Chuck Norris is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as well as a legendary actor and martial artist who has become a living meme. He holds Black Belts in several martial arts including BJJ, Tang Soo Do (a Korean martial art based on Karate), and Judo.
What many don’t know is that Chuck Norris’ BJJ passion played a significant role in making Jiu Jitsu popular in the United States and around the world. Because of him, some of the Gracies found their way to the US and the Machado brothers were able to open their first school.
Chuck played countless iconic roles alongside legends like Bruce Lee. In movies like Way of the Dragon and An Eye for an Eye he shined with his Jiu Jitsu and other marital arts knowledge. He later went on to become the Texas Ranger and part of The Expendable 2.
Check out Part 4 of our YouTube BJJ Celebrities Series which covers Chuck Norris’ complete Jiu Jitsu journey:
Chuck Norris BJJ FAQ
Everything you need to know about Chuck Norris’s Jiu Jitsu Journey:
Chuck Norris’ BJJ Journey
In the 1980’s Chuck Norris already was a Judo Black Belt and got exposed to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the first time. This is when Chuck Norris’ BJJ journey began. He stated in an interview:
“I was in Rio de Janeiro on vacation and every school I went to the name Gracie Jiu Jitsu kept popping up. I got to find out who they are.”
He made it to the Gracies’ Jiu Jitsu school, got humbled and immediately fell in love with BJJ:
“I was a Black Belt in Judo, so I thought I had some pretty good grappling skills. I got on the ground with Rickson Gracie and it’s like I never had a lesson in my life. He played with me.”
“I went back to LA and started training with Rorion Gracie who had a school in Los Angeles, and I started training with the Machado brothers who are the cousins of the Gracies and I have been with them for now for 28 years.”
Since 2015 Chuck Norris is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Chuck Norris BJJ Fighting Footage
Here’s Chuck Norris fighting Rickson Gracie and ending up with his back taken and forced to surrender to a choke:
The following video shows some Jiu Jitsu Demonstrations of Chuck Norris and the Machados from the TV Series “Walker, Texas Ranger” from 1996:
Chuck Norris Bought the Machado Brothers a School
Jean Jacques Machado explains on the JRE MMA Show #73 how he and his brother met Chuck Norris and how they became friends:
“When he trains, he doesn’t go home. We have lunch, we hang out and go to a movie and suddenly become good friends.”
Chuck was obsessed with Jiu Jitsu, but he also had a busy schedule at the time and the long drive to the Machado brothers’ garage was an inconvenience. As a result, he decided to buy them a school in the valley:
“One day he invited us in the valley and said look I have a surprise for you guys. Then he took us to a shipping center and says ‘I have a gift for you guys’ and shows one of the units with mats ready, it’s like a school. He said: ‘This is for you guys.’”
Chuck Norris is one of the most influential figures in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and martial arts in general. Alongside martial artists like Bruce Lee he was responsible for bringing martial arts to the masses.
He was especially influential in the spread of Jiu Jitsu to the United States as he sparked interest of the masses in the sport and financially supported the Machado brothers.
The actor has become one of the most experienced and versatile martial artists in the world and Jiu Jitsu has become his passion. He has formed close ties with the Gracie and Machado family.
Check out our complete list of BJJ celebrities:
Tom Hardy | Keanu Reeves | Jason Statham | Ed O’Neill | Demi Lovato | Russell Brand | Maynard James Keenan | Ashton Kutcher | Guy Ritchie | Jonah Hill | Joe Rogan | Chuck Norris | Jason Momoa | Mario Lopez | Joey Diaz | Jim Carrey | Henry Cavill | Charlie Hunnam | Millie Bobby Brown | Shaquille O’Neal | Dave Bautista | Vin Diesel | Robert Pattinson | Kelly Slater