A complete list of celebrity BJJ paractitioners
Here at Let’s roll BJJ we wanted to make an updated 2020 list of celebrities that train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Many of the lists that we found online were a few years old and lacked some of the celebrities that recently took up BJJ.
We will do our best to provide lineage and rank of the celebrity Jiu Jitsu practitioners that we list here. Also if a celebrity has any BJJ accolades worth highlighting, we’ll make sure to mention those as well.
We hope to keep this list updated and have it grow over time. Please comment and let us know if we missed any celebrities that train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that you’d like to see on this list.
1. Joe Rogan
The biggest podcaster on the planet, actor, comedian, Fear Factor host and UFC commentator Joe Rogan has been involved in martial arts for a very long time.
He competed in taekwondo at a young age and began training Jiu Jitsu in 1996 under Carlson Gracie in Hollywood. He’s a 10th Planet black belt under Eddie Bravo and he’s also received his black belt from Jean Jacques Machado.
If you’re a fan of The Joe Rogan Experience you’ll know he’s a huge endorser of BJJ and he often encourages his listeners to try Jiu Jitsu.
If you look around YouTube you can find fan made motivational videos quoting Rogan talking about the benefits of training Jiu Jitsu and other martial arts.
2. Russell Brand
Russell Brand is an English actor, comedian, activist, yogi and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner.
Brand has been seen talking about his BJJ experiences online, making a few Facebook and YouTube videos talking about his struggles as a white belt.
The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star recently received his blue belt from Kev Capel and trains at RGA Bucks.
3. Guy Ritchie
British action movie director Guy Ritchie is known for films such as Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Sherlock Holmes and The Gentlemen and was also married to Madonna for a while.
He’s trained BJJ since the early 2000’s and holds black belt under Renzo Gracie, which he received in 2015.
After hearing him talk about training Jiu Jitsu on the Joe Rogan Experience, you can tell that Guy Ritchie is crazy about BJJ like the rest of us.
4. Jason Statham
Since we mentioned Guy Ritchie it’s only right that we mention Jason Statham as well. He and Ritchie have trained together and have come up together in Hollywood.
Statham has starred and featured in many of Ritchie’s movies and lots of other block buster hits.
Jason is a purple belt and also fights under the Renzo Gracie flag.
Not only does Statham train BJJ he also trains karate, kickboxing and was on England’s national diving team. Needless to say that Jason Statham is a pretty bad ass dude in real life as well as in his films.
5. Russell Peters
Peters has been seen in a few films and has appeared on some TV shows, but he’s best known for his award winning stand up comedy.
He’s originally from Toronto and has a couple of Netflix specials. Russell recently received his blue belt from Jean Jacques Machado in 2018.
Peters was in the media seen using his Jiu Jitsu to help stop a thief at a New York City jewelry store. He also talks about the incident on the Joe Rogan Experience check that out here.
6. Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel has been training BJJ on and off for years as you can tell from this old picture with Marcus Vinicius. He was last spotted training for Fast and Furious 7 with Rigan Machado in 2014.
Although we couldn’t find his official rank we did find that Minotauro Nogueira was quoted saying “I’ve trained with him a few times. He’s got skills, he’s about blue belt level.” when talking about Vin Diesel.
We’ll take Big Nog’s word for it and say Diesel is probably a Jiu Jitsu blue belt.
7. Jonah Hill
Jonah is one of the most recent celebrities seen training BJJ. He’s pictured above sporting a 2 stripe white belt with UFC veteran and commentator Kenny Florian.
That was posted Kenny’s IG for Hill’s 1 year BJJ anniversary November 2019. If Jonah keeps it up he’s right track for his blue belt.
Hill is known for his work as an actor in many movies such as Super Bad, 21 jump street and he’s also been nominated for two academy awards for Best Supporting Actor.
He also gone through a massive body change and hardly looks like his old self which is great. Hopefully the Jiu Jitsu helps hill keep that weight off and continue to improve his health.
8. Maynard James Keenan
The lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle Keenan has been training for quiet some time. He started training in the mid 90’s under Rickson Gracie and became a purple belt in 2015.
There’s an old video of Keenan hip tossing and slapping a rear naked choke on a fan that rushed the stage of one of his shows. I’ll save you the time and show you here. I got to say his technique was pretty clean.
Fast forward to 2:47 to watch the sweet hip toss to back take from Maynard on stage
9. Dave Bautista
WWE superstar Dave Bautista is a BJJ purple belt under Caesar Gracie and has been training Jiu Jitsu since 2010.
Bautista, who’s also known for his role in The Guardians of the Galaxy movies and other films, has competed in MMA as well. This dude isn’t scared of a challenge, and honestly there can’t be much that does scare him.
He’s 6’6″, 290lbs and he’s got a purple belt… He sounds like a legit beast and a nightmare on the mats, I can only imagine what it’s like to roll with the guy.
10. Kelly Slater
World champion surfer Kelly Slater is a big fan of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and highly recommends that children be involved in BJJ at a young age.
Slater began training in California with BJJ legend Rickson Gracie and has recently been seen training at the Mendes Brother’s Art or Jiu Jitsu gym in SoCal with a 2 stripe blue belt.
Put your kids in Jiu Jitsu before other sports.Kelly Slater
When on the Joe Rogan podcast Slater talk a lot about his love for surfing and his new found love for BJJ.
11. Joel Tudor
While we’re talking about surfers we have to mention 2x world long board surfing champion Joel Tudor who’s got a bit of bad blood with Slater. Joel’s jit jitsu achievements are as impressive as his surfing accomplishments.
He’s been training since 2003 and has a black belt under the Carlson Gracie banner. Not to mention he’s competed tournaments like pan ams, US nationals and ADCC.
12. Chris Pratt
Another Guardians of the galaxy’s star, Chris Pratt has been seen demonstrating his wrestling skill with the Noguera brothers.
Chris is a big MMA fan and was a wrestler in high school, it shows in this video that he’s still got it. It’s not confirmed on if or how long he’s been training BJJ but he’s definitely no slouch, and knows for to grapple, that’s for sure.
Maybe we’ll see him start training for one for his new roles coming up. It seems like he’s in everything these days so he’s bound to need some sweet Jiu Jitsu skills at some point.
13. Vince Vaughn
Vince Vaughn is a popular American actor who’s been in lots of hit comedies such as, Dodge ball, Old School, Wedding Crasher and The Break Up, to name a few.
He’s been staying out of lime light recently but it seems he has been hitting the mats and training BJJ a bit more. He received his blue belt in February 2018 form Rener Gracie and he continues to train with Rener.
It took him 2 years to get his blue belt and if he keeps up that pace he’ll be getting his purple in no time at all.
14. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq may be one of the biggest people on the planet, in every way possible. From basketball and rapping to movies and TV commercials, Shaq has done it all.
So it’s only expected that he’s tried Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and not only has he trained he’s also put on a exhibition match with UFC veteran Forest Griffin.
Having an iconic figured like Shaq endorse and talk about BJJ is great and helps the sport gain recognition. Shaq has also trained boxing and MMA, and is often expressing his love for the sport.
15. Ed O’neill
Ed O’neill is known for his roles as Al Bundy on Married With Children and Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.
O’neill has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 22 years and received his black belt from Rorion Gracie in 2007.
He can be seen in many YouTube videos talking about his BJJ journey, listening to him talk about Jiu Jitsu, you can tell he really has a love for the art.
16. Travis Barker
Barker the drummer for Blink 182 has recently been posting on social media about training BJJ and it seems to be a family affair and his kids are training too.
He’s been a long time fan of MMA and was on the Joe Rogan Experience talking about Jiu Jitsu and his time training.
Barker is not only a successful musician but he’s also had a successful clothing line and owns one of the best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles.
He’s a white belt and trains at Torrence Gracie Academy with Rener and Ryron Gracie.
17. Wiz Khalifa
Rapper Wiz Khalifa is known for his billboard hits like Work Hard Play Hard, Black and Yellow and See You Again. Lately he’s been getting into BJJ and MMA, he also boast about gaining almost 40 lbs from training and eating right.
He hasn’t been shy about posting his progress on social media either.,you can find Instagram videos of him hitting mitts and working with his Mauy Thai coach. Haven’t see one of him rolling yet, it would be cool if something like that surfaced.
Given how pro cannabis Khalifa is, I honestly would have taken him for a 10th Planet kind of guy. He got his first stripe from Rigan Machado instead. Either way it’s good to see the Pittsburgh rapper taking up Jiu Jitsu and MMA.
18. Joey “Coco” Diaz
Uncle Joey is a Cuban American comedian who’s great friends with Joe Rogan, which likely has a lot to do with how he got into Jiu Jitsu.
He’s a repeat guest on the JRE and has a Podcast of his own called The Church of What’s Happening Now: With Joey Coco Diaz. A dirty comic who keeps it real, it’s great to have him in the BJJ community.
Diaz is open about his crazy past of crime and drug use, he does a great job in finding humor in it. He’s mentioned a few times on how Jiu Jitsu changed his life for the better.
Joey trains at Legacy BJJ in L.A. and was awarded his blue belt on August 2016 by Alberto Crane.
19. Aston Kutcher
You’ll recognize Aston from MTV’s Punk’d and That 70s show but he’s been in the Jiu Jitsu scene for a while now. His coach Rigan Machado, who recently promoted Kutcher to brown belt, even believes that he can beat Conor McGregor in a grappling match.
I’m skeptical, but I would still probably watch it.
Ashton Kutcher has some notable things worth mentioning he does great work with helping fight human trafficking.
Soon after receiving his brown belt Ashton was seen rolling with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu star Craig Jones on Instagram.
20. Demi Lovato
Celebrities training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all the rave these days and even big pop stars like Demi Lovato are hitting the mats. Anytime a big celebrity post on Instagram, about getting a stripe or moving up in belt rank it big news everywhere.
Demi Lovato was no exception, when she started Tweeting and posting BJJ pictures on IG the internet went nuts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was a buzz. She was recently seen posting a picture of her 2 stripe blue belt.
We all have our opinions on celebrities who train under a “celebrity training program” that are offered at a few of the Hollywood BJJ gyms. But regardless of that anytime you have huge stars shining light on our sport, it’s a good thing.
21. Chuck Norris
Walker Texas Ranger is one bad ass dude, this guy needs no introduction. He’s definitely one of the most recognizable faces in martial arts.
He’s mostly known for his karate but Chuck has been training Jiu Jitsu for over 30 years, he’s even trained with Helio Gracie himself! Norris received his 3rd stripe on his black belt at the age of 75.
Chuck Norris is one of the first Americans to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Jean Jacques Machado. Chuck is also the reason that the Machado brothers were able to open their first gym in Encino.
The man is an embodiment of what it means to be a martial artist and any time you hear people talk about him, it’s always nice things.
22. Sean Patrick Flanery
The Boondock Saints star has been involved in BJJ for a while and has been a Jiu Jitsu black belt since 2008.
He’s been in martial arts his whole life but Flanery began training BJJ with Rickson Gracie in Los Angeles and spent 3 years under Rickson before moving to Renzo’s in NYC, where he earned his black belt.
SPF teaches at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Team Paragon Academy.
Tournament highlights: 2003 Pan Am Champion, 2003 American Nationals Champion, 2002 1st Annual Inland Empire Champion.
23. Keanu Reeves
If you’ve seen any of the John Wick movies, you probably notice all the judo and Jiu Jitsu that’s in them. Keanu made sure to train with the best BJJ in Hollywood and began practicing under the Machado brothers.
Reeves may only be a white belt but here sure make his BJJ look good on the big screen. Here’s some behind the scenes footage on his training for the film.
It’s nice to see the most wholesome actor on the planet training the gentle art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
24. Tom Hardy
Action star Tom Hardy has been in quite a few blockbuster movies, famous for roles in Batman, Mad Max and Venom, it doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere soon.
Hardy seems to be hitting the mats hard recently and takes Jiu Jitsu serious by the looks of it.
Hardy was first introduced to BJJ in 2011 when he had some training for his role in Warrior where he played an MMA fighter.
In April of 2019 Hard got his 2nd stripe on his white belt from Carlos Santos.
25. Jonathan Lipnicki
If you don’t recognize Jonathan now, you might remember him from his roles in Jerry Mcguire and Stuart Little.
He’s grown up a bit and is still acting.
In his teenage years, Lipnicki was a victim of bullying. He turned to Jiu Jitsu to help him with depression and anxiety.
Now he’s now a black belt and is training under Alan Zborovsky. Judging from his social media postings he takes BJJ pretty seriously.
We look forward to hearing about him getting his black belt in the near future.
26. Freddie Prinze Jr.
Since we brought back some 90’s nostalgia with Jonathan Lipnicki, we’ll keep it going with Freddie Prinze Jr.
Jr. was in some pretty big movies like, I know what you did last summer, She’s all that and Scooby Doo. He is also married Sarah Michelle Gellar.
He first tried BJJ when he was 12 years old under Jean Jacques Machado. Freddie also wants his kids involved in BJJ early and got his daughter started at the age of 5.
In 2015 he was quoted saying that he’s retired and all he does is BJJ, surf and hang out with his kids. Sounds like Freddie Prinze Jr. is living the dream if you ask us.
In 2017 Jr. posted a picture on IG showing off a 4 stripe blue belt and was training at The Gracie Academy in Torrance.
27. RJ Mitte
In November 2019 Mitte was spotted on the mats via Rigan Machado’s IG account few times.
We’re not sure if he training for a role or if he’s just trying out Jiu Jitsu. Either way it’s good to see the Breaking Bad actor taking up the sport.
RJ is an actor with cerebral palsy. Check out his story, RJ Mitte of ‘Breaking Bad’ on Living with Cerebral Palsy.
28. CM Punk
Even though Punk is technically a UFC fighter, it wasn’t that long ago that he was a big star in the WWE. Got to give it to the guy, it takes a lot of guts to give MMA a go in your late 30’s.
CM Punk is 0-2 in the ufc. He continues to train at Roufusport and has a blue belt in BJJ under Daniel Wanderley.
I’ve had the pleasure of training with Professor Wanderley and some of the guys from Roufusport, their fighters are legit and Punk is getting top notch training there.
29. Robert Pattinson
You probably recognize Robert form the Twlight series, looks like he’s making the which to playing a superhero.
In preparation for his role as Batman, Pattinson was spotted training Jiu Jitsu with Rigan Machado.
It’s pretty cool to see BJJ start to become a mainstream thing, we just got to make sure it doesn’t get watered down along the way.
We’re assuming that Rob is a white belt, because only a white belt who doesn’t know any better wears his shoes on the mats. That’s a big no no in BJJ, learn more about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu etiquette.
30. Kate Upton
Sports Illustrated swim suit model Kate Upton has been a hot topic in BJJ lately. She demonstrated a rear naked choke on Jimmy Fallon during her recent interview on The Tonight Show.
Upton also posted a picture on Instagram after she received her first stripe on her white belt, that’s a big step in her Jiu Jitsu journey. Her coach commented on her hard work, hopefully Kate keeps it up and we she her get her blue belt in the near future.
31. Kevin James
Kevin James is a famous comic who made a name for himself as the star of King of Queens sitcom. He also stared in Here Comes The Boom, a film where he plays a high school teacher that get needs to raise money to save his school from shutting down their extracurricular programs and he does so by becoming a professional MMA fighter.
3x King of Pancrase champ and UFC hall of famer Bas Rutten co-starred with James in Here Comes The Boom. You can catch him talking about Kevins legit martial arts skills on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
UFC’s Chris Weidman has also done some acting with Kevin James as well as trained with him a bit. Weidman claims that James is really good at MMA and has been training for 15 years.
We we came up short when we tried to find Kevin James BJJ rank or lineage, but given that former UFC champion Chris Weidman, Joe Rogan and Bas Rutten all vouch for him on his MMA skills. It’s probably safe to say the Kevin James has some grappling and BJJ skills and belongs on this list.
32. Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam is an English actor that first started making a name for himself with films like Children of Men and Green Street Hooligans. He’s he’s starred in major hits such as Pacific Rim and King Arthur on the big screen, and Sons of Anarchy on television.
The guy seems to stay busy working and he’s incorporated BJJ into his fitness routine since he began training Jiu Jitsu for his role in King Arthur in 2016.
Hunnam was pictured with Rigan Macchado and wearing a blue belt in August 2019.
33. Jason Momoa
34. Nicolas Cage
35. Prince Jackson
36. Mel Gibson
37. Mickey Rourke
38. Jason David Frank
40. The Undertaker
41. Scarlett Johansson
42. Steve Aoki
43. Scott Caan
44. Henry Cavill
Celebrities that passed away who trained BJJ
There’s a few celebrities that practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who left us too soon. We wanted to make sure that we honored them properly, to let them know that they’re gone but not forgotten.
This section is dedicated to all the celebrity BJJ practitioners who have passed away, may their memories live on forever.
Michael Clarke Duncan
That’s all the BJJ celebrities for now
We’ll continue to update this list as often as possible so make sure to check back for new celebrities that join the ranks.
We hope to one day have a complete list of celebrity Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners.
This list may never be fully complete and is likely to be a constant work in progress.
Thanks for reading!
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