10th Planet Bethlehem Jiu-Jitsu superstar, Grace “The Silent Assassin” Gundrum made history on July 19th, 2020. A few weeks following the celebration of her 18th birthday, Gundrum faced Silver Fox’s, Danielle Kelly at Jiu-Jitsu Overtime, a card presented by Eddie Bravo. Their bout, in particular, garnered a lot of interest from the grappling community in their highly anticipated EBI rules match. The event was aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass and the ladies didn’t disappoint. In a back and forth endeavor that tested both of their skills, Gundrum was awarded the victory in overtime via fastest escape.
Following her win, 10th Planet founder, Eddie Bravo had a celebration of his own planned for Gundrum. To the pleasant surprise of Gundrum, Bravo promoted Grace “The Silent Assassin” Gundrum to 10th Planet black belt following her match. With such an honor at such a young age, the possibilities are endless for the 10th Planet prodigy.
Video of Grace getting her black belt below:
MyMMANews’ own Adam Crist caught up with “The Silent Assassin” as she breaks her silence in a brief Q&A to discuss her history in martial arts. She discusses her recent promotion to black belt. As well as what it’s like being such a polarizing athlete in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu and so much more below!
Grace Gundrum interview below:
Adam Crist: Why did you decide to get involved with Jiu-Jitsu at such a young age?
Grace Gundrum: “My brother took karate for a little while. (But) He stopped and had extra classes, my mom put me in to use them up. Holland worked at the karate school and I followed him when he and Zach started their own school years later.”
AC: When did you decide that you had a passion for the sport and wanted to make a legit run in competing?
GG: “I never had a point where I thought I had a passion for the sport, but I think getting invited to and winning EBI 3 was when competing got a lot more serious.”
AC: People seem to love you as an athlete as well as your demeanor. Can you describe what it is like gaining such a well-known personality in the Jiu-Jitsu circuit?
GG: “It’s pretty cool. I’ve had people that I don’t know say hi to me or say they like watching my matches. I don’t look online much for jiu-jitsu so I don’t know what people say about me, but from meeting them in person, everyone seems really nice.
AC: What’s a normal day in the life of Grace Gundrum like? What’s your schedule like? And on top of that, how often are you thinking about Jiu-Jitsu on any given day?
GG: “I’ll either wrestle or go to MADE, a strength and conditioning gym, in the morning then go to jiu-jitsu at night. In between or when I don’t have anything in the morning, I’ll mainly be doing school. Since I’m taking online classes I’m able to complete the assignments whenever. I don’t really think about jiu-jitsu outside of when I’m actually training. I’m usually busy with school so I focus on that most of the time.”
AC: Now that you’ve had time to let it all settle in…Can you detail the feeling of being an 18 year old receiving your 10th Planet Blackbelt? It’s not only difficult to receive your blackbelt in the 10th Planet system, but you’ve received it so young! Please describe these feelings.
GG: “I think it’s pretty cool, and I’m glad that people are okay with me getting it so young. I know I got it pretty fast so I feel a bit weird knowing people have been training a lot more and are probably better than me and still don’t have it. I also feel more pressure to do well now because of both getting the belt really early and fast. Other than that though, everything feels pretty similar than before I got it.”
AC: Is there a dream match for you with someone that you’d love to compete against?
GG: “I don’t have any specific match I’d want, but I’d like to try getting into ADCC.”
AC: What’s your biggest goal for you in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu?
GG: “I don’t have a specific goal in jiu-jitsu. Like I said before, I’d like to get into ADCC, but it’s not something I’m super serious about, I just think it’d be fun to try.”
AC: Why did you choose to train at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and in the 10p system opposed to the traditional gi?
GG: “I train at 10th planet Bethlehem because Holland used to work at the karate school I had gone to. When he left and started a 10th planet with Zach I just followed them.”
AC: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of Jiu-Jitsu?
GG: “Outside of jiu-jitsu, I mainly like watching anime and sometimes reading manga. In the past few years, I’ve also gotten into baking.”
AC: Will the world get to see the grappling phenomenon, Grace Gundrum make the crossover into MMA? If so, when can we expect it?
GG: “Probably not. I don’t really like the idea of getting hit. I know a lot of people are into that, but it’s just not my thing.”
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