The man who organized the BJJ Open 2022 Ultimate Martial Arts Championships is grateful after Tom Hardy made an appearance at his event at Oakgrove School in Milton Keynes on Saturday.
The actor known for playing tough man roles in Peaky Blinders, Mad Max, The Dark Knight Rises and Bronson is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has been training in the sport since 2011.
Lately, he’s been putting his skills to the test. Last month the 45-year-old scored two wins at an event in Wolverhampton organized to raise money for a charity which supports the training of military personnel and first responders facing serious mental and physical challenges .
It was there that he met Mohamed Itoumaine, a black belt and Jiu-Jitsu referee who was planning to hold an event in Milton Keynes to help local charities and get children involved in the sport.
“I am an international referee. I refuted it two months ago at an event called REORG,” Itoumaine told talkSPORT.
“It’s a charity that works with people suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression. He came and he was on my mat. He had his match and we had a little chat with him.
Hardy agreed to attend the Itoumaine tournament where he once again proved he had legit wrestling skills by defeating all of his opponents.
While people around the world are shocked at Hardy’s skills, the event organizer expected him to win after hearing about the Oscar nominees’ dedication to training.
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“I’ve been doing this job for quite a long time and trained until I got my black belt degree,” Itoumaine added.
“So we know the fighters. To achieve a blue belt, you need about two years and you must have strong skills to fight with blue belts. Then I saw him fight, I knew he was a legit blue belt and he was going to win.
“I know he loves his sport and is committed to everything he does. From what I’ve heard, he’s very committed to his training and he’s very humble. Few people can do that.
“To go to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you have to have the heart of the lion because it’s a lot of training, at least three times a week and people try to squeeze you and make you suffer. Going through all that training is amazing.
Itoumaine was not only impressed with Hardy’s all-in skills, but also how he handled everyone vying for his attention when he was supposed to be focused on another man trying to get him out. .
“What really amazed me about him was that he could split that stress between competing and people trying to take pictures with him,” he continued.
“He was really competent on both sides. When it comes to fighting, amazing. When it comes to dealing with people and images, he was brilliant. I could not believe it.
Itoumaine is grateful for Hardy’s presence at his event and in the world of Jiu-Jitsu which can only benefit from the public participation of one of the most famous actors on the planet.
He concluded: “We help charities in Milton Keynes and his descent does us a great service. He will show the world that Jiu-Jitsu can help and get children off the streets.
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