A Mixed Martial Arts School Steeped in Traditional Gracie Brazilian Jiujitsu

Wesley Chapel MMA

By William Jacko

Special to The Laker/Lutz News

You are walking to your car in a dark parking lot, and someone jumps out from behind and places a chokehold on you. What do you do?

If you were a student at Wesley Chapel MMA, you would know exactly what to do, because you would have been trained by Ryan Deichert, the school’s head instructor.

Ryan Reichert, third-degree Gracie Brazilian Jiujitsu Black Belt.

Deichert has a third-degree Gracie Brazilian jiujitsu black belt, and he teaches jiujitsu and mixed martial arts as he learned them directly from the legendary Gracie family of Ultimate Fighting Championship fame.

“In college, I trained in jiujitsu and met Royce Gracie,” Deichert said. “Royce won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, and that’s when jiujitsu hit the world — when Royce beat bigger, stronger and faster competitors with a jiujitsu style.”

Royce’s father, Helio Gracie, learned jiujitsu when it came from Japan to Brazil, and he spread his highly innovative interpretation of the martial art throughout Brazil – like a Johnny Appleseed of jiujitsu.

“Jiujitsu is a ground-grappling martial art that takes your opponent to the ground, where most martial arts are deficient,” said Deichert.  “Nowadays, everybody trains jiujitsu who wants to do Ultimate Fighting, because they know how important it is to have a ground game.”

Wesley Chapel MMA has professional instructors and offers numerous classes in traditional Gracie Brazilian jiujitsu — muay thai, self-defense and fitness — depending on the needs and preferences of its students.

“Our philosophy here is to win the fight, but in a humane way,” said Deichert. “We use jiujitsu to teach self-confidence and bully protection. Everybody is doing this for a different reason. A parent is concerned about a bullying issue, or a person comes here to hit the gym. Most people are not here to be an MMA fighter, but to protect themselves and their families.”

Deichert stresses that martial arts is about more than just self-defense and competitions —it also improves people in many unforeseen ways.

“There are a lot of intangible benefits from martial arts, beginning with self-confidence,” said Deichert. “People with more self-confidence get better jobs. It’s also important for parents to understand that children need some sort of discipline to master, whether it’s music or basketball or jiujitsu. I see so many people transform their lives for the better with a discipline like this, because it leads them to a right path.”

(813) 951-4865 • 2477 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. • Wesley Chapel, FL 33544 • (Across from AdventHealth hospital)

Published 5/8/19


  1. Bradley Riles says

    I trained in Judo for 15 years at a club further South and when I moved I went searching for a good grappling club in the Wesley Chapel area. I feel very fortunate that I found Wesley Chapel MMA. The club is full of great people to train with and the instructors are top notch. Looks like I found a new home!
    Jiujitsu is great because there is no limit to self improvement. Every move you learn leads to a dozen more.
    If you are looking for a good clean gym with instructors that are happy to share in a family friendly environment I suggest you stop in and give Wesley Chapel MMA a try.

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