Secret Sauce: Why Gordon Ryan Is In A League Of His Own

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"All the greats, you look at Marcelo, Roger, Braulo, those are guys who are considered the best of all time and they all go out to finish people."

At just 24 years old, Gordon Ryan is on track to become the greatest no-gi grappler of all time. He is selling out events, making millions on the side and quickly running out of worthy opponents. Now more than ever, grapplers around the world are wondering, why the hell is Gordon Ryan so successful?

The Mindset: The Mission Behind The Danaher Death Squad

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The Strategy: How Rising Stars Can Beat Seasoned Veterans

John Danaher knew that if his athletes had a chance beating seasoned veterans, he would need to develop them into highly-trained specialists. He first examined the overall structure of modern jiu-jitsu and exposed its weak spots. After speaking with Dean Lister, John saw the opportunity to create a powerful leg lock system. He then taught this system to his top students which resulted in them dominating no-gi competition for years to come. 

"That's what John's whole goal was, he wanted to look at the gaping hole in jiu-jitsu to get guys who have been training 4-5 years to beat guys who have been training 10-15 years. That was our whole thing."

In a recent podcast episode, Gordon reminds up how oblivious even the most seasoned competitors were to the leg lock system.


The Evolution: Using Fear To Create Opportunity

It didn't take long for opponents to notice the effectiveness of Danaher's system. Even the most traditional gyms began learning how to defend leg attacks in preparation for a future matchup against the DDS. However, this fear of being leg locked only created more opportunities. Often causing competitors to overcompensate, allowing the squad to acquire more dominant positions.

"When people started worrying about leg locks, we decided to do other things. When they defend the leg locks, it makes it much easier to take the back. When they're worried about you trying to attack the legs from the top position, like the match with Romulo for example, he was so worried about me trying to enter his legs from top that I was able to pass his guard pretty easily."


The Numbers: Statistics & Submissions

As the back became more available, Gordon Ryan's statistics started shifting. Before long, almost 1/3 of all of his submissions were via RNC. He drove this point home during ADCC 2019, where he submitted 5/8 of his opponents via rear-naked choke - which he did with one arm due to an injured hand.


Source: BJJ Heroes


Behind The Dirt: How Gordon Takes The Back 

What's the technique behind Gordon's back takes? We brought in Mike Mal to breakdown how Gordon stuffs Lucas Barbosa's single leg and takes the back.


The Secret Sauce: Key Takeaways From Gordon's Success

It's difficult to quantify Gordon's success to one specific factor. Is it hard work? Is it John Danaher? At the end of the day, it's not my place to say. That's why we asked both Gordon and John. Checkout the official documentary on Gordon Ryan, where both men share what the key to Gordon's success is.

THE KING

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ADCC Return, Memories And Advice For Beginners From Marcelo And Bernardo

4x ADCC champion Marcelo Garcia and IBJJF Worlds open class champion Bernardo Faria both called in for the 34th episode of the WNO Podcast. The Alliance legends trained together for years in New York and both came through the same academy in Sao Paulo under Fabio Gurgel. You could really feel the brotherhood in one of the most fun WNO interviews yet, here are the highlights - 

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Secret Sauce: Art Of Jiu-Jitsu's Three Pillars of Success

Step inside one of the most innovative teams in jiu-jitsu and learn how design impacts every aspect of life. 

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The Danaher Death Squad BodyBuilding & Nutrition Strategies

Academies and competitors around the world are eager to adopt the winning formula behind the Danaher Death Squad. Today, John, Gordon and Nick give us a piece of that formula by sharing their bodybuilding and nutrition strategy.

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Jonnatas Gracie's Remarkable Purple Belt Absolute Run

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When Jonnatas first looked at the purple belt absolute bracket at the 2017 IBJJF World Championships, he didn't feel too great about his path to victory. After all, he was a lightweight with three ultra-heavyweight medalists standing in his way. 

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Gordon And Nick Went Full Jersey on WNO Podcast And It Was Something Else

Gordon Ryan and Nick Rodriguez both called in for the Ep. 32 of The WNO Podcast. In true New Jersey fashion, they didn't hold back when discussing their rivals on the show. Here are some of the highlights. 

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How Xande Ribeiro Holds A Near Unbreakable ADCC Record

Standing on the top of the ADCC podium is one of the most prestigious accomplishments in modern martial arts. Few are honored enough to even earn their way into the tournament. Those who do will battle against the top one percent of grapplers worldwide to earn the title, ADCC Champion. 

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Top 5 Most Controversial Competitors In Jiu-Jitsu

Haters, brawls, dirty moves, drugs and rivalries, these polarizing competitors always get caught up in the mix.

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