Tom Hardy has gained a lot of traction on the Internet after it was unveiled that he secretly participated in a martial arts competition that he ultimately won.
The 45-year-old star entered the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship, a competition held by Ultimate Martial Arts Championships at Oakgrove school in Milton Keynes, on September 17. He competed under his real name Edward Hardy.
Tom won all his matches and walked away with a gold medal.
Opening up about his win, Hardy took to social media to credit the charity organisation that helps support military and first responder veterans with the therapeutic benefits of Jiu Jitsu and fitness training by using it as a form of therapy to overcome physical and mental challenges, strengthen social connection, and improve overall health.
Sharing a picture from the tournament, the actor wrote, “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. It is an honour to be able to represent the charity and my team REORG and the great work they do in 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.”
A spokesperson for the championships described him as a “really nice guy” who was a “real pleasure” to host at their tournament.
Tom Hardy just casually submitting people at 45 years old https://t.co/pLpYvH1Rj4
— Out Of Context MMA (@oocmma) 1663790554000
Tom Hardy en un campeonato de Jiu-Jitsu https://t.co/3v0CLVlpbj
— Mr.Freaki (@MisterFreaki) 1663451346000
Tom Hardy won gold at a Brazilian jiu-jitsu event in the UK (via Taped_Fingers/IG) https://t.co/WLqI8gPH9L
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) 1663784289000
Tom Hardy won first place as a surprise competitor at the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship.(Source:… https://t.co/QWtNKX6cRO
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) 1663770259000
The spokesperson told The Guardian, “Everyone recognised 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.”
While Hardy was easily recognisable at the event, his participation in the competition shocked his opponent, who also dubbed him “genuinely a really nice guy.”
As the actor showed up at the tournament’s semi-final, veteran Danny Appleby said, “I was shell-shocked. (Tom) said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.’ ”
Appleby went on gushing about the actor’s strength, saying that he is “a really strong guy a You wouldn’t think it with him being a celebrity.”
Comparing the ‘Venom’ actor to his ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ character, Appleby added, “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.”
This isn’t the first time for Tom to join a martial arts competition.
Back in August, the Brit, who has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton, a tournament aimed at raising funds for military personnel, veterans and emergency service workers. He is also a trustee for REORG, a charity teaching jiu-jitsu to those with serious injuries, or who are suffering from PTSD and depression.