Ryan is a homegrown Connection Rio BJJ Walla Walla purple belt receiving his ranks of blue belt and purple belt under Professor Dennis Asche. Ryan is our head coach for our kickboxing program and assistant coach with our BJJ program.
Ryan’s martial arts journey officially began in 1991 when he began training in JKD (Jeet Kune Do), Kempo and Kali (Filipino martial arts), under internationally recognized Master of Arms James Keating. 6 months later when Frank Magnaghi (a top black belt student under Keating) opened his own school, Ryan began training under Sensei Magnaghi and over the course of 4-5 years, earned his brown belt.
Ryan also began simultaneously training a hybrid mix of Fook Yeung Chuan, Non-Classical Gung Fu, Aikido, Aiki Jiu Jitsu and Wing Chun under Sensei Steve Smith in 1995. Sensei Smith is the inheritor of Fook Yeung Chuan and in the lineage of Sensei David Harris and Jesse Glover (Bruce Lee’s first student in the U.S.) Fook Yeung was an instructor to Bruce Lee from 1959-1966.
Ryan was officially introduced to BJJ in 1996 when he attended a 4-day seminar with Rickson Gracie in Portland, OR. As he continued training under Sensei Smith and Sensei Magnaghi, his interest in BJJ and MMA continued to grow. Ryan earned his 2nd level black sash under Sensei Smith in 2000 and was an assistant instructor in the adult classes under Sensei Smith. Ryan began occasionally attending seminars at Team Quest in Gresham, OR with fight team head coach Robert Follis, Randy Couture, Matt Lindland, Bas Rutten and others. Ryan became the head coach for the kid’s martial arts program under Sensei Smith in approximately 1997.
In 2002, Ryan began renting a commercial space to open his own school, Calhoon’s Black Belt Academy which initially focused on the youth martial arts and life skills curriculum he had spent years developing. In 2007, he built the Calhoon’s Martial Arts & Fitness facility and expanded the programs to also include adult MMA classes, cardio kickboxing classes, women’s self-defense programs, youth summer programs, a fitness center, personal training, and was the head coach for the Calhoon’s MMA fight team. Calhoon’s was voted ‘Best of the Best’ for martial arts schools by the Walla Walla community for a consecutive 10 years. Calhoon’s held numerous MMA seminars including bringing in Robert Follis (who later became the head coach at Extreme Couture) multiple times, and UFC fighters Ed Herman, Ken Shamrock and Benji Radach. Calhoon’s helped put on numerous MMA fight shows in the Walla Walla area for several years.
In 2019, Ryan began training under Professor Dennis Asche in BJJ at Connection Rio BJJ Walla Walla. In 2020, Ryan earned his blue belt and in 2022 earned his purple belt under Professor Dennis Asche. Ryan is a IBJJF competitor winning Gold at blue belt level in the IBJJF Boise open. He has been actively coaching for Connection Rio BJJ in Walla Walla since 2021.
Ryan has been actively involved in the health, fitness and wellness industries since 1991 as a certified Personal Trainer, Licensed and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Sports Massage Therapist, Wellness Center owner, studying academically in the fields of naturopathic medicine and holistic health science, Martial Arts school owner, gym owner and city Parks & Rec coach for a number of his kids’ different youth sports teams.