Nicky Ryan is a famous BJJ competitor and athlete. He’s famous by association with his older brother, Gordon Ryan, but also in his own right. He’s one of the youngest and most successful BJJ athletes in the history of Brazilian jiu jitsu.
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Nicky Ryan BJJ Biography
Age: 20 (born in 2001)
Belt: black belt under John Danaher
Height and weight: still increasing
Net worth: Increasing (but not a lot yet because he doesn’t have BJJ instructionals out yet)
Nicky Ryan is the brother of Gordon Ryan. Just like his brother, Nicky Ryan started training at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York under John Danaher, in what’s now known as ‘the Danaher Death Squad (DDS)’. His early training partners there include Garry Tonon and Eddie Cummings.
Later Nicky Ryan moved to the B-Team. His training partners there include Nicky Rod and Craig Jones.
1. Leg locks
Nicky Ryan is a leg lock expert, just like his brother Gordon Ryan. This is his bread and butter. But, it’s by no means the only submission he’s good at. What makes Nicky Ryan great is that he’s very diverse in his attacks.
2. Double legs
Nicky Ryan is a fan of the double leg, and constantly uses this takedown to get into the top position. He uses the double leg from the standing position, but also to wrestle up from the seated position. This takedown threat is what makes his guard extra dangerous.
3. Double underhooks
Nicky Ryan uses double underhooks to control his opponent and set up other techniques. He’s great at passing from the double underhooks with various body lock variations. Gordon Ryan says that he cannot stop Nicky Ryan’s body lock passing.
Nicky Ryan is a submission grappler, and he loves to control and finish his opponents with kimura variations. The Kimura is a staple from members of the Danaher death squad. You can often see Nicky Ryan go for a kimura trap from top, or from the bottom with a shoulder clamp as setup.
5. Single leg
Despite being a proficient leg lock player, Nicky Ryan still uses single legs to get into the top position. Again he does this both from standing, and while wrestling up from a seated position. He also switches back and forth from the double leg to single leg takedown.
Nicky Ryan BJJ Instructionals
Nicky Ryan currently doesn’t have any BJJ instructionals out. However, he is teaching more and more in videos of the B team nowadays. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Nicky Ryan releases an instructional DVD on BJJFanatics soon.
In the meantime, you can watch instructionals of his older brother Gordon Ryan. He has a lot of them.
Notable Achievements of Nicky Ryan in BJJ
Nicky Ryan has many notable achievements in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Especially for someone of his age.
He beat Dante Leon, Geo Martinez, Urijah Faber and Kade Ruotolo, among many others, all by submission. He also lost to Tye Ruotolo in a controversial decision. He also had great matches with Tony Ramos, PJ Barch and Gabriel Almeida.
Also, Nicky Ryan is the youngest person ever to compete in ADCC. He also did great in his run.
Nicky Ryan never competed in the gi in a significant way. He’s a no gi specialist.
What makes Nicky Ryan so successful as a BJJ athlete?
Nicky Ryan has a few characteristics that make him so successful in BJJ. Some important qualities for Nicky Ryan’s success are:
- He is a technical wizard. He learned BJJ from a young age, before he could use strength, so he had to learn to rely on his technique.
- He has great instinct and awareness. This is also because he has so much competition experience, despite his young age. He started competing at 13.
- He has a very high work rate. Nicky Ryan is one of the highest paced BJJ competitors out there. He is constantly moving, constantly attacking.
- He is constantly seeking to improve. He is very active on Instagram, constantly giving advice to his followers, and constantly giving back to the community. And teaching makes him understand BJJ better himself as well.
- He has great body control. He is constantly in the right position to get the most leverage.
- He is flexible. He does his stretches for BJJ daily. This allows him to get in small spaces, and gives him the ability to do complicated submissions like the Twister.
- He has great timing. He is able to slip into spaces at just the right time, at just the right angle, at just the right speed.
- He is strong as an ox. Some even speculate that Nicky Ryan takes steroids or other (illegal) supplements for BJJ. However, these rumors have never been confirmedat all.
I believe that Nicky Ryan could become the greatest BJJ competitor to ever live. He is young and has a lot of time to improve and to dominate the competition circuit. He has all the tools and qualities and he has already proven his potential in competition. He is the greatest BJJ prospect to pay attention to in the coming years.
Other BJJ athletes like Nicky Ryan
If you enjoyed this article about Nicky Ryan, check out the following athletes as well:
- Gordon Ryan
- Craig Jones
- Lachlan Giles
- Gary Tonon
- ‘Nicky Rod’ Rodrigue
- Marcelo Garcia
- Orlando Sanchez (‘Big O’)