Black Belt under 2-time world champion Felipe Costa and Season 22 Champion of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, Ryan Hall is a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter competing in the featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Before turning to the MMA world, Ryan was one of the most competitively successful American-born Jiu-Jitsu players of his generation and remains widely regarded as one of the best lightweight submission grapplers in the world.Read more about Ryan Hall »
Ryan was an IBJJF World (Mundial), No-Gi World, and European champion and medalist at the CBJJ Brazilian National (Brasiliero) championship as a purple belt, 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 nine 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:
- The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 (USA v Europe) Champion
- UFC Featherweight
- Over 300 victories in Jiu-Jitsu competition (over 275 via submission)
- Over 200 victories in competition via triangle choke
- 2015 Abu Dhabi World Championship Invitee
- 2013 Abu Dhabi World Championship Invitee
- 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 World Bronze Medalist (brown)
- 2008 IBJJF World Champion (purple)
- 2008 IBJJF European Champion (purple)
- 2008 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals Bronze Medalist (purple)
- 2007 IBJJF No-Gi World 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:
- Ryan Hall vs Johnny Nunez on TUF 22
- Ryan Hall vs Frantz Slioa on TUF 22
- 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
Assistant Head Coach for the Adult Program and the Program Director for the Fifty/50 Academy’s Children’s Program, Jen is a black belt with an extensive competition resume and over a decade of professional coaching experience.Read more about Jen Hall »
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. After nine years of dedicated practice and world travel for competition against the best female grapplers there are to hone her skills, Jen was promoted to black belt by Ryan on October 14, 2014.
As an thirteen-time international medalist (including a Pan American championship gold at blue belt, a No-Gi World championship gold at brown belt, 5 medals from the gi World Championships at different belts, and 2 from the Brazilian National Championship at brown), 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 truly 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-level 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
- 4x IBJJF World Medalist
- 2x IBJJF/CBJJ Brazilian National Medalist
- 4x IBJJF New York Open Champion
- 2014 IBJJF No-Gi World Champion (Brown Belt Light Feather)
- 2011 IBJJF No-Gi World Silver (Purple Belt Light Feather)
- 2010 IBJJF No-Gi Pan American Silver (Purple Belt Light Feather)
- 2010 Gracie Nationals Absolute Champion (Purple Belt Open Weight)
- 2009 IBJJF Pan American Champion (Blue Belt Light Feather)
- Multiple Time Maryland Open Judo Champion
Follow Jen live on her blog: BJJ Cailin
Adam was born and raised in NYC and began training in 2008 under Fabio Clemente and Lucas Lepri. Being a skinny high school student at the time, Adam became enamored by the idea of technique being superior to strength and began competing early and often to put the moves he was learning to the test. After receiving his blue and purple belts, he accepted a teaching position at an academy in Hawaii where his love of sharing the martial arts with others began to develop.Read more about Adam Benayoun »
Upon returning to New York, Adam began training under the legendary Marcelo Garcia where he earned his brown belt. During his time at MGA, Adam won multiple international titles including the Pan American, European and New York Pro championships. While training full time, Adam instructed Jiu-Jitsu at Evolution Muay Thai where he further honed his teaching skills, doing his utmost to assist his students in achieving their martial arts goals. Adam moved to Virginia in March 2017 in order to train under Ryan Hall and pursue his dream of reaching the next level.
Some of Adam’s Accomplishments:
- 2016 IBJJF Pan American Brown Belt Featherweight Champion
- 2016 IBJJF European Brown Belt Featherweight Champion
- 2015 Abu Dhabi World Pro Brown Belt Featherweight 2nd Place
- 2014 IBJJF No-Gi Pan American Purple Belt Featherweight Champion
- 3x Abu Dhabi Pro Trials <66kg Champion
- Multiple Time IBJJF Regional Tournament Champion at Purple & Brown Belt
Thanh competed nationally in Taekwondo both as junior and as an adult, even being invited to train with the US Olympic team at the national training center in Denver. As mixed martial arts competition grew increasingly popular, Thanh decided that the next evolution for him would be to test his skills in an arena that encompassed all styles.Thanh’s MMA training began in 2011 and he worked diligently to combine his TKD skillset with traditional boxing movement in order to create a unique blend of movement-based striking that had at that time been unseen in the MMA world. After a highly successful amateur career, Thanh turned professional. After an initial setback, he reeled off four consecutive victories and earned a place on The UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show which has been the incubator for numerous future champions in the organization. While competing on the show, Thanh met and became friends with Ryan Hall and following the competition, began a symbiotic working relationship that has benefitted both significantly, each coaching the other in his area of expertise. After a year of consistent travel back and forth to and from New Orleans, Thanh decided to bring his talents and experience to Virginia where he can continue his training daily while also sharing his unique style with the students at Fifty/50.
Thanh is a Cardio Kickboxing, MMA Kickboxing, and 25/50 (kids) Kickboxing instructor at 50/50 Martial Arts.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 Contestant
Pro MMA Record: 6-1
Amateur MMA Record: 14-1
Watching Thanh’s successful transition from the TKD world to the mixed martial arts one motivated Vinh to follow in his brother’s footsteps, which he has done admirably so far, compiling an unblemished record as an amateur.
Moving to Virginia to train and compete as an athlete full-time, Vinh brings with him to Fifty/50 not only a high degree of skill and years of experience instructing in the striking arts, but also an easygoing personality and passion for sharing with others. He looks forward to helping others achieve their goals as he works daily towards his own of becoming a complete martial artist of the highest level, brining Tae Kwon Do to greater prominence in the professional MMA world.
In addition to training and competing in all styles of Mixed Martial Arts, Vinh teaches Cardio Kickboxing, MMA Kickboxing, and assists with our children’s BJJ program.
Amateur MMA Record: 3-0
Hailing from Northern California, Maia Matalon is the head instructor for the 25/50’s Children’s Program. Maia began her grappling training as a middle school wrestler and continued wrestling all the way through high school where she was a Northern California State Champion in 2007. While attending UC Berkeley, Maia discovered Jiu-Jitsu and never looked back as she earned her blue and purple belts from Ralph Gracie before making the leap of faith to move cross country to join the Fifty/50 team in an effort to reach her full potential as a competitor.Read more about Maia Matalon »
Since arriving in Virginia in March 2013, Maia has seen her technical grappling skills achieve new heights and her competition results have been nothing short of excellent as she has emerged as one of the top up and coming female grapplers in the Jiu-Jitsu world: numerous weight and open weight titles at some of the most important events on the IBJJF calendar, most notably the World, Pan American, and No-Gi World Championships, culminating in the Brown Belt World Championship Title in 2015. Maia had to take a break from competition due to numerous injuries but is hopeful to make a return to circuit as soon as she is given clearance.
Maia received her black belt in January of 2017 and has shown a gift for teaching that is rapidly catching up to her talent for competing. One of her favorite aspects of working with the youngest and smallest martial artists is watching the excitement that shines through their smiles after each success as they learn to focus and believe in themselves, progressing as athletes, students, and martial artists.
A 2016 NCAA All-American wrestler at American University, David took a somewhat unusual route into the sport. His unique wrestling style actually has it’s roots in two other grappling arts. David’s parents enrolled him in Judo classes at just seven years old because he was getting in fights at youth soccer. Three years later he decided to try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in order to become a more complete grappler and have an advantage on the ground in Judo. David currently holds a Black Belt in Judo and a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.Read more about David Terao »
David didn’t actually begin wrestling until high school, but it made perfect sense to him as the next evolution of his grappling development, because while Hawaii is one of the few states to include Judo as a varsity sport, they do not have BJJ. Although, according to David, if he could have lettered in all three, he would have.
David had a very successful collegiate career wrestling D-1 at American University. Besides placing 4th at the NCAA Championships in 2016 at 125lbs, he was a 4x NCAA Division 1 Tournament Qualifier. He also holds the record for American University Wrestling as a Career and Season Wins Leader (130 Career Wins and 39 Single Season Wins). Besides teaching the youth and adult Wrestling and Judo classes at 50/50, he is an assistant wrestling coach for American University and is training hard to take his own wrestling to the next level.
Some of David’s Accomplishments Include:
2016 NCAA Division 1 All American
4x Division 1 NCAA Qualifier
2x University Nationals Freestyle Runner-Up
American University Wrestling Career & Season Wins Leader (130 Career Wins & 39 Single Season Wins)
2011 Fargo National Runner-Up
2x Hawaii High School State Wrestling Champion
4x Hawaii High School State Judo Champion
Joseph "Seph" Smith
Owner of the first 50/50 affiliate academy in Richmond, 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
- Former WKA East Coast Regional Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Title Holder
- Multiple time Beltsville Judo Champion
- Referee For Multiple Grappling Tournament Circuits (Grapplers Quest, US Grappling, et al)