Famous Celebrities with BJJ Experience [Updated 2024]

by Team Digitsu
Updated: January 13, 2024
Some Celebrities with BJJ experience include Mario Lopez, Tom Hardy, the late Anthony Bourdain
We've compiled a comprehensive list of famous people who train in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu).  We'll periodically keep this list updated, and it was updated most recently in 2023.

Joe Rogan

Most famous currently for his podcast, Joe Rogan received his BJJ black belt in 2012 from Jean Jacques Machado.  He also received a black belt from his friend, Eddie Bravo, in 10th planet jiu-jiu.  He is also known for his work in stand-up comedy, UFC fight commentator, Host on Fear Factor, and much more.  Rogan started training BJJ in 1996 under Carlson Gracie in Hollywood after watching UFC 2.

Ed O'Neill

He is a famous actor known for his roles as Al Bundy in Married With Children and Jay Pritchett in Modern Family.  O'Neill started training BJJ in the late 80s at 42 and received his black belt from Rorion Gracie in 2007.  Despite his hectic schedule and acting commitments, he made it a point to train at least once a week and would roll with Rorian consistently in his sessions.

Mario Lopez

Actor Mario Lopez, known for his role in "Saved By The Bell," as "AC Slater," has been promoted to purple belt by his coach Robert Hill. Lopez began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2017 and received his blue belt from Hill at Gracie Barra in 2018. He has recently competed and won at multiple tournaments this year, including the IBJJF Phoenix Open, where he earned a gold medal in the Master 4 blue belt Lightweight division. Lopez has a background in competing in martial arts, having participated in wrestling and boxing during his youth. He is working his way up the ranks like any other competitor. Recently he made headlines by competing and winning gold alongside his son.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Another actor is initially known for his role in "Saved by the Bell." Mark-Paul played the role of Zack Morris on the famous TV show.  Gosselaar has been seen in photographs wearing a blue belt but has been said to be training BJJ for over a decade.

Ashton Kutcher

Initially known for his role as Michael Kelso in That '70s Show, Kutcher started training in BJJ in 2012.  He was recently promoted to brown belt by his professor Rigan Machado.

Chuck Norris

Martial arts legend and action movie star Chuck Norris is also a black belt in BJJ, among many other martial arts.  In fact,  Norris helped bring over some Gracies and the Machado brothers to the United States.  In fact, Chuck Norris even bought Jean Jaques Machado his Jiu-Jitsu school.

Mark Zuckerberg

Founder of Facebook and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now training in BJJ.  Zuckerberg is currently a white belt and has been training under Prof. Dave Camarillo at Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Academy.  He's currently a white belt and recently told Joe Rogan on his podcast, "Jiu-Jitsu is the Best Sport."

Guy Richie 

Director and actor Guy Richie (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) started training BJJ in the early 2000s after watching the documentary “Choke.”  He began training with Mauricio Gomes and then with Roger Gracie in London.  He received his black belt from Roger Gracie.

Russell Brand

Russell Brand started training in the summer of 2016 and recently received his purple belt in July 2019.  Brand, a known comedian and actor, has spoken about the benefits of BJJ on his podcast and other appearances.

Russell Peters

Peters, most known for his work as a comedian, has been doing Jiu-Jitsu for years, training 3-4 times a week. He was recently promoted to blue belt by Jean Jacques Machado.  He mentioned on the Joe Rogan podcast that he used his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to stop a jewelry thief.

Maynard James Keenan

Most known for his role as the lead singer and the band Tool and member of A Perfect Circle, Keenan is also a long-time practitioner of BJJ.  Keenan recently received his brown belt after training for a long time and dealing with many injuries.

Dave Bautista

Bautista, a famous ex-WWE wrestler, and actor, has taken up BJJ recently and is currently a purple belt.

Anthony Bourdain

The late chef, author, and television show host Bourdain was a lover of BJJ.  He even competed at the rank of the blue belt.

Tom Hardy

Hardy, a famous actor famous for his roles in The Dark Knight Rises, Venom, The Revenant, and many others, has recently competed at blue belt and smashed his competition.  He started training on and off after his 2011 role in Warrior before getting back into it in recent years.

Paul Walker 

The late Paul Walker loved BJJ and obtained the rank of brown belt.  Upon his untimely death, Walker was awarded the rank of black belt in BJJ from Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller.

Rikki Rockett

Drummer for the band Poison (45 million records worldwide) is a third-degree black belt under Renato Magno.  He has competed in the past and typically trains in regular classes, unlike many other celebrities who train primarily in private lessons.

Sean Patrick Flannery

Flannery He is known for playing Connor MacManus in The Boondock Saints.  He received his Black Belt in 2004 from Shawn Williams (Renzo Gracie Black Belt).  He also trains and teaches at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Los Angeles.

Wagner Moura

Moura is known for his role as Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the hit Netflix TV show, Narcos.  He is also a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Jason Statham

Statham trains BJJ seriously and is a purple belt under Renzo Gracie.  He also trains under Roger Gracie in London. He trains and spars like normal BJJ practitioners.

Other Famous People with Some BJJ Experience

  • Wiz Khalifa - Khalifa has been training under Rigan Machado.
  • Nicholas Cage - It has been widely reported that he is a black belt on Royce Gracie.  He would love to call him one of us, but he does not appear under Royce's list of black belts.  There is little substantial evidence confirming that he even trains BJJ.
  • Jonah Hill - The famous actor appears to be a white belt under Kenny Florian with at least one year of experience.

  • Ari Shaffir - The comedian is a purple belt in BJJ and, according to Joe Rogan, has some legit skills on the mat.
  • Rob McElhenney - Known for his role as "Mac" on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, McElhenney trains BJJ.  We're unsure of his rank but he posted some rolling showing off his skills on Instagram a few years ago.

  • Alex O'Loughlin -  One of the main actors in 'Hawaii Five-0', recently promoted to black belt in BJJ.
  • Demi Lovato - Lovato received her blue belt in BJJ 2017.  She posted on an Instagram story in February 2023 that she is now a purple belt.
  • Vin Diesel - Diesel has been training on and off in BJJ.  He was seen training with Rigan Machado in 2014 for Fast and Furious 7.
  • Margot Robbie - Robbie trained BJJ rigorously for her role as Harley Quinn.
  • Scarlett Johansson - The famous actress was said to have trained BJJ for her role as Black Widow.
  • Vince Vaughn - The actor earned the rank of Blue Belt from Rener Gracie in 2018.

  • Michael Clarke Duncan - The late actor trained BJJ and obtained the rank of purple belt.
  • Kate Upton - It's unclear whether the actress still trains, but she received 1st stripe white belt in 2019.

  • Jonathan Lipnicki - The child star who played the kid in Jerry Maguire recently earned his black belt in BJJ.
  • Zoltan Bathory - Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Bathory received his black belt in 2021.
  • Kelly Slater - The Professional surfer trains BJJ and has earned the rank of purple belt.
  • Travis Barker - The Blink 182 drummer trains BJJ at the Gracie Academy under Rener and Rorion Gracie.  His children also train at the academy.
  • Charlie Hunnam - Hunnam is known for his roles as an actor in The Sons Of Anarchy and King Arthur.  He trains BJJ and has earned the rank of blue belt.
  • Mel Gibson - Gibson trained BJJ for his role in the original Lethal Weapon and even uses a triangle choke in a fight at the film's end.
  • Henry Cavill - The actor known for his role as Superman has trained with Roger and Renzo Gracie.

  • Shaquille O’Neal - The famous basketball star has been seen training BJJ, but it's unclear if he still trains.
  • Mickey Rourke - The actor received the rank of blue belt in the 10th planet jiu-jitsu system.
  • Usher - The famous musician has been seen training at Atos and Machado schools. 
  • Gisele Bündchen - Last year, the model was seen training BJJ as a white belt. 

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