The online Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community has been abuzz with gossip ever since a photo of Ashton Kutcher and Rigan Machado was shared. The picture showed Ashton Kutcher in his newly awarded Purple Belt, alongside trainer and Jiu-Jitsu Original Rigan Machado (making sure you know to check out the Jiu-Jitsu World League). It was then that BJJ practitioners everywhere took to comment on the likelihood of Ashton’s abilities versus other notable stars, as well as the funny way he seemed to tie his belt in the promotion picture (in his defense, I’ve seen brown and black belts tie their belts wrong in haste every once in a while). However, before the community started focusing on him, Ashton was already training hard to be the best and beat the best, and he noted it when he spoke to Men’s Fitness magazine, in an article written by David Katz.
It’s widely known that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is making its way further and further into the mainstream. The Gracies are masters of more than just their martial art, and their marketing campaigns show with how far their reach has extended through the art form of their patriarch: Carlos Gracie. However, it’s a showing of deep the roots of grown when more than just a few mainstream actors and celebrities have decided to start their own journey down the path of Jiu-Jitsu.
Ashton told Men’s Fitness that he first discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while “shooting an ad campaign for the fashion. brand Colcci in São Paulo, Brazil”. He decided to try out the locals’ form of grappling in place of his normal workout routine. Thinking that his high school wrestling skills gave him an advantage, he stepped on the mat with confidence. Anyone that has ever spent any time training BJJ knows how this story ends. He was quickly humbled.
Ashton Kutcher goes on to say, “…I just got my ass handed to me over and over.” This was the beginning of the lifestyle for him. Fast forward to 2014, and rumors are circulating that he could be a contender in the Purple Belt open class come January 17, 2015, when the Jiu-Jitsu World League holds its first event at the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine in Southern California. It’s crazy to think that the same person that brought us such hilarious characters in TV shows and movies could now be entertaining us on the competition mat by taking on the best up-and-comers of modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
There’s no official word yet about whether or not Ashton will indeed be throwing his name onto the bracket for his division, but there will probably be a number of Purple Belts looking to get the chance to prove themselves capable of taking on a big name actor, just because of his fame. I imagine if he makes in onto the podium, whoever shares it with him will definitely be getting a view into what it is like to have the paparazzi around.
For more details, check out the Men’s Fitness magazine online article here, and be sure to go and register to compete at the Jiu Jitsu World League West Coast Championship. You can do that here.
Source: Men’s Fitness Magazine: Ashton Kutcher’s Winning Moves – by David Katz