The Jiu Jitsu Wave: 9 Influential Figures Introducing New Students to the Gentle Art

In recent years, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) has transcended its niche origins to become a global phenomenon, captivating people from all walks of life. While competitive athletes continue to inspire with their remarkable performances, a new wave of influential figures has emerged, playing a pivotal role in introducing more enthusiasts to the gentle art. In this blog, we shine a spotlight on nine individuals who, through their blogging, celebrity status, or online presence, are driving new students to explore the world of Jiu Jitsu in 2023. In no particular order, I give you the list. 

  1. Joe Rogan (@joerogan) - Rank: Black Belt
    Renowned comedian, podcast host, and BJJ black belt, Joe Rogan's love for Jiu Jitsu is no secret. Through his popular podcast, he has engaged millions of listeners in discussions about the art's physical and mental benefits, sparking a curiosity among many to step onto the mats. Jiu Jitsu schools around the world are in debt to this man for his influence on our sport. 

  2. Lex Fridman (@lexfridman- Rank: Black Belt 
    AI researcher, educator, and BJJ practitioner, Lex Fridman, has built a substantial online following through his insightful conversations and interviews. His discussions about Jiu Jitsu's influence on personal growth and resilience have intrigued countless individuals seeking a holistic approach to self-improvement.

  3. Tom Hardy (@tomhardy- Rank: Purple Belt
    A-list actor Tom Hardy's commitment to Jiu Jitsu has garnered attention, serving as a source of inspiration for fans worldwide. Hardy's journey in the art showcases its transformative power and appeals to those looking to challenge themselves physically and mentally.

  4. Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck- Rank: Blue Belt
    The co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has openly shared his passion for Jiu Jitsu even posting about his gold and silver medals at a local tournament. His public involvement in the sport sheds light on its universal appeal, drawing curious minds from diverse backgrounds. Even robots love Jiu Jitsu! 

  5. Mario Lopez (@mariolopez) - Rank: Purple Belt
    Actor, TV host, and fitness enthusiast Mario Lopez's engagement in BJJ has introduced his massive fan base to the art's physical demands and mental rewards. His posts and discussions have undoubtedly piqued the interest of those seeking a dynamic and challenging fitness regimen. We have even seen pictures of Mario training with former Saved By The Bell cast member Mark-Paul Gosselaar (@mpgosselaar).

  6. Jocko Willink (@jockowillink- Rank: Black Belt 
    Renowned for his leadership and motivational content, former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink's frequent discussions about Jiu Jitsu have sparked curiosity among his followers. His emphasis on discipline and mental fortitude resonates with individuals seeking personal growth. We know anyone interested in that type of growth will love Jiu Jitsu. 

  7. Keanu Reeves (@keanu__reeves- Rank: White Belt 
    Actor Keanu Reeves' understated mentions of his Jiu Jitsu practice have intrigued his followers and been touted by his famed instructor Master Jean Jacques Machado. His dedication to discipline, perseverance, and humility has encouraged others to consider Jiu Jitsu as a path to personal growth and self-improvement. His skills can often be seen in action on the big screen with his successful movie franchise John Wick. 

  8. Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) - Rank: Brown Belt 
    Actor and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher's occasional mentions of his Jiu Jitsu training but don't let this fool you, he has been doing BJJ since 2012. Born in Iowa Kutcher has a background in wrestling helping him to grasp the art quickly and earn his purple belt in a very quick time frame after just 2 years, then a long gap until 2023 for his brown belt. 

  9. Demi Lovato (@ddlovato- Rank: Purple Belt 
    Singer and actress Demi Lovato's occasional posts about her Jiu Jitsu training and recent promotion to purple belt. Her messages of empowerment, mental resilience, and self-discovery certainly align with Jiu Jitsu as a transformative journey.

In the dynamic landscape of Jiu Jitsu, these nine influential individuals are not only contributing to the sport's growth but are also igniting curiosity among new students. From podcasts and interviews to social media and art, they're sharing the multifaceted appeal of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, inspiring countless individuals to embark on a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and personal growth through the gentle art.