Top 30 Black Belt Celebrities Ever Seen

When it comes to celebrities, it’s hard to imagine that one can be good at something other than the talent that made one famous. In fact, there are many celebrities who are multi-talented in ways that you may not be aware of. It’s quite surprising to find out the number of celebrities who also sport black belts in martial arts.

Black belt celebrities

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Coveted black belts indicate that a trainee has mastered the basics of a martial art like karate or jujitsu. And no, a black belt doesn’t indicate that the wearer is a “master” of the art. Still, it’s a hard accolade to earn and students of martial arts must train extensively and truly dedicate themselves to earn a black belt.

Why Celebrities Go for Martial Arts Black Belts

If you are a famous singer or an actress, why would you care about striving for something beyond that? Well, there are many reasons why celebrities go for martial arts black belts.

Some celebrities require martial arts training for their roles. It’s no surprise that Chuck Norris, Steven Segal, Chris Casamassa (of Mortal Combat), Dolph Lundgren and Wesley Snipes have black belts in martial arts like karate, taekwondo and judo.

Celebs like Chuck Norris have been training for years before they got their big break. Once actors like Norris and Lundgren get their big break as major action stars, they have to keep training to be in shape. It’s rather embarrassing for an action star to get the stuntmen to do all the work after all.

Some celebrities get into martial arts for certain roles. For example, Sarah Michelle Gellar had to take martial arts training in preparation for her role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She really liked it and eventually went onto become a black belt in taekwondo.

Sean Connery is another celebrity who experienced martial arts first as preparation for his iconic role as James Bond, and later for the Indiana Jones movies. He continued his training once shooting wrapped up to earn a black belt in Kyokushin karate.

The Love of the Art

Acting requirements are not the only reason celebrities earn black belts. Many do it solely because of personal interest. Why else would Rikki Rockett, the drummer of rock band Poison, have a 1st dan black belt in Brazilian jujutsu?

Possibly the most famous celebrity who pursued martial arts solely for the love of it was Elvis Presley. That’s right; the King of Rock had a 1st dan black belt in taekwondo. Perhaps it helped with his history-making dance moves.

Other celebrities who have pursued black belts for the fun of it include Katherine Winnick, the actress of Love & Other Drugs, Noah Ringer from The Last Airbender, Bear Grylls from Man Vs. Wild, Forest Whitaker, Gary Daniels, and Ed O’Neill, the guy from Modern Family.

It has to be mentioned that it’s not only the Hollywood celebrities who pursue a love of martial arts black belts. There are a number of well-known politicians who have black belts as well. Topping the list is Vladimir Putin, who is quite famous for his love of judo. He, in fact, has several black belts in judo going up to 9th dan.

Albert II, the glitzy prince of Monaco, also has a black belt in judo, but only first dan. He may not look like it, but this man can probably easily strangle anyone who tries to take the throne from him with a cool judo move.

Other Celebrities with Black Belts

There are several other notable celebrities with black belts. Eric Roberts from the Batman franchise, Jee Ja Yanin, Michael Jai White, Matt Mullins, Bo Svenson, Chuck Jeffries, and even the country music star Willie Nelson all have black belts.

Many celebrities go for black belts in popular martial arts forms like karate and taekwondo. But those like Willie Nelson have black belts in less well-known forms like gong kwon yu sul.

Sometimes, love for the martial arts runs in celebrity families. Quite unsurprisingly, both Simon and Philip, the Rhee brothers, have black belts in martial arts.

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