John Danaher is always eager to provide useful insights into not just the sport of Jiu-Jitsu itself, but also the mental aspects of the sport as well and recently, he discussed returning to training after significant time away from it. He explained in a post on his official Instagram account that he believes that the skills you learn from years of training do not simply fade away and disappear altogether. Instead, he believes that only your sense of timing and your pacing will naturally degrade, as you are no longer practicing those abilities on a regular basis.
He also explained that the inspiration behind the post was a recent performance by an old student of his, Steven Williams. Williams was apparently a black belt under John Danaher from well before the Danaher Death Squad was even a thing and he was returning to competition this past weekend at Fight 2 Win 157. Williams ended up being on the winning side of a judge’s decision against Kyle Myers and showed that his time away from training didn’t end up hurting him too much in the long run at all.
It’s encouraging to see proof of something that a lot of instructors and competitors have felt may be true in the past, especially those that have been forced into taking time off at the moment due to reasons outside their control. No matter how long you take away from the sport, it’s just a matter of refining your lost sense of timing and working on bringing your pace back up to scratch. The actual techniques that you’ve spent years learning will never really leave you in any meaningful sense.