10 Hollywood Celebrities Who Do Jiu Jitsu

10 Hollywood Celebrities Who Do Jiu Jitsu

1. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Trend Among Celebrities

BJJ is not new to the Hollywood stage. Most people remember the iconic choke of Mel Gibson in the movie, First Lethal Weapon. The choke was not a coincidence because Rorion Gracie was the fight choreographer for the film. With the popularity and mainstream adoption of Jiu-jitsu and the yearning of Hollywood actors to perform the action without the stuntman brought BJJ into vogue. Directors begin to hire more choreographers for the training of actors. Tom Cruise is the pioneer of this trend in the contemporary Hollywood genre, he always performs his stunts no matter how dangerous and challenging the stunts might be. He likes to dedicate his time and energy extensively to training what is required to perform actions.

Many celebrities trained in BJJ to ignite the reality in the performance of their characters.   Another reason for BJJ's increasing popularity among Hollywood superstars is the benefits of jiu-jitsu related to cardio and both physical and mental fitness. Actors learn BJJ from the choreographers for their specific roles and maintain their physical strength, and stamina and bring their characters close to life.

Celebrities and athletes have one very strong common ground, both of them can't survive without the extreme quality of physical fitness. Cardio diets are also in vogue and BJJ training offers all these benefits with the attractive achievement of learning a sublime self defense martial art.

2. List of Celebrities who do Jiu Jitsu

2.1. Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher started his BJJ training in 2012 and received his first lesson of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Ricardo DeLa Riva Academy, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He earned his blue belt in 2013. He practiced BJJ for nine years and earned the Brown belt  from his master Rigan Machado. Kutcher performed BJJ moves in these films; Stretching, Training, and Cooling Down. These workouts gave him extra strength and flexibility, body strength, and confidence.

He started BJJ practice to keep himself in good shape. Kucher received his first two striped purple belts at the end of 2014. However, the quick response to Rigan's instructions helped him in grasping the jiu-jitsu techniques. After the dedicated training under the private trainers, Kucher received his Brown belt in October 2019. He is just one step away from Black belt. The fans of these celebrities are super excited to see their favorite characters fighting and proving their physical strength in the real world. 

2.2. Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves is without any doubt the most loved Hollywood actor. No one hates him. He is admired by fans around the world. Keanu Reeves got fame with his iconic performance in movies like “John Wick ”, “Constantine” and “The Matrix”. Reeves trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with many other famous celebrities. Reeves had to learn jiu-jitsu for his movie role. He said;

“As you get deeper and deeper into training, you get less and less of the normal life which I have enjoyed ”.

He learned BJJ from Machado's brother to apply it in his acting career. Despite age, he acquired a great deal of technical proficiency in BJJ, which makes his fight scenes look realistic.

2.3. Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson is famous for his role in Twilight as Edward. Robert Pattinson is working with the instructor Rigan Machado, an 8th-degree black belt in BJJ, to learn how to kick bad guys like bone fire superheroes. Pattinson's martial arts background is very high flying. He began training at age of six. Particularly now that it is obvious that Batman has some grappling skills.

Like most celebrities in movies, he trained with Rigan Machado, whose academy is a real den for celebrities looking to train.

Robert Pattinson has recently played Bruce Wayne in the upcoming sequel of Batman and clearly Batman needed some fighting moves. The actor is training under Rigan Machado. Martial arts will assist Pattinson to bring a realistic and strong feel to the iconic characters with spectacular fighting styles like joint locks and chokes. Pattinson is training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Rigan Machado working on his ground techniques.

2.4. Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris was the man who helped the Gracie families to spread Jiu Jitsu in the US. He is ranked as a Black belt in BJJ under the Machado brothers. Having pursued the sport for 30 years. He holds the black belts in judo too. Norris has won many competitions around the US. He brought Gracie and his cousin Machado to the US and gave them space with mats for opening their academy.

Chuk grappled with the Rickson and the Royce, sons of Helio Gracie. Norris's tale of his meeting with Gracie's family in Rio de Janeiro sparked his voyages in the realm of jiu-jitsu.

2.5. Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is a Black belt in jiu-jitsu and studied martial arts for years under the guidance of the jiu-jitsu royalty, Royce Gracie. He spends time in the practice of martial arts to keep himself in good shape.

2.6. Joe Rogan

Every martial art fan knows Joe Rogan, who started as a comedian and got fame by hosting the most famous podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. He is famous for his role in the first National TV spot followed by the MTV comedy show. He also trained in Taekwondo since he was a kid. He has been training for a very long time and holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He started training under Royce Gracie in 1996. Joe barely practiced his Jiu-Jitsu training due to suffering from a severe neck injury. But he is one of the top ardent advocates of jiu-jitsu. He has many podcasts discussing and educating people about the sublimity of jiu-jitsu among other martial arts.

2.7. Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is famous for her black widow role in marvel films. For this role, Johansson has received extensive BJJ training. Scarlett Johansson, like many actors, took up martial arts training to ignite her performance. For the release of her Iron man 2 movie, she received training from Machado.

However, the marvel movie star knows jiu-jitsu self-defence. She has been famous for using the Wushu fighting style and works well with body mechanics. These styles require a lot of strength and flexibility. Johansson told reporters about her character of Iron Man 2:

“She was a strong and independent character, who reminded us, women, that we don't have to always be fragile”.

2.8. David Bautista

David Bautista is widely known for his portrayal of Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Bautista began his wrestling career in 1999 and his Jiu-Jitsu career under Cesar in 2010. Bautista has an immense passion for BJJ and has been training under Ceaser Gracie. Most recently, his effort and training in BJJ promoted him to a purple belt.

Bautista has been delving into the area of mixed martial arts for decades. At the age of 41, Bautistas still like to practice jiu-jitsu. He has a significant career in the world of professional MMA fighting.

2.9. Russell Brand

Russel Brand is an award-winning comedian and actor. Russel started training BJJ because it was trending apart from his admiration of the art. However, many celebrities do not train in public academies to avoid injury. Although Russel Brand took regular classes and was awarded a purple bet after continuous training.

Russel Brand got his purple belt from Roger Gracie. The brand was awarded a BJJ belt back in 2019 under Roger Gracie. Just after spending two years, the comedian was promoted to purple belt.

2.10. Tom Hardy

Among leading BJJ practitioners is Tom Hardy, He won a Gold Medal in the first REORG Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Wolverhampton on 22 August 2022. He also participated in the No-Gi competition and secured another. Tom Hardy is among very few Hollywood celebrities who took jiu-jitsu as a professional athlete and loves to participate in mainstream competitions.

Tom Hardy is an English actor well known for his performance in Peaky Blinders. He is among those celebrities who don't use martial arts as a source of extra attention. Tom regularly practices BJJ and participates in both GI- and No-Gi competitions. Celebrities who train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu are now being recognized, appreciated, and respected among martial art societies. Their belts, whether white or black, will draw the attention of the public toward martial arts. Besides that, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has many benefits that will improve their lives. Tom Hardy was promoted to the blue belt after ten years of BJJ practice.

3. Why Do Celebrity Train BJJ?

Celebrities practice BJJ or any other martial art for mainly two reasons, to maintain an athletic and well toned body shape and remain fit and to perform the stunts in their movies. It is obvious that if you saw your favorite actor in Gi while performing BJJ training, sparring, grappling then fans would also attract towards the BJJ. BJJ techniques are used in fighting scenes, and actors like to perform their stunts by themselves instead of using stuntmen. Many celebrities do extensive BJJ training that assist them to stay in shape and build muscles. Celebrities need more cardio health and BJJ is perfect to increase their cardio gains.

4. Famous Black Belt Celebrities

Martial artists have a clear understanding of how prestigious the back bet is, especially in BJJ. On average it can take 10-15 years to get your black belt. A black belt means a lot of time, dedication and sheer commitment. It is always interesting when a celebrity has a black belt in martial arts because the question arises how do they find time for such sport and activity? Food for thought.

They can utilize it in their career for self-defense to change their lifestyle. Celebrity black belts get more appreciation and recognition from their fans.

Year Celebrity Coach
2014  Paul Walker Ricardo Franjinha Miller
2012 Joe Rogan Eddie Bravo’s
2008  Sean Flanery Ricardo
2015 Clark Gregg Renato Magno
2015  Guy Ritchie Renzo Gracie
2019 Rikki Rocket Renato

5. Colored Belt of  Celebrities

Celebrity Belt Rank Coach
Ashton Kutcher  Brown Rigan Machado
Keanu Reeves White Rigan Machado
Robert Pattinson  White Rigan Machado
Chuck Norris 3rd Degree Black Rigan Machado
Nicolas Cage  Black Royce Gracie
Joe Rogan 2 Black Belts Jean Jacques Machado
Scarlett Johansson  White Rigan Machado
David Bautista Purple Cesar Gracie
Russell Brand  Purple Roger Gracie
Tom Hardy Blue Royal Marines

6. Impact of Celebrities on BJJ

Celebrities have an impact on BJJ, there has been a prolific positive effect of these highly followed celebrities on the society of martial arts. Whenever Jiu-Jitsu practitioners or celebrities post their martial art endeavors for their fans, it encourages their fans to sign up in the BJJ academies because fans follow their role models. Celebrities increase the mainstream adoption of the grappling sport.

Prominent celebrities who have a huge fan following, like Joe Rogan, Keanu Reeves, and Tom Hardy, they vehemently showcase their training and sparring on social media and work as global ambassadors of BJJ.

7. Conclusion

In the star-study world of Hollywood, celebrities are highly cautious of their physical appearance and well shaped body. Some follow the keto diet plans to remain in shape and others join regular gym classes. There has been a spike in the adoption of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by celebrities. One reason is increasing awareness about the benefits of martial arts for the human body. The second reason is, that actors and actresses are now prone to perform their own stunts despite hiring a stuntman. As the awareness spread, (credit goes to Joe Rogan) more celebrities came to know about the amazing keto diets and benefits of jiu-jitsu. They begin to opt for jiu-jitsu training. The social life of celebrities is public property and they like to keep their fans up to date about their life. Their pictures and videos in the Gi work as a motivation to their fans and help the jiu-jitsu society to capture the attention of the masses.

Related Readings

Reading next

Can You Get Herpes From BJJ Practices?
Why Learning BJJ Concepts Is Better Than Learning BJJ Techniques

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.