John Danaher is arguably one of the most influential BJJ coaches of his generation. Danaher is a Renzo Gracie black belt and coach at Renzo Gracie Academy, although he recently announced he was moving to Puerto Rico and starting a new gym with some of his top students.

John Danaher

Danaher is known for his in-depth analytical approach to Jiu Jitsu, probably influenced by his background in philosophy, including a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in the subject. Danaher is incredibly famous for his ‘Leglocks: Enter the System’ Instructional Videos, which spawned an entire ‘Enter the System’ instructional series covering many other positions and submissions in BJJ.

Renzo Gracie 1990sDanaher began training under Renzo Gracie in the 1990s alongside other martial arts legends such as Rodrigo Gracie, Ricardo Almeida, and Matt Serra. Danaher was born with deformed patellas, and was exceptionally prone to knee injuries, which limited his career as a competitor. Danaher ultimately received hip replacement in 2015, after dealing with a chain of knee and hip issues.

Danaher has primarily made a name for himself as a legendary coach to some of the best competitors in BJJ, particularly in NOGI, sub-only matches. 

His top students include legends such as Garry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, and Eddie Cummings among others. Often referred to as the “Danaher Death Squad,” Danaher’s students are known for having incredible leg lock abilities, alongside well-rounded grappling overall.

John DanaherAlongside his deeply analytical approach to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Danaher is known for his quick wit and no-punches-pulled critiques of other’s skill. Clips of him insulting other practitioners with dry, merciless humor have gone viral.

As mentioned, Danaher was a head coach at Renzo Gracie New York, but will be moving to Puerto Rico with top students Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon, among others, in March 2021 to start a gym there.

Overall, John Danaher stands tall among other legends in Jiu Jitsu known for dramatically influencing the direction and entire culture of the sport and martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

March 02, 2021