I could listen to John Danaher speak for hours on end. There’s not a lot of press or content surrounding the guy but believe me, as and when I find it, I will post it!
This is a fantastic interview that elicits a little insight towards John’s approach to his coaching system, his ideas behind his world view (based on Darwinian Theory) and some interesting thoughts behind the phenomonon of violence.
Rickson Gracie, arguably one of the best jiu jitsu players to walk this earth, has a concept known as Invisible Jiu Jitsu.
Rather than me try to laboriously explain it, the video below does a good job. Two things to bear in mind, however.
1) From my Wing Chun background, I found it far more comprehensive to think of this invisibility in terms of the ‘Stick’ that is spoken about within drills like Chi Sao, or Sticking Hands.
2) If the above makes no sense to you at all but you’re familiar with Weightlifting or Powerlifting terminology, think of the invisibility factor as the equivalent of taking the slack out of the bar. Except it’s more like taking the slack out of the contact with your opponent.
Now comes the interesting and lengthy process of applying this concept to the mat. Sensitivity takes a long time to develop and with such a fast pace in the No Gi world, it makes for an extra challenge!
No Gi Reflections is my blogging series that reveals insights from my own journey with No Gi training and practice, as well as revelations and lessons from training others.
For the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of training stuntman Doug Robson of Kaskadare stunts in the basic applications of grappling; mainly No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling, down at the ever-impressive Locker 27. His background is varied, predominantly based in Muay Thai from what he’s explained to me.
What I’ve found interesting since teaching Doug is how fast he has adapted to moving on the floor once he understood the various principles of weight displacement, how to move and scoot the hips, and most notably, engaging the legs. I’ve boiled this down to Muay Thai. Why? Because I’ve recently started teaching world, european and british Muay Thai champion, Sheree Halliday, in the same fashion, and her adaptation has been very similar.
“Hey, sorry for the short notice but you know how these things are…,” started the message. It was an honest introduction, more so than usual and it had caught my ego’s attention.
“[Big UK Brand] are casting for their AW16 / SS17 lookbook today and have asked to see you.” Me!? Little old moi!? My ego began to dilate, rapidly, salivating like Golem at what this could mean. I’ve been selected. I’ve been noticed.
Funny how the ego feeds off of recognition and the illusion of being unique, isn’t it? Needless to say, I had already fallen for these traps and instead of taking a step back, re-assessing the message, its contents and subliminal meanings, I was already on my motorcycle smashing it to central London before my balls were too swollen to ride.
I first read about the borderline-crazy invention of an ‘Isolation Tank‘ in a book called ‘The Centre of the Cyclone’ by a very interesting chap named John C. Lilly. That was a few years back and I’d never forgotten about the possibility that one day, I too would climb into a pitch black box filled with salty water to try and trip my balls off.
Since listening to a podcast called The Joe Rogan Experience (highly recommended) I discovered that the host had a tank installed in his house and I became exposed to floating, yet again. Joe clearly was a massive fan of the float tank, as he had his own wizard build him one (spicy pricey). Check it out;