Top 5 Gordon Ryan Instructionals You Should Watch In 2024

Gordon Ryan is a somewhat controversial figure, but nobody can deny that Gordon’s instructionals are awesome.

They’re the most detailed, the most comprehensive, and he’s clearly the best grappler ever. So in this review, which I want to call Systematically watching all Gordon Ryan instructionals (see what I did there?), I give you the 5 to 7 best Gordon Ryan instructionals that will make you a more dangerous grappler. Let’s get started!

1. Systematically Attacking The Arm Bar

Gordon Ryan Arm Bar Instructional cover

Never lose an arm bar again

The Perfect Arm Bar (new!)

Read my full review

Full nameSystematically Attacking The Arm Bar By Gordon Ryan
Total duration7 hours and 23 minutes
Publication year2023, October
Where to buyHere on BJJ Fanatics

What’s it about: Controlling and finishing the arm bar.

It’s not about arm bar entries. Every demonstration starts with Gordon Ryan already in the arm bar position. The arm bar position is spider web, and 8 alternative leg configurations (quarter juji, three quarter juji, etc.). From here, Gordon shows in great detail how to stabilize the position, how to counter escape attempts, how to separate the arms and how to finish the arm bar.

Why I like it: This is Gordon’s most clearly structured instructional, and his explanations are very clear. It’s his 30th instructional, so he’s really good at clear demonstrations, always having the perfect camera angle, not repeating himself unnecessarily, and so forth. And 95% of this instructional is stuff that I’ve never seen before from anyone else, which is crazy if you consider that it’s about such a basic and ‘small’ topic.

My recommendation: Is your arm bar very good? Are you sure? Or do people just tap out as soon as you start extending their arm? Do you even grab the essential ‘handshake grip’ when you finish the arm bar? That’s what I thought… You need this instructional. Go get it now.

2. Systematically Attacking The Legs

Gordon Ryan Systematically attacking the legs instructional cover

The best leg locker in the world finally shares his secrets…

Learn Leg Locks, Finally

Full nameSystematically Attacking the Legs by Gordon Ryan
Total duration8 hours and 46 minutes
Publication year2023
Where to buyHere on BJJ Fanatics

What’s it about: Attacking leg locks from all the main leg locking positions (saddle, 50/50, outside ashi, ashi garami, etc.).

Why I like it: Gordon Ryan is the best leg locker ever. Truly. Before I watched this, I wondered how much Gordon could add to my understanding, given that I already watched Craig Jones’ and Lachlan Giles’ leg lock instructionals. But Gordon Ryan’s instructional is just far more elaborate and detailed.

My recommendation: If you ever want to learn leg locks, this is what you should watch.

3. Pin Escapes

cover of Gordon Ryan: Pillas of Defense, Pin escapes instructional on BJJ Fanatics

Turn your defense into your offense

Never get stuck again…

Full nameThe Pillars Of Defense: Pin Escapes – Defensive To Offensive Cycles
Total duration8 hours and 23 minutes
Publication yearAug. 2022
Where to buyHere on BJJ Fanatics

What’s it about: Escaping pins like side control, mount, back mount and north south.

Why I like it: This is such an important topic. I’ve never spent enough time on it – but that’s also because the ‘traditional’ escapes never work… Gordon Ryan’s escapes work extremely well, and they’re much more detailed than the traditional ones. He starts from terrible positions (like high mount), and works his way back through a hierarchy of improving positions until you’re fully escaped. The fact that he breaks down a big position (like mount) into 8 or 9 sub positions is very helpful.

My recommendation:

By the way, you can also get Upper Body Joint Lock Escapes, that one’s similarly really good, but in my opinion it’s less important because you’re stuck in joint locks much less often than you’re stuck in pins (or at least that’s how it should be…).

4. Attacking from Mount

cover of systematically attacking from mount instructional by gordon ryan

A blueprint for submitting from mount

Beat stallers from mount

Full nameSystematically Attacking From Top Pins: Mount By Gordon Ryan
Total duration4 hours and 31 minutes
Publication year2022, April
Where to buyHere on BJJ Fanatics

What’s it about: Attacking submissions from mount, even if you’re opponent is defensive (or stalling). The submission chains that Gordon Ryan shows are meant to be forcing, not opportunistic. They will still work, even if your opponent knows they’re coming. (That’s how it should be, because mount is a dominant position, so you should be able to dominate your opponent.)

Why I like it: I hate stallers, they make jiu jitsu way too difficult. And they’re boring. I had never seen any of these submission chains before that Gordon Ryan shows in this instructional. And it works extremely well. I had practically never hit an arm bar from mount before I watched this submission (at least not against a staller), and it’s my best submission now.

My recommendation: Do you have any submissions from mount? Even if the guy is stalling? Most people don’t… Gordon Ryan will show you how to sit up straight in mount, like an MMA fighter getting ready to throw punches, and to put grappling pressure that will lead to a submission sooner rather than later. This is a really important instructional to become well rounded in your offense and to beat stallers, so I recommend you get it now.

By the way, you can also get Attacking from Side Control and North South. It’s just as good. And the upside is that you’re in side control more often than you’re in mount. The reason that I put Attacking from Mount above it, is that I believe people generally struggle more with attacking from mount against defensive opponents.

5. The ADCC 2022 Breakdown

cover of Gordon Ryan ADCC 2022 Analysis instructional

Learn from real life footage

Learn from Gordon’s mistakes

Full nameMy evolution your Revolution: ADCC 2022 analysis
Total duration4 hours and 13 minutes
Publication year2022
Where to buyHere on BJJ Fanatics

What’s it about: Gordon Ryan breaks down all his matches of ADCC 2022, where he won his weight division and his superfight with Andre Galvao.

Why I like it: I love match breakdowns because they show you real jiu jitsu and strategy. In a real match, nothing ever goes perfectly. Not for us, and not for Gordon Ryan. That’s why it’s super useful to see not just how techniques look on instructionals (in a perfect setting), but also how messy they look in real life. Gordon is also very self critical, he mentions a lot of things that he messed up during his matches and why, which you’ll learn a lot from. And if you watched ADCC it’s just very cool te relive all those moments.

My recommendation: This one is for the true jiu jitsu nerds. Is that you? Did you watch ADCC and were you on the edge of your seat? Then you’ll enjoy this instructional. And you can also get My Evolution Your Revolution: ADCC 2019 and My Evolution Your Evolution: ADCC 2017, you’ll enjoy those too.

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All Gordon Ryan instructionals

Here’s a list of all Gordon Ryan instructionals, what they’re about, when they were published and how long they are. They’re sorted from new to old.

TitleTopicPublish dateDuration
Systematically Attacking The Arm BarArm barOct. 20237 hours and 3 minutes
Pillars Of Defense: Leg Locks To Back TakesLeg lock defenseAug. 20236 hours and 23 minutes
The Pillars Of Defense: Leg Locks To Guard PassingLeg locks & Guard PassingJul. 20234 hours and 20 minutes
The Pillars Of Defense: Leg Lock Escapes And Counter LocksLeg locksMay. 20235 hours and 49 minutes
High Percentage Gi PassesGuard passing (gi)Mar. 202339 minutes
Systematically Attacking the LegsLeg locksFeb. 20238 hours and 46 minutes
The Pillars of Defense: Strangle EscapesSubmission escapesJan. 20238 hours and 7 minutes
My evolution your Revolution: ADCC 2022Match analysisNov. 20224 hours and 13 minutes
Pillars Of Defense: Upper Body Joint Lock EscapesSubmission escapesOkt. 20228 hours and 10 minutes
The Pillars Of Defense: Pin Escapes – Defensive To Offensive CyclesPin escapesAug. 20228 hours and 23 minutes
Systematically Attacking The Guard 2.0Guard passing (high steps & toreandos)Jun. 20226 hours and 22 minutes
Systematically Attacking From Top Pins: MountMountApr. 20224 hours and 31 minutes
Systematically Attacking The Guard Body Lock StudyGuard passingFeb. 20229 hours and 24 minutes
The Pillars Of Defense: Turtle & Front Headlock EscapesTurtle escapesDec. 20218 hours and 2 minutes
The Pillars of Defense: Back EscapesBack escapesOkt. 20216 hours and 38 minutes
Systematically attacking From Top Pins: Side Control & North SouthSide controlJun. 20218 hours and 11 minutes
They Shall Not Pass: World Championship Guard RetentionGuard retentionApr. 202111 hours and 47 minutes
Systematically Attacking From Half GuardHalf guardFeb. 20219 hours and 59 minutes
The Sport of Kings: High Performance Mindset For GrapplingMindsetDec. 20203 hours and 11 minutes
Systematically Attacking From Open Guard Supine PositionOpen guardSep. 20206 hours and 39 minutes
Systematically Attacking From Open Guard Seated PositionOpen guardJul. 20209 hours and 44 minutes
Systematically Attacking The BackFinishing from the backMay. 20207 hours and 31 minutes
Systematically Attacking the Turtle PositionBack takes & moreFeb. 20208 hours and 21 minutes
My Evolution Your Revolution: ADCC 2019 AnalysisMatch analysisNov. 20196 hours and 17 minutes
Systematically Attacking From Closed GuardClosed guardAug. 20195 hours and 39 minutes
Getting Swole As A GrapplerDiet & exerciseJun. 20191 hour and 48 minutes
Systematically Attacking The GuardGuard passingFeb. 201910 hours and 18 minutes
My Evolution Your Evolution: ADCC 2017 AnalysisMatch analysisN/A5 hours and 43 minutes

Also read: BJJ Fanatics Review: Top 10 best BJJ Fanatics Instructionals

Gordon Ryan Systematically attacking the legs instructional cover

Finally learn how to leg lock with finesse

Master Leg Locks

How does Gordon Ryan teach?

In detail. Gordon Ryan gives more details than anyone else, because he knows more than anyone else. He lets you know that too. He always says things like “so-called high level black belts always do this wrong, so I’ll show how you should do it instead”. And his intructionals are long, because he has so much information to share.

Also read: The 7 Best BJJ Instructors: Choose wisely who to learn from

Which are the best Gordon Ryan instructionals?

As a general rule of thumb, his new instructionals are the best. Gordon Ryan keeps getting better at teaching, so his newer dvd’s are generally the best. And the production quality also keeps getting better (there was a big jump in 2021 when BJJ Fanatics switched to their new recording studio).

Also read: The Essential Guide to BJJ Instructionals in 2023


Are any Gordon Ryan instructionals free?

Unfortunately Gordon Ryan doesn’t offer any free BJJ instructionals – he’s got to think about his net worth!

Fortunately, some other instructors do offer free instructionals. Including John Danaher and Craig Jones. You can read about them in the article below (scroll down to the last section). But keep in mind that free BJJ instructionals are always much smaller in scope than paid ones.

Also read: BJJ Fanatics Review: Top 10 Best BJJ Fanatics Instructionals

Systematically attacking the guard VS Attacking the guard 2.0

Systematically attacking the guard is an older instructional, and it’s much broader. It covers passing basics such as passing closed guard, knee shield half guard, de la riva, and so forth. Attacking the guard 2.0 is a deep dive on Gordon’s most used passes now, Toreando’s and high steps. I recommend you start with 1.0, and get 2.0 afterwards.

Gordon Ryan vs John Danaher instructionals

Gordon Ryan and John Danaher teach similar things on their instructionals, but Gordon Ryan goes into much more detail. Some people say that John Danaher is like getting a bachelor degree and Gordon Ryan is like doing a PhD. I generally like Gordon Ryan better than John Danaher, but it’s a matter of taste.

Also read: Danaher instructionals Guide: Best, what order, Free & More

Gordon Ryan half guard vs Lachlan Giles half guard instructional

Gordon Ryan’s half guard instructional is great, but I think Lachlan’s is even better. Lachlan covers more half guard positions, most notably a flattened out half guard. Gordon Ryan only covers offensive half guard positions: deep half, half butterfly and knee shield half guard.

Also read: Top 5 Best Half Guard Instructionals You’ll ever Watch

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