KnuckleUp’s newest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sensation is a 26 year old 300 pound former NFL offensive lineman with the speed and reflexes of a cat. Ryan Lee began Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes just six months ago under the tutelage of KnuckleUp’s head BJJ Instructor Master Ricardo Murgel and has already medaled in the prestigious IBJJF World Championships, a competition in which he was by far the least experienced competitor.
The majority of the guys I competed against had been training for up to a couple of years and I have six months worth of training experience so I relied heavily on my strength and athleticism to compensate for my lack of technical knowledge.
He and his coaches at KnuckleUp had a hunch that nobody would be able to hang with him athletically and they were right. Ryan crushed his way to three victories with two by quick submission to get to the medal round. This a tremendous accomplishment for someone just starting out.
As dominant as the big man was in getting to the medal round however, his inexperience may have caught up with him when he lost a squeaker in his fourth match. Here’s how he described that match and what he learned from the experience.
I ended up getting beat by a guy who, although he wasn’t as athletic as I am, was better technically. He caught me with a quick takedown and so immediately I was down 5-0. I had to fight back from there. I was able to sweep him and got into side control and started to work a submission. Then he escaped my side control and went to Turtle. Here I made a some technical mistakes because instead of being patient and sitting him up and getting the seat belt and getting my hooks in and rolling to the side, I tried to roll him back on top of me to take his back. He was so big that when I tried to roll him back he just rolled into my guard. Eventually he passed my guard then I swept him again and the whole series started over. This happened three times and I ended up losing 8 to 5. I realized after the match that if instead of trying to submit him I had gone to mount I would most likely have won.
I’ve always concentrated on submissions and the points have always come but as the competition increases I know I have to be more aware of the points and not get behind. In the long run it will make me much better competitively.
Ryan says since returning from the World Championships, Master Murgel has had him drill how to take the back from Turtle position time and time again. He’s confident that the next time he gets in a similar position in a match he’ll know exactly what to do. As long as he continues to work with Master Murgel and his other coaches at KnuckleUp to add technical skill to his tremendous athleticism the sky is the limit for him in the sport.
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