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Seasoned MMA & Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Specialist


Ryan Bow is a retired Mixed Martial Artist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He moved to Japan alone at the age of 17 to pursue a career in MMA. He’s a veteran of more than 30 professional fights and has competed in events around the world.

A highly motivated and out-of-the-box thinker, Bow possesses bilingual proficiency in the English and Japanese languages and has more than a decade of experience as a gym owner and instructor.

Present-day, Ryan resides in Seattle, WA where he is the owner and head coach at Fight Gods Mixed Martial Arts Academy. An experienced traveler with a passion for teaching, Bow is available for seminars worldwide.

MMA / Catch Wrestling Lineage

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Lineage


Decorated BJJ Black Belt

under Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Rafael Haubert with more than 20 years of experience

15+ years of formal experience

as an MMA & BJJ Instructor and as a Professional Mixed Martial Artist with 28 pro fights

Former # 1 World Ranked Fighter

in 2004 under the World Shooto Rankings


in Naga’s (North American Grappling Association’s) Expert Division

Undefeated in pro submission grappling

matches promoted by Contenders

Kodokan Judo Black Belt

awarded by the Kodokan, the World Headquarters of Judo in Japan

1999 Tournament Champion

of Icon Sport’s Hawaiian Super Brawl

Fought on Cards with UFC stars:

Anderson Silva (Shooto) and Chael Sonnen (BodogFIGHT)

Former American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) Fighter

who trained under 5-time UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock & trained with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Valasquez, as well as Josh Koscheck, Luke Rockhold, & Josh Thompson

Trained under former Chute Boxe and Brazilian Top Team Coach,

Sergio Cunha in Japan

Worked out alongside Judo Olympic Gold Medalists,

Yoshida Hidehiko and Takimoto Makoto at Yoshida Dojo in Japan

Trained Muay Thai under the former Lumpini Stadium Champion,

Santien Noi in Thailand



2017 –Present

Owner & Head Instructor

  • Established a start-up business; one of Seattle’s Premier MMA Gyms
  • Formulates and implements marketing strategy and creates marketing and digital materials using Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Manages day-to-day operations regarding billing, sales, and employee & customer relations that grows clientele steadily
  • Designs daily regimens for different age classes and provides detailed instruction to generate athlete potential
  • Incorporates cardio, proper nutritional support, and delivered crucial skill training for advanced practitioners
  • Provides world class innovative and customized training in Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Wrestling
  • Delivers personalized client-centered and group-focused attention that built community commitment
  • Designs company products from concept to completion including apparel and equipment

Team Nogueira Dubai, Dubai, UAE

2014 – 2017

Assistant Program Director & Head MMA Instructor

  • Ran company meetings to engage employees and bring the best out of them regarding using the company business management software, customer retention, and event organization
  • Organized and Branded the event “Future Champions” that continues to promote Amateur Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and MMA events
  • Designed and implemented a MMA curriculum to build the MMA clienteleCoached the Professional Team to an undefeated record competing in several countries throughout the Middle East


2009 – 2014

Owner & Head Instructor

  • Founded & managed West Michigan’s #1 MMA fitness training facility
  • Lead MMA Instructor facilitating solid foundational technique in Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
  • Design daily regimens for different age classes and provide detailed instruction to generate athlete potential
  • Incorporates cardio, proper nutritional support, and delivered crucial skill training for advanced practitioners
  • Operated Dojo to espouse the traditional values of martial arts and to build practitioner values
  • Provided world class innovative and customized training in Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Wrestling
  • Deliver personalized client-centered and group-focused attention that builds community commitment
  • Managed day-to-day operations regarding billing, sales, and employee & customer relations that has grown clientele


2005 –2009

Owner & Head Instructor

  • Provided group facilitation and training in Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in Japanese & English
  • Delivered solid foundational technique in Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
  • Designed daily training lessons for different age classes and provided bilingual detailed technical instruction
  • Collaborated to produce client-centered & customized training in Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
  • Managed online marketing operations that promoted gym by driving community engagement and enrolling new members


2003 –2004

MMA Instructor

  • Transferred years of fighting expertise to instruct technically-sound Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing & Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
  • Facilitated classes in Japanese on a daily basis and promoted growing the facility by answering calls and client questions
  • Enrolled new members and promoted gym to the community which increased class frequency and class size



2005 – 2008

Professional MMA Athlete

  • Performed for the Deep fight promotion in Japan in the 155lb weight class delivering exciting MMA fights
  • Utilized well-rounded Muay Thai Kickboxing, Judo, Submission Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu



Professional MMA Athlete

  • Competed in professional mixed martial arts events promoted by BodogFight
  • All around fighter with excellent grappling skills


2000 –2004

Professional MMA Athlete

  • Fought high-level opponents such as Takanori Gomi in events sanctioned by the Shooto promotion
  • Utilized grappling, boxing & judo skills mixed with quickness and aggression to formulate respectable MMA record in Japan



Professional MMA Athlete

  • Won 1999 Lightweight Championship
  • Leveraged lifelong dedication to mixed martial arts to deliver action-packed fights
  • Competed professionally in Hawaiian Super Brawl, an Icon Sport promotion based in Honolulu, Hawaii




Bachelor of Science:

  • Business




  • Web Design & Interactive Media



Personal Trainer (PT):

  • Physical Fitness and Strength & Conditioning

C.O.M.M.A.N.D., Burbank, CA


MMA Referee Certificate:

  • MMA Training Program for MMA Referees under Big John McCarthy

Language Training and Expertise

Language Proficiency: Bilingual fluent proficiency speaking, writing, and proofreading in Japanese and English



  • Advanced Japanese Language

shibusawa international school, Saitama, Japan

1996 – 1997

  • Japanese Language


Black Samurai: The Misadventures of a Black American MMA Fighter in Japan - English Edition (2016)

The struggle is real. Experience living in Japan through the eyes of a young Black American MMA fighter that has just arrived in the country for the first time. From culture shock to literally being shocked, this humorous comic puts a funny twist on some of the difficulties foreigners face living in Japan as gaijin; outsiders.

Black Samurai: The Misadventures of a Black American MMA Fighter in Japan - Japanese Edition (2016)



日本では当たり前の日常が、外国人には理解しがたく、驚くことばかり! 困難は目に見えていても、乗り越える!言語の壁を乗り越えて、初めて日本に来た時のカルチャーショックのみならず、実際に電気ショックまで受けた著者の、面白可笑しく、時には真面目な「日本体験」をコミックでご紹介。


Tunnel visions: Memoirs of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion (2013)

Part autobiography, part travel narrative, Tunnel Visions: Memoirs of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion is the true story about a young African American’s dream to become a MMA champion in a foreign land.

The author, Ryan Bow, narrates his journey to Japan, Thailand, and other international destinations. His amazing tale will challenge your concept of humanity and make you question your priorities.

From struggling to master the Japanese language, and dealing with complex visa laws to remain in the country legally, to working for the Yakuza (Japanese mafia), and making a living as a professional fighter in Japan, this story is about the author’s struggle to survive in a Japanese culture that has little tolerance for Americans who refuse to just fit in.

Through his eyes, readers will also experience what it’s like to train under Frank Shamrock at the famed American Kickboxing Academy and fight in MMA events on the same cards as UFC stars Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.

Furthermore, this memoir chronicles how Ryan survived a life threatening medical condition. For the first time ever, Ryan goes into detail about how his contract to fight Jens Pulver, for the first ever UFC Lightweight Championship of the World, fell through.

Live life through the eyes of an MMA insider, learn what really goes on in the mind of a fighter, and see how the world of MMA and Ultimate Fighting really works.

Whether you are new to the sport, or a loyal follower of mixed martial arts, this tale of triumph is as inspiring as it is unique. Readers will walk away knowing what it really means to be a fighter.



STATUS: In Development

FORMAT: Feature Length Film

GENRE: Drama, Sports, True Story, Biopic

COMPARISON FILMS: “Creed” Meets “The Karate Kid Part II”

LOGLINE:  After being diagnosed with a deadly brain cyst, a legally blind American MMA fighter emigrates to Japan to pursue his dream of becoming the World Champion.

PREMISE: Japan. 1997 – 2000.


After a near death experience at birth due to a prenatal stroke, RYAN’S childhood is plagued with hardship. His parents, AMEN and DIANE, learn from a neurologist that he has a deadly brain cyst.

The doctor informs them that most children who survive a stroke like this have permanent neurological problems. Ryan will suffer tunnel vision for the rest of his life. Every opponent will enjoy a powerful visual advantage over him. Worst of all, if the cyst ruptures, Ryan might die…

Interested in knowing more about the film? Reach out to Ryan directly by emailing him here.

House Hunters International

Season 83, Episode 4

You Say Dubai and I Say Hello

Ryan and and Adrian returned home to Michigan after years overseas. Ryan was a Mixed Martial Arts professional fighter in Japan for 12 years, and Adrian went to school for veterinary studies in Scotland. They returned home, met and fell in love. Ryan was offered a job teaching at a new gym in Dubai, and both are excited about once more living abroad. They’ll have to decide how much they can really afford to spend on a new place with only one income.


Season 4, Paradise Lost

Episode: 1

Following the overwhelming success of its sophomore and junior series, Bodog Fight returns for the fourth installment in its mixed martial arts series. Swapping the frozen tundra of St. Petersburg for the sunny shores of Costa Rica, Bodog Fight: Paradise Lost promises bigger brawls and smaller bikinis.

juggs VS japan

A Documentary on the MMA scene in Tokyo

Tokyo, the Mecca for Mixed Martial Arts fans and the home of combat sports. In late 2006, Justin “Juggs” Dee travelled to Tokyo, Japan to explore and film an inside view into the Tokyo Mixed Martial Arts scene. Join him as he finds out what it’s like to live and fight as a professional in Japan with American born, Tokyo resident Ryan Bow.

He’ll take you backstage at a MARS & Shooto event, talk with Yoshida Dojo up & comers Michihiro Omigawa & Ryuichi Murata, train with the pros at WK Network’s Tokyo headquarters, catch some Brazilian Jiu-jitsu action, interview Japanese MMA fashion label owner Tsuyoshi Sugita of Inspirit and finally catch up with legendary Shooto fighter Rumina Sato to find out why he’s never fought in the UFC.



One Team. One Family.

Good food. Good fights. Good company. Fun times with Fight Gods Family & Friends. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Ground & Pound Those Calories Away

Ground and Pound Fitness is a combination of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) positioning and Muay Thai strikes. Inspired by a good friend of mine from Michigan, I came up with this class to help students remember the basic BJJ positions. Adding in the strikes helps burn calories and really symbolizes the feeling of finishing off your…

Victory for Victor!

Very proud of Victor who made their amateur Muay Thai debut and dominated his opponent!

Hard Work Pays Off

2 Gold Medals, 1 Bronze Medal, and the Fastest No Gi Submission of the Night! Beau, Charlie, Kyler, and Telimoye… all of your hard work really paid off! So proud of you guys!!!!!!!

Basics Win Fights

Starting over from scratch is never easy. I opened Fight Gods MMA Academy in September 2017.  The importance of mastering the basics cannot be overlooked. As the saying goes, Basics Win Fights. Dutch Muay Thai Drills, Inside Low Kicks, and Counter Attacks were the theme of the day.

Straight Outta Mumbai

Amit Thapa is another great fighter that I had the honor of coaching. A native of Mumbai, India, Amit moved to Dubai to pursue a career in MMA and as a personal trainer in the fitness industry. Amit and I met when he joined us during our pro MMA training at Team Nogueira Dubai. He’s…

Ali wins in Cairo!

During my time coaching in Dubai, I had the pleasure of working with another athlete that really made me remember why I love coaching in the first place. His name is Ali Ahl. Ali is Emirati; a native of the United Arab Emirates. He is one of the most humble and coachable athletes that I…

Coaching ‘The Sniper’

During my years working as the head MMA coach at Team Nogueira Dubai, I was presented with a great opportunity: To help put Team Nogueira on the map in the region as the home of MMA champions. I had the honor of working with many great athletes. One that comes to mind is Mounir Lazzez…


Ryan Bow
Fight Gods MMA Academy
8705 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
+1 (206) 336-9196

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