John Danaher has often talked about Boris, a phenomenal grappler who trained alongside him in the early days of the blue basement in Renzo Gracie New York. Danaher has never spent a lot of time discussing Boris, but the topic has come up several times over the years and he always has incredible praise for how talented he was. In fact Boris even came up in a recent interview that Danaher did with Lex Fridman, and again it was only a few minutes they spent discussing the man.
Not a lot is actually known about Boris, but everyone who trained in Renzo Gracie New York alongside him has incredibly high praise. Considering the high standards that John Danaher and some of his compatriots have, it stands to reason that Boris must have been a phenomenal grappler. The story goes that Boris was a DI wrestler who transitioned to BJJ and eventually got his black belt in the sport under Danaher, continually training with some of the best grapplers available and always giving them incredible trouble.
Part of the mystery surrounding Boris comes from how little Danaher actually discusses him, the fact that he never wanted to compete in BJJ, and the fact that he apparently just decided to retire from the sport altogether one day. Now that the footage has emerged of Boris being used as a demonstration partner by John Danaher in one of his classes around 2005, people interested in the legend have something a little more concrete to see. Given that he stepped away from the sport a long time ago and never competed himself, this may be all the footage that actually exists of Boris in training.
The footage of John Danaher training with Boris in 2005 was uploaded to the official Instagram account of Renzo Gracie Chronicles:
Or for more of our articles looking into moments throughout BJJ history, visit our throwback archives.
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