dr. jon gelber

Dr. Gelber, aka,”The Fight Doctor” founded FightMedicine.net to promote MMA training, health, and fitness advice. Dr. Gelber came to realize how grappling provided a positive outlet for people overcoming a disability and was astounded that there were no organizations out there to allow for a platform for these athletes to compete in. Theron, Grappler’s Heart was born. He is our honorary board member and Grappler’s Heart will always be grateful for his vision and passion.


gina hopkins

Do not let the braids and smile fool you, this gal can fight, and she wants to play too! Hailing from the UK, Gina Hopkins knows well that “being a female in male dominated sports is one thing. Being disabled but participating in a sport which is dominated by able bodied people is even more difficult. But being a disabled female in combat sports is just pure fun”! Her hope is that through Grappler’s Heart, perceptions will be challenged, and that the “next time you see a person with physical difficulties, you’ll wonder what they do and not what they can’t do”.
Check out her piece “Fighting for All” , featured from her sponsor Scramble!


jen sung

Born into a Martial Arts family, Jen pretty much came kicking and rolling out of the womb. What started as a cultural tradition and hobby, became a sport, turned into a career of teaching children, furthered her education for Physical Therapy, and continues as a quest of altruism and responsibility. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a black belt in BJJ under Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. Her background in competing in tournaments, and also directing and building the Big Apple Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Open has helped the vision of Grappler’s Heart materialize. She is honored and grateful to be part of this movement and can’t wait to see this spirit of Martial Arts bring everyone together and build the community one Black belt at a time.



Dave Patton

Dave has been training, teaching, competing, and refereeing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 20 years and is a Black Belt under UFC hall of Famer Matt Serra.  He currently teaches at both the Serra Academy, and at Longo and Weidman MMA. He has been involved in Adaptive Martial arts for 5 years and is currently the Head Coach at the New York Institute of Technology Rock Steady Boxing program, using boxing to teach and empower those with Parkinson’s disease. You can catch Dave refereeing on the big stage at the Rise Invitationals.


pete mcgregor