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Does Bouncing Teach Us More Than Competition? The Great Gordon Ryan Thinks So…
Is Bouncing A Better Catalyst For Growth Than Competition?
Who is Gordon Ryan? He is arguably the best grappler on the planet. This New Jersey born grappler is a four time Eddie Bravo Invitational Champion. A few of his accomplishment are being the 2017 ADCC Champion, 2018 IBJJF Pans No-Gi Champion and Quintet 3 Champion. He has beaten some of the world’s best grapplers including Dillon Danis, Romulo Barral, Xande Ribeiro and Keenan Cornelius. Perhaps the most profound thing about this prolific grappler is that he is only 23. The future certainly holds many wonderful things for this grappler.
At the age of 15, Ryan was introduced to Jiu Jitsu. Three people had a profound impact on Gordon’s Jiu Jitsu education. Ryan’s tutelage started under the incomparable Tom DeBlass in New Jersey. Tom is renowned for his grappling abilities, high level mixed martial arts competition and teaching abilities. Garry Tonon also played an important impact on Ryan. Tonon was a brown belt of DeBlass at the time. Alongside Tom, Tonon played a key impact in Ryan’s instruction. Tonon is a legendary grappler with wins at EBI, Polaris, Metamoris and many other high level tournaments. Garry also influenced Gordon to train with another one of his instructors, the legendary John Danaher. Danaher has coached former UFC Champions George St. Pierre and Chris Weidman. He also has been responsible for the education of many renowned grapplers. After 6 months as a brown belt and victories at IBJJF World No-Gi Champion and Newaza Challenge Champion Ryan was awarded his black belt by Garry Tonon. Tom DeBlass, John Danaher, and Ricardo Almeida all supported the promotion.
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Ryan’s grappling accomplishments are nothing short of spectacular. He won the IBJJF Nogi World Championship at Brown Belt. In 2016, Ryan defeated Yuri Simoes and Rustam Chsiev to win the Eddie Bravo Invitational Championship. Gordon’s next notable accomplishment was a super fight with Keenan Cornelius. In this no time limit submission only event, Gordon tapped Keenan with a heel hook. In 2017 Ryan competed in the ADCC World Championship. He claimed gold in the -88kg weight category by defeating Dillon Danis, Romulo Barral, Xande Ribeiro and Keenan Cornelius. He placed 2nd in the absolute division. He submitted all of his opponents but lost to Felipe Pena in the final. In 2018, Gordon won gold in his weight class and the absolute division and the IBJJF Pan Nogi. He also took gold at the No Gi Worlds in his weight class and the absolute division. Ryan led Team Alpha Male's to a victory in Quintet's 2018 Tournament where he had submission victories over Josh Barnett, Marcos Souza, Craig Jones and Vitor Ribeiro. Ryan’s other accomplishments include an unprecedented four time EBI Champion and Grappling Industries Champion.
Gordon is also an exception teacher. His guard passing instructional video promises to be one of the bestselling videos of all time. Danaher has also given him high praise saying, “Gordon Ryan is much more than an incredible athlete - he is one of the best teachers I have seen - people will be amazed when they see this video”.
Gordon Ryan recently posted on social media the following, “I believe being a bouncer taught john more about grappling than competition ever would have. When you're in a real fight in 1980s/90s NYC you have to actually break people a lot of the times. Why do you think our submissions are so good? John spent years and years of studying breaking mechanics through real world fights. Where he would actually have to use submissions to finish people vs just letting go when they tap. In today's coaching methods the art of actually breaking a limb is massively under taught. Everyone teaches you "ok now we get to the arm bar and we finish" no... getting to the submission is only half the work. You know how hard it is it to actually break someone's arm or leg to the point where they can’t use it? It's not easy. That's why mechanics have to be perfected in teaching/training so that you can actually break someone if need be. If you look at most high level competition there are a decent amount of submissions. But if you actually look at the mechanics of the submissions they're mostly terrible. So why do they work? Simply because most high level black belts spend 95% of their time training trying to not get put in bad spots. They don’t put themselves in fully extended arm bars or fully locked triangles. So in a competitive setting when they get put in these positions they end up tapping because they don’t know how to escape, not because they're opponents have outstanding breaking mechanics (sometimes they do).”
What do you think about his post? Do you think there is merit to it? If he is right it may necessitate that we redefine the way we approach training.
Such unique perspective coupled his education, grappling success and systematic approach to Jiu Jitsu are testaments to his exceptional abilities as an instructor. Certainly the Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have him.
If you like Gordon Ryan, check out his instructional from BJJ Fanatics, "Getting Swole As a Grappler". It gives you his exact program, tips, diet advice and more on how to achieved jackedness and be a complete bad ass on the mats.