Do you know what the most popular martial art is among celebrities? That’s right it is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! Celebrities from all walks of life, from actors, through singers to comedians and everyone in between are turning to the Gentle art. Some like to train just for the sake of it, others are addicted to Jiu-Jitsu and some are even very high-level black belts! The list of celebrities who train BJJ is constantly growing, but a more interesting question is where do celebrities go for their Jiu-Jitsu classes?
Let’s make something clear. Even though celebrities who train BJJ are plenty, running into one in a regular class is not something that happens often. The academies that celebrities choose are not inaccessible for others, they just either book privates, or tend to even join in classes designed especially for them. That said, o you know which BJJ academy has the most celebrities training there?
Celebrities Who Train BJJ
On the list of celebrities who train BJJ, you’ll find just about anyone. And why not? Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most fun and entertaining ways of getting into crazy good shape. Moreover, training and even rolling don’t threaten the faces of the celebrities, which is oftentimes their primary concern. Plus, they get to learn actual self-defense and martial arts skill which are particularly useful to actors, especially those that are a part of action flicks.
Plenty of the celebrities that star in the latest blockbuster movies actually found Jiu-Jitsu through preparing for certain roles. A very often cited example Is Keanu Reeves, who trained rigorously for the John Wick trilogy, and has no intention of stopping. He even pulled Halle Berry into it after the third edition. Scarlett Johanson is another celebrity who turned to BJJ for her role as the Balck Widow and got hooked. Other famous people that are openly crazy about Jiu-jitsu are Demi Lovato, Russel Brand, Ashton Kitcher and plenty of others.
Celebrities who train BJJ keep helping the art grow, both among their peers and the regular population. That often raises the question of whether you can run into your favorite, or any celebrity for that matter if you go for a BJJ class? Well, depending on where you are, your chances vary. If you’re in the California area and go to train regularly, you’re bound to run into a celebrity training on the mats. If you’re lucky, you might end up even rolling with one. However, given the sheer number of academies in California alone, certain schools are far more popular among celebrities compared to others.
Where Do Celebrities Go To Train BJJ?
Where do most of the celebrities who train BJJ go to for their classes? Well, given their crazy schedules and the desire to train with the best, this is often not an easy question to answer. That said, as you’ll notice, later on, there’s a trend among celebrities to visit certain trainers and academies. To their credit, these academies have adjusted to help welcome even the most famous of people and offer them a place where they can train whether privately or as part of a class.
Keanu Reeves is a real ambassador of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is constantly sharing all the benefits from training, after discovering the Gentle Art in preparation for his action roles. Just like many other celebrities past and present, he trains with the Machado brothers. The brothers have several academies across California, but the one that is a den of celebrities is located in Beverly Hills. Holywood A list star Keanu is currently a white belt but it won’t be long before he gets asp promotion, if his work rate is anything to judge by.
Probably the most famous person alongside Keanu Reeves that is constantly advertising BJJ for all the good reasons. The pop star has been really vocal about training and is often sharing photos and clips of her training with the gi. She is a very legitimate blue belt and is training up to five days a week when her schedule allows it. Demi started training with Orlando Sanchez and she got her blue belt from him. She is also a frequent visitor to Renzo’s blue basement in New York. Sanchez has also stated that she is training every opportunity she gets when she’s on the road, at different academies. Lovato also trains with Gracia Barra
Out of all the celebrities who train BJJ, Hardy is one of those that really look the part. It seems that training grappling martial arts suits him perfectly. That said, he is certainly taking BJJ seriously and is training full time. He showcased alto of his skills in the MMA movie “The Warrior”.
The most interesting part is that he is also an ambassador for REORG Jiu-Jitsu, which is a foundation with a mission to provide serving military personnel and veterans with BJJ classes. It is in association with the We Defy Foundation, and Hardy is one of their main ambassadors, helping veterans through JIu-Jitsu. He currently has two stripes on his white belt.
On the list of celebrities who train BJJ, Ritchie si probably the most high profile grappler of them all. The famous movie director behind classics like Snatch, RocknRolla and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a black belt under Renzo Gracie. That also points to his favorite spot for training when he is in the USA. Across the pond in the UK, Roger Gracie’s academy in London is the school of choice for Ritchie to showcase his skills. Judging by what people who have rolled with him say, hee is a really tough and seasoned black belt.
Kutcher was in the focus of the public lately particularly due to his association with BJJ. He just got promoted to brown belt a few months ago, and that prompted people to ask if he was really that good, whatever that may mean. Well, given that he trains under Rigan Machado I guess no one can really question the legitimacy of his belt, That, and the fact that he has been at it for the better part of a decade just shows how dedicated Ashton is to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He also has a wrestling background that has helped him advance fast, according to Rigan Machado.
Of course, Henry Cavill is going to be among the celbe3rities who train BJJ. How can the man behind roles like Supermen and the Witcher do anything else but grapple? Given his physique, he is one grappler most people would think twice about rolling with. That said, Roger Gracie’s academy is his spot, so if you ever go there for a class you might just end up sharing a roll with the Witcher himself. At the moment, Cavill is still a white belt, but he won’t’ stay one for long!
Vaughn is an actor and comedian that is also a member of the – Ryron and Rener BJJ academy in Torrance, California. A white belt (for now) Vince has been obsessed with training JIu-Jitsu and is one more of the celebrities who train BJJ that can’t help talk about it every chance he gets. At 46 years of age, he also shows that BJJ is truly for anyone, and there’s no bad time to start training.
There’s no need really to explain who Usher is. What you might not know is that he is a huge fan of MMA and BJJ In particular. He is training grappling a lot and does not shy away from just about any high profile academy eh can get to. He is known to train with Atos team leader Andre Galvao but is also frequent at the ever-present Machado academy in Beverly Hills. Moreover, Usher has also trained with the legendary Anderson Silva.
Apart from Joe Rogan, Russel Brand has to be the loudest comedian when it comes to recommending Jiu-Jitsu to everyone. Brand is one fo those celebrities who train BJJ not just for the physical aspect of it. He finds really deep psychological meaning in training, and in particular, rolling. That and he has a highly addictive personality, which, as we know, is all you need to get hooked to the Gentle Art. Russel is also training under the Roger Gracie Academy umbrella, with his instructor being Kec Capel. Brand currently holds the rank of blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
Talk about “A” list celebrities who train BJJ. Cage is not only training but has been doing so for years under Royce Gracie. He is very dedicated to the art and is even the main star of an upcoming film that is named “Jiu-Jitsu”. Although on the funny side, the movie will showcase Cage’s Jiu-Jitsu skills in fending off alien invaders. If you’re ever in Royce |Graci’s main academy, you might get the chance to check if Cage’s Jiu-Jitsu is out of this world.
Of course Jason Statham trains BJJ. He is another actor who BJJ suits perfectly, just like Tom Hardy. Statham is actually a purple belt and a great one at that. He is also training in the Roger Gracie Academy, and has trained with Roger’s father and coral belt Mauricio Gomes too. Statham started training with Guy Ritchie, but never really matched the director’s obsession and dedication to grappling. That said, he is a formidable grappler and will undoubtedly earn his black belt soon as well.
Turning again to the finer half, Ultra popular actress Scarlett Johansen is also among the celebrities who train BJJ. Given the demands of her role in The Avengers, and subsequently her own movie about the Black Widow, training Jiu-Jitsu is the obvious thing to do. Just like most other Holywood celebrities, her “base of operations” for grappling is the Beverly Hills Machado academy, with Rigan as her main coach.
Before we end the list of favorite locations for celebrities to train Jiu-Jitsu, let’s look at where celebrities that are no longer with us preferred to train as well. Anthony Bourdain was a huge ambassador of Brazilian JIu-JItsu and used every possible moment he had to train. He even competed as a blu belt, winning gold at a tournament. He did not take training lightly, making Renzo’s NYC academy his base academy, and we all know the killers that train there under Renzo and John Danaher. Bourdain was known to train in regular classes and roll with anyone.
The Fast And Furious star died tragically at an early age, and as a brown belt in BJJ. Walker loved training BJJ and was a member of the Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in California. Ricardo Miller, Walker’s coach was also a great friend of the star and gave him his black belt posthumously. Both the grappling and cinematic world lost a really big figure when Paul Walker died.
Can You Roll With Celebrities?
The answer to this question is a simple no. Rolling in Jiu-Jitsu is a tricky business and celebrities do not need the hassle of being tormented by just any training partner. That’s understandable. Of course, there are those among the celebrities that do indulge in rolls with people that are in class. However, most celebrities tend to train in privates, or even specially organized classes.
Given the number of celebrities his academy attracts, which, by the way, started with Chuck Norris, Rigan Machado has actually devised a special curriculum for celebrities who train BJJ. He spent 9 years developing a system that has nearly 700 techniques and that he describes as “flow Jiu-Jitsu”. According to Rigan, the system does not involve full-on rolling, but rather technical drilling and position sparring.
Still, be careful what you wish for. Some of those celebrities that do want to roll, will most likely be able to crush you with ease. Think about rolling with Guy Ritchie or Jason Statham, for example.
As Gracie Barra often likes to point out, Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. Well, celebrities who train BJJ further help prove that point. If these people, that have ultra-busy schedules and crazy lifestyles can train regularly, and get through the belt system, so can ordinary people. That said if you want to perhaps get the chance of a glimpse, or even maybe a roll with a celebrity, certain academies might just provide you with a shot. Just remember, it is not smart to use the information in this article to stalk your favorite celebrity. Particularly not when they know how to fight.