When people ask me who my favorite grappler is they are often surprised that I put a 13 year old girl at the top of the heap, but for my money Grace Gundrum is as good as it gets. Grace is a student at 10th planet Bethlehem and she has made a name for herself on the local grappling circuit easily disposing of girls and boys of all shapes and sizes in dramatic fashion. Aside from her incredible rubber guard and inventive submissions, the thing I love about Grace is her quiet respectful demeanor and her calm, almost timid disposition – the antithesis of the chest pounding bravado that dominates much of the sport. Over the past two years I’ve shared the mat with Grace’s coaches JM Holland and Zac Maslany, two brown belts with unrivaled passion for jiu-jitsu. Zac and Holland have brought Grace to the forefront of the submission grappling world with repeat appearances at the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) – the world’s most prestigious submission only tournament. At both events Grace stole the show by besting some of the country’s top young grapplers. Following her victory at the last EBI her coach told me that my techniques had a hand in her victory posting this image on social media
This was one of my proudest moments as a jiu-jitsu coach. The future of jiu-jitsu is in good hands and I’m happy to have a small fingerprint of this generation’s brightest star.