RYAN COUTURE: Making a Difference

by

In the Mixed Martial Arts world, when one hears the name “Couture”, an image of Randy “The Natural” Couture often comes to mind.  What many are now finding as a pleasant surprise is that Randy has a son who continues to carry on an incredible fighting tradition.

Ryan Couture is one of the nicest people you can meet.  Joe Rogan mentioned that Ryan conducts himself with the same class as his father.  Having had a couple of opportunities to meet him, I whole heartedly agree with Rogan’s assessment.  Now days, Couture fights for Strikeforce and has gone 2-0.  One would think with a family name like Couture, it would be natural for him to enter the fight world.  To assume that would be to miss an inspiring story.

Growing up, Couture took an interest in martial arts, but because of safety and monetary reasons, he wasn’t able to pursue any type of training.  It wasn’t until Jr. High School he began wrestling.  Ryan grew to love the sport and before leaving high school placed 3rd in the Washington High School State championship.

After wrestling, he didn’t pursue any athletic training (even though it was around this time his father began pursuing a UFC career).  Instead, he enrolled in college and methodically acquired a Math degree.  He enjoyed the collegiate life, and admittedly “let himself go” in relation to physical activity.  Shortly after graduation, he ran into some high school friends who were in Jiu Jitsu.  They talked him into going to some classes and before long, he became proficient.  Around that time, he decided to move to Las Vegas where his father had opened a gym.  His training continued in Las Vegas and lead to an amateur fight.  It was that fight that ignited a passion for the sport and soon he began training hard.  It’s his hard work which has lead to his success.

A hard thing about being a Couture is people assume a certain degree of “entitlement” was given to Ryan because of his last name.  After watching him train, it became quite clear he’s earned everything he has.  From a degree, to his present state as a professional fighter, he has worked and still does work incredibly hard to be where he is today.  There is no entitlement in the Couture family, but an ethic of earning your own opportunities.

There’s an inherent degree of calm in Couture.  Soft spoken and one that fighters in the gym call the “glue” between management and the fighters at Xtreme Couture, he is driven by bettering himself every day.  Though he likes to win, it isn’t the key motivator.  Instead, he’s motivated to be the best Ryan Couture he can be and doesn’t compare himself to others.  Where others may engage in trash talk, he embarks in intense training so that when fight time comes, his actions do the speaking for him.  He possesses a strong drive to pass each test he’s given and isn’t interested in rushing to a “title match” but instead, takes incremental steps to ensure the right development is happening so he’s prepared should such opportunities present themselves.

Ryan surrounds himself with positive influences and recognizes he’s only as good as the people he’s around whether inside the gym or out.  In a sport that tends to produce a great deal of ego, Couture is surprisingly even keeled and mentions he has a great deal of support from his family (dad, mom, sister, aunts, uncles – his fights are a family affair!), his friends, and his training partners.

Outside the fighting arena, Ryan is on the board of directors for a non-profit called “It Ain’t Chemo” which provides cancer patients with comfort, advice, care supplies, and emotional support.  Whatever victory may come in the ring or octagon, Couture mentions that none compares with giving something to those that don’t have.  He often takes kids in chemotherapy out on the mat at the Xtreme Couture gym and says that the joy they feel being there is incredibly touching to witness.  Couture goes on to mention that watching these kids and people fight for their lives teaches him a lot about what is truly important.  As fun as winning is, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t as important as the positive impact you make on the lives of others.  Though he may not have asked to carry on the positive legacy left by his father, he’s sure doing a pretty great job.

Ryan is sponsored by: Inflict Sports; Xtreme Couture; EA Sports; Full Tilt Poker; Canyon Lake Neck and Back; Las Vegas Mobile Bistro; and “It Ain’t Chemo”

If you have never seen Ryan Fight, here is a sample :