Affiliations & Friends
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like information about affiliating with Fifty/50 Martial Arts Academy.
The first Fifty/50 affiliate, Upstream BJJ, is owned and operated by Ryan Hall's first Black Belt, Seph Smith. Seph taught at the 50/50 headquarters in Northern Virginia from the time it was founded in December 2008 until 2015 when he moved back home to Richmond with the goal of realizing his long-held dream of opening his own academy. Upstream is located in the heart of Richmond and promotes an open friendly environment. They offer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes for Kids and Adults of All-Levels. Click here for Seph's schedule.
When he first made the move to MMA in 2012, Ryan began learning from world-renowned trainer, Firas Zahabi of Tristar Gym. Firas holds a wealth of MMA knowledge and experience that he shared with Ryan, encouraging him to add to his BJJ skill set and grow as an MMA Fighter. It was under Firas' tutelage that Ryan was able to make the successful transition to MMA and eventually the UFC.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
One of the most successful Jiu-Jitsu-to-MMA transitions in the history of the sport, as well as a deeply cerebral athlete and coach, Kenny Florian is a UFC legend. After a meeting in 2014, Kenny began training with and mentoring Ryan, helping guide the development of his game while also providing a "been there, done that" wisdom that has been instrumental in Ryan's growth as a mixed martial artist. The two continue to train together as often as schedules allow and in August 2017, Kenny opened his own academy in Los Angeles, Meraki BJJ.
Santa Monica, California
Two-time World Champion, Felipe Costa, is one of the leaders of the famous Brasa Team. Besides being a multiple time world champion, Felipe himself exemplifies the values of honor, decency, and respect for which the martial arts are meant to stand. Ryan and Felipe first became friends while training in Brazil in 2008 and a few years later as he branched off on his own and opened Fifty/50, Ryan also became his student. Ryan was privileged to earn his black belt from Felipe on April 1, 2010. After many years traveling the world, Felipe has finally launched his own academy at home in Rio de Janeiro.
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Ryan first watched Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson training while both were visiting Tristar Gym in 2012, it was very clear that he was witnessing something special. Two years later Ryan was finally able to make the trip down to South Carolina to train with and learn from Stephen and Ray Thompson, his father and trainer. In the years since, Stephen has become one of the premier welterweight fighters in the UFC and Ryan continues to visit his friends in Simpsonville whenever time allows.
Simpsonville, South Carolina