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“We thought we didn’t really want to do it anymore” - How Tye and Kade Ruotolo overcame early burnout in BJJ

Tye (L) and Kade (R) Ruotolo experienced and overcame burnout despite their youth. | [Photo: ONE Championship]
Tye (L) and Kade (R) Ruotolo experienced and overcame burnout despite their youth. | [Photo: ONE Championship]
Ben Imperial

Pressure comes with the territory of being so good at a young age, and it led to Brazilian jiu jitsu phenoms Tye and Kade Ruotolo getting burned out at a young age.

The 19-year-olds have been trained by their father ever since they were toddlers and it was clear early on that they were naturals in the sport.

When they started competing, they collected awards and championships in the sport and looked like they were headed for inevitable greatness. However, it almost came to a halt a few years back.

In an interview with ONE Championship, the brothers revealed the challenge they faced as kids burdened by expectations. Kade said:

“I think we were probably around 12 or 13 years old, and we just got really burnt out on it. We thought we didn’t really want to do it anymore and almost quit for about two months."

His brother Tye added:

“That’s when we realized it’s important not to overtrain. You can overtrain, and then when you’re training in classes, you’re not getting better. It’s like you’d rather not be there."

Kade explained that they tapped into their heritage by visiting Costa Rica for a couple of months. With no spotlight shining on them, they were allowed to be kids again. It helped them revive their passions and went back to the mats rejuvinated.

Tue elaborated further, saying:

“It was really important for us to find the balance of not overtraining and doing everything else that we love: surfing, skating, and fishing.”

Tye and Kade Ruotolo are set to debut at ONE 157

After rising through the ranks, Tye and Kade Ruotolo found their way to the global stage of ONE Championship. At ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on May 20, the brothers will be in action for the first time in two submission grappling contests.

Tye draws grappling legend Garry Tonon while Kade will face the always-dangerous Shinya Aoki. Tonon is a multi-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion who made a successful transition to MMA, where he is currently the No.4-ranked featherweight contender.

Meanwhile, Aoki is considered one of the top MMA grapplers in the promotion and has won several accolades in submission grappling.

Tonon and Aoki fought in the first-ever submission grappling contest in ONE Championship, and will certainly be tough challenges for the young prodigies when they make their debut on the global stage.


Edited by C. Naik

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