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Kade Ruotolo Discusses Importance Of Reggae Music To His Success

Kade Ruotolo
Black Belt Plus

Kade Ruotolo has dominated the submission grappling scene and is hoping to take that success into mixed martial arts. The 21-year-old will make his MMA debut at ONE 167 on Friday, June 7, against Blake Cooper.

One piece to his success has been finding the right music to play while training. For Ruotolo, reggae has been an essential part while rolling on the mats.

“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,” Ruotolo told ONE.

“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.”

However, reggae is not the exclusive music choice for the young gun. When it comes time to shift his mental focus, as he is doing for ONE 167, Ruotolo puts on a different vibe.

“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,” the BJJ ace commented.

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

Many athletes train while music is playing at the gym. As Ruotolo describes, it plays an essential part in helping settle the athlete into a rhythm in the gym.

The impact is hard to deny, especially with his success throughout his career.

“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,” Ruotolo explained.

Could a specific artist or band stand out for an athlete? Everyone has preferences, and Ruotolo leans upon a fellow San Diego act for his go-to music.

“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,” the lightweight said.

With the geographic proximity, it was only natural the Ruotolo brothers and Tribal Seeds would end up following each other on their journeys.

It is not uncommon for Ruotolo to use their music in videos or for his walkout music, and the band is always appreciative. Likewise, Ruotolo hopes to have them in attendance soon to show his appreciation for how they help him find his rhythm in the gym.

“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,” Ruotolo said.

“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.”

ONE 167 airs live on Friday, June 7, on Prime Video. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

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