‘I Love The Rhythm And The Flow’ – Why Kade Ruotolo Trains BJJ To The Sounds Of Reggae Music

Kade Ruotolo Tommy Langaker ONE 165 28

Reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo is all about the good vibes – and that starts with his music of choice.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom is now preparing for his highly anticipated MMA debut against Hawaiian slugger Blake Cooper in U.S. primetime on June 7 at ONE 167: Stamp vs. Zamboanga on Prime Video.

Ahead of that clash at Bangkok’s Impact Arena, Ruotolo spoke to onefc.com about his passion for reggae music.

Inspired by his mother and father, the young Californian has been listening to reggae since childhood.

He says the genre’s mellow tempo, heavy bass, and melodic vocals make it the perfect accompaniment to a solid BJJ training session:

“I love reggae music. My entire life, my parents grew us up on it. I’ve always just kind of been growing up in that style of music.

“I love the rhythm and the flow. It’s really easy to train jiu-jitsu to reggae because there’s a good rhythm, and you can honestly find yourself getting lost in the songs while training.”

For Ruotolo, reggae serves as the soundtrack for practically every BJJ practice.

But now, as he finds himself transitioning to the all-around sport of mixed martial arts, he’s been branching out his musical choices to other, perhaps more intense, genres:

“The only times I’ve found myself changing it up is when I’m going in for MMA sparring. I’ll put on some rap or whatever, just to hype me up and get into kill mode.

“But other than that, I’m just going in for jiu-jitsu, it’s mostly just good vibes, and I’m listening to reggae.”

More than just a matter of taste, the 21-year-old believes the right music is a key element of his training, and he’s clearly been doing something right.

Undefeated across six submission grappling bouts in ONE, Ruotolo is arguably the planet’s top pound-for-pound ground fighter.

As he explains, music – specifically reggae – helps get his mind and body in the right place to perform at his best:

“Music has a rhythm the same way fighting has rhythm. And if you’re not in rhythm, it always feels like the match isn’t going your way. I believe it can even start with music, just getting into your rhythm, and you can bring that into the match.”

Kade Ruotolo Names Tribal Seeds As His Favorite Musical Artist

As Kade Ruotolo amps up his training for Blake Cooper at ONE 167, there’s one reggae band in particular that he’s sure to be bumping in the training room.

The San Diego resident gushed about his favorite group:

“Tribal Seeds is the best. We’ve been listening to Tribal Seeds forever, all their albums, I’ve probably listened to every single song they’ve made. They’re out of San Diego.”

Indeed, fans might recognize the award-winning reggae band Tribal Seeds for their 2009 hit, “Vampire,” which both Kade and his twin brother, reigning ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Champion Tye Ruotolo, have used as a walkout song in ONE Championship.

Because the band is from San Diego, it’s no small surprise that they’ve reached out to the city’s famous twin brothers.

Naturally, the Ruotolos have been to a Tribal Seeds show, and it’s only a matter of time before the band watches one of them compete under ONE’s bright lights.

Kade added:

“It’s super cool. Sometimes when we post the stories, or now, even when we’re walking out, they’ll tune in and they hear the Tribal Seeds, so they’ll throw it on their story, so it’s super cool.

“One of their recent shows out in Mission Bay, they got us a couple tickets for it, so we went out there, and it’s super cool. We’re super thankful for that relationship. I told them, ‘If you guys want to come out to the next one, let me know.’ Yeah, those guys are absolute legends.”

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