After seeing so many trash-talking wannabe Hollywood tough guys spout off from the stage during awards shows, it’s refreshing to see someone who can actually deliver the goods.
Tom Hardy is no stranger to tough guy roles in Hollywood. Not only did he play in Mad Max, but he also played the character that broke Batman’s back. Not even Superman did that.
Alright, so the roles he plays are pretty badass. But that’s Hollyweird, where even a schmuck in elevator shoes like De Niro can pop off like a tough guy. What’s he like in real life?
Well, since he quietly entered a martial arts tournament under his birth name and walked out a champion… pretty tough.
Critically acclaimed actor Tom Hardy shocked the internet after he snuck into a martial arts competition and beat all of his opponents over the weekend.
The 45-year-old entered the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship using his less-known first name, Edward, according to The Guardian. The competition was hosted by the Ultimate Martial Arts Championships in Milton Keynes, approximately 90 minutes north of London.
Hardy surprised attendees with his entrance and won the competition by defeating all his opponents. A spokesperson for the tournament praised the “Dark Knight Rises” actor, calling him a “really nice guy.”
Pictures of Hardy’s weekend performance went viral on social media, showing him dressed in a blue gi with a patchy gray beard. — FoxNews
Tom Hardy entered the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in Milton Keynes, and won the gold prize. pic.twitter.com/CeXCNEOfjT
— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) September 21, 2022
WATCH: Actor Tom Hardy scores armbar submission, finish at the 1:50 mark, to win gold medal at a BJJ tournament (📸 by Geoff Pavey on TikTok) pic.twitter.com/mOqeFJKev0
— Shakiel Mahjouri (@Shak_Fu) September 21, 2022
Martial Arts event organiser believes 'very humble' Tom Hardy can only benefit the sport going forwards https://t.co/SWOb8EUi2K
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 21, 2022
Hardy’s opponent, veteran Danny Appleby, told local media he was stunned upon seeing the actor – whom he dubbed a “genuinely a really nice guy” – show up at the tournament’s semi-final.
“I was shell-shocked,” Appleby said. “[Hardy] said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.’”
Appleby said the actor is “a really strong guy … You wouldn’t think it with him being a celebrity.”
“I’ve done about six tournaments and I’ve been on the podium in every one. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve had – he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure,” he said, referring to Hardy’s character in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. –Guardian
You can’t really write this off as a one-off either, because he was involved in another tournament that was raising money for veterans and first responders. He won that one, too.
How did a Hollywood actor get to be such a fierce competitor? The same way anyone else does — he put in the reps. Here’s a clue from a 2011 interview referenced in the same Guardian piece:
In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, the actor discussed his training regimen for his film Warrior, in which he portrays a US marine who enters a mixed martial arts contest that culminates in fighting his estranged brother.
“I did two hours boxing a day, two hours muay thai, two hours jiu-jitsu followed by two hours choreography and two hours of weightlifting seven days a week for three months,” Hardy said.
“So come on! You have to really want to do that, so it was a challenge.” –Guardian
There are no shortcuts to genuine competency.
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