Tom Hardy after a MMA win.

It turns out that famed actor Tom Hardy (known for Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Night Rises, Inception, Peaky Blinders and more) has quite the love for, and skill at, martial arts. Hardy is reportedly a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he won three tournaments in the span of a month. Here’s one of his submissions:

Hardy won the REORG Open on Aug. 20 in the 36-years-old-and-up division, in both the gi  (the traditional uniform of the sport) and no-gi tournaments. He then competed in another tournament sponsored by REORG (which helps UK military veterans when they return home) and organized by referee Mohamed Itoumaine a few weeks later, and he then won in the 41-years-old-and-up division at the Ultimate Martial Arts Championships (UMAC) in Milton Keynes, England, competing in the gi and submitting all three opponents he faced. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi has more on what organizers and competitors thought of Hardy’s skills:

“He’s really legitimate,” said Itoumaine, a second-degree black belt. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, Tom Hardy – he’s just a superstar.’ No, you get him on the mat and he’ll smash you.”

…”Lining up for the [UMAC] final was nerve-wracking,” [competitor Andy] Leatherland said. “I didn’t speak to him nor him to me, we were both just focusing on the match. As we stepped forward and faced each other there was a realization of who I’m facing but as the referee starts the match the focus changed to being in the moment and Tom simply became the guy trying to take me down — and I was thinking how best to counter him and attack.”

Leatherland said he made an error and Hardy jumped on his leg and got a straight leg lock submission.

“It was just another fight but clearly it wasn’t as Tom is internationally recognized so I will remember this one for a long time,” Leatherland said. “Afterward he spoke about his nerves for the day which I agreed with as [competing], in general, is hard and stressful. He said considering his life is on stage he’s fine with that, but jiu-jitsu is real and affects him just like everyone else.”

Hardy posted about this on Instagram Wednesday, sharing his thoughts on jiu-jitsu, REORG, addiction, mental health, and more. His original post isn’t embeddable, but the one REORG shared with his text copied is:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Reorg Charity (@reorgcharity)

It’s certainly interesting to see a prominent actor like Hardy not only competing in these tournaments, but winning them. And, interestingly enough, he did so under his first name, Edward Hardy (Tom is his middle name):

Most thoughts of “Edward Hardy” are probably about the Ed Hardy apparel and accessories brand (based on the art of American tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy, not Tom). But maybe that will change if Tom Hardy keeps winning tournaments. And maybe we’ll see him in some specifically MMA movies or TV series going forward.

[ESPN; top screenshot from Taped Fingers on Instagram]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.