Greatness is often fleeting. In many instances, it can be a supernova that burns bright, only to vanish– leaving little trace that it was ever there in the first place. Such was the case for the Danaher Death Squad (DDS), a team of jiu-jitsu competitors that dominated several aspects of the sport for the better part of the previous decade. It looked like the 2020s would be theirs to claim as well, but then several Instagram posts came out announcing they went the way of the Beatles and broke up, leading me to ponder which member was Ringo? Because we all know Craig Jones is Yoko.
But I digress. The DDS has broken up. And given how much people like gossip in the jiu-jitsu community, the truth will likely leak out bit by bit. Indeed, egos and social media clicks might be too tempting for some to stay tight-lipped. Until that day, though, all we have is speculation, which is the foundation of this post.
Jiu-jitsu’s super group broke up, and I want answers. So, given the nature of the internet, I’m very willing to manufacture some, too, if it means satisfying my own investigative mojo.
Some of these might vary in plausibility. And I say that, in an era where some people think Jim Morrison is still alive, what’s another piece of speculative fact-bending to throw on top of the information heap?
That said, what are some reasons the DDS could have broken up? Let’s dive deep into this wormhole together and hopefully find the true culprit.
Has Kenny G. ever heard of jiu-jitsu? Probably not. Has he even been in the same room as someone who has spoken Gordon Ryan’s name, let alone knows who he is? Again, very unlikely. That said, Kenny G.’s music is terrible. So bad that he creates a music snob every five seconds. Just listen to a few of his tracks and tell me you don’t have standards. I’ll wait.
Is he to blame for the breakup of the DDS? Almost certainly not. I’m just taking this moment to remind you that his music isn’t very good and that you shouldn’t listen to it. And hey, if we can pin the breakup of the DDS on him, why not?
The Nicky Paradox
In case you haven’t noticed from the first entry, this article is not well-researched. Scratch that; referring to it as such would imply any research done on the topic at all. Trust me. There wasn’t. That said, Danaher is a very pragmatic person. Just look at how a simple saying to ignore fifty percent of the body unlocked a whole leg lock system within the mind of everyone’s favorite jiu-jitsu coach.
John’s intellect leads me to think about the squad’s choice of nicknames. These auxiliary names are truncated versions of your full name by design– monikers to ease the task of speaking. The two Nickies of the group, Ryan and Rodriguez, respectively, both go by “Nicky.” However. With their full names likely being Nicholas, Danaher could have been upset that they didn’t boil it down to the least possible amount of syllables and maximize the speaking economy fully. This, of course, would have been “Nick.”
After holding a meeting, asking them both to change, they insisted “Nicky” was good for their respective brands. An argument ensued. Sides were taken, and the squad broke up.
To pile more unnecessary shade onto Kenny G., why doesn’t he just go by “Ken”? Anyway, moving on.
Garry Tonon Took Up Badminton
Most athletes are pretty type-A individuals. Go-getters until the very end. And that’s understandable; to be at the top of your game, you must constantly be improving. It’s a process that’s twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
I just wish Kenny G. put that much effort in to learning the saxophone, but that’s completely irrelevant.
These side quests can lead to deviations, though. Conor McGregor got way into movement drills. Ben Askren took up disk golf.
So, given these two totally unrelated instances, it’s safe to say that Garry Tonon might have found a passion for badminton, perhaps to gain mastery of a new sport, or to discover once and for all if there truly is a goodminton– the long-elusive benevolent counterpart to everyone’s favorite net and racket-based activity.
No further justification is needed. This far-fetched scenario could have happened. And unless someone proves that it didn’t, it remains a plausible consideration. That’s how the scientific method works.
Andre Galvao Asked To Join The Squad
If you can’t beat them, join them, right? It’s better to admit when you’re beaten than just to give up; this advice applies to everyone save for Kenny G., who should absolutely just stop making music.
In digression, the DDS had a foothold on Galvao and the ATOS crew, at least in the social media world, where everyone rushed to like the video of Gordon slapping Andre and then to chastise Andre in his apology video, where he announced a sale on his DVDs.
Andre could have realized he was beaten in the court of public opinion, which would have led him to rebrand himself. How could he have done that? Well, by joining the DDS. You might think this is a reconciliation story. But you’re wrong. Galvao would effectively become the Rod Farva of the crew, leading to mass headaches and brawls at fast food shops (someone should have just given him a liter of cola).
The DDS’s style couldn’t tolerate that amount t of tarnish, and they might have just decided to disband, not allowing it to happen.
They All Became Dentists
Danaher is a man of logical conclusions. He likes to discuss things thoroughly to obtain an agreed-upon truth. This, unfortunately, may have been the team’s undoing. The DDS shares initials with a dental health title. Perhaps the team got together and thought it was time to climb the DDS ladder, ascending to the higher plain that those three letters had to offer.
Switching careers can be challenging, but it would certainly be nice if Kenny G. could just do it and stop making music.
Perhaps someday, the Danaher Death Squad can open their own practice, simply known as “DDS, DDS.”
The End Of An Era
Dissolving the most dominant jiu-jtsu team of the last decade has left a power vacuum in the scene. Who will rise to be the most dominant team in modern jiu-jitsu now? Who will your average jiu-jitsu fan talk about? Will Kenny G. read this post and be horribly offended? Only time will tell.
But, one thing we can agree on, though: All of these reasons are valid and plausible, especially with the current state of the internet.
Jeff Nelson is a brown belt under Danilo Cherman of Team Nova Uniao. He started training jiu-jitsu in 2014, and he always complains about Star Wars on his personal Instagram account.