Ryan Diaz - Diaz Combat sports

The Fighter’s Mindset with Ryan Diaz: Building Community at DCS in Vancouver’s Chinatown

This week on One Step Beyond, we’re joined by Ryan Diaz, owner and head instructor of DCS, a top martial arts gym located in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Ryan’s got the mindset of a fighter, and he brings that into everything he does. As a fighter who made the move from amateur to professional, he knows what it takes to level up – hard work and a willingness to learn.

This mindset has served him well. Ryan started DCS in his garage before taking the leap to a small space in Chinatown. In this space, DCS grew and expanded to the point that they needed to move to a much larger space to accommodate the growth. And while growth is exciting it’s also difficult and full of risk, especially when the timing coincides with a global pandemic. However, through it all, Ryan found a way to build a bigger and stronger DCS.

In a heartfelt conversation, Aram and Ryan discuss the difficulty of starting your own business, the hardships of Covid shutdowns, the power of a strong work ethic, and so much more!


  • The importance of reading and continued learning.
  • Creating a welcoming vibe and building a community
  • Putting yourself in other people’s shoes
  • Being a role model
  • Perseverance through hardships
  • No champion is universally loved. As some people root for you to win, other will be wanting you to lose.
  • The risks and difficulties of being a business owner.

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