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 World (Mundial), No-Gi World, 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 seven 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
- 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:
- 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
- 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)
The Program Director for the Fifty/50 Academy’s Children’s Program and Assistant Head Coach for the Adult 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, a No-Gi World championship gold, 5 medals from the gi World Championship, and 2 from the Brazilian National 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 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
Hailing from Northern California, Maia Matalon is the primary instructor for the 25/50’s Children’s Program.Read more about Maia Matalon »
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. 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.
Maia received her brown belt in October of 2014 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.
Instructor for the Fundamentals I Program, Sean joined the Fifty/50 team in October 2012 after graduating James Madison University where he co-founded the JMU BJJ Club.Read more about Sean Hart »
A passionate student of the art, Sean has trained with Team Serra in Toms River, New Jersey and even went as far as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the Summer of 2012 to train at Roberto “Gordo” Correa’s famous academy. In addition to his ever-growing technical knowledge, Sean is known for his quick smile and friendly, encouraging demeanor that make him the ideal guide for a new student’s first steps to Jiu-Jitsu.