REVIEW: Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study BJJ DVD Instructional

Body Lock by Gordon Ryan

Today, we’ll take a look at a very interesting instructional by Gordon Ryan. I know, most of his instructional are interesting, and yes, I agree to an extent. So far, I’ve found his BJJ DVDs very helpful, but also quite confusing at times. The body lock position though is one I am really curious about, especially in the sense of using it while on the ground. The latest instructional is a Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study that focuses precisely on how to use the body lock to pass guards.

Body Lock Gordon Ryan Techniques
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With Gordon, you know exactly what you’re getting in his instructional – close to 9 hours of ultra high-quality instructional on the subject of making people feel helpless on the ground by using the body lock.

The Danaher Death squat (now ex-DDS) members are all known for using body locks to pass. Up to this point, they have not shared their body lock passing system, even though many people have been asking.

The Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study covers all types of body locks that can help you pin and pass someone – front, side, high, low, and everything you can think of in between. Of course, there’s also the mandatory rolling and rolling analysis at the end of the instructional, helping put things into perspective.

Instructor Background 

Gordon Ryan is the person who was first exposed to fighting through his daycare teacher organizing “MMA fights” between the kids and showing the moves and went on to become the undisputed best grappler in the world. He has three ADCC gold medals, one silver, has won the IBJJF worlds, every EB in which he has competed, and beaten everyone in BJJ, not just the who-is-who, but all the up and comers as well.

Ryan is arguably Danaher’s best-known student and aged only 25 he still has a lot more to achieve in his lifetime (even though not much is really left for him to win). As we are waiting for the 2022 ADCC, where he’ll not just face off in a super fight with Andre Galvao, but also fight in the heavyweight division.


Body lock passing is an interesting approach to getting past the legs in BJJ. During the last few years, we’ve seen lots of wrestling staples pour out into BJJ, and definitely not just in the takedowns department. The body lock is an old wrestling move that usually helps wrestlers take someone down and get a pin. In BJJ terms, the move can be adjusted for uses in many different situations, particularly passing the guard.

That is exactly what Gordon explores in this instructional. The DDS members have been known to utilize body lock passing a lot in their game, and this is the first time they share some of the key details about it.


Gordon Ryan starts at the very beginning with this one. He explains the basic concepts of passing before even touching on the subject of the body lock. That means this instructional is a good fit for everyone, regardless of belt level or previous grappling experience. As you’d expect from Gordon, there are details to every chapter in this instructional that will leave even most black belts in awe and scratching their heads.

In other words, The Gordon Ryan Body Lock BJJ DVD instructional is put together in a way that allows everyone to benefit from it.

Technical Details 

This is the longest DVD that Gordon Ryan has to this day. It has 10 parts, with varying lengths. The total running time of the Gordon Ryan body Lock Study instructional DVD is around 9 hours.

The content is divided into sections, covering different types of body locks from different height levels. All sections are further divided into chapters, organizing everything in a neat system. As is customary with Ryan’s instructional, the final two parts of the instructional contain rolling footage with Gordon narrating the exchanges and uses of the material presented earlier.

The video and audio quality I in high definition, and the instruction is available both in DVD format and as a digital download.

Detailed Analysis

DVD #1

After the mandatory intro chapter, Gordon begins his instructional by talking about the different types of body locks. He then goes into one o the most important aspects of the body lock – how to position your grips to get the most out of the different types of body locks.

With the entire first part of the Gordon Ryan body Lock Study DVD focused on fundamentals, he follows up on gripping by explaining where on your opponent’s body you should be aiming to place a body lock for maximum efficiency. The centerline law is, well the law here, and Gordon does an outstanding job in explaining it.

A couple of chapters covering general cues for different types of body locking wrap up this first volume.

DVD #2

This is where Gordon starts exploring ways to enter into the body lock position, followed by some passing options.

The begins by covering entries into the body lock passing position from both kneeling and standing scenarios. He follows them up with some key concepts that will help you keep the person in place while you’re passing: shelving, stuffing, and splitting.

The first pass appears halfway in the second volume when Ryan demonstrates how to do the hip switch pass. Of course, he doesn’t leave things there but also covers “what if” scenarios, mainly in terms of the initial hip switch pass failing.

Something I’ve always found interesting in terms of passing, sprawling in order to pass, is also covered in this volume. Ryan does a great job in demonstrating sprawling for passing, which is quite different from sprawling in terms of takedown defense.

The second volume ends with Gordon explaining his shelving concept in more detail.

DVD #3

I found this volume of the Gordon Ryan body Lock Study DVD particularly interesting, especially the opening few chapters. They deal with the conundrum of having no knee exposure to initiate a pass. This volume is conceptual in essence, offering principle-based solutions to common passing issues.

Once again talking about the three concepts he pioneers in this DVD, Ryan explains the trilemma between shelving, splitting, and stuffing. There is also a lot on gripping, mainly covering V grips, centers vs, staggering hands, as well as strategically unlocking the hands at times.

What I like the most is that Ryan does not claim the body lock pass is the solution to all passing problems. Instead, he uses it to open up other passes, by forcing people into different guards, like for example the half guard. There are lots of examples of these, combined with appropriate passes that stem off the body lock.

DVD #4

This volume is all about level changes. Ryan starts with high passing (tripod position) exploring both low and high hip passing. The 3 directions of passing also make an appearance here, which is one of the most fundamental concepts of guard passing.

Furthermore, Gordon looks into leg rides and their relation to passing, coming back once again to the hip switch and half guard/butterfly half guard.

Past the halfway point in this volume, it is time for some additional passing avenues. Those come in the form of passing towards the inside and/or outside hip, thus offering a dilemma attack. Regardless of choice, both options appear whether you decide to split the top or bottom leg, which Ryan also demonstrates.

A few sneaky tactics to deal with both experienced and naive opponents mark the end of volume four.

DVD #5

Halfway into the Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study BJJ DVD instructional, it is time to look into pummeling. LEg pummeling is a key component of successful passing and Ryan connects it to body locks in a very intelligent manner.

Top pommels, getting a leg back on the inside, and using top and bottom pommels to create even more dilemmas are the focus of the first few chapters in this volume. In fact, they open the door to the “Golden Trilemma” which in turn, once more introduces the hip switch, high tripod passing positions, and helps connect more of the stuff presented beforehand.

In the second portion of this volume, Gordon switches his attention to double underhook passing, starting from the high tripod position. He continues to explore double underhook entries against the seated guard before covering how to connect the body lock to the double underhooks position.

A couple of chapters on front pommels wrap up volume number 5.

DVD #6

Just when you think that Gordon has everything covered, there’s more… a lot more! Part six of the Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study DVD is going to be a real hit among fans of the over-under pass. Ryan shows how to lock the hands, enter the over-under body lock, and, of course,l pass the guard with it.

Options include passing to the underhook side, tripoding, as well as passing to the overhook side. The law of locked hands features in several chapters I this part of the instructional, which by itself points to how important it is. After all, it is a law.

The end of this volume also marks the end of front body lock passing.

DVD #7

The seventh volume of the instructional starts with an introduction to side body locks.  Entires quickly follow suit, from both standing and kneeling.

A good portion of this volume looks at the integration of front and side body lock passes. Ryan covers how to switch between the two when passing, and in order to counter common defenses. Head positions, controlling the hips, and a few important rules also appear here.

The options side body lock passing opens up is going to side control or getting the back – depending on what an opponent does. Ryan has the solutions to both.

The concept of back tracking is also introduced here and takes up the final third of this volume of the DVD.

DVD #8

The final part of the Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study Instructional has chapters containing technical directions. It covers head outside passing, offering ways to move forward to passing or taking the back while countering guillotines and other common obstacles.

Throughout this volume Ryan comes back to concepts like back tracking, far wrist control, forcing half guard, underhooks, pommels, etc. He also mentions claw rides, an extremely useful takeout from wrestling.

DVD #9

The penultimate part of this BJ DVD, lasting only around 25 minutes shows Ryan rolling with 5 different opponents, using everything he demonstrated in the previous 8 volumes throughout the rolls.

DVD #10

Part 10 of the Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study DVD goes over the same rolls from the previous volume, only this time with commentary. Gordon pauses the rolls, outlining important aspects of everything he does, as well as discussing his mindset in approaching the entire body look passing system.

How We Grade The Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study BJJ DVD Instructional

Considering this Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study instructional DVD’s technical aspects and quality of content, we come to an overall score for this instructional that I’ll deliberate in short below.

Technical Quality: 10/10

The DVD is produced by BJJ Fanatics, guaranteeing a very high level of audio and video quality. The commentary rolls are a feature that is specific mostly to Gordon’s instructionals. They are shot from several angles, offering a great view of everything Ryan is doing. 

Quality of Content: 9/10

 Once again, Ryan delivers an instructional that is different than others. There is no other DVD out there on the subject of body lock passing that is this detailed. However, I have to dock one grade because of the organizational style. Ryan does put everything into perspective but uses os many tangents along the way ait makes it difficult for people to follow him, especially beginners. The technical explanation of everything is pristine, but when it comes to the big picture, the DVD lacks cohesion. 

Overall: 10/10

Still, all in all, the Gordon Ryan Body Lock Study BJJ DVD is an instructional that iw more than with acquiring. It will offer you a different take on passing, particularly if you are fond of head down – butt up the type of passing and pressure passing in general. 

Wrap Up

 Body locks are far more useful in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on the ground than they are standing. Passing is just one example of how you can base a good portion of your top game around one position of your arms. Using Gordon Ryan’s system you can pass, control and even transition towards the back by using just slight adjustments of your grips. Let’s face it, this is yet another game-changing DDS BJJ DVD that everyone that is serious about BJJ should look into. 

Body Lock Gordon Ryan Techniques
Click for Techniques List & More Info
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