Brazilian jiu-jitsu has garnered more attention in recent years. No doubt this is in part due to the practical nature and self-defense application of jiu-jitsu, but celebrity grapplers have also played a role in putting jiu-jitsu in the spotlight. Here are a few stars that you might want to meet on the mats!

Anthony Bourdain of Travel Channel fame is one of the oldest celebrities to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The 60 year old blue belt won gold in his first tournament last year. Bourdain began his jiu-jitsu journey with his now ex-wife and the couple’s young daughter also train jiu-jitsu.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt and Fast and the Furious superstar, Paul Walker was awarded his black belt posthumously after his tragic death in a car accident in 2013.  Walker’s training background in BJJ is evident in many films in which he stars.

Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of Tool, spent 19 years as a blue belt before earning his purple belt. Maynard is most likely noted for his off the mat choke known as “the fan incident” when he grappled a fan who came on stage. The singer pulled out a judo throw and put the fan in a rear naked choke, never missing a beat as he kept singing.

Funny guy and That 70s Show star Ashton Kutcher is another popularly known celebrity that trains in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Kutcher is a BJJ purple belt and has even been brought up in conversation claiming he could beat MMA superstar Conor McGregor in grappling. Kutcher has spent most of his time on the mats training in private sessions, so you probably won’t see him while you are cross training!

Ed O’Neill may not be the most famous celebrity to practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but he has probably been at it the longest! The 70 year-old actor has been training for over 20 years and ultimately earned his black belt in 2007.

Vince Vaughn on the other hand is a relative newbie to the mats. Interested in the bully proofing aspect of the sport, Vaughn visited a class with his daughter and then promptly signed himself up for classes. At age 46, the white belt has a long way to go in his jiu-jitsu journey.

Keanu Reeves is another white belt on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu list of fame. Reeves is a well-known action star so it is no wonder he chose to pursue judo and jiu-jitsu after being introduced to the sports while filming for his movie John Wick (2014). Reeves’ introduction to jiu-jitsu might make you wonder – why don’t more actions stars train?

Demi Lovato is another new converts to the martial arts world. She can be regularly seen at UFCs and MMA crowds alongside her MMA fighter boyfriend, Guilherme Vasconcelos. Demi is a white belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and also trains mixed martial arts. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this star turn be promoted to blue belt soon.

You might have seen this next jiu jitsu artist in the very famous Resident Evil film. Movie star Milla Jovovich trains at Anderson’s Martial Arts in New York City with Danny Anderson, a Clarksville Arkansas native and BJJ Black Belt. Who would have thought a small town guy would be teaching movie stars to choke people?

The youngest star on the list today is the one of the co-stars of the trendy 80s sci-fi mystery Netflix series Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown. Brown is a two-tip Brazilian jiu jitsu white belt at the age of 13.

Join the ranks of the stars! Contact Forca Martial Arts and Fitness to set up an introductory lesson and learn how you can begin your Brazilian jiu-jitsu journey.

Forca Martial Arts and Fitness is located at 900 West E. Street in Russellville, AR. Visit us online at for program info, to schedule a free intro lesson or to contact us with any questions about our upcoming events.

(479) 214-1245