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Review: New Wave Jiu Jitsu: A New Philosophy Of Positional Escapes by John Danaher

(Originally posted April 4, 2021)

I love my wife...  Let me say that again...  I LOVE my wife!

We just celebrated our anniversary.  16 years baby!  I still remember the first time I saw her.  It feels like it was just yesterday.  I lived on the second floor of an apartment building.  I happened to be looking out the window as she pulled up in her car.  She had one of those white lab coats on.  (She was going through the nursing program at the time.)  Her blonde hair reflecting the Florida sun made sort of a halo effect.  She literally looked like an angel... and then she smiled.  It was love at first sight.
But I digress.  The point is, my beautiful wife who must truly love me seeing as she's put up with my jiu jitsu obsession over the years, gave me John Danaher's new instructional as an anniversary present!  (Thank you Sweetheart!)  So I thought I'd review it here.
The new series is called New Wave Jiu Jitsu: A New Philosophy Of Positional Escapes.  The overall concept behind it is this.  Traditionally when we're trapped on the bottom of a pin, we're content to escape to a neutral position.  Think shrimp and recover guard.  
Danaher believes we can do better.  Instead of escaping to a neutral position, what if we could escape to a dominant position?  Or better yet, a position where we are threatening our opponent with a submission?
What if your opponent has worked hard to sweep you, get on top, pass your guard and mount you, only to end up on the receiving end of a leg entanglement with you threatening a leg lock?  Imagine doing all that work, winding up in what jiu jitsu law says is a dominant position, and getting not just bumped off, but submitted!
That is what Danaher aims to do with this set.  He lays out a game-plan to go from being pinned to being on the attack.  Then he gives you the specific techniques required to accomplish this from your usual pinning positions: mount, rear mount, side control, knee on belly, etc.
Like the rest of his instructionals, he starts out with theory.  He goes into his new philosophy of escapes, what the new game plan is and why.  I suppose you could skip it if you wanted to dive right into the actual techniques, but I've always found his thought process fascinating so I didn't.  There's some good info in there, and he demonstrates a fair bit of the system.  I feel like it primes your brain for what is to come.
The volumes that follow cover escapes from mount, rear mount, knee on belly, side control, turtle, and more.  As advertised, most of the escapes wind up with you in fine attacking position, usually attacking the legs Danaher Death Squad style! .  Others end attacking the arms or neck... but end attacking the legs when your opponent backs out in an attempt to defend their arms and/or neck.
If you already have his leg lock set, I feel like there's enough new material here to justify the purchase.  It is a bit pricey, but there always seems to be another BJJ Fanatics sale right around the corner.
I would say get this one if:
  • You want to take your escapes to the next level
  • You've been wanting to delve into leg locks, but hesitate to give up position to do so, or
  • You're just a huge John Danaher fan.


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