by all. Some of the best tips and advice I’ve been given in the gym have been from other students themselves.
All in all I highly recommend ICC to men, women, boys and girls of all ages whether it be you’re looking for a way to get in shape or the ability to protect yourself ICC is the place to be. And if you’re unsure like I was take the leap and give it your all I promise you won’t be disappointed.- Arthur Flevaris"