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John Danaher Leglocks
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Is Nicky Ryan a JiuJitsu prodigy?

Is Nicky Ryan a JiuJitsu prodigy?



Unassuming 17 year old, Nicky Ryan, continues his dominance over older, more experienced JiuJitsu practitioners. His latest victory coming in the Polaris 8 featherweight championship versus leg lock legend, Masakazu Imanari. Nicky wasted no time testing Imanari’s legs with several well placed attacks, but ultimately took Imanari's back and won by rear strangle.

Learn the same SAVAGE leg lock system taught to Nicky Ryan by the legendary John Danaher. Click LEARN MORE to start today! 


This victory is another exciting accomplishment for the amazing Nicky Ryan. Masakazu Imanari is called a “Tenth Dan in Leg Locks” by the Japanese. He is best known for the "Imanari Roll," a technique of rolling from a standing position into a leg lock. Nicky Ryan also holds notable wins over many top grapplers including, Geo Martinez, Marvin Castelle, Phil Harris and Hideo Tokoro. Like everyone on the "Danaher Death Squad," Nicky Ryan displays an impressive leg lock arsenal, in addition to a well-rounded game. This win is an impressive victory for the young John Danaher purple belt, who seems to have no ceiling as far as talent level. 

In a post fight interview, Ryan said he was very happy to get the finish, but said over all he did not think it was his greatest performance. Nicky said he doesn't let any of the outside pressure or expectations get to him and said he is not worried about living up to anyone's expectations but his own. Nicky called it an "honor" to compete against Imanari because he has watched and followed Imanari since he started training Brazilian JiuJitsu. Nicky had high praise for Imanari, saying Imanari had some of the best leg locks he has seen in competition and said Imanari was definitely a lot tougher than he expected. Nicky said he is hoping in five years to have won an ADCC title and be considered at least "top three" in whatever weight class he is competing in.

With all of the latest wins over experienced grapplers, the word "prodigy" has been thrown out when speaking of the young phenom. However, in a recent interview, Ryan's coach, John Danaher thinks otherwise. Danaher said, when you think of a prodigy, you think of someone who has an "incredible gift," but Nicky Ryan didn't really have any "great gift." Danaher went on to say when Nicky first came to train with him, Nicky was overweight and not athletic. Danaher then complimented Nicky saying he has a maturity and seriousness that was deeply impressive, even at 14 years old. Danaher implied Nicky is as good as he is because of his intense training regimen and dedication to the sport.  Danaher then asked the question himself, saying, "so is he a prodigy?" His answer, "no, he's a very mature, hard working person who knows exactly what they want to be." 

Whether Nicky Ryan is a prodigy or just an immensely hard working, focused young man will be debated, but one thing is for certain, he seems to be improving leaps and bounds with each competition and undoubtedly has one of the brightest futures in the grappling world today. 

Don't forget to check out John Danaher's  Leglocks ENTER THE SYSTEM PART 1. This series will teach you the concept and techniques that are used by Nicky Ryan and the much feared, "Danaher Death Squad." You can get it here!  






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