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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Tropp

Do these 21 celebrities make BJJ a better sport?

Celebrity BJJ
21 Celebrities That Train BJJ

This is a question that many people have asked over the years. Some say yes, while others claim that it does nothing but bring negative attention to the sport. First lets look at the celebrities who actually train BJJ. Now, I cannot personally verify the ranks of the following list however research did go into the results. If you have conflicting information please let me know at 21 celebrities who train BJJ. 1) Chuck Norris – Actor and martial artist. Trains under the Machado brothers and is a black belt. 2) Margot Robbie – White Belt, Rigan Machado’s Beverly Hills Academy. 3) Guy Ritchie – Guy Ritchie is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie. 4) Keanu Reeves – Trains under the Machado brothers. (belt rank TBD) 5) Mickey Rourke – 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu West LA / Rigan Machado’s Beverly Hills Academy. (Blue belt) 6) Ashton Kutcher – Actor, model, producer, entrepreneur, and investor. Trains under the Machado brothers and is a brown belt. 7) Ed O’Neill – Trains under the Gracie family and is a black belt. 8) Tom Hardy - Blue Belt 9) Mario Lopez - Gracie Barra Blue Belt 10) Joe Rogan Jean Jacques Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. - Black belt 11) Jason Mimosa - White Belt 12) Anthony Bourdain - Renzo Gracie Blue Belt 13) Demi Lovato - Blue Belt (two stripes), under Orlando Sanchez. 14) Sean Patrick Flannery - Black Belt under Renzo Gracie 15) Russel Brand - Roger Gracie Buckinghamshire Academy - Purple Belt 16) Tori Spelling - Jean Jacques Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. - White belt 17) Jim Carrey - Brown belt, under Royce Gracie. 18) Jason Statham - Purple belt under Renzo Gracie 19) Scarlett Johansson - White Belt -Rigan Machado’s Beverly Hills Academy. 20) Vince Vaughan - Blue belt, under Rener Gracie. 21) Jonah Hill - White Belt (two stripes) - Florian Martial Arts Center 22) Barak Obama - Blue Belt, under Alberto Crane. On one hand, celebrities help Jiu Jitsu by boosting its popularity. This can be seen with the recent rise in popularity of the sport thanks to celebrities such as Mario Lopez, Tom Hardy, Demi Lovato and Ashton Kutcher. Thanks to them, more and more people are exposed to Jiu Jitsu and are interested in giving it a try. On the other hand, some people believe that celebrities only bring negative attention to Jiu Jitsu. They argue that most celebs who train Jiu Jitsu are only doing so for their own resume and not because they actually enjoy or support the martial art. Why it may be bad for the BJJ image when celebrities train BJJ? The main reason is that it gives BJJ a “gimmick” status. When people see that celebrities are training Jiu Jitsu, they may automatically assume that it is nothing more than a fad or something that is only done by those who want to be like their favorite celebs. In addition, some of the techniques that celebrities use in movies or on TV are often not realistic and can give people a false impression of what Jiu Jitsu is really about. This can lead to people getting injured when they try to emulate what they see on the big screen. Some celebrities like Tom Hardy and Mario Lopez who actively train are an examples of celebrities who have won competitions. Why it may be good when celebrities train BJJ? The main reason is that it helps to raise the profile of the sport and make it more mainstream. This can be seen with the recent rise in popularity of Jiu Jitsu thanks to celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Ashton Kutcher. Thanks to them, more and more people are exposed to Jiu Jitsu and are interested in giving it a try. In addition, some celebrities have used their platform to promote positive messages about Jiu Jitsu. For example, Demi Lovato has spoken about how Jiu Jitsu has helped her with her mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. So overall, it is a good thing for celebrities to train BJJ as it helps to raise the profile of the sport and make it more mainstream. However, it is important to remember that not all celebrities are good ambassadors for the sport and some of their techniques can be unrealistic and dangerous. Can you train BJJ with celebrities? The answer is yes and no. While you may be able to find a few celebrities who train at your local gym, most of them train at private academies or in select groups that may not be open to the public. So, while you may not be able to train with celebrities on a regular basis, you can still take classes from some of the world-renowned instructors who have trained celebrities in the past. This will give you a chance to learn from the best of the best and perhaps even get a glimpse of your favorite celeb in action.

How do celebrities train BJJ without getting injured? There are a few things that celebrities do to help them train BJJ without getting injured. First, they make sure to warm up and stretch properly before training. Second, they listen to their bodies and stop when they feel pain or discomfort. Third, they focus on technique rather than strength or power. By following these three simple tips, celebrities can train BJJ safely and effectively. Rigan Machado has a "Flow Roll" system for celebrities to help them train without getting injured. They light roll or "Flow Roll" and has his students do mostly technique work. This allows them to focus on the proper form and avoid using too much strength or power. * “I created a new jiu-jitsu system for people who can’t get hurt. It’s technical training. They learn jiu-jitsu and technically train, but it’s all-safe. I created a type of jiu-jitsu for the Beverly Hills clientele. Competition, sparring… these guys can’t do that. I can’t even take a 1% chance of them getting hurt. I have 18 celebrities doing this program. Some guys have to sign disclosure agreements; others like Ashton Kutcher and Mickey Rourke come in regularly, while Usher comes in once and a while and Vin Diesel when he’s in town.” “Just because a celebrity can’t spar with everyone in the class doesn’t mean he or she should not be allowed to practice or learn Jiu-Jitsu. I love watching my celebrity students train because they, along with their training partners, have to flow and transition smoothly to prevent injury, something many Jiu-Jitsu practitioners don’t do that. They actually learn the techniques very effectively because when they roll with their training partners, they do not try to overpower each other.” Saulo Ribeiro also is said to have a system for training BJJ that helps celebrities avoid injury. He focuses on drilling and positional sparring rather than live grappling. This allows his students to get the repetitions they need without putting their bodies under too much stress. By following the advice of these BJJ experts, celebrities can train safely and effectively without risking injury.

Let me know what you think by commenting below!

Matthew Tropp

BJJ Report



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