Martial arts dates back thousands of years in various cultures, and it’s still common practice for people all over the world. Martial Arts encompasses hundreds of styles like karate, judo and BJJ that offer a long list of mental and physical health benefits. There are millions who enjoy martial arts training, including these six celebrities:
Jim Carrey is a natural-born comedian – known for his humor, his ridiculous facial expressions, and his funky personality on screen. But, he’s also an extremely skilled martial arts athlete and has achieved his brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Earning a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu is no small task. This belt represents the final stage before black belt mastery. (There is actually one level higher than a black belt; a red/coral belt is the highest honor in BJJ and has been awarded to fewer than 100 people.)
A brown belt is earned when an athlete demonstrates complete understanding of jiu-jitsu. Brown belts have superior control and defense skills and a profound mental and physical understanding of BJJ – with a few more years of training, these athletes can reach the highest levels of martial arts. For dedicated athletes, earning a brown belt typically takes five years, and one must be a brown belt for at least a year before earning their black belt.
Jessica Biel is a woman of many talents. She’s an actress, a model, a vocalist, and even a producer. From comedies to horror movies, Biel is a sought-after actress. In 2003, she was cast for a role in Blade Trinity which required significant martial arts training. Since then, Biel has kept up with her training. Aside from an incredible workout, she said martial arts gives her a sense of empowerment. Biel has trained in nearly every type of martial arts, but she’s remained active in karate and has earned a black belt in kickboxing.
A black belt in kickboxing represents the completion of basic training. Black belts are awarded to advanced fighters who have completed several tests over many years. This level of training demands extreme dedication, discipline, and strong willpower.
Jennifer Anniston, who rose to international fame through her role as Rachel Green in Friends, is now an A-list actress, producer, and businesswoman. As the face of Women’s Health Magazine and other health-based programs and publications, Aniston has always prioritized her health and fitness.
Aniston trains in Budokon, which translates to “the way of the warrior spirit.” Budokon was created by Cameron Shayne who pioneered the concept of Budokon Mixed Movement Arts by combining mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu with yoga, crawling patterns, mobility, calisthenics, and cognitive studies into a single black belt system. This form of martial arts involves continuous circular movements in all planes of motion and was developed with a distinct influence of martial arts and animal locomotion, helping achieve higher levels of mobility and athletic strength.
Gordon Ramsay is a multi-Michelin starred chef who’s also known for his star roles in television shows like Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. But, talk about a man of many talents – Chef Ramsay is also a trained martial artist.
Ramsay earned his black belt in karate. In a 2016 interview with BBC Radio, Ramsay said, “I started [karate] because it’s a work of art… I’ve been into a cage and worked closely with a coach and it’s something I’ve worked heavily on in the last couple of years.” Ramsay’s interest in martial arts also extends to boxing. Aside from fitness, he explained that his training provides peace of mind, knowing he can protect himself if ever needed.
Demi Lovato is truly a triple threat as an actor, a singer-songwriter, and a martial arts athlete. In 2017, Lovato announced they had earned their blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. A blue belt recognizes intermediate fighters who have knowledge of all attacking and defending positions: mount, side control, back, guard, and turtle.
In an interview with People magazine, Lovato said, “I first got into jiu-jitsu because I loved watching people grapple. I think it’s really cool to learn something that helps you with self-defense.”
Lovato has also received training in a full range of martial arts including boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai. They look to martial arts as a powerful fitness outlet, defense tool, and an emotional release.
Ashton Kutcher who’s widely known for his role in “That’s 70s Show” is also trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Kutcher wrestled in high school which helped in his training, and his martial arts journey officially began in 2012 while he was in Rio de Janeiro shooting an ad campaign. Since then, he’s remained fit with continuous training and was just recently awarded his brown belt.
Kutcher is personally trained by Rigan Machado, a coral belt holder. Coral belts are the highest honor within Brazilian jiu-jitsu; this honor requires 45 years of training in black belt BJJ. Under Machado, Kutcher has had the opportunity to fight with big names in the BJJ community.
With Kutcher’s brown belt status, he’s just one level from being an esteemed black belt martial artist. With training every day, Kutcher has his eyes on the prize.
These six celebrities aren’t the only famous people that know martial arts. Find out more about Four Funny Guys Who Practice Martial Arts!