You’ve either been living under a rock or just had your first class if you haven’t heard of Professor John Danaher. Professor Danaher is one of today’s best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors, arguably the best ever. Evidence of this comes from the success of many of his students including Garry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, and Nicky Ryan.
There is a lot of things that make John Danaher a great instructor. First, he approaches Jiu Jitsu with the mindset of systems utilization. Rather than focus on individual positions and attacks, he designs systems so that many different techniques become part of a greater, more complex map. John Danaher also breaks down the techniques we use much better than everything else.
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In this article, we will examine John Danaher’s approach to the triangle choke and closed guard armbar. Rather than looking at new techniques or set ups, we will see how Professor Danaher does things differently and learn some tips that we can all utilize.
One of my top submissions is the triangle choke. Although I didn’t get good at the triangle till later, it has proven to be one of my most effective submissions mainly due to the fact that I have long legs. Because of this, I can attack the triangle choke from just about any guard.
Even after developing a rather masterful triangle, there are still many circumstances where I face difficulties finishing it. I always assumed it was inevitable due to the fact that I have weak legs. It turns out that wasn’t the problem at all, it was just a mechanical error that could easily be fixed.
In the following video, Professor Danaher will discuss triangle choke mechanics and give us tips for how to improve this simple submission. These tips will work for everyone, regardless of size or skill level. See below:
In order to have a great triangle, the attacker needs to be able to get the appropriate angle so as to apply the necessary pressure to squeeze the carotid arteries. For grapplers with short legs, it can be difficult to cut the angle. This leads many of these grapplers to abandon the triangle. In the next video, Professor Danaher gives us tips on how to improve this.
John Danaher’s triangle advice illustrates that body size and strength have little bearing on how effective a certain technique can be. By emphasizing the importance of biomechanics, John Danaher can transform these submissions so that they actually become easy to attack and finish.
Closed Guard Armbar
If you asked someone what the simplest submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are, you’ll probably hear the closed guard arm bar come up. I don’t disagree, when compared to a lot of other submissions, the arm bar is easy to attack. Even though the closed guard arm bar is easy to attack, it’s one of the most difficult to finish. This leads the armbar to be one of the most underutilized submissions in Jiu Jitsu.
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The closed guard arm bar isn’t difficult because it is inherently a difficult submission. The difficulties of the closed guard arm bar come from the fact that every grappler knows it and knows when someone is trying to set it up. The other problem is that the simple set up we learned as white belts doesn’t apply at higher levels.
The most common defenses a grappler can utilize when defending the arm bar are stacking and pulling the arm out. When stacking against an armbar, the defender will be trying to position their head over the guard player’s head. When being stacked, it becomes very difficult to place enough pressure to get a tap from the defender.
In order to pull the arm being attacked out, the defender needs to posture, similar to when one should when being attacked with the triangle. In a slippery situation, pulling the arm out can be relatively easy.
In the following video, Professor Danaher illustrates how to deal with these two defenses. See below:
When attacking the closed guard arm bar, its important to breakthe defender’s posture during the entire set up. In order to break our opponent’s posture from closed guard, we have to use both our legs and arms. I often see students fighting miserably to do this with only their arms, ignoring the stronger portion of their body, their legs. Pulling someone in with your legs will always be easier than using your hands. It also easier to do this with a high guard rather than a low guard.
If you recall from the first part of this article when we discussed the triangle, John Danaher emphasized the importance of cutting an angle. The same thing applies with the arm bar. In the arm bar, cutting the angle so that you are perpendicular to your opponent is important to maintain tight control over their shoulders and head.
John Danher is one of the few people to have athletes be successful at the highest levels in both Professional Grappling as well as MMA. He has systemized his approach to teaching,learning,and APPLYING his Jiu-Jitsu. Enter the System with John Danaher!