#50 Ryan Ford


Ryan Ford wasn't the first person to host an MMA/BJJ podcast, but he is certainly one of the most successful. Taking into consideration that most podcasts last on average seven episodes, Ryan's The Grappling Central Podcast, has published over 460 episodes and has been in production for almost six years, making it not only a powerhouse in the martial arts podcast community but in the entire podcasting world.


Ryan was fascinated by martial arts growing up and studied Tae Kwon Do and Boxing as a teen. When he was 20 he began his BJJ journey. This journey over the past decade-plus has seen him training with true legends in the sport, both in the United States and for extended periods in Brazil. Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti, Lucas Lepri, and Paul Creighton are just a few of the incredible BJJ practitioners Ryan has been fortunate enough to study under.


Ryan was introduced to podcasts by a friend at work and he listened to them as a way to help pass the time. The company Ryan was working for at the time folded and Ryan was given a severance package that would hold him and his wife over for about 3 months. Ryan and his wife Karen decided that he should take this time to decide what his next move should be. Ryan knew that if he didn't chase his dream he would just be returning to a life of unfulfilling job, and that is when The Grappling Central Podcast was born.


Along with martial arts, one of Ryan's other fascinations growing up was the art of conversation. He had the idea of hosting a show interviewing and getting people in the world of Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and other grappling arts to tell their personal and professional stories. His first episode was recorded on a road trip with Wrestling and MMA legend Dan Severn. This first recording would be the start of Ryan's passion project. This project started small but over a few years grew into Ryan's dream career. He built a strong following and then slowly began getting sponsors. Initially, these small sponsorships made it possible for Ryan to put some money back into his show, affording him the opportunity to purchase better podcasting equipment and eventually enough money to be his sole income.


Over the years The Grappling Central Podcast has had the biggest names in Jiu Jitsu and MMA as guests. These guests along with Ryan's professionalism, hard work, and dedication have again paid off for Ryan. The Grappling Central Podcast has now been acquired by one of its sponsors, BJJ Fanatics. Ryan will now host The Grappling Central podcast and oversee all other podcasts for the biggest online BJJ store in the world. Now with a full team to work with Ryan Ford and continue to build upon the already amazing work he has already accomplished.


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