Hollywood superstar Tom Hardy quietly entered himself into a martial arts competition in the UK, stunning his fellow competitors. The forty-five-year-old entered the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship under his real name Edward Hardy. This was no high-profile, celebrity event, just a run-of-the-mill competition held by Ultimate Martial Arts Championships. The action took place at Oakgrove school in Milton Keynes, England. Hardy went on to claim the title after subduing all his opponents.
Dressed in a blue gi, he won all his matches and claimed the certificate of achievement. The audience watched in amazement when they realized who they had come to see. The organizers and opponents were pretty stunned too. The championships’ organizers said that Hardy was a ‘really nice guy’ and a ‘real pleasure’ to have at their tournament.
The spokesperson for the Ultimate Martial Arts Championship 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.”
His opponent in the semi-final was veteran Danny Appleby. He said that he was stunned when he saw who his opponent was. He is reported as saying that Hardy was a ‘genuinely really nice guy.’ Apparently, before the fight, Hardy said to him
“Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.”
Appleby said that 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 everyone. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve had – he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure,” he said, talking about Hardy’s character in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
The Dark Knight Rises saw Hardy take on one of his most challenging roles as he had to bulk up to play the part. He had to gain thirty pounds of muscle mass to appear large and intimidating like the comic book villain Bane. Hardy had been a fan of the Batman comics since childhood, and portraying one of the most popular villains in the film was something he took very seriously. However, he has said that he found it challenging to fight Batman, as he was an iconic character he deeply respected.
Batman is universally loved and is probably one of the most recognizable comic book heroes. Moreover, the Batman franchise is one of the most successful comic book adaptations ever. As well as nine theatrical live-action films and two live-action series, there are animated versions and merchandise of every description. In addition, the Batman franchise has been made into video games, and a Dark Knight Rises video slot is included in the best online casino promotions. Play takes place in Gotham City, and Bane is one of the featured characters.
This is not the first Jiu-Jitsu Championship title that Hardy has under his belt. In August, he won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton, England. The tournament raises funds for military personnel and emergency service workers. REORG, a charity of which Hardy is a trustee, uses jiu-jitsu as rehabilitation. They teach martial arts to those who have severe physical and mental injuries. In addition, it is taught as a coping mechanism for veterans suffering from PTSD and depression.
Hardy is known for his on-screen tough-guy roles. His acting credits include Inception, Dunkirk, and Venom. In the film Warrior, he portrayed a US marine entering an MMA contest that saw him fighting against his estranged brother. His training regime for that film was no less arduous than for other roles. In an interview with the Guardian, he said
“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.”
Based on his previous form, the only surprise might have been if Hardy had not triumphed at the tournament.