Jiu Jitsu has really turned the corner and gone mainstream over the past few years. This is generally a good thing not only for the celebrities who train but for the community as we now get more eyes on us as well. Let’s take a look at 15 notable celebrities who train BJJ below.
- The late Chef Anthony Bourdain. Anthony trained out of Renzo’s Academy under Igor Gracie and felt that Jiu Jitsu helped him with drug addiction issues among many other positive traits it offered. Anthony would often visit academies all over the world and even competed. Sadly he passed away yet he had a dramatic impact on our sport and was very public about his training.
- The late Paul Walker. Paul Walker was a brown belt under Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller. Paul was in the Fast & Furious films and was noted as a very cool person everywhere he trained. he did a lot of world community outreach projects that make him a notable human being for his service not only on but off the mats. There is a foundation set up in his name.
- Keannu Reeves. Keannu a famous filmstar in the Matrix, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Point Break among other films has been filling us with motivational quotes (lol some even made up nowadays) and seen training with Rigan Machado. It’s pretty cool to see Keannu training Jiu Jitsu, his training is well-received and benefits his action movie characters.
- Chuck Norris. Chuck is actually considered one of if not the pioneer who helped bring Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to America. He held Gracie seminars in the 80s. Chuck Norris is a BJJ Black Belt under Professor Jean Jacques Machado, Professor David Dunn promoted him to 3rd Degree Black Belt.
- Ed O’Neil. Aka Al Bundy, he is a long-time student at the Gracie Academy. He is well-known as one of the first celebrities to train Jiu Jitsu.
- Joe Rogan. Joe is probably one of the greatest ambassadors of Jiu Jitsu today. His podcast garners millions of views and he will occasionally have Jiu Jitsu personalities. Joe, himself is a black belt under 10th Planet Founder Eddie Bravo.
- Wiz Khalifa. Wiz Khalifa is a prominent hip hop artist and has been seen training with Rigan Machado. He was at the World Championships in Long Beach two years ago as a spectator.
- Demi Lovato. Demi Lovato is a famous singer and also a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Black Belt Danielle Martin. She is proud of her BJJ and posts about it on social media.
- Maynard James Keenan, Lead Singer of Tool and a Perfect Circle> Maynard is a well-known grappler and has even used Jiu Jitsu to defend himself on stage.
- Mario Lopez aka A.C. Slater is a blue belt under Professor Robert Hill of Gracie Barra. Mario was also a wrestling champion in his high school years. He has also been seen training with BJJ star A.J. Agazarm.
- Kelly Slater, surfing legend is a blue belt under the Mendes brothers. Kelly frequents MMA and BJJ posts on social media and is proud of his training.
- Dave Batista. WWE legend Batista is a student under Cesar Gracie, he holds the rank of purple belt and has some MMA experience under his belt among practicing other martial arts
- Guy Ritchie, a film director of movies such as Snatch as well as being the ex-husband of Madonna was noted by her as being called “obsessed with Jiu Jitsu.” Guy is a black belt.
- Sean Patrick Flannery, a hollywood actor is also a black belt in BJJ and has his own school in Hollywood. Sean has even posted techniques on youtube.
- Ashton Kutcher, a former wrestler and avid fan of college wrestling is a purple belt under Rigan Machado. Ashton is mainly a private student but there was a rumor he would possibly partake in competition in the future.
This is just a short list of celebrities who train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Please feel free to list any others in the comment section below.