The John Danaher Instructionals on leglocks is finally here! “Leglocks: Enter The System” is the much awaited John Danaher Instructional that the grappling community has been waiting for. Now that it is here, I wll be doing an in-depth review of the contents which in total will be more than 9 hours! If you hoped for a different kind of bjj videos about leglocks, John Danaher will deliver you just that!
The Yoda of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the mysterious John Danaher finally released his methodology in approaching leglocks. After years of demonstrating just how effective his leg lock system is in top competition, Danaher has decided to share his wisdom for the masses. In typical reptilian (Danaher) fashion though, the result is a very special product. We already know that the system works, the trick is could anybody that works hard with the knowledge become as proficient with it as the Danaher Death Squad? The answer is probably yes, Because Danaher is the master coach of one of the best BJJ teams on planet Earth
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Mr. Danaher is as peculiar as someone can be, and certainly has a different way of approaching BJJ. He is a problem solver rather than a straight shooter, something which is evident throughout the instructional. The basic idea of each of his instructional is to make you think, much like he did with Joe Rogan while at the podcast (And making Joe looks like a white belt). If you’re looking for a system to copy, DO NOT BUY THIS. If you’re looking to develop a deadly leg locking game to beat any opponent, this is the product for you. It’s long and full of information. It will take time to watch. It will take even more time to dully understand and apply the knowledge. Once you do, though, you’ll be unstoppable. After all, it is a John Danaher Instructional – do you expect something easy from the whispering lizard?
The most enigmatic and unassuming jiu-jitsu coach of all times, John Danaher is certainly a strange case. The New Zealand-born is eccentric, to say the least, but just as brilliant at the same time. Not much is clear about his past, other than what he shared at the JRE Podcast. Born in New Zealand, he was always interested in sports. His first choice was rugby, which is not the gentlest of sports, especially under Australian rules. Danaher always liked martial arts though, but only had access to striking arts. He was also a powerlifter at this time
The most interesting characteristic of John Danaher is of course his mind. He actually migrated to the USA in pursuit of a Ph.D. in philosophy, which he was very close to getting. For a while, he was teaching philosophy at Colombia University. At the same time, Danaher was bouncing at nightclubs for extra cash. It wasn’t long before the fast-spreading sport of BJJ reached him through a friend that demonstrated BJJ to Danaher in his own office. From there on, he did two things that would completely change both his and the world of Jiu-Jitsu.
First, he started training Jiu-Jitsu almost 12 hours/day. Secondly, he chose the legendary Renzo Gracie as his sensei. The rest is history. Danaher started to teach at purple belt and it was at this time that he met a grappling legend by the name of Dean Lister that is famously known for his aptitude in leglocks, Dean was the one that gives John Danaher a point of view of approaching leglocks, the quote was:
Why ignore 50% of the human body?
The world learned about his existence via Georges St. Pierre, who claimed John was a grappling genius. Nobody paid much attention though until the Danaher Death Squad started collecting legs. Since then everyone attempted to replicate the system but to little success. Finally, there’s a John Danaher Instructional available where the man himself goes deep into the world of leg locks.
Check Out John Danaher DVD Instructional and the list of techniques HERE
Leg Lock Philosophy
The thing that stands out in every instructionals done by John Danaher is his philosophy. In the case of leglocks, while most people see (or at least saw) them as quick fixes, Danaher sees them as dominant control positions. Even more, he values them as systems that give birth to subsystems spreading in multiple directions. Once again, Danaher’s problem-solving ability come to the surface.
The system is based on total control of an opponent’s lower body extremity by using your whole body against it. Danaher’s understanding of biomechanics resulted in the most efficient leg locking system in grappling. Contrary to the popular “position before submission” Danaher preaches “control that leads to submission”. To elaborate, he doesn’t want to pin the opponent but control them until he decides to submit. In this scenario, the opponent only has room to move in certain directions. This is where the system is different that other instructionals.
By directing the opponent’s movements into highly restrictive paths, Danaher’s system uses a simple progression of progressively more dominant leglocks positions. Danaher likes to use the Japanese term Ashi Garami for his positions, which translates to “leg entanglement”. The basic philosophy is entering into an Ashi Garami variations and controlling the opponent while guiding them through the hierarchy of positions. Each position is more restrictive than the previous, ending in a no-escape position that offers the highest percentage leg lock there is – the inside or outside heel hook. But, don’t just take my word for it. Get the Leglocks: Enter The System John Danaher Instructionals and judge it yourself. I only discussed briefly about his leg lock philosophy here. As you’ll see later the John Danaher instructional goes into never before seen territories of leg locking. Let the leg hunt begins!
The John Danaher Instructional – What To Expect
So here we are at last. The meat and potatoes of the first ever John Danaher Instructional. Trust me when I tell you it is an bizzare one. Of course, I mean it as the utmost possible respect. In the build-up to the release, Danaher himself stated that it is going to be an unusual and a bit longer instructional. He did not lie. This mind-blowing set is spread across 8 parts! There are more than 9 hours of material on this John Danaher instructional! Trust me, you’re going to spend hours watching it, let alone trying to understand what he’s talking about.
Now, Danaher is as well spoken and eloquent as anyone. He explains everything calmly and methodically, pointing out the crucial details of every move. And, his moves have details and lots of them. This is probably the most detail-oriented instructional I’ve ever had the privilege of watching! It is no use to even mention systematization as it Danaher is most likely the godfather of it. Every video part talks about specific topics, organized in a very logical manner. Just like the leg lock system, the instructionals build one upon the other, culminating in high-control, high-percentage scenarios.
Included in the videos is a graphic chart, outlining the system in its entirety. He covers essential skills, the 3 Ashi Garami subsystems. Furthermore, he dwells into other common problems each of these subsystems faces on a regular basis. Finally, there are the 10 key principles of leg locking.
John Danaher Instructionals Detailed Review
Let’s now go further down the rabbit hole into the John Danaher Instructionals we’ve all been waiting for. As mentioned, there are 8 total video parts. Each part covers specific subjects of the leg locking system. One thing to note is that this is a John Danaher instructional, which means you simply HAVE to watch it in order. DO not just skip to the final few parts looking for a shortcut to the “secret technique”. Be vigilant and patiently go through all the material carefully. It is going to take you 9+ hours, but if you truly want to be a top-level leg locker, that is a small price to pay for leglock mastery.
Furthermore, please double check and understand the system chart. It is a very valuable tool and not just there for the sake of it. It is a guide to the complete leg locking system, and you need to make sure you identify it’s content in the appropriate video parts. This is the only way to understand the system so that when you use it, it works for you specifically. Not everything is going to work for everyone, but no one is going to be left empty-handed, and that is a Danaher promise
Video 1- Introduction To The System
Arguably the most important John Danaher Video in the whole set. You must not skip past this video part as much as you might want to. There is a lot of talk on mechanics and key principles of lever and fulcrum. without this, nothing in the other volumes of this John Danaher instructional is going to make sense. Also a huge part of BJJ in general, not just for leg locks is the principle of Kuzushi. Many of you might be familiar with the concept of it, which is essentially off-balancing an opponent. Danaher, however, explains it from a BJJ leg locking specific aspect, and it is revolutionizing, to say the least. Prepare to develop unstoppable sweeps in addition to devastating leg locks. John Danaher Instructional
As the instructional progresses, Danaher focuses on the families of Ashi Garami. There is 3 total, and he reverse-engineered each so that you know what he talks about later on. Another crucial subjects he covers is how to grip. We all know how dominant Danaher Death Squad Members is in the grip fighting department. In No-Gi BJJ, in particular, this is of the utmost importance when you’re looking for leg locks. Danaher shares his basic theory of gripping, followed by practical examples and the purpose of grips. Understand the grips well, because otherwise, you’ll struggle to finish a leg lock.
Video 2 – Inside Control
The first essential skill of Danaher’s system is getting to inside control. To clarify, this means having both your legs on the inside of the opponent’s legs. This is the prerequisite to every leg lock in the system and you need to really have it down. Grips once again come into play, since this is how you set up inside control. The pummeling strategies to get your feet on the inside are groundbreaking. Forget everything you know about leglocks, this is the system that you actually need.
A very important part of this John Danaher Instructional is the concept of negating your opponent’s game. Danaher explains how to restrict and limit the opponent’s movement when looking for inside control. Also extremely important for leg locking is the concept of maintaining optimum distance and connection. You need to connect in the correct way first, and then properly control distance. Without both these aspects, many of your leg locks won’t work effectively. Actually, this is why everyone out of the Death Squad often fails when attempting them.
The final part of this part is what I enjoyed the most. The so-called gravity drills are all about weight distribution. Actually, they’re all about how to escape the pressure of your opponent. There are four main avenues of action to negate the weight and pressure of your opponent, thus gaining access to an Ashi Garami variation.
Video 3 – Straight Ashi Garami
The first of the Ashi Garami families is the straight Ashi Garami. Of course, it all starts with a long and very detailed explanation of the position. The Straight Ashi Garami is the position most people generally associate with leg locks. Once you see Danaher’s take on it, you’ll know why most people are wrong. After the positional details, it’s time for the basic entries into the position. I say basic because all the “special” ways to enter are covered later on.
Danaher begins with how to break an opponent at the hip. This means the way in which you control the hip in order to get into the position. Following are three distinct ways of obtaining the Straight Ashi Garami. There are a single, double leg and an X guard variation. Suffice to say, every avenue of action is covered.
Once in control, however, you need to finish. Capping things off are details on heel exposure for the heel hook submission. Throughout most of the John Danaher Instructional, a common theme are heel hooks because he deems them to be the highest percentage leg submission in the sport. Starting at this DVD, Danaher covers how to get, properly grip and finish the heel hook submission, regardless of the opponent’s resistance.
Video 4 – Breaking Mechanics
If you thought that things go straight into the next family of Ashi Garami you’re wrong. Danaher has lots to say on a very important subject before moving on with the system. That subject is submissions. Now, the John Danaher DVD is not your usual submissions instructional. In the fourth volume, Danaher covers all the aspects of how to break someone’s leg.
Danaher has a very interesting theory of what he calls breaking mechanics. It is the way in which the forces you apply can result in a break of the opponent’s limb. A very crucial component of the system, on that you have to spend a lot of time on is the concept of tension. Danaher likes to create tension throughout the whole limb, in order to facilitate the break. This is arguably the most important part of his leg locking system.
Grips once again play a huge role in setting everything up. John goes over every combination of grips along with all the pros and cons. That way, you’ll learn exactly which grips to use in a given situation. More important,y you’ll discover which grips NOT to use. Besides the grips, legs also play a crucial role in breaking someone’s leg. This part was very important for me, as leg positioning was never clear from precious instructionals. But this is a John Danaher instructional, so no more confusion!
For a strong finish, one of the major problems that the straight Ashi Garami faces, the shared spiral is decoded. Learn this and no opponent is ever going to escape from your Ashi Grami with ease again!
Video 5 – Cross Ashi Garami
Time to move on through the hierarchy of leg locking positions. The fifth John Danaher DVD is all about the Cross Ashi Garami. To make things clearer this includes the famed “honey hole” position. Do not expect a jump straight into an inside heel hook though. The first topic is where we left off in the precious volume – Straight Aashi Garami. Danaher primarily connects the two positions before moving on with the Cross variation.
This is the one DVD where you’re going to spend the majority of your time, trust me. It is long and filled with information to the brink. As a simple guide, understand the primary and secondary leg principle. It is the foundation to build on. Once the position is clear, John moves on to a common problem – the turnout. It is the instinctive way for people to attempt and escape the position. Well, Danaher puts a stop to all their attempts, as witnessed plenty of times in EBI.
Then look to clearly make a distinction between the two strategies outlined in the DVD. The first is how to attack without releasing the secondary leg. This utilizes the double trouble principle for maximal control while looking to submit. Needless to say, Danaher goes in depth to explain literally everything. The second strategy requires you to release the secondary leg and then attack. Again, everything is systematized to the T and covered in great detail.
Video 6 – Reverse Ashi Garami
This is the one are of Ashi Garam I am really lacking at. Luckily, the John Danaher Instructional on leg locks is finally here. The Reverse Ashi Garami is the final of the 3 families or subsystems of the Danaher Leg lock system. The Reverse Ashi Garami is a very specific position that you might not think is effective if you’re a beginner in leg locks. INvest in it though, because once you understand them more, you’re going to use it regularly.
The Reverse Ashi Garamistrays into different submission territory to begin with. For example, the main submissions of choice are the kneebar and figure four toe hold. WOrry not, however, as the obligatory heel hook still plays a major role. As you can see, submission options from this position are numerous and spread in many directions.
What really really matters in this particular volume are the transitions between the three subsystems. I love that Danaher has named the dilemma theories. He sets things up in a way that the opponent face s dilemma. They’re either going to allow you to work one Ashi Garami position or another. There’s no way out and no third choice. The two dilemmas approach create very successful Ashi Garami chain attacks that flow into each other. It is the cherry of the John Danaher instructional without a doubt!
Video 7 – Entries Into Ashi Garami I
finishing this impressive John Danaher DVD are two volumes focused solely on the numerous ways to obtain one of the 3Ashii Garami positions. Ranging from the front headlock to deep half guard, you’re literally going to see every entry possible. Keep in mind that John Danaher favors entries from the bottom, so most guards are featured in this volume. John Danaher Instructional
Although this DVD seems more “traditional” than the others, there’s still a lot of philosophy to it. For once, there’s the holy trinity of elements that are absolutely crucial for creating elevation. Only when you elevate your opponent (remember the Kuzushi principle?) can you think about hunting leg locks. The usual method of shin to shin entries is a big part of this volume as well, offering up new alternatives to an old entry system.
Video 8 – Entries Into Ashi Garami II
I guess this is the volume where Danaher got the license to go full mad scientist on us. Rolling heel hooks from the deep half guard? Check! Reverse De La Riva Entries into Ashi Garami? Check! Whatever position you might consider for a leg lock entry, you’re going to have an explanation for it here. But why stop there?
The complete John Danaher DVD instructional gets a rap with the subject of entry fails. Another issue that is a big one for most people enthusiastic about leg locks. You often see people doing everything they can against members of the Danaher Death squad. What you rarely see is a member of the Squad losing position, despite unsuccessful entry attempts. This is the last piece of the leg lock puzzle and Danaher explains it masterfully to finish with a bang. A true masterpiece of an instructional, pick up your copy of the Leglocks: Enter The System John Danaher DVD today!