Ryan Hall

“You’re gonna think, ‘Aw man, I’m pretty good.’ And that’s the worst thing that can cross your mind.” – Ryan Hall

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Like most people, I first became aware of Ryan Hall when he was a Lloyd Irvin purple belt with freakish flexibility, devastating triangles, and something called an “inverted guard.” As his grappling career progressed he became equally known to the Jiu Jitsu world as a leg-lock specialist, a top-level competitor and one of the most talented instructors in the game.

I draw a great deal of inspiration from Ryan’s career. Ryan showed the world that hard-work and intelligence can bring you to the top of the talent pool, even if you’re a suspiciously-flexible, light-weight Jiu Jitsu player.

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Ryan Hall + Shoyoroll

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Now a black-belt under Brasa’s Felipe Costa, Hall also runs his own academy, 50/50 Jiu Jitsu in Northern Virginia. His accomplishments include gi and no-gi World Championships at purple belt, a bronze medal in the World Championships at brown belt, and a bronze medal at the World’s most prestigious no-gi event, the ADCC – where he took veteran Jeff Glover to the limit before securing the back to win the match. His medal came after he and Glover were beaten by Leo Vieira and Rani Yahya respectively, a fact which should not diminish the accomplishments of either competitor.

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Ryan Hall Highlight

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Not without controversy, Ryan Hall’s statements about the guard in Jiu Jitsu, his association and subsequent split with Lloyd Irvin and his reliance on the 50/50 guard have all led to many pages of consternation on the major BJJ message boards.

Today, Hall is attempting to break into the highest echelons of black belt competition. Not having had the results he was hoping for this year in the Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships and the Abu Dhabi Pro (despite putting on amazing performances) it’s going to be interesting to see how Hall matures as a competitor in the most stacked weight division on the planet. With the World Jiu Jitsu Championships coming up next month, I’m looking forward to seeing if Hall can out-Atos the Atos team, who has so far kept him off the podium at major competitions this year.

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Ryan Hall inverted reverse triangle. What?

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In addition to being a World-class competitor, Hall has also released a series of high-quality instructional DVDs. His first instructional focusing on the triangle choke was re-worked and released with his 50/50 guard DVD, both being demonstrated without a gi. His second set of DVD’s focused on his signature back attacks and deep half guard. I’ve spent many hours drilling Ryan’s techniques, and really appreciate his comprehensive, conceptual approach to instruction. I wish I had a chance to get on the mats with Hall and pick his brain about finishing the waiter sweep or countering the rolling back take, for example, but for now the DVDs have increased greatly my understanding of Jiu Jitsu.

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Ryan Hall Shoyoroll Interview 2010

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Links:

Ryan Hall at BJJ Heroes

New DSTRYRsg Ryan Hall interview 

Ryan Hall at the 2011 IBJJF Houston Open

Ryan Hall UK seminar highlights and interview

Felipe Costa visits Ryan Hall (black belt promotion)

Ryan Hall rolling and discussion with Marcelo Garcia

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