Gordon Ryan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Garry Tonon and John Danaher. He represents the tip of the grappling spear that is the Danaher Death Squad led by grappling and combat mastermind John Danaher and features a cast of jiu jitsu stars like Tonon, and Gordon's younger brother Nicky Ryan. At 25 years old, Gordon has achieved many of the major goals that any black belt jiu jitsu athlete would strive for and more.
He secured the gold medal in his first foray into the ADCC World Championships in 2017 and earned a silver medal in the absolute division, one of the best ADCC debuts in the events history. Gordon Ryan would return to the ADCC stage in 2019 to secure the World Champion title in the -99kg division and in the Absolute Division. He is a multiple time Eddie Bravo Invitational winner and added black belt No Gi Pan American Champion to his list of accomplishments in 2018.
In addition to Gordon Ryan's achievements on the highest stages of grappling in the world, his influence both on and off the mats cannot be understated and makes the fact that he is only 25 years old all the more amazing.
Gordon Ryan is without a doubt the biggest draw for grappling promoters. He has single-handedly made it much easier for high level grapplers to earn money from promotions. A long time critique of the 'pay to compete' model that the sport has up to this point been built upon, Gordon has paved the way for current and future high level grapplers to earn much more than ever thought possible.
As his trailblazing changes continue to impact the future of competitive grappling, Gordon Ryan's most lasting impact will be as a teacher. As a student of Garry Tonon and John Danaher, Gordon Ryan's work with BJJ Fanatics will endless ripples in the history of grappling. With deep dives into topics like passing the guard, attacking from closed guard, back attacks, and attacking from seated open guard, Gordon Ryan has provided the world with the blue print for his and the average student's success. With every series boasting 10-15 hours worth of content, only the work of his teacher John Danaher can even be compared in terms of thoroughness.
In the past, the standard formula for grappling success was for an athlete to win some world titles, open a school, and possibly share some instructional material after their competitive days are over. Gordon Ryan has rewritten the formula and allowed grappling fans and students to the front row watching history unfold as the greatest No Gi grappling athlete in history documents and shares his development with the world and with his competition. And so far, try as they might, Gordon Ryan remains miles ahead of everyone.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Achievements
- ADCC 2019 World Champion (Absolute) (2019)
- ADCC 2019 World Champion (-99kg)
- ADCC World Champion (2017) -88kg Division
- IBJJF Pans No-Gi Champion (2018**) +97.5kg and Absolute
- Quintet 3 Champion (2018)
- EBI 6 OW Champion (2016)
- EBI 8 MW Champion (2016)
- EBI 11 WW Champion (2017)
- EBI 14 OW Champion (2017)
- Grappling Industries Champion (2017/2016)
- ADCC 2nd Place (2017)--Absolute
- IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2015 brown belt)
Instructional Videos by Gordon Ryan
Getting Swole A Grappler
Prior to his breakout debut at the 2017 ADCC World Championships in Finland, Gordon Ryan had made the decision to build onto his already ultra-lean frame and move from his healthy walk around weight in the mid-180's and work to move north of 200, building strength and lean mass to be the strongest he could possibly be for the -88kg division in Finland.
He solicited the help of his partner and strength and conditioning coach Nathalia Santoro, herself an accomplished female bodybuilder, fitness model and trainer. They recently joined forces with BJJ Fanatics to create "Getting Swole As a Grappler" a DVD and Online instructional that details the workout, nutrition, and mindset program Gordon followed in preparation for the ADCC Worlds in Finland.
Here is a look at the methodology behind strength training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and why it is important:
Systematically Attacking from Open Guard Seated Position
Jam packed with nearly 16 hours of highly detailed technique and positional breakdowns, Gordon Ryan's new installment of the Systematically Attacking Series will have you developing your Open Guard Seated Position quicker than ever before.
Systematically Attacking the Back
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, being able to get to the back and stay there is one of the most coveted skills any practitioner could develop. Gordon Ryan is here with Systematically Attacking The Back to make your life much easier.
Gordon Ryan: Systematically Attacking the Turtle Position
In 8 of his most recent ADCC World Championship wins, Gordon Ryan strangled 5 of his opponents from the back position. Getting to the back and staying there can be challenging against an opponent who puts themselves into the turtle position.
In this series, Gordon Ryan helps you peel back the shell, secure the hooks and attack from the dominant control position.
Gordon Ryan: Systematically Attacking from Closed Guard
In this series, Gordon Ryan takes the closed guard and breaks down all possible sweep and submission options in a way that will show you that at best you knew 1% of the potential of the closed guard position. Closed Guard is typically a position we get introduced to early in our careers, but for most of us, we rush past it never fully understanding all of the nuances available to us. Gordon Ryan reveals these nuances in glorious 4K detail for us.
Gordon Ryan: My Evolution Your Revolution
One of the many things that sets Gordon Ryan apart from the competition is the fact that after most events, you won't find Gordon celebrating. Instead he is most likely reflecting or watching his fight footage to fix any errors he may have felt he committed during the matches.
After the double gold performance in Anaheim at ADCC 2019, Gordon Ryan decided it was time to share this process with the jiu jitsu community. From that idea comes My Evolution Your Revolution where Gordon Ryan literally breaks down each and every match of his legendary ADCC run.
Gordon Ryan: Systematically Attacking the Guard
In the first of the Systematically Attacking series, Gordon Ryan shares his three part formula designed to pass any type of guard that you may find yourself confronted by.
Gordon "King" Ryan Biography
Gordon Ryan was born in 1995 in Monroe, New Jersey. He was introduced to BJJ by his first instructor Miguel Benitez, himself a student of Tom DeBlass. Under the tutelage of Tom DeBlass, Gordon would eventually become a full-time student of Tom's first black belt Garry Tonon. When Garry began teaching at Brunswick BJJ, Gordon would become a full-time student of Garry's and would eventually begin traveling to NYC frequently to train at the Renzo Gracie Academy in Manhattan. Both he and Garry would quickly become the core of the Danaher Death Squad, training alongside grapplers like Eddie Cummings and MMA fighters like George St. Pierre and Chris Weidman.
The hard-nosed discipline and worth ethic of Tom DeBlass and Garry Tonon was ingrained in the young Gordon Ryan early on. He would achieve his first taste of high level victory as a brown belt at the No Gi Worlds in 2015. The foundation created by Tonon and DeBlass would later be coupled with the philosophic methodology of John Danaher and it helped lead to Ryan's meteoric achievement of his black belt at the age of 20 after barely 5 years of training in 2016.
Since then the grappling achievements of Gordon Ryan have been many. He and his Danaher Death Squad teammates all but dominated the Eddie Bravo Invitational events, with Gordon securing the belt at four of the events himself. It would be his 90 minute submission only victory against the legendary Keenan Cornelius that would ultimately inspire the nickname "The King".
With his incredible success also came and rising tide of detractors and naysayers who saw his "specialization" in sub only events as a point of contention. Never one to quietly ignore the detractors, Gordon's presence on social media can sometimes be eerily reminiscent of US President Donald Trump who is also known to shoot from the hip. Gordon Ryan would silence many of his critiques who saw him as a 'sub only one trick pony' when he put on a dominating show in Finland at his first ADCC World Championship event, eventually winning the -88kg division defeating Dillon Danis, Romulo Barral, Xande Ribeiro and Keenan Cornelius. and securing a silver medal in the Absolute after beating Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu, Craig Jones, and Mahamad Aly before being bested by champion Felipe Pena.
After the ADCC event, Gordon shocked the grappling world by promising to focus solely on Gi jiu jitsu training for the foreseeable future to give himself time to take on the elite athletes in the IBJJF gi circuit. Most recently, Gordon Ryan has begun to show signs that he may follow the footsteps of his instructor, mentor and friend Garry Tonon and step onto the MMA stages sooner than later. Either way, the fans of the grappling and combat sports will be eagerly awaiting King Ryan's next move.