Keenan Cornelius disputes ‘stealing a move’ from Danaher’s squad: Can you really own a move?

Keenan Cornelius is considered an American legend in jiu-jitsu. He was one of the top non-Brazilian competitors at a time when the sport was dominated by Brazilians. Keenan moved to train under Lloyd Irvin as a purple belt and soon emerged as a rising star. He won numerous major titles and gained a big following for his exciting style and outspoken personality. Though he has stepped back from competition recently, Keenan remains an influential figure.

“He was one of the fan favorites they turned, and I don’t think that’s settled too well. And so it’s kind of disappeared from public eye focus on his private life and running his business as a school to school through the successful 600 students.” – Craig Jones described Cornelius on the recent episode of the El Segundo podcast.

There Cornelius and Jones discussed various interesting topics in the BJJ community. Cornelius was close to joining the Danaher squad in lead up to ADCC 2019.

Keenan explained how after contracting an eye virus virus, he suddenly became alienated from Gordon Ryan and others at Danaher’s gym. He was accused of stealing moves and trying to get teammates banned from competitions.

“So I was like that was that. I thought it was very ironic that, like, he did such a switch on me because first it was like he like all stoked about me training there and then I get an I virus and then suddenly I’m their enemy. Mean that’s how I saw is like I came out of my eye virus and like now I’m like their enemy. I was like, what the f**k? Just happened? I kind of just stayed silent about it. And then I came back with the COVID thing is like I was like upset about past stuff and I said the COVID thing, but he was accusing me of stealing their moves at one point.”

Keenan and Craig discussed the vague notions of move ownership and origin in jiu-jitsu. Keenan said he researched and found you can’t truly own or originate a body movement or position.

“It turns out that there’s actually some like lawsuits that occurred where people tried to like claim yoga moves and the result was that you can’t own a move.” – Keenan told Craig.

“Like you can’t say I invented this particular body configuration, therefore no one else can do it. And well, I think it’s like obvious that, that, like, you just do to kind of be similar. That’s not the take. Most people have adopted.”

“I mean like what is like what does your even mean? Like it implies some sort of ownership of like a configuration of human bodies. That’s like saying you own a dance move. Like if you invent the robot, do you own the robot? And so I actually I’ve been really curious about this exact subject.”

The two also shaded Danaher’s system, having gotten large chunks from the Marcelo Garcia’s game.

Craig Jones stated:

“I mean, a lot of stuff Danaher teaches is Marcela Garcia’s game, you know, I.”

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