A man that made a difference

John Danaher and Maurice Smith

There are few people who can claim to have changed the nature of the sport that they play. Maurice Smith is one of the few who can. When MMA first burst into public view in the early 1990’s it was the Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling athletes who dominated the action with unknown ground work and submission holds. Then came the wrestlers who used tremendous physical conditioning with unstoppable takedowns and powerful ground striking to dominate the sport. Standing striking martial arts were disparaged as ineffective in the face of these grapplers and wrestlers. All that changed when Maurice Smith used a devastating arsenal of strikes to beat champion grapplers and wrestlers in matches that shocked the world and which showed very clearly the huge value of striking training as part of a MMA program. This helped usher in the modern era of MMA where athletes look to synthesize all the main skills of the various striking and grappling arts. As always someone needed to show the way before others would follow. What a pleasure to see this MMA legend at Renzo Gracie Academy today still looking like a powerhouse after all these years!

John Danaher