Danaher’s quest to teach people the art of taking fights to the ground continues. We are proud to bring you a complete review of “Feet To Floor 2”, the second installment in the John Danaher Takedowns DVD series. The legendary NYC Renzo Gracie Academy Professor, now relocated to Puerto Rico has embarked on a mission to clarify, structure, and systematize Gi takedowns for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So far, he has a volume that introduces his take on takedowns. The second volume now expands on the first one, going deeper into the world of Judo for BJJ.
Taking people down to the ground against their will is not an easy thing to accomplish. Taking them down when they’re not just trying to stop you, but do the same to you is even more complicated. However, it does open up options for you, especially if you are willing to think in several different directions instead of just one. This John Danaher Takedowns DVD focuses on the art of throwing people by going to the ground first yourself, and also explores the world of sweeps and trips. “Feet To Floor 2” will work best, though, when paired up with its predecessor and original Danaher takedown DVD so make sure you know the basics before going further faster.
The Secrets To Judo Throws For BJJ
How do you make Judo work for BJJ? Well, you have two realistic options to get good at actually performing Judo throws successfully in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu setting. One is to go and learn Judo properly, dedicating years, if not decades to it, and try and train BJ Jat a high-level at the same time. The other one is getting the “Feet To Floor” John Danaher Takedowns DVD series and using the only viable shortcut to highly effective Judo for BJJ in existence.
When thinking about Judo for BJJ, especially in terms of effectiveness and a quick learning curve, Ashi Waza, or sweeping techniques are your best bet. It will take proper timing and a bit of grappling “tango” to really get the hang, but once you do, you’ll be sending people flying with just a flick of your feet. or so it will seem to your opponents.
The second volume of the “Feet to Floor” series by Danaher focuses precisely on that. He teaches basic Judo movements, grips, and tactics that will allow you to sweep people. When I say sweep here I mean having their legs fly above their head before you send them crashing to the floor in a heap.
But that is not the gist of this John Danaher Takedowns DVD. It is only half of it, in fact. Danaher also covers throws that involve you hitting the ground first and then sending your opponent flying overhead. The Tomoe Nage and Sumi Gaeshi are true Judo classics, and work extremely well, particularly when a smaller grappler is facing a bigger one. Danaher puts them into perspective here, connecting them with foot sweeps and of course, all the principles previously covered in the first volume of the ‘Feet to Floor’ series.
“Feet To Floor 2” The John Danaher Takedowns DVD We Were Waiting For
The moment you read that this is a Danaher DVD, you probably already knew it would be an 8 part DVD series with nearly 12 hours of ultra high-quality material. moreover, there’s a clear progression that takes you with baby steps through the full system, from the most fundamental things to advanced setups, combinations, and counter throws. Nobody can do that better than John, but then again, you already knew that or you wouldn’t be reading this John Danaher Takedowns DVD review and considering getting it for yourself.
“Feet To Floor 2” covers Judo throws from two main categories – foot sweeps and “sacrifice” throws. Half of the volumes cover going underneath your opponent for throws, while the other half covers select foot sweeping techniques that have been proven to work like a charm in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The setups and situations covered in his instructional are mainly intended for use with the Gi, but most of them can easily be adapted to No-Gi with just a few key grip adjustments.
DVD #1 – Grips And Footwork
As you would expect from a Danaher DVD you won’t see too many throws in the opening sections of the instructional. In fact, there are hardly any in the entire first volume, given the extreme importance of grips and movement that Danaher covers. Once again, he refers to principles and concepts for the first ‘Feet to Floor’ DVD set which you should definitely acquire before looking into any of the follow-up sets.
Grip-wise, John offers a simplified theory of gripping that pretty much sums up all his grip fighting and dominance principles. He then discusses the Tomoe Nage as an example of how you put most of these grips into practice. Footwork follows suit, with a precise elaboration on why certain movement patterns work so well with certain grips.
The first volume of this John Danaher Takedowns DVD also explores the Tomoe Nage as one of the most ideal takedowns for Jiu-Jitsu. Of course, he starts in his recognizable pattern, exploring the central problem of the Tomoe Nage, before going into the two main forms, and some basic mechanics like foot placement and the hollow body principle.
DVD #2 – Yoko Tomoe Nage
The Yoko Tomoe Nage is what I consider to be the perfect small grappler takedown. As a smaller grappler myself, and a Judoka, I’ve used int on multiple occasions. It confuses even experienced Judokas, so imagine how BJJ people react when they get spun and throw with this slick move.
The second portion of the “Feet To Floor 2” DVD goes over the Yoko (meaning side) Tomoe Nage. Here, Danaher offers some alternative finishes to the original Judo version, like the cross body variation. He also covers the two main stages of Tomoe Nage, taking a lot of the guesswork and explosiveness out of the equation. Finally, there is a chapter in there that explains how to turn even a failed Tomoe Nage into a successful throw.
DVD #3 – Front Tomoe Nage & Sumi Gaeshi
The front Tomoe Nage is the version of the throw people use more often. One reason why it is so good for BJJ is that people won’t know whether you’re going for a guard pull or a throw, which brings you lots of options. While the Yoko Tomoe Nage has a very high degree of success, the front version is much easier to set up and execute.
Danaher covers the mechanics, movement, and most importantly, landing aspects of the throw. He also talks about the Sumi Gashi offering an interesting hybrid of the two throws before heading to explore the Sumi Gaeshi in a lot more detail.
In fact, Danaher calls the Sumi Gaeshi the best throw for Jiu-Jitsu. I tend to agree with that. Of course, John explains why he thinks along those lines, before covering the three basic versions of the throw. He wraps this part of the instructional up with a portion covering every aspect of Sumi Gaeshi mechanics you can think of, from directions and penetration to the “right, right, right” rule.
DVD #4 – Sumi Gaeshi Variations
At the halfway point of the “Feet To Flor 2” John Danaher takedowns DVD, he wraps the Sumi Gaeshi up by going deeper into the most important variations of the throw. Those include mainly grip combinations and foot placement variations, the likes of arm traps, half traps, triceps and cuff grip and the over back Sumi Gaeshi.
Of course, Danaher won’t just make a claim that any technique is the perfect one, pinpointing the central problem this throw has – predictability. he does, however, offer solutions to the problem, as well as explore the connection between the Sumi Gaeshi and the Uchi Mata.
The Ukli Waza, or backward sacrifice trip is the final sacrifice throw covered by Danaher. In fact, it serves as the bridge between sacrifice throws which are the tomoe Nage and Uchi Mata, and the Ashi Waza or foot sweeping techniques that are the focus of the second portion of this Danaher DVD set.
DVD #5 – Kouchi Gari
The Kouchi Gari is an awesome trip/sweep option for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It seems very simple to execute ut it has fine points that you should either learn from a high-level Judo coach or John Danaher. that is exactly what you’ll get in the fifth volume of the “Feet to Floor 2” instructional.
From the basics of the Kouchi, to different grip combination that is extremely useful for BJJ and a tactical system, Dnahaer really does not leave any stone unturned. Of course, he connects it to the front and rear takedowns and the sacrifice throws. Just to introduce a bit of variety and further options for those feeling particularly adventurous, John also covers the Kosoto Gari here, as the next logical step in the system.
DVD #6 – Ashi Waza Secrets
Ashi Waza is a term of tall the foot sweep techniques used in Judo. This part of the JOhn Danaher Takedown DVD covers the general aspects of the Ashi Waza and some more specific examples. The example in focus here is the Ouchi Gari as the perfect representative. The hand assists Ouchi Gari is something that will be particularly handy for Jiu-Jitsu athletes.
As you might have guessed, the Osoto Gari is not far behind teh Ouchi Gari, as is usually the case. The one trip everyone learns during their first days in BJJ and then never use is the Osoto Gari. A staple of Judo, the Osoto requires using your brain as much as your body, something Danaher has a knack for forcing out of people.
DVD #7 – Mechanics Of Sasae
The instructions covering teh Osoto Gari extended to the 7th volume of the “Feet To floor 2” instructional. Here, John explores the knee-drop version of the trip, which is basically more of a reap. It also serves as the perfect introduction to the Sassae Tsuri Komi Ashi, which is one of Danaher’s (and the DDS) favorite foot sweeps.
The Sasae is basically an Uke Waza without the sacrifice component. It is a trip in which you force the opponent towards you and send them flying as you are moving backward. As you likely expect, this type of move requires a lot of precise mechanics and timing which Danaher manages to explain and pinpoint better than most lifelong Judo coaches out there. He also talks about the tactical side of the Sasae and how to build a standup game by involving it to a great extent.
DVD #8 – De Ashi Harai
If you have ever trained in Judo or Karate, you have heard of the De Ashi Harai sweep, or even done it. It is an easy trip that is done to the outside of the foot, and when combined with proper Kuzushi it is next to impossible to defend. It is the one move, though, in this entire John Danaher Takedowns DVD that absolutely requires inch-perfect timing. Luckily, Danaher shares his tactical setups as well in the final part of the instructional. Along with the strong mechanical details and the fundamental concept of the De Ashi Harai, it really is the best shortcut to learning it I have ever witnessed in a lifetime of doing martial arts.
“Feet To Floor 2” is the John Danaher Takedowns DVD that was missing in the BJJ world. It is the ultimate bridge that connects Judo and BJJ in a way no other instructional has. Namey, you can expect to develop a pretty solid level of Judo throws and trips by using the advice in this instructional, and of course, drilling as much as you can. While you won’t be able to deal with world-class Judokas, you’ll definitely seem like one to your BJJ teammates and more importantly, opponents.