Black Belt under 2-time world champion Felipe Costa and professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter representing Tristar Gym, Ryan Hall is one of the most competitively successful American-born Jiu-Jitsu players to date and is widely regarded as one of the best lightweight submission grapplers in the world.Read more about Ryan Hall »
Ryan is an IBJJF Mundial (world), No-Gi Mundial, and European champion and medalist at the CBJJ Brazilian National (Brasiliero) championship, but is best known for his accomplishments on the world level of no-gi submission wrestling competition where he has faced and defeated some of the sport’s greatest champions. Ryan has been invited three times to compete in the ultra-prestigious Abu Dhabi Submission Fighting World Championship where he is one of only a handful of non-Brazilian competitors in the history of the event to have come home with a medal.
In addition to his competitive exploits, Ryan is a world-renowned instructor and coach, highly sought after for expert seminars all over the world. Fifty/50 Academy students have won titles at the local, regional, national, and international levels as they rise rapidly through the ranks under Ryan’s guidance.
He has released five sets of best-selling instructional DVDs [click here to order] that have garnered wide acclaim for both their technical content and the clarity of Ryan’s teaching method. Additionally, Ryan is the author of “How To Master The Triangle Choke,” the definitive resource for training information regarding this signature technique of Jiu-Jitsu.
When Ryan isn’t training for elite-level competition or learning from other world-class athletes from around the United States and the globe, he can often be found instructing Jiu-Jitsu and Combatives workshops for the United States military, helping to prepare our soldiers for any unarmed situation they may face while in the field.
At the Fifty/50 Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Ryan strives to create an intense, yet laid back environment that combines humor and hard work to bring out the best in each student.
A brief summary of Ryan’s accomplishments:
- Over 300 victories in competition (over 275 via submission)
- Over 200 victories in competition via triangle choke
- 2011 UFC Fan Expo Toronto 4-Man Superfight Tournament Champion
- 2011 Abu Dhabi World Championship Invitee
- 2011 World Profesional Jiu-Jitsu Championship Qualifier
- 2010 UFC Fan Expo Boston Superfight Champion
- 2009 Abu Dhabi World Championship <65.9kg Bronze Medalist
- 2009 Abu Dhabi North American West Coast Trials Professional <65.9kg Champion
- 2007 Abu Dhabi World Championship Alternate Match Champion
- 2009 IBJJF Mundial Bronze Medalist (brown)
- 2008 IBJJF Mundial Champion (purple)
- 2008 IBJJF European Champion (purple)
- 2008 CBJJ Brasiliero Bronze Medalist (purple)
- 2007 IBJJF No-Gi Mundial Champion (purple)
- 2006 US Open Champion (purple)
- 15x Professional Superfight Champion (NAGA, Grapplers Quest, NeverTap, US Grappling, et al)
A few websites of interest:
A Few of Ryan’s Matches:
- UFC Fan Expo Superfight: Ryan v. UFC’s Hermes Franca
- US Grappling Superfight: Ryan v. Wilson Reis (Team Lloyd Irvin)
- Ryan and Jen Flannery 2010 Gracie Nationals Highlight
Joseph "Seph" Smith
Assistant Head Instructor Seph Smith has been training in the martial arts since February 2001 and has the distinction of being the first person ever promoted to black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Ryan Hall. He also holds a 2nd degree black belt in combat Sambo.Read more about Joseph "Seph" Smith »
An accomplished competitor at the local, regional, and national level with considerable tournament experience in Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling, Seph has also competed successfully in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) where he held a regional title belt in the WKA organization. Seph is a 2011 IBJJF Pan American Silver Medalist (brown belt Masters division) and a NAGA Superfight Champion in addition to many, many titles at the Advanced No-Gi level in regional tournaments. For the past few years, he has completely dominated the local circuit, going undefeated in dozens of matches.
More than just a competitor, though, Seph brings with him to the Fifty/50 Jiu-Jitsu Academy extensive experience and knowledge of coaching, personal training, and curriculum design. Seph specializes in fostering a friendly environment based on positive reinforcement and fostering a strong work ethic that is welcoming to people of all athletic backgrounds. He is a passionate instructor who prides himself on being able to help his students build confidence in themselves and their skills as they reach their fitness and martial arts goals, whatever they may be.
Some of Seph’s Accomplishments:
- 2012 Montreal Fight for Charity Superfight Champion
- 2011 IBJJF Pan American Championship Silver Medalist
- 2011 UFC Fan Expo Toronto Brown Belt Absolute Champion
- 2009 NAGA Superfight Champion
- 2009 The Good Fight: “Dogfight In Dover” Pro Lightweight Champion
- Won and Held WKA East Coast Regional Mixed Martial Arts Title Belt
- Multiple time Beltsville Judo Champion
- Referee For Multiple High-Profile Grappling Tournaments
The head coach for the Fifty/50 Academy’s Women’s and Children’s Programs, Jen is a brown belt with an extensive competition resume and over a decade of professional coaching experience.Read more about Jen Flannery »
Before taking up her post at the Fifty/50 Academy, Jen had trained at a few other area Jiu-Jitsu gyms, but moved over to train under Ryan Hall full-time in 2008 and has seen her technical skills and competitive abilities expand exponentially as a result.
As an eleven-time international medalist (including a Pan American championship gold and 5 medals from the World Championship), Jen knows what it takes to train and win at a high level in the world of women’s Jiu-Jitsu. A dedicated student and passionate, detailed instructor, Jen believes that all women should train BJJ because it is the only martial art that gives them the tools they need to reliably overcome a larger, stronger attacker.
When she’s not teaching, Jen continues to train hard everyday to improve her skills and prepare for local, regional, and international competitions. In addition to her credentials as a grappler, Jen is a former head coach for the JV field hockey team Yorktown High School (Arlington, VA), holds a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, and is a professional swim coach who has guided the early careers of multiple current world-level competitors. Jen has overcome a series of major surgeries to accomplish what she has in Jiu-Jitsu, demonstrating incredible mental strength and resiliency that she strives to transfer into anyone she coaches.
Some Of Jen’s Competitive Highlights
- 2013 CBJJ Brasiliero Absolute Bronze (Brown Belt)
- 2013 CBJJ Brasiliero Silver (Brown Belt Feather)
- 2013 IBJJF New York Open Champion (Brown Belt Feather)
- 2012 IBJJF New York Open Champion (Purple Belt Light Feather)
- 2011 IBJJF No-Gi Mundial Silver (Purple Belt Light Feather)
- 2010 IBJJF Mundial Bronze (Purple Belt Light Feather)
- 2010 IBJJF No-Gi Pan American Silver (Purple Belt Light Feather)
- 2010 Gracie Nationals Absolute Champion (Purple Belt)
- 2009 IBJJF Mundial Bronze (Blue Belt Open Weight)
- 2009 IBJJF Mundial Bronze (Blue Belt Light Feather)
- 2009 IBJJF Pan American Champion (Blue Belt Light Feather)
- 2009 IBJJF New York Open Champion (Blue Belt Light Feather)
- 2007 IBJJF Mundial Bronze (Blue Belt Light Feather)
- Multiple Time Maryland Open Judo Champion
Follow Jen live on her blog: BJJ Cailin
While an undergraduate at the University of Indiana, James was a four-year letter winner for the Hoosiers and served as the team captain for two seasons. He was a three-time place winner in the Big Ten Conference and also qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships three times. Since finishing his wrestling career in 2000 and pursuing coaching, he has helped a total of 25 student-athletes earn All-America honors, including four finalists and two National Champions.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana in social and behavioral sciences and recently received his master’s degree in kinesiology from Saint Mary’s College of California. James brings a highly technical, mechanics-based teaching approach and a hard nosed, yet humor-infused coaching style to his extremely popular classes.