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The Trickster of Jiu Jitsu: Gordon Ryan Plays For Keeps

The Trickster of Jiu Jitsu: Gordon Ryan Plays For Keeps


No matter what he does, it will never be good enough for the trolls who lurk beneath digital bridges.

Gordon Ryan has his share of haters in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but he also commands a legion of adherents to love where he is taking the game. He has been told to respect his elders, he has been told to tone down his smack talk, and he has been questioned about every step he takes.

But what is compelling about Gordon Ryan, love him or hate him, is that he is usually right, and that is what makes him different than all of the other fighters who attempt to mimic the great showmen. Like a Conor McGregor or a Chael Sonnen, Gordon Ryan knows how to back up his words when it matters and along the way he often reveals a few tricks to show us all the machinations behind the curtains. He creates a mesmerizing narrative for all of those who listen to his siren call.

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Gordon Ryan Live Rolling Of His Guard Passing Instructional Video - Coming Soon


Gordon has been slowly returning to training after the injury to his knee that came during his Kasai 2019 battle with Joao Gabriel Rocha. With a few months left before ADCC 2019, Gordon has indicated that he is still on track to compete if his healing progress continues. Never one to offer excuses, one look at his Instagram feed and you can see that he is steady on his rehab work, completing the filming for his latest BJJ Fanatics release on the Closed Guard, preparing mentally for the ADCC Absolute and keeping the competition on notice that he is not dead yet. 

So what does the trickster out of New York City have to teach us? Firstly, his mindset is critical to understanding his success. Gordon Ryan believes he is the best, and he trusts in all of the hard work that he puts in while at the mythical blue basement with John Danaher and the Danaher Death Squad. He has faith in his technique. How many of us go to tournaments and simply fear that our own techniques will not hold up under battle pressure? While some see the King Ryan social media chatter as disrespect to others, in fact it should be seen as confidence in what he is bringing to the mats on fight day. Much like Conor McGregor, and unlike almost all others who imitate the Irish fighter, Gordon Ryan delivers what he promises: exciting matches, overall domination and faith in his system of combat. Others talk smack, but it comes across as off-putting because it lacks the humor and sincerity of King Ryan's playful banter. He also tends to reveal that some emperor's are not wearing the clothes they preach to wear, which appeals to underdogs and the subversive players.

Jiu-jitsu Ace Gordon Ryan Says ‘Ultimate Goal’ Is To Be ‘Best In MMA’

Secondly, Gordon Ryan can teach us how to work with discipline. He has definite goals and dreams of becoming the best grappler in history before moving on to mixed martial arts like his mentor, Garry Tonon. He weight trains in a systematic manner with Nathalia Santoro as seen in his first BJJ Fanatics offering, Getting Swole as a Grappler. He demythologizes the concept that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does not require strength and shares his rise up from being a skinny guy to a veritable monster. He shares his whole system including exercises, supplementation, weight cutting versus weight gaining, and even shopping and a few food preparations with his audience. 

Barbell Presses with Gordon Ryan

Thirdly, Gordon Ryan is a student of his masters, and it is not small list: Tom DeBlass, Garry Tonon and John Danaher. He defends their work, implements their teachings and then adds his own unique abilities to what they have taught him over countless hours in their gyms. How many of us would do better if we actually followed our professors' approaches to the letter instead of denying the validity of the wisdom they offer us by rationalizing away the techniques as boring or unimportant in comparison to the latest Berimbolo to Flying Gogoplata we just saw on YouTube. What is even more impressive is how Gordon synthesizes his acquired knowledge and shares it with those students who have the wherewithal to take a private lesson with him in New York or who purchase one of his BJJ Fanatics series, such as Systematically Attacking the Guard. His knowledge is impressive for such a young fighter, and while he does not speak with the scholarly overtones of Professor Danaher, what he offers is a pragmatic and compelling approach to whatever he teaches. 

Gordon Ryan Explains His Guard Passing System

Pay close attention to King Ryan over the next few weeks as he prepares for his next climb to the top. I expect a few priceless free video offerings to be offered by BJJ Fanatics before the release of his next series, and even now there are multiple sample videos on-site to explore the King's game. It is an exciting time to be training the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so we should all enjoy these formative moments before access to such talents become more and more inaccessible to the general public. Until that moment, revel in the generosity of King Ryan as shares his pearls of wisdom with the community as he continues his rise to total domination of the sport as we know it.


Check out Gordon’s “Systematically Attacking the Guard”, and while you are at it, you should probably pick up “Getting Swole As A Grappler” his complete meal plan and workout strategy that allowed him to pack on insane amounts of muscle and functional strength.  Besides, does anyone not want to be shredded? Yeah…. Didn’t think so.



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