John Danaher says

I will do it. I think I’ll wait until I’m better though haha.

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Danager clearly suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. Odd fella. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was into “odd sexual” shit.

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Master Shen, care to elaborate on a few of his mistakes in the intro to Master Jujitsu?

Pretty much everything having to do with “Gracie Jiu Jitsu” having parentage in Fusen Ryu, is not true. The Gracies didn’t want to acknowledge Judo as the mother art, so there were some absurdities inserted in the Gracie history about how the jiu jitsu “we” do actually comes in part from Fusen Ryu. [Maybe someone else wants to talk about this aspect, because it more get complicated].

Also in the book, the fact that it was actually Donato Pires Dos Reis who established the famous jiu jitsu (Judo) school in Belem the Gracies later took over and re-named “The Gracie Academy”. In fact, before even that, there were already jiu jitsu schools open in Belem. The oldest being the jiu jitsu school of Mario Alexio.

The Gracies (Carlos & George) were students/assistants to Donato Pires, when he taught the police force Jujitsu(Judo). Donato Pires was a verified student of Maeda, though probably not an full instructor. There is no proof that Carlos Gracie trained directly with Maeda. But, there is ample proof Carlos trained with students of Maeda. Interestingly, Carlos and the rest of the Gracies never mention those names. (Kinda hard to claim to be the founder of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when you learned Jiu Jitsu from other Brazilians.) FWIW, I read that George Gracie continued to train with Dos Pires much longer than Carlos. (Maybe part of the reason for the tension between the two brothers…?)

Anyway, to take it even further, Donato Pires AND Carlos Gracie BOTH studied together under another Brazilian teacher named Jacyntho Ferro, who was a documented instructor under Maeda.

So, the real question isn’t, “What is wrong in the Gracie history section?”, the real question is, “Is anything correct in the Gracie history section?”

Today, there’s a lot of info available for anyone who wants to know the real history. 25 years ago, when I started BJJ, that wasn’t the case and it was often Judo historians who pointed out that the Gracie story didn’t make any sense from the perspective of Judo’s fairly well documented history in Brazil.

The Gracie creation myth doesn’t match with the documented facts of the art’s creation. It just doesn’t. This used to be really controversial to say and people would get pissed. Not so much any more. Cat’s out of the bag.


Maybe that’s all that BJJ really is?

Yeah, his tolerance for beginners isn’t the best

He’s actually pretty good with women. I don’t think he has much of a tolerance for their insanity at this point.

Thanks for posting this.

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I mean, who tf likes beginners unless they’re paying your bills?


We never discussed his finances but I’d bet John is set for life. He could walk away from BJJ forever and he’s set for life.

I have an odd feeling that, when he dies, they’re going to find a battered notebook containing exacting plans for an ingenious, but bizarre system of “Boob Submissions”.


To be fair I think Danaher was only a blue or purple belt when he wrote that book. I’d imagine his historical knowledge has grown a lot since then


Yeah, maybe.

I still see plenty of BJJ teachers who have a “BJJ history” section on their website they should be embarrassed by.

But, BJJ isn’t alone. So many martial arts have completely fictionalized histories.


The bottom picture shows a standing version of a straight arm lock from Europe in 1324. I’m sure I could find other examples of I kept digging.

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He is ONLY speaking of the juji-gatame style armlock.



this is fascinating. thanks

One can see the Gracie JJ foundational myth being created

truly fascinating


This is true. I should have been more specific in the first post.

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Also it’s probably what he had been told by Renzo, Carlinhos, et al. and was just repeating it. I believe right after that book came out is when JD started deep diving into Judo and wrestling and his viewpoint may have expanded after that.

Or he knew what he was saying was false. Who knows.

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One interesting thing I got from Drysdale’s interviews is that the Gracies themselves… don’t really know much about the history of “their” art.


When you hear Kron or whoever speak you realize they just repeat what they were told by their dad/ grandpa. We all have family histories and lore that gets passed down that isn’t true. My whole life, I grew up hearing all this stuff about my “millionaire” great grandpa & grandpa from my mom that my uncle explained was not accurate at all.

Robson Gracie himself basically says he didn’t know the history that Robert Drysdale was sharing with him. He said he just knew what he was told growing up.

So, I think there is a lot of that with the Gracies. Also, when GJJ came to the US it seems, people like Rorion took advantage of American’s naivete --creating this myth that Helio basically invented GJJ. That was for marketing purposes. Then as more family members came to America, the story got more and more flushed out.

I very much recall the process. It was kinda like:

  • Wait Helio has a brother named Carlos?
  • Oh I see, his brother Carlos was more a nutrition guy, got it.
  • Wait, Helio’s brother trained GJJ, too?
  • Helio’s brother TAUGHT Helio jiu jitsu?
  • I see, there were three other brothers, but they didn’t really train.
  • Wait, the three other brothers all trained and fought…? And George was the best fighter? Who the hell is George?
  • So the Gracie family isn’t just Royce, Rorion, Rickson, & those other couple guys…? There are dozens of distant cousins and they ALL do GJJ? What…? How come no one told me about this?
  • But Helio is still the guy who taught everyone, right?
  • What, there are more than 50 Grandmaster Red Belts in Brazil…? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

etc, etc, etc

There are still competing agendas among the Gracie family and old, old rivalries that still shape who is cool with who. Rorion HATED that other people with the last name Gracie --that he was not close with, at all-- were showing up in the U.S. teaching jiu jitsu.