Modern Jiu jitsu lost one of its true characters today – “Big Gord” father of Gordon Ryan passed away in his sleep last night. Mr Ryan Sr was a stalwart supporter of his two sons Gordon and Nicky from the earliest days of their commitment to Jiu jitsu. He would come to many of their sessions, almost all of their matches from white belt to championships. He had unshakable confidence in the abilities of his sons and stood by them unfailingly through thick and thin, wins and losses. There is a sense in which Big Gord was a metaphor for the itself, he didn’t always say the polite or correct thing, was rough around the edges and unconventional in his approach, but underneath it all he had a of and stood by his friends and judged everyone by their merits. He was one of the unexpected stars of the 2019 World Championships as strode from to mat to proudly watch his sons take center stage. He was a real character at these events. Normally the is known for their very analytical coaching style – Big Gord came from the opposite direction with his surprisingly insightful psychological pre match advice and humorous call outs that had us all laughing and smiling between and after matches. In the end, that’s what it’s all about – showing love and support for those around you and creating warm smiles and memories for your family and friends. Thank you Gordon, Nicky, Trish and Nathalia for helping Big Gord through this health issues these last few years – i know it was often a difficult and lonely task – you all showed exceptional generosity and kindness to your dear father on a level the world will never know. Wishing you all strength and recovery.