Garry Tonon Talks Puerto Rico Gym: ‘It’s gonna be a destination’

In late 2020, Gordon Ryan announced his plans to relocate from New York to Puerto Rico. Soon after that, his coach John Danaher, as well as training partners like Craig Jones, Nicky Ryan, and Garry Tonon all either announced their intention to join Ryan in Puerto Rico or moved there with him. In a recent interview with BJJ Suomi, Tonon talked about the move to Puerto Rico, the progression of the gym he and his teammates plan to establish, training under Danaher, and much more.

Although he was unable to share specifics, Tonon did give an estimated time frame for the completion of the gym in Puerto Rico. As with any business, there’s plenty of work to be done still. Things like insurance and government permits take time, and Tonon has already recognized Puerto Rico’s more relaxed way of getting these things done.

“If all goes well I could see us having a gym in three months, four months,” he said. “If I’m taking more into account the general pace of how things have been happening elsewhere, I’d say more realistically maybe it takes like six months. It’s hard to say.”

Once the gym is established, Tonon sees it as a place people from all over the world will want to visit as a jiu-jitsu vacation destination.

“I do think we’ll eventually have a gym out there where we’re training and I’m excited for when we do. We’ve already bought a lot of the things… It’s gonna be a great spot to train… It’s gonna be a destination where a lot of people are interested in coming and visiting.”

As for the specifics of how the gym will be run — things like who will be teaching and when, and for how long — Tonon trusts in team leader Danaher and whatever his plan for the gym may be.

“If I told you we’ve had conversations about this, I would be lying,” he said about Danaher’s vision. “It’s very possible he already knows exactly how he wants to do things.”

Throughout the interview, Tonon touches on a wide variety of topics. He discusses his beginning in jiu-jitsu, his two main coaches Tom DeBlass and Danaher, his MMA training schedule and approach, and much more.

Tonon is widely considered one of the top no-gi grapplers in the world, and certainly one of the sport’s most exciting. In the past couple of years, he has focused his efforts on MMA; he currently owns a perfect 5-0 record and is expected to challenge for the ONE Championship lightweight title in his next bout.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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