10 celebrities you didn’t know do jiu jitsu
Celebrities Who Have Fallen in Love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is not just a martial art; it has become a lifestyle embraced by people from all walks of life. The grappling art has captured the hearts of many celebrities, who find solace, discipline, and excitement on the mats. Let’s take a closer look at 10 famous faces who have fallen in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
1. Joe Rogan – The Podcast King
Joe Rogan is a household name, known for his popular podcast and diverse career. Rogan’s passion for BJJ started in 1996 when he first stepped onto the mats under the guidance of Carlson Gracie. Today, he proudly sports a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, along with his extensive achievements in stand-up comedy and sports commentary.
2. Ed O’Neill – From Al Bundy to BJJ Enthusiast
Ed O’Neill, acclaimed for his iconic roles in “Married With Children” and “Modern Family,” discovered BJJ in the late ’80s. Despite a busy Hollywood schedule, O’Neill committed himself to training under Rorion Gracie and earned his black belt in 2007. Rolling on the mats became his escape from the spotlight.
3. Mario Lopez – The Blue Belt Champion
Mario Lopez, aka AC Slater from “Saved by the Bell,” ventured into the world of BJJ in 2017. Guided by his coach, Robert Hill, Lopez’s dedication paid off, earning him a well-deserved purple belt. In 2021, he wowed the crowds by securing a gold medal in the Master 4 blue belt Lightweight division at the prestigious IBJJF Phoenix Open, cementing his commitment to the art.
4. Anthony Bourdain – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Cozinheiro
The late chef, author, and television show host Anthony Bourdain was not only known for his culinary expertise but also for his love for BJJ. Bourdain embraced the art and even competed at the blue belt level, showcasing his dedication to both food and martial arts.
5. Ashton Kutcher – The BJJ Brown Belt
Ashton Kutcher, renowned for his roles in “That ’70s Show” and “Two and a Half Men,” started his BJJ journey in 2012. Under the guidance of his professor Rigan Machado, Kutcher has steadily climbed the ranks, recently achieving the esteemed brown belt. His commitment to BJJ echoes his pursuit of excellence in all areas of life.
6. Chuck Norris – The Martial Arts Legend
No list of celebrities and martial arts would be complete without mentioning Chuck Norris. Known for his legendary action roles, Norris boasts a black belt in BJJ, among numerous other martial arts disciplines. He played a vital role in introducing the Gracies and the Machado brothers to the United States, leaving an indelible mark on the growth of BJJ in the country.
7. Mark Zuckerberg – The White Belt CEO
Even the tech world’s visionary leaders find solace on the BJJ mats. Facebook founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg happily dons a white belt. Training under the guidance of Prof. Dave Camarillo at Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Zuckerberg embraces the physical and mental challenges that BJJ provides.
8. Guy Richie – The Director Turned BJJ Enthusiast
Renowned director and actor Guy Richie found his passion for BJJ after watching the captivating documentary “Choke.” Beginning his training under Mauricio Gomes, Richie later trained with the legendary Roger Gracie in London. Richie’s dedication paid off as he successfully obtained his black belt, embodying the art’s principles both on and off-screen.
9. Russell Brand – The Comedian Who’s Serious About BJJ
Known for his witty humor and charismatic presence, comedian and actor Russell Brand clearly takes his BJJ journey seriously. Starting in 2016, Brand worked his way up the ranks, recently earning a well-deserved purple belt in July 2019. Brand often shares his passion for BJJ on his podcast and other public platforms.
10. Paul Walker – The Late BJJ Enthusiast
Late actor Paul Walker, famous for his roles in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, held a deep love for BJJ. Walker’s dedication earned him a brown belt during his lifetime. In a bittersweet tribute, he was posthumously awarded a black belt in BJJ from Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller, emphasizing his commitment and skill on the mats.
These 10 celebrities remind us that BJJ is more than just a martial art; it’s a way of life that transcends boundaries and attracts people from all corners of the world. From black belts to blue belts and even white belts, these famous faces demonstrate the dedication and passion that drives them on their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. Whether on the big screen or the BJJ mats, their stories inspire us to pursue our own paths with enthusiasm, discipline, and an openness to new experiences.