Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thoughts on "Real Combat" and "Real Fighting"

Very recently a well known BJJ black belt and MMA fighter, whom I won't mention, took aim at the problem with submission only grappling tournaments. He mentioned that the biggest downfall that he see's with submission only grappling tournaments is that they can last far too long and don't resemble "real combat" or a "real fight."  

While he is right in a way, I believe he is wrong on several levels.

This person suggested that points based BJJ tournament resembled how quickly a real fight could end. And again while he makes a point, he is very wrong. BJJ and other grappling arts are great, but sport grappling tournaments are not inherently real life combat or violent situations.


Because BJJ tournaments still have rules, weight classes, and competitors get to train for a number of weeks and or months for the given event. If, this person is wanting to make BJJ tournaments resemble real combat or real fighting. Then you would have to discard all the rules and allow anything to happen. For the very reason that real fighting or combat doesn't have any of us.

The man himself,  Bruce Lee didn't even consider sport fighting to be a real right, why? because there were rules, weight classes, and a ref to stop the fight. I have no doubt that Bruce would have loved today's UFC and MMA scene.  But I think there is a real problem with calling sports BJJ real combat or fighting. The violence that happens today, no one gets to prepare for something like an active shooter, or being threatened by a knife or held up at gunpoint. That is real violence.

I have no problem with the arena of sport BJJ or even MMA, but as it relates to sport BJJ I would not use at least 90 percent of what is taught in most competition based BJJ schools. This is also not to be confused with self-defense aspect that is practiced and taught by the Gracie family. That I would most certainly use in a real life altercation.

So please, don't get it twisted. While BJJ and MMA have different things to offer, as it relates to combat. They are not in and of themselves "real combat" or real fighting". They're mutually agreed encounters, with a winner and a looser and most often a medal that goes around one's neck. Please leave these avenues where they are. If you want to train for real violent encounters, then you must go train somewhere that actually deals with real threats head on. Yes, BJJ and MMA skill sets can win violent encounters,  but they are only a small fraction of what you need to survive.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Want to See That Pressure Tested... And Other Internet Bull Shit

This has to be the most frequent comment that our own videos receive, that or  This shit is going to get somebody killed!! In regards to the first comment, we do pressure test everything before we even think about putting anything on video. We strive to be a step ahead of the rest in regards to adaptive self-defense, in that we are consistently trying to be a level of realism to what we do.

I have a suggestion for all the internet warriors, why don't YOU pressure test it for yourself and see if it works for you. Why don't you take ownership of your own self rather than depending on somebody else to do it for you? Who would have guessed that human responsibility is a good thing?  

Now, onto the second comment: That shit's going to get somebody killed! You know what? It might, no system or technique is without fault or counter. Some options are far better than others, but there just that options, we try and give the community the best options that we have discovered. And most of the time we are looking to adapt techniques that already are in existence so others have options that are best tailored to them and their needs.

If something that we put out doesn't work for you, great, but don't sit there in front of your keyboard and talk shit. Instead, how about you show us something that is better, that won't get someone killed. What makes something work is intent behind it, not that something is flawless in and of itself.

In short, learn to be open minded, test things for yourself and don't rely on others to always do it for you. If something doesn't work for you, feel free to disagree but do it with a sense of respect, humility, and decency.  

Is that too much to ask for? I don't think so...


Monday, August 3, 2015

My Martial Arts Bio (In a Nut Shell)

    My name is Brandon Ryan, I am a 30 year old martial artist who has Cerebral Palsy. The following few paragraphs will summarize my Martial Arts history and current endeavors.  I started my martial arts journey in the early 90’s along side my father (Guru Robert Ryan). We have had the amazing opportunity to train along side two of Bruce Lee’s original students (Guru Dan Inosanto and Sifu Larry HartSell), along side these two legends my father and I have spent time under the knowledge of grappling sensation Sensei Erik Paulson. Being that I was born with a condition  such as cerebral palsy, grappling became my first love, it wasn’t that I couldn’t understand elements of stand up fighting, I could explain and teach it well to able-bodied students, grappling however, was where I felt most comfortable, its where I excelled.
At present time, I am a 3rd stripe brown belt under my father, who also founded Lopaka Ryu martial arts, a conceptual systems that longs to promote personal liberation and expression among students. While simultaneously breaking away from any fixed patterns.
    Further more, I am a blue belt in 10th Planet Jiujitsu, under Eddie Bravo founder of 10th Planet Jiujitsu. I have been training under the 10th Planet banner for four years and have helped teach kids Jiujitsu and self defense classes. I am also a multiple time gold and bronze medal winner, most recently, I traveled all the way to New York, to compete in the first ever Grapplers Heart Jiujitsu tournament, a tournament dedicated to special needs grapplers. I am proud to say that I came home with a bronze medal and the fastest submission victory. When I am not training at 10th Planet Omaha, I am full time college student studying Psychology and teaching a self defense class on my college campus. I also am currently working on putting together self defense clinics for the special needs community under my own brand called Adaptive Defense.  In closing, here are the names of the instructors that I currently sit under.
Guro Robert Ryan, Lopaka  Ryu martial arts.
Sensei Derek Stewart, 10th Planet Jiujitsu Omaha
Coach Matthew Hester, wrestling coach, 10th Planet Jiujitsu Omaha
Adaptive Defense FaceBook Page:
Adaptive Defense Youtube Channel:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Going Against The Sprinting Self.

Sensei Keith Owen once said "Jiujitsu is a marathon and not a sprint," I agree so much with his words. At least in my case. When I was still studying Judo, my team and I gave a outdoor demonstration, after we were done we took questions from the audience. One gentlemen spoke up and asked "How long would it take to get a black-belt?" My sensei at the time told him that it would take a long time, one that required hard work and dedication.

Needless to say that man got up and walked away, why? I would say he wasn't willing to put in the effort, the pain, the mental break down that happens at times. Jiujitsu quite simply is not for everyone, though I wish it was. For me, this marathon is far more mental then it is physical. Everyday day is a war with my mind.

Do I keep going? Regardless of how many body feels? Regardless of people talking on internet forums about how they beat me? The answer is yes. You keep going no matter what, the only time frame that your on is your own.  But why keep going if all there is, is struggle and fight? Because, it little glimpse of daylight is worth pursuing on to the next. Its a journey and not a destination. 

My competition record sadly, does not reflect the lion size heart inside me. I still feel like I can be one of the greatest grapplers who has ever lived, call it cocky and or arrogant, but I see myself one day competing at much higher levels. What it's going to take to get there is a different story. There are things that I must develop further, much of which I don't believe have to do with knowledge or skill but with my physical body.

When I started under the banner of 10th Planet, it was there I discovered the beauty of the half guard, and the endless options that I have from there. The problem then lies in people smashing me with their weight, of course its the nature of the beast. But the frustrating part is that even when I know how to defend or escape a position, getting my mind and body to respond is a whole different story. As Jiujitsu evolves with more seemingly complicated techniques, I tend to continually make things sharper and sharper. Of course, I still continually learn new techniques and adaptations, but all the more I find beauty and victory in the simple.

The simple truth is this, Jiujitsu is different for everybody. Even if you train a different discipline in martial arts, its still going to be different for you and that's more then okay. Please don't feel that you have to compete in a sprint with people beside you. Its a trap that far to many find themselves in. The martial arts, regardless of what you study is meant to be a joy, and a means to a better version of yourself.

As such, take off your damn sprinting shoes, take away away the stupid ego and learn to see the beauty along the way, alright? Good, now get training!

-Brandon Ryan
Adaptive Defense  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why Adaptive Defense?


My name is Brandon Lee Ryan, I am 30 years old and am the founder of Adaptive Defense. I am a third stripe brown in Lopaka Ryu martial arts and a blue belt in 10th Planet Jiujitsu under master Eddie BravoAdaptive Defense in a way started  when I was a child, growing up my father brought me up in the traditional martial arts of Kenpo Karate and Kodokan Judo. Martial arts was my way of escape from being in my wheel chair all day at school, it was a way for me to feel “normal” as a kid.

When I was born doctors told my parents that I would never be able to do virtually anything on my own. My mother and father let that go in one ear and out the other. My father raised me to be a warrior and my mother pushed me to use my brain in order that I could make the most of the brain that God gave me.

Martial arts was my main focus, even when I was in grade school, I could think about was getting on the mat. When I was studying Judo I had one of the most amazing instructors, he found ways I could perform each throw either from my knees snd submissions and chokes on the ground. On the ground was where I felt most at home. When I was on the ground, I knew that if I could get my arms around someones neck or put on a joint lock of some kind, they were all mine.

I realized that with the proper instruction, there were all kinds of modifications and ways that I could defend myself if need be, all while having fun in training. I’ve had the honor of learning from a few of Bruce Lee’s original students, all who were great in their own ways of adapting different styles that fit the way my body moved. It was these experiences that led me toward the desire to share the joy that martial arts has given me with others like me.

  When my father ran his own martial arts school, he helped me put up flyers around town for adaptive self defense classes, sadly however it didn’t gain a lot of traction. I was rather discouraged for awhile, I had a gift and wanted to share it with others like me. I wanted them to have the same joy that martial arts has given me, I longed to instill self-confidence and vision into peoples lives. Be that as it may, I kept on teaching able-bodied at my fathers school and with great success. Not once did I have a able-body student have anything negative about being taught by someone who has Cerebral Palsy.

When I got to college a few years later, I realized that God was preparing me for something great. I started a self-defense class on my college campus and slowly but surely I not only acquired several abled-bodied students and a few that had their own adaptive needs. I have one student that has CP like, one who is visually impaired and another who has various help problems. I’ve spent vast amounts of time working with each of them and finding what works for them. Its been such a joy to seem them pick up on things and the smile that comes from it, its amazing to see confidence  take root in their lives, their character is sharpened, they are at peace with themselves and are fully open to learning and growing into more amazing people.

I then wanted to put what I was doing with my students at my college, on a bigger scale. I started posting videos on the internet and the response has been awesome. I personally believe that everyone with Cerebral Palsy and other conditions should learn self defense, and for a few reasons 1) It makes them use their bodies in ways physical therapy can not, 2) it can be a lot of phone, 3)it builds character, confidence and persevering spirit and 4) it gives them the ability to know how to defend themselves should they ever have to. Some people believe that the reality of physically challenged people be attacked is unrealistic, when it reality its not, why? because evil doers normally go after those who they may deem as “easy targets.” And even if one is never attacked or never has to use their skills, great. We train, we learn so that we never have to use it. We learn to live at peace with ourselves and others.

In closing, I am here to help, please subscribe to my youtube channel, give the Adaptive Defense FaceBook page a thumbs up, if you want me to cover a certain situation in a video, simply send me an email. I am also willing to be open to teach adaptive seminars. All you have to do is ask.

Blessings and peace.

-Brandon Ryan
  Founder of Adaptive Defense

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Life of an Adaptive Athlete (Me)

I was asked what the average life training looks like, well, I can only answer for myself. So I thought I'd lay out my daily schedule, workout routine etc.

First and for most: Prayer and meditation. Every morning I like to sit quietly and pray, I find that if I can center my mind and body on my faith and thankfulness. This often involves some quiet breathing and stretching.

After that I take some vitamins and protein shake, normally 2-3 scoops of whey protein, with fish oil.

Breakfast comes next, this normally consists of three eggs, veggies, fruit and coffee.

Being a full time college student my classes come before training, as such, I eat a mid day snack which normally a cliff bar of some kind with lots of water.

After classes and academics it's time to hit the gym. In terms of Jujitsu, I have to make it come to me. Often when I'm on campus that involves rolling with a friend or some students. Apart from grappling, I am a huge Crossfit supporter, which often is the WOD of the day for me.

I'm huge into power lifting and yoga. Sleep is huge too, I try to get to be very early (sometimes 9 PM on the dot). So there you have, this is my daily life.

Remember: sleep, nutrition and intense variant exercise.      

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fighting Back Against Depression

Depression has been something that I have learned to live with, for almost 31 years of life. It took me a great while to come forward and talk about it, largely because of the immense social stigma that surrounds it. A lot of people assume that because one struggles with depression, that they must be weak and only need to be tougher.

Worse yet, many people assume that they have to go into the battle alone. I started noticing bouts with sadness flow in and out of my life. But when winter came, the sadness was prolonged. Like a visitor who over stayed it's welcome. As a kid, getting out of my wheel-chair and pretending to be a ninja turtle or power ranger was my greatest escape.

And it still is, not in the sense that I still pretend I'm a power ranger or some sort of super hero (okay, maybe there is some truth to that). But this is vastly why I started Adaptive Defense, was so that people in wheel-chairs, people that use crutches or that people with various health issues can not only learn to protect themselves, but so that they can experience the same Joy that martial arts has given me.

I know that when I get on the mats, or pick up a bar-bell all the sadness and regret fades away. All I want is the same for you, there is peace to be discovered in life, the storm doesn't have to prevail.

-Brandon Ryan
Adaptive Defense Founder