Grace Gundrum- Youngest Female BJJ Black Belt
By Elite Sports on
By Elite Sports on
Table of Contents
- 1. Grace Gundrum’s Details
- 2. Grace Gundrum’s Biography
- 2.1 Grace Gundrum’s Early Life and Amateur Fighting
- 2.2 Grace Gundrum’s Pro BJJ Combat
- 2.3 Gundrum’s Black Belt Debut
- 2.4 Grace Gundrum’s Historic Fights
- 3. Grace Gundrum’s Championships and Accomplishments
- 3.1 Grace Gundrum’s Main Achievements
- 3.2 Grace Gundrum’s Main Achievements ( Belts)
- 3.3 Grace Gundrum’s BJJ Professional Record Breakdown
- 4. Grace Gundrum’s BJJ Fight History
- 5. Grace Gundrum’s Video Links
1. Grace Gundrum’s Details
|Date of Birth||May 22, 2002|
|Last Fight||WNO Championship|
|Weight Class:||Strawweight/155 lbs|
|College/University||Lehigh University’s College of Engineering|
|Favorite Play Technique||Dead Orchard Armbar|
|Awarded by||Eddie Bravo|
|Head Coach||Eddie Bravo|
|Lineage||Carlos Gracie -> Hélio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Jr -> JJ Machado -> Eddie Bravo -> JM Holland / Zach Maslany -> Grace Gundrum|
2. Grace Gundrum’s Biography
“I never had a point where I thought I had a passion for the sports, but I think getting invited to and winning EBI 3 was when competing got a lot more serious.”
Grace Gundrum never thought that she would make a profession out of jiu-jitsu or martial arts, nor that she was destined to become the youngest female black belt ever at the age of 19. She started her fighting career at the age of 12 and competed in the EBI 3 (Super Adult Fight). This is how she found a future path to success.
Many people assume Gundrum as Japanese at first glance due to her expertise in Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo. But she has always referred to herself as “Pure Chinese,'' born in China but adopted and raised by American parents in the USA. Undoubtedly, Gundrum is a symbol of strength, bravery, and a role model for many teenagers. She is also called by the nickname, “Silent Assassin,” as she is quiet by nature, focused, hardworking, and a strategic athlete.
2.1 Grace Gundrum’s Early Life and Amateur Fighting
Gundrum was born on May 22, 2022, in China. She was an orphan a few months after her birth, but was adopted by an American couple. Gundrum grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
“I consider myself an American, I only live in China. After living for a few months, my parents adopted me through formalities in Beijing. They don't know where I was born. I have never studied Chinese and I have never been with a Chinese family. I only went back to China once. “When I was four years old, my parents took me back to China and adopted my sister.“ - Grace Gundrum
Gundrum started practising martial Arts at the age of four . A year later, her brother decided to quit his jiu-jitsu classes. Grace picked up where he left off and joined the academy’s grappling classes. This decision gave her a new perspective on grappling and filled her with dedication and passion. Grace was mentored by Robert Villafane, JM Holland, and Zach Maslany, each of whom offered valuable knowledge and training that helped her grappling career.
Martial arts were not the only sports Gundrum was doing since elementary school. She participated in other sports, too. She played basketball for four years at club level. In middle school, she played street hockey while putting aside time to learn grappling, karate, and kickboxing.
She also competed in freestyle wrestling in high school, which helped Gundrum improve her BJJ skills. A multitasker, Gundrum juggles her jiu-jitsu training, studies, and social work. She is pursuing a Computer Science and Engineering degree at Lehigh University’s College of Engineering.
Eddie Bravo, founder of 10th Planet (Pennsylvania) took it upon himself to guide and train Grace Gundrum at the age of 10, along with JM Holland and Zach Maslany. Then, at age 12, Gundrum defeated her first opponent in the first match at EBI 3 via submission. She easily became the queen of submission techniques by defeating many fighters at EBI 4, 6, and 7 with these methods. Since 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu is primarily a No-Gi training center and not a traditional jiu-jitsu academy, Gundrum mostly competed in No-Gi tournaments. Most students at her age only competed in No-Gi submission-only matches. But Gundrum was able to defeat all her opponents like Jessa Khan, Alyssa Mia Milson, and even Rikako Yuasa, who was a black belt and four-time IBJJF world champion at the Quintet Grappling event in 2019.
At age 16, when Gundrum earned her blue belt, she started competing in freestyle wrestling and took part in American wrestling competitions. She also got 3rd place at the Junior Women’s World Team Trials. In 2018, Gundrum participated in the world’s biggest Jiu-Jitsu Onnit Invitational Tournament and defeated Charlene Gellner by using a dead orchard armbar to win.
In 2019, Grace got her purple belt at Quintet 3 in April and her brown belt in November. Grace was proud to represent the 10th Planet Team in her first female competition at Quintet. She defeated Hikaru Aono, a MMA fighter representing the Deep Jewels Team. Until 2019, Gundrum had never lost a grappling match.
2.2 Grace Gundrum’s Pro BJJ Combat
Due to her unbeatable win streak, Gundrum was awarded a black belt by Eddie Bravo in July 2020, just two months after turning 18. Consequently, she became the youngest female black belt holder in the USA.
“It feels pretty cool to be a black belt. I didn’t think I’d get one so quickly since I had received my brown belt at the end of last year, but I appreciate that [my coaches] believe I’m good enough to be one.” - Grace Gundrum
Most of the people from the jiu-jitsu community were not happy with Gundrum’s promotion to black belt in only a few months. IBJJF did not acknowledge her black belt status. Such quick promotion from one belt level to another was considered a violation of IBJJF guidelines.
2.3 Gundrum’s Black Belt Debut
Gundrum made her black belt debut at FTW 155 against multiple-time No-Gi World Champion Pati Fontes. Continuing her winning streak, Gundrum subdued the former world champion with an armbar. However, Gundrum would face her first two defeats against Mayssa Bastos; twice in the last nine years at WNO 5 in 2021 and WNO Championship in 2021
Bastos used a dynamic strategy to put Gundrum on the mat and control her guard game. Bastos won both games via calls by the referee.
Due to the belt fiasco, Gundrum decided not to participate in IBJJF tournaments. The people who criticised her disregarded her passion, hard work, and dedication to her grappling training for the last 13 years. She had an amazing record of 34-0-2 at just 19 years old.
Gundrum is most commonly known for her four EBI superfight wins, but she has competed in the Gracie Nationals, Fight to Win Pro, the Finishers Sub Only, Ultimate Mat Warriors, and most recently, the Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground (SUG5).
BJJ Future Star
Undoubtedly, Grace has achieved many major milestones in her BJJ career, gaining the title of “Silent Assassin” at a very young age, serving as an inspiration for many teenagers. Thus, her future prospects in BJJ are quite bright.
Gundrum is very hardworking as many people spot her at the gym all the time with her trainers. Grace’s trainer, Holland taught her the core principles of being focused, disciplined, and organised. Grace always kept herself occupied with grappling drills. It is thanks to that attitude and control of her emotions that she has won so many submission-only matches.
2.4 Grace Gundrum’s Historic Fights
Grace Gundrum vs Jessa Khan
In 2021, Grace Gundrum faced Jessa Khan at the WNO Championship. Both fighters faced each other during the semi-finals. At the beginning of the match, Gundrum pinned Jessa down and trapped her between her legs. Khan resisted Gundrum’s leg lock attempt and went for a shoulder lock. However, she didn’t stand a chance against Gundrum who successfully locked the first twister of her career. Gundrum also got bonus points for successfully pulling off the submission.
|2021||WNO Championship||Jessa Khan||Win||Twister||SF||115 lbs||Detroit, Michigan|
Grace Gundrum vs Alex Nguyen
Alex Nguyen and Grace Gundrum both had experience in wrestling which made this match more thrilling. At the beginning of the match, Nguyen maintained control by putting pressure on Gundrum’s head and left knee. Nguyen then tried a guard pass and a leg lock to subdue Gundrum. Both athletes showed great flexibility in their hips and legs when resisting and attacking. Gundrum was not able to secure the top position in the first nine minutes of the bout. Eventually, with the help of a leg transition, she locked Nguyen’s feet and attempted a few guard passes and side control locks. Gundrum trapped Nguyen’s arms and hooked her neck and feet. She finally finished the match with an armbar in the last twenty seconds.
|2021||WNO 8||Alex Nguyen||Win||Armlock||SPF||115 lbs||Austin, Texas|
Grace Gundrum vs Patricia Fontes
Gundrum mounted Fontes from the back and pushed her down onto the ground. While Fontes was trying a guard pass to get out of the disadvantageous position, Gundrum looked for arm control. Firstly, Gundrum used a half guard and then positioned herself in a full guard, but Fontes was smart enough to keep her hands off the mat so Gundrum could not hold her arm. Fontes tried to take hold of Gundrum’s head, but she was not quick enough. Gundrum got a hold of Fontes’s arm and went for an armlock. Fontes stood up quickly in an attempt to lift Gundrum off and knock her prone onto the mat. But Gundrum just hooked her legs in to maintain control. Fontes began to get desperate and tried to get on top of Gundrum’s hips by hooking her leg around Gundrum’s body. Quickly, Gundrum used a mounted dead orchard, applied an armbar, and got Fontes to tap out within the next three minutes.
|2020||F2W||Patricia Fontes||Win||Armbar||SPF||115 lbs||Philadelphia|
Grace Gundrum vs Zoey Chiles
From the start of the match, Gundrum struggled to stay on top of her opponent while Chiles tried to apply a footlock. Then, Gundrum got on her feet and tried to grab her opponent’s legs for the under hook, but failed. Gundrum then pulled at her rival’s hands to secure a triangle armbar. In the last two minutes, Gundrum put all of her body weight on Chiles and tried to grab her by the shoulder. Successfully pulling off the manoeuvre, she finished the match with a twister submission.
|2017||Ultimate Mat Warriors||Zoey Chiles||Win||Twister Submission||SPF||115 lbs||San Diego, California|
Grace Gundrum vs Alyssa Wilson
At the start of the match, Gundrum had the advantage over Alyssa Wilson by being in the top position, but Alyssa constantly struggled to get out of Gundrum’s hold. Gundrum remained calm and patient while fighting with her hands, controlling Alyssa’s wrist, and trying to stand up. Then, she grabbed Alyssa’s elbow and managed to get back on her feet. Both combatants attacked back and forth in an attempt to subdue the other. In the end, Gundrum defeated her opponent via rear-naked choke and won the bout.
|2015||EBI3||Alyssa Wilson||Win||Rear Naked Choke||SPF||115 lbs||Downtown Los Angeles, California|
3. Grace Gundrum’s Championships and Accomplishments
- WNO Champion
- F2W Strawweight Champion
- Quintet Team Tournament
- Finishers Sub-Only
- Onnit Invitational
- SBG Montana
- Ultimate Mat Warriors
- ACE MMA BJJ - Finishers Sub Only 4
- Mat Monsters Academy (Radius Invitational 2)
- The Hive Martial Arts (Fight to Win Pro 31)
- Unity Jiu-Jitsu (Finishers Sub Only 3
- Art of Jiu-Jitsu (EBI7,6,4,3)
|2021||WNO 8||1 Gold Medal|
|2020||Fight to Win 155||1 Gold Medal|
|2017||Pro 31||1 Gold Medal|
|2016||EBI 7||1 Gold Medal|
|2016||EBI 6||1 Gold Medal|
|2015||EBI 4||1 Gold Medal|
|2015||EBI 3||1 Gold Medal|
3.1 Grace Gundrum’s Main Achievements
|Finishers Sub Only|
|Fight to Win 155 / Pro 31|
|Onnit Invitational 7|
|Ultimate Mat Warriors 2|
|Radius Invitational 2|
|Finishers Sub Only 4|
|Art of Jiu-Jitsu (EBI7,4,3)|
3.2 Grace Gundrum’s Main Achievements ( Belts)
|2019||Finishers Sub only||Purple||1st|
|2019||Quintet Team Tournament||Purple||1st|
|2018||Onnit International 7||Blue||1st|
|2017||Ultimate Mat Warriors 2||Blue||1st|
|2017||Radius Invitational 2||Blue||1st|
|2017||Fight to Win Pro 31||Blue||1st|
|2017||Finishers Sub-Only 4/3||Blue||1st|
3.3 Grace Gundrum’s BJJ Professional Record Breakdown
|17 Matches||14 Wins||2 Losses|
Submission Methods W/L
|Method||13 Wins||0 Loss|
|Rare Naked Choke||1||0|
|Armbar from Triangle||1||0|
|Dead orchard Armbar||1||0|
4. Grace Gundrum’s BJJ Fight History
|2021||WNO Championship||Mayssa Bastos||L||Referee Decision||115lbs|
|2021||WNO Championship||Jessa Khan||W||Twister||115lbs|
|2021||WNO Championship||Danielle Kelly||W||Referee Decision||115lbs|
|2021||WNO 8||Alex Nguyen||W||Armlock||115lbs|
|2020||WNO 5||Mayssa Bastos||L||Referee Decision||115lbs|
|2019||Quintet Team Tournament||Rikako Yuasa||D||N/A||105 lb|
|2019||Finishers Sub Only||Rawanna DaSilva||W||Armbar from triangle||105 lbs|
|2018||Onnit Invitational 7||Charlene Gellner||W||Triangle Choke||105 lb|
|2020||F2W 155||Patricia Fontes||W||Armbar||115lbs|
|2017||Ultimate Mat Warriors 2||Zoey Chiles||W||Twister Submission||115lbs|
|2017||(Radius Invitational 2)||Lora Antaya||W||Submission(Overtime)||115lbs|
|2017||(Fight to Win Pro 31)||Gabby Etzel||W||Triangle choke||115lbs|
|2017||Finishers Sub Only 4 ( ACE MMA BJJ)||Jasmine Johnson||W||Dead orchard Armbar||115lbs|
|2016||EBI 7||Janelle Tkaczuk||W||Armbar||115lbs|
|2016||EBI 6||Bianca Lebosnoyani||W||Dead Orchard||115lbs|
|2015||EBI 4||Jessa Khan||W||Submission(Overtime)||115lbs|
|2015||EBI 3||Alyssa Wilson||W||Rare Naked Choke||115lbs|
5. Grace Gundrum's Video Links
Who is Grace Gundrum
WNO: Grace Gundrum vs Mayssa Bastos
Grace Gundrum vs Trinity Pun - Finishers 11
Grace Gundrum v Stella Davison