Garry Tonon believes learning jiu-jitsu in class doesn’t always translate to practical success

Garry Tonon (Left) teaches jiu-jitsu, but he knows practical application is way different than doing drills in class. | [Photo: ONE Championship]
Garry Tonon (Left) teaches jiu-jitsu, but he knows practical application is way different than doing drills in class. | [Photo: ONE Championship]
Ben Imperial

When he’s not competing in MMA, Garry Tonon teaches jiu-jitsu to kids and adults alike. However, he maintains that the principles learned in the gym don’t always translate to practical success.

For instance, Tonon bared in an interview with Sportskeeda MMA that in a street fight where there are no rules, a lot of factors must come into play:

“Assuming that the person that you’re fighting doesn’t have a knife, gun, or is of incredibly much larger size than you, or like one of his friends kicked you in the back of the head or something boring, normal, hand-to-hand combat, I would be pretty sure that you’re gonna win in that context.”

Catch our full interview with Garry Tonon below:


As a grappler who transitioned to MMA, Garry Tonon said that a student of his could maybe find similar success against an amateur MMA fighter at the most.

However, professional MMA fighting is on a different level. He says that learning jiu-jitsu in class will not equip his students with all the skills needed to succeed in MMA:

“If you’re competing against somebody who has considerable MMA skill and has been doing it for a lengthy enough period of time and you just had jiu-jitsu knowledge under your belt from classes, let’s say even for the same amount of years that that person did MMA… Let’s say you both compete professionally to make it fair; it’s gonna be tougher to win. It starts to become less likely that I put you in that cage and you’re just gonna succeed by default. There’s gonna be a lot of missing pieces. There’s gonna be a lot of things that you do that don’t do well for you in a fight.”

Garry Tonon will have John Danaher in his corner for the next fight

Garry Tonon has figured out some of those missing pieces to earn a perfect 6-0 record in MMA, thanks to his coach and mentor, John Danaher. As he heads into the biggest fight of his career, he’s thankful that he will have Danaher in his corner to guide him.

In his last match, Tonon revealed that COVID-19 restrictions only allowed him to have one cornerman:

“Last fight, it only made sense to bring somebody that I could actually do my drills with because although John is my coach, he’s not an actual active athlete that’s working with me doing my drills and my sparring and things like that. Thankfully I had five fights prior to that where Danaher was coaching me so I got a feel for what it was like to kind of get ready on my own. It was the first time I had to prepare for a fight on my own, which was a little unsettling but I felt really comfortable. It felt like I knew what I was doing. This time, I’m very thankful to be able to have John there as well.”

Garry Tonon will be hoping for more success in his match at ONE: Lights Out on Friday, March 11.

When the bell rings though, it will all be up to him to translate the preparations to a win and a world title belt.

Edited by Harvey Leonard


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