Nicky Ryan and Ethan Crelinsten Promoted to Black Belt by John Danaher

Instagram via @nickyryanbjj

Danaher Death Squad Teammates Nicky Ryan and Ethan Crelinsten have been awarded their black belt from coach and 5th degree black belt John Danaher. Nicky Ryan is the younger brother of world champion No Gi grappler Gordon Ryan, and at just 19 years old has accomplished so much on the grappling scene – taking home wins from older and more experienced competitors such as Phil Harris and Masakazu Imanari.

Nicky Ryan received his purple belt in 2017, two years later he was then awarded his brown belt in October 2019 after putting on an impressive performance at ADCC with a close fight against renowned Brazilian black belt Paulo Miyao – losing by just one point. A year later the BJJ prodigy has been awarded his black belt. Impressive to say the least.

Also now a black belt under Danaher is Canadian, Ethan Crelinsten, – a tough professional submission grappler who trains under two world renowned coaches, John Danaher and Firas Zahabi – representing both the New York based Renzo Gracie Academy and Montreal’s TriStar Gym. Both are fast rising stars in the competitive circuit, and big names already in BJJ – two black belts very well earned. Congratulations to both!

In the social media posts, both grapplers showed off their new belts and hunting knives, a customary gift that Danaher gives to his students for important milestones. Renzo Gracie New York members such as Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon already own a number of knives gifted from Danaher.

Speaking of the pairs promotion Gordon Ryan posted,

@gordonlovesjiujitsu : “I finally dont have to feel so bad when i have tough rounds with @nickyryanbjj and @ethan.crelinsten. These guys have transformed over the last few years, from tough kids to legitimate world beaters. We wouldn’t be able to do the things we do without @danaherjohn and @heysonnyy2. congrats on the black belt guys.”

Ethan Crelinsten on his promotion:

@ethan.crelinsten: “Today after training, @nickyryanbjj and myself were promoted to black belt by @danaherjohn. 8 years ago I began training in @tristargym_mtl and fell in love with this sport. It immediately consumed my entire life. The team at Tristar quickly turned into family, just as the team over here at @renzogracieacademy had quickly turned into my family when I first arrived. They welcomed me with open arms and I never looked back. I couldn’t imagine a better group of inspiring people to surround myself with. I’m grateful everyday for their influence on my life, both on and off the mats. These past 8 years flew by fast, and it’s only the beginning for me and for Nicky. Each belt has brought with it more and more motivation to learn and grow as a grappler and as a person. I’m so lucky to be a part of this team and I can’t wait to show you all who I can become.”

Nicky Ryan said:

@nickyryanbjj: “Today @ethan.crelinsten and I were awarded our black belts by @danaherjohn. I just want to say thank you to @garrytonon @gordonlovesjiujitsu and @danaherjohn for all they have done for me, none of this would be possible without their help. Many of you don’t know this but before I started training BJJ I was just an out of shape lazy loser who had no goals in life. These guys put me on the right path and completely changed the person that I was turning out to be. If it weren’t for them I’m sure I would still be out of shape and miserable working a standard 9-5 job but instead I am working my way up to the top of this sport. I know I will never be able to repay them for all they have done but I will not let all the time and effort they have put into me go to waste.”

Lucy Wynne

BJJ Blue Belt from Southampton, England. I'm an avid writer, music lover and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) enthusiast. I began training BJJ when I was at university, and I've trained ever since. #OSS

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