Kade Ruotolo: A Rising BJJ and ADCC Competitor

In a world where skill and determination collide, one name shines above the rest, Kade Ruotolo. He is a Jiu-Jitsu World Champion in 2019, 2021 as a brown belt, WNO Champion in 2021, and ADCC World Champion in 2022.

Kade Ruotolo is a famed young BJJ prodigy who showed more experienced, bigger men a thing or two with his devastating sweeps, transitions, and unpredictable submission game.

This article discusses the incredible of Kade Ruotolo to jiu-jitsu greatness. It emphasizes Kade’s tournament accomplishments, his most extraordinary grappling techniques, and other remarkable things, among other BJJ facts. Stay tuned!

Kade Ruotolo’s Incredible Jiu-Jitsu Journey to the Black Belt!

Source: Jiujitsu News

Ruotolo’s journey to greatness was not an easy one. From his humble beginnings, Kade fought against all odds, facing countless challenges along the way.

Early BJJ Years

Kade was born in the picturesque land of Hawaii in the month of January 2003. Little did anyone know that this birth would mark the beginning of an incredible journey in the world of Jiu-Jitsu.

Kade’s family, with their Italian and Puerto Rican heritage, decided to move to Huntington Beach, California when Kade and his twin brother Tye were just infants. It was in this new land that their destinies would intertwine with the art of Jiu-Jitsu.

In Huntington Beach, Kade’s parents discovered the burgeoning Jiu-Jitsu scene and recognized the potential in their young sons. At the tender age of three, Kade and Tye had their first taste of competition, revealing their natural talent and innate passion for the sport.

Their father, a dedicated grappler himself, wholeheartedly supported his sons’ journey. The Ruotolo twins embraced the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle, immersing themselves in training and honing their skills.

Their hard work and dedication soon caught the attention of the entire Jiu-Jitsu community, as they became the first child grappling stars.

First Sponsorship

As Kade’s talent continued to blossom, destiny paved the way for a partnership with RVCA, one of the top martial art brands. At the age of ten, Kade and Tye secured sponsorship, marking a significant milestone in their young careers.

Moving to The Art Of Jiu-Jitsu Academy

This sponsorship brought them to the prestigious Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy in 2013, where they trained alongside their father and younger sister Nya, under the guidance of IBJJF world champions Guilherme and Rafael Mendes.

The state-of-the-art facilities and expert coaching propelled Kade and Tye to new heights, instilling in them a deep sense of discipline and determination.

Moving to The Atos Jiu-Jitsu San Diego

In 2017, a new chapter began as the Ruotolo brothers joined the Atos Jiu-Jitsu Headquarters Academy in San Diego. Under the tutelage of the highly respected André Galvão, Kade’s skills flourished even further. 

Galvão, known for his exceptional coaching prowess, nurtured Kade’s talent, guiding him from the green belt onward with care and precision.

Kade’s Jiu-Jitsu Belt Progression

On a memorable day in April 2018, Kade, now a vibrant fifteen-year-old, achieved a significant milestone in his journey by proudly attaining the coveted blue belt rank. Time rolled on, and Kade’s passion for Jiu-Jitsu burned brighter than ever. 

In December 2019, at the age of sixteen, he stood tall as he received the distinguished purple belt. But Kade’s ambitions soared higher, and in October 2020, alongside his twin brother Tye, he was bestowed with the esteemed brown belt rank by the legendary André Galvão himself.

However, destiny had even grander plans for Kade. On a momentous day, December 14, 2021, amidst a crowd filled with anticipation, André Galvão stepped forward, radiating pride. The time had come to unveil the highest honor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—the black belt.

Kade Ruotolo, now eighteen years old, embraced the culmination of years of hard work, sacrifice, and unwavering dedication. The black belt wrapped around his waist symbolized not only his technical prowess but also his character, resilience, and indomitable spirit.

Kade Ruotolo’s BJJ Grappling Performance

Kade Ruotolo A Rising BJJ and ADCC Competitor

Kade’s journey continued to captivate the world as he showcased his skills in various competitions.

From winning the Combat Jiu-Jitsu Lightweight World Championships to securing the 77kg division of the ADCC North American East Coast Trials, he left an indelible mark on the grappling community. 

His accomplishments only fueled his determination, and Kade went on to become the inaugural Lightweight champion at the WNO. He defended his title against formidable opponents, solidifying his position as one of the brightest stars in the world of Jiu-Jitsu.

In March 2021, he and his brother Tye signed contracts with ONE Championship, paving the way for their future in submission grappling and MMA.

Kade’s ADCC World Championship 2022

Source: FloGrappling

As the 2022 ADCC World Championship approached, often hailed as the “Olympics of grappling,” Kade was determined to make history.

Competing in the 77-kilogram division, he defied all expectations by becoming the youngest competitor to win the ADCC World Gold.

In the final match, Kade submitted Mica Galvão, etching his name in the annals of Jiu-Jitsu greatness.

Kade Ruotolo ONE Championship

Source: ONE Championship

Kade’s debut match at ONE 157 showcased his skill and tenacity as he emerged victorious over seasoned fighter Shinya Aoki.

Kade’s accolades continued to pile up as he faced multiple-time Sambo World Champion Uali Kurzhev for the inaugural ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship.

Despite Kurzhev’s failed hydration attempts, Kade emerged victorious, claiming the title and etching his name in the record books once again.

He defended his title against Matheus Gabriel and emerged triumphant, solidifying his position as the reigning champion. 

Facts About Kade Ruotolo BJJ

Kade Is the Twin Brother of Tye Ruotolo

The twin brother of Tye Ruotolo is extremely dangerous with his tricky finishes.

In the ADCC 2022, Kade could finish four top-notch opponents in a row, including the legendary Mica Galvao, who has never been heel hooked nor submitted.

Source: IBJJF

Ruotolo’s Buggy and D’Arce Chokes Are Unstoppable!


Kade’s buggy choke submission finish of PJ Barch was awarded ‘Submission of the Year’ at the Jitsmagazine 2020 BJJ Awards.

Aside from that, His amazing D’Arce choke finish against Joshua Dawson earned him the prestigious “Submission of the Year” award for the second consecutive year.

Kade Ruotolo Was Born In Maui, Hawaii

Tye Ruotolo’s twin brother was born in the same place as his bro, in one of the islands of Hawaii, in January 2003. He’s of Italian/Puerto Rican heritage.

The Move to Huntington Beach, California, Created The History

Ruotolo’s father was a trained grappler, and the whole family moved to the USA while he and his brother Tye were infants. Then, the twin brothers enrolled in Luciano Cleber’s BJJ school. Moreover, the two participated in their first competition at the age of 3 in 2006.

Kade and his brother were highly successful kids and earned their first sponsorship at 10. Then they switched to Art Of Jiu-Jitsu Academy (AOJ), where the two remained for around 4 years. Their coaches were Rafael and Guilherme Mendes. Yet, another instructor change happened.

Source: FloGrappling

The Atos 2017 Camp Change Changed Ruotolo’s Life

In 2017, the twin bros moved to Atos Headquarters Academy in San Diego, California, where legendary Andre Galvao took the two.

Right off the bat, the duo of talented kiddos started progressing and improving their game. They were earning belts very quickly.

The Ruotolo Brothers Earned Their Black Belts In 2021

The two brothers reached 18 in 2021, and Galvao instantly gave them black belts for their outstanding level of knowledge.

Kade and Tye had way more success earning their straps than their teammates and peers.

Related Article: Click here to learn about black belt degrees in BJJ.

Kade Is A Master of Scramble-Jitsu, Leg-Pin Guard-Pass, And D’Arce Choke

When you look at Kade’s record, you’ll see that he scored the most significant number of victories via the D’Arce choke (6 times). You’re in terrible trouble when he sinks his arms under your neck and arm from the north-south position.

Plus, guard passing is one of his specialties. Now, you will probably ask what the heck is scramble-Jitsu. Also, the Ruotolo brothers have made the buzz using their Buggy Choke technique.

Scrambling is when two fighters are jockeying for the position.  For example, you’ll see fighters rotating, sweeping each other, and fighting to end up in the dominant spot.

Kade mostly ends up in a better position and takes points by controlling his opponents, but he’s always threatening via finish.

There is no stalling in his game, Kade’s constantly pushing the pace and trying to defeat his enemies via a choke or a limb position. Most scramblers win via points, but Kade is ready to fight for the stoppage until the last dying breath.

Kade’s Cardio Is Out of This World

In his career, Ruotolo has never been outworked. Yet, when he doesn’t finish the bout via choke, the dangerous young fighter leaves the mat with his hand raised, thanks to a decision or point domination. Nobody has ever defeated him via points or decisions in his life.

Kade’s pressure and intention to finish the fight are stunning. Watching his bouts makes you feel that the guy cannot get tired. He constantly works and tries to end the bout, from the first until the final bell.

Source: ONE Championship

Kade Ruotolo Was Submitted Only Two Times in His Whole Career

Kade is a “kill or be killed” type of fighter; he reminds me of “Jordan Wright of BJJ”. His cardio is excellent, so he can easily win the battle by stalling and changing positions, but he’s a fan favorite.

Ruotolo likes to fish for the finish; he attacks both upper and lower limbs and looks for weak spots.

He will surely improve his fight IQ in the future, and it comes with experience. Also, he is probably the strongest 19-year-old to participate in a featherweight competition. When he gets a hold of you, you can tap, go to sleep, or end up with a broken limb.

His two losses happened in the early stages of his career. Roberto Jimenez forced him to tap after a superb short choke in 2020, while his second loss came to the same opponent in 2021.

It seems Jimenez is excellent in back take, but Kade worked hard on improving his skills, and their third fight was one-side a**-whooping, where Kade Ruotolo was swinging the hammer and dominated every aspect of the game.

Kade Ruotolo Used to Be a Featherweight Division Competitor (-70 kg)

Kade Ruotolo is a light fighter but had some success in the Openweight circuit in juniors.

His speed and the ability to change positions in a split second help him control the bout and earn the stoppages even against more excellent opponents!

Yet, Kade is still growing, so he moved one weight division up (-77 kg), and it seems this was the best choice he has ever made!

Related: Join the BJJ community and further your training by learning the IBJJF weight divisions for Gi and No-Gi. Determine which class you belong to and begin honing your skills to compete with the best. Click here to read more!

Kade Ruotolo Is a Finisher, Decision Wins Don’t Happen Too Often

There are two types of scramblers – defensive and offensive ones. Kade’s defense is excellent, but he’s mostly trying to turn his defense into offense and usually ends up in the dominant spot, where he can quickly look for a submission victory.

Kade Ruotolo Stormed ADCC 2022 With Four Submission Wins

Source: FloGrappling

I have never seen a 19-year-old kid dominate stronger and more mature opponents like this.

The ADCC 2022 championship will be remembered forever by the superb domination of Kade Ruotolo, who earned the title with four back-to-back impressive submission wins.

Kade crushed his foes with stunning pressure and an extraordinary level of aggression!

The legendary Aussie Lachlan Giles was a favorite heading into the bout with Kade Ruotolo. Still, Kade kicked off the bout very aggressively and armbar the legend, forcing him to tap.

You thought it was a coincidence? Then please, how do you comment on his superb inside heel hook victory over Roberto Jimenez, the one and only man who submitted Kade two times in a row? Revenge is sweet, don’t you think so? It looked like a kill-or-be-killed fight for bookies, but Kade Ruotolo made it so easy!

The victory over PJ Barch in the semi-final looked easy too. Then, we saw the tremendous shock of the tournament – Mica Galvao, a young Brazilian competitor who has never tapped in his life, was forced to surrender thanks to another inside heel hook! It was his first-ever submission loss!

Related Article: Click here to discover the all-time ADCC World Champions.


Kade Ruotolo is the future of this sport – this legendary young gun did the unthinkable, winning the ADCC tournament at the age of 19.

His remarkable skills and unwavering dedication made him a true inspiration for aspiring grapplers worldwide.

The world eagerly awaits his transition into the world of mixed martial arts. With each passing day, he continues to inspire others with his remarkable skills, his passion for Jiu-Jitsu, and his unyielding determination to chase his dreams.

The legacy of Kade Ruotolo, the Jiu-Jitsu prodigy, will be remembered for generations to come.

His game is constantly improving, alongside his level of power. I assume we’ll see his full potential soon, but here is the list of his achievements in the senior circuit:

  • 2022 ADCC Submission Grappling Champion.
  • 2021 WNO Championship winner.
  • 2020 GrappleFest 70KG Belt Holder.
  • 2020 EBI Combat Jiu-Jitsu Championship (2020).
  • 3rd Place 3QG Kumite 5 GP (2020).

Kade Ruotolo is still young, he’s far from the peak of his career. Mark my words Tye and Kade will take the Brazilian jiu-jitsu scene over in the next few years!

Related: Participating in top-tier competitions will let you unleash your competitive spirit and improve your Brazilian jiu-jitsu abilities to the next level. Click here to discover the top BJJ tournaments that will inspire you.

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