2015 HAPPENING LIST FINALIST: Beauty & Wellness: Gym
Finishers MMA’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu class is open to all different types of people each with their own individual goals and aspirations. At our school we look to help everyone reach these goals. Students can expect to learn effective cutting edge Jiu-Jitsu techniques from the Lehigh Valley’s best practitioners. Plus with our family atmosphere, you will get pushed to your greatest potential.
No matter your skill level, our experienced instructors will tailor lessons so that you can conquer your goals. Our Jiu-Jitsu classes will get you into amazing shape, increase your flexibility and core strength while teaching you the most effective self-defense and Jiu-Jitsu techniques on earth.
As an example…Hanging with friends – at the pool, at the mall – is where one would find most 13-year old girls on a summer weekday. And then there’s Grace Gundrum.
The 7PM sun casts a long shadow into the room. A shadow of a plant and the Finishers Jiu Jitsu logo are thereby cast on the wall. Atop it all, medal after medal. The air, balmy. The sound of exertion as a roomful of kickboxers slam gloves to bags in sporadic rhythm.
Though she’s very smart, Grace’s success on the mat is by large a result of dedicated practice. She visits 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu midmorning, returns home for a nap and food, then heads back to assist JM Holland and Zach Maslany with kids jiu-jitsu then laces up for adult kickboxing, adult begginer jiu-jitsu, then on to advanced class . She takes one weekday morning off, then puts in a Saturday practice at a competitive gym in New York City.
Having her around for any class – kid or adult – helps the instructors teach technique. Grace’s level of practice is instinctual; she knows how to move. Having her as a demo extends the length of time the instructors can teach – her weight and size is less resistance when showing new techniques – though it’s minor compared to the overall incredible compliment of these instructors – experienced, driven – and the ideal student- smart, patient. Dedicated.
“I was thinking, one day, she’ll go away to school [or before that, get involved in any of the other teenage distractions]. Grace ain’t gonna be there every day, every hour – and it made me sad. People always say you have to appreciate the moment. I really appreciate having her with me,” relates Maslany.
“Teaching the kids class would be tough without her. Kids and parents alike ask what the end result can be. “Does this really work? Can people be that good? We’re able to just tell people – there it is.” They point to Grace. Practice pays off.
In March 2014, Grace competed at the Eddie Bravo Invitational at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. She was up against a girl who had ten pounds on Grace, who practiced CrossFit and was a 5 time Pan American champion. Though Grace didn’t have the opportunity to show off her diverse range, she fought with patience, earned overtime, and won with a submission. Video of her EBI 3 match has collected 60,000+ views.
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