Updated: Oct 26
When we heard that this one A-list comedian was an advanced BJJ practitioner, we decided to dig and find other surprising celebs that are martial artists. The list is filled with surprising musicians, directors, comedians, and even politicians! Let’s get to it!
1. Guy Ritchie - British filmmaker and director known for films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Sherlock Holmes. Ritchie practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Well, not just practices, he is a legitimate black belt in BJJ. He earned his rank via his master Renzo Gracie. Those who know the Gracie name know that this is no easy feat.
2. Russel Brand – The comedian and, more recently, podcaster has his purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is often posting photos of himself in action and has mentioned that he’s been enthusiastic about many martial arts over the years. If Russel Brand is training in BJJ, what’s your excuse? Start now for free, here!
3. Vladimir Putin - President of Russia and former KGB agent. While most politicos are aware that Putin is a trained martial artist, the everyday practitioner might not be aware that he holds high ranks in multiple styles. Though the word “rank” is subjective because he lost two martial arts honors as the result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: 1) he’s been suspended from his role as honorary president of the IJF, and 2) stripped of his honorary 9th dan black belt by World Tae Kwon Do.
4. Ashton Kutcher - Kutcher is an American actor who began as a high school wrestler and started his BJJ training in 2012. He received his first lesson in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Ricardo DeLa Riva Academy, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After nine years of practice, he earned the brown belt from his master Rigan Machado.
5. Dave Mustaine - the Megadeth frontman has been actively training in Jiu Jitsu for several years and currently holds a brown belt. He also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Ukidokan karate.
6. Elvis Presley – If you’ve been around the block a time or two, you know that Elvis was a martial artist, but for the younger generation, this might come as a surprise. It’s reported Elvis received his black belt in karate in 1960 and would eventually be promoted to an eighth degree!
7. Ed O'Neill - American actor known for his roles in TV shows such as Married... with Children and Modern Family. He first began training in martial arts over 20 years ago. Ed now holds a blackbelt in BJJ under the legendary Rorion Gracie.
8. John Cusack - American actor known for his roles in films such as Say Anything and High Fidelity. John Cusack has been training for over twenty years with the legendary kickboxer Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. He currently holds a 6th-degree black belt in Benny's Ukidokan Kickboxing system.
9. Forest Whitaker - American actor known for his roles in films such as The Last King of Scotland and Black Panther. Forest has trained in Eskrima under the legendary Dan Inosanto and is also a black belt in Kenpo Karate.
10. Jim Carrey - Jim Carrey, more widely known for his comedic timing than his athletic prowess, trains in BJJ. While he hasn’t said any of this publicly, plenty of witnesses and forums have confirmed that he has achieved his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Jim, care to comment?
That’s our list. How many did you know were martial artists? If you feel like keeping up with Jim Carrey or Ashton Kutcher, check out Black Belt+
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