New York City has become a hotbed for talent in the world of Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu. Specifically, the Renzo Gracie Academy located in Manhattan, New York. Names such as Gordon Ryan and Gary Tonon made their names there. However, most of them are slowly making their way out of the city. John Danaher is the latest BJJ practitioner to indefinitely relocate to Puerto Rico, in order to bypass COVID-19 restrictions.
Adapting to COVID-19
Once COVID hit, it forced martial artists to adapt. Either sit and wait until restriction bans were lifted, or find a new place to train and compete. Coaching and competing in tournaments are the ways a lot of BJJ players make their money. So, moving to a location that allows those elements was an easy decision for Danaher. At least until COVID restrictions calmed down in the continental US. He spoke about the decision to move to Puerto Rico on Instagram.
Danaher Leaves New York
New York: My life is probably a lot like yours. It’s been filled with moments of success followed by failure, of joy following sadness. Cycles of up and down, good and bad. Through all of that there was one constant in my life – New York City.
Whenever I traveled around the country and the globe there was always a special feeling of happiness when I returned and saw that unmistakable skyline. Washington may be America’s capital, but New York is the WORLD’S capital. It attracts the best and most driven people from around the globe into a concentrated mess of industry, innovation, eclecticism and evolution. It either builds you up or smashes you down.
This was reflected in the many incredible teachers and students I had here in New York over quarter of a century. I had many great teachers and many great friends, but in the end, New York was the greatest teacher and friend of them all. It taught me the power of motivation allied with diversity of inputs funneled into a common purpose toughened and refined by open competition.
View this post on Instagram
Danaher Leaving With Students
The city has changed a lot in my time here – I’ve changed a lot too – but my changes aren’t complete yet – there are some projects ahead – and they won’t be done in New York City. No change is permanent, the future is always uncertain, plans can change in the face of changing circumstances and you can always come back from where you’re going, but for now it’s time to move on in order to move forward.
I will soon be moving with some of my students to Puerto Rico to try a new philosophy of teaching and refining our beloved art that I hope can widen our reach and contribute something significant to the continued growth of Jiu jitsu.
Re-Joining the Death Squad
Danaher will join the likes of Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, and Craig Jones to re-form their commonly known “death squad.” Now that the boys will be able to train, expect them to be in great shape, throwing ridiculous leg locks on their opponents during their next competitions.