John Danaher has etched his name as a visionary in the sport, nurturing top-tier talents for over 5 years. His groundbreaking approach to leg locks has reshaped the understanding of lower-body submissions in BJJ, leaving an indelible mark on the discipline.
The New Zealand native currently holds the position of head coach for Gordon Ryan, widely regarded as the greatest No-Gi BJJ practitioner of all time. Moreover, Danaher’s tutelage has extended to MMA icon Georges St-Pierre, solidifying his influence across both realms.
Gunnar Nelson, a seasoned UFC welterweight veteran, has had the privilege of training under John Danaher’s guidance on numerous occasions. During his recent appearance on the El Segundo Podcast, hosted by BJJ luminary Craig Jones, Nelson recounted an astonishing incident where Danaher showcased his expertise by breaking an individual’s arm during a private lesson. Nelson revealed:
“In the beginning, [John Danaher] was attempting to teach him a technique, but you could sense that the person was eager to engage with [Danaher] physically. He was keen on rolling, while John was focused on imparting knowledge. Eventually, they began to spar, and at one point, the person caught [Danaher] in a front headlock and initiated a sprawl. In response, John extricated himself from the situation, transitioned into a guard position, executed a pitstop, and just [snap]!” The subsequent course of events highlighted the detachment with which Danaher handled the situation:
“After breaking the arm, he executed a smooth back roll, without even casting a glance at the individual. He simply turned and walked away into his office. Meanwhile, the person was left exclaiming, ‘Ahhhh! He fractured my arm!'” Watch the video below from 22:15:
In an unrelated yet intriguing development, entrepreneur Elon Musk and tech magnate Mark Zuckerberg ignited the combat sports realm with talks of an MMA-sanctioned encounter. While Zuckerberg boasts considerable skill in BJJ and MMA, Musk has sought guidance from John Danaher and Georges St-Pierre to bridge the expertise gap.
The training session also featured engineer and podcaster Lex Fridman, who shared his experience on Instagram, remarking, “Had a phenomenal training session last night with Elon Musk, @georgesstpierre, and @danaherjohn. Every aspect of this encounter was nothing short of extraordinary.”
As the fabric of martial arts weaves together tales of expertise and dedication, the narrative of John Danaher’s prowess, as narrated by Gunnar Nelson, reiterates the essence of skill and discipline in combat sports.