Hollywood celebrity and recent Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist Tom Hardy shed light on why he participated in the martial art competition in England. The actor proved that he was not just a tough guy in movies when he entered a martial arts competition recently.
Hardy certainly shocked everyone in attendance at the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship when the actor showed up as a competitor. According to his opponent, who had participated in over five tournaments, Hardy was his strongest competitor. The “Venom” actor won two other Jiu-Jitsu competitions last month.
Days after the event concluded, the 45-year-old shed some light on why he participated in the tournament. The competition was reportedly one of the fundraising events organized by REORG, a nonprofit that offered martial art as a way for soldiers and veterans to overcome their mental or physical challenges.
Read on to learn.
Tom Hardy On Why He Participated In The Event
Hardy reportedly participated in and won a Jiu-Jitsu event in England on Saturday. The “Revenant” actor, who is a blue belt holder in the activity, surprised the resident martial artists and spectators while he added a third gold medal to his growing Jiu-Jitsu awards.
On Wednesday, Hardy took to Instagram to explain his reason for joining the competition. The 45-year-old revealed that the move was to support a global nonprofit organization named REORG. The nonprofit promotes the sport as a means of therapy for active military and veterans who are suffering from mental health issues.
Under the picture of himself, the actor explained, “Addiction is difficult and complex stuff to navigate; as is mental health. Subjects which are both deeply personal for me and extremely close to my heart.”
The actor continued, “It is an honor to be able to represent the charity and my team REORG and the great work they do supporting the mental health and well-being of veterans of service, military, and first responders through the therapeutic benefits of Jiu Jitsu and fitness training.”
Tom Hardy Said Jiu-Jitsu Helped Him Feel Calmer And More Resilient
Hardy went on to reveal that during his time training, he was able to build up “a deeper sense of inner resilience.” The 45-year-old wrote, “Simple training, for me (as a hobby and a private love) has been fundamentally key to further develop a deeper sense of inner resilience, calm, and well-being.”
“I can’t stress the importance it has had and the impact on my life and my fellow teammates,” the martial artist medalist added.
Hardy went on to explain what REORG was and how the organization utilized “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Physical Fitness Training as a form of therapy to overcome physical and mental challenges, strengthen social connection, and improve overall health and well-being.”
The actor has, on occasion, opened up about his past struggles with substance abuse as well as when he had an alcohol and drug addiction in 2002.
He Won The Jiu-Jitsu Competition
According to The Guardian, the actor’s appearance at the event was unexpected and took both the competitors and the audience by surprise. The open event occurred at Milton Keynes and saw several spectators in attendance.
Hardy reportedly registered for the martial arts competition with his real name, “Edward,” which was less famous than his middle name. A spokesperson for the event told The Guardian that during the event, both competitors and spectators recognized the actor; however, he seemed very humble.
They said, “Everyone recognized him, but he was very humble and was happy to take time out for people to take photographs with him. It was a real pleasure to have him compete at our event.”
Tom Hardy Was A Tough Opponent
The local media revealed that Danny Appleby, Hardy’s opponent, was left “shell-shocked” when he saw who he was going up against. He described the 45-year-old as a “really strong guy” and the “toughest competitor I’ve had.”
“It’s been crazy on social media,” Appleby said. “I was waiting match-side for the semi-final in Wolverhampton when Tom showed up. I didn’t know he was going to be there. And they expected me to remain composed.”
“I was shell-shocked. [Hardy] said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do,'” the martial artist recalled. “He’s a really strong guy. You wouldn’t think it with him being a celebrity. I do okay, I’ve done about six tournaments, and I’ve been on the podium in everyone. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve had – he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure.”