Demi Lovato BJJ: Overcoming Anxiety & Depression with Jiu Jitsu

Demi Lovato BJJ

Demi Lovato is currently a Blue Belt in BJJ. The celebrity has been training since 2016 and Jiu Jitsu has become a passion for her. Beyond the physical benefits of training, Jiu Jitsu helps her deal with anxiety, depression, and life beyond the sport.

The singer, songwriter and actress had a great career so far with ups and downs in her personal life just like everybody else. She lately trained Jiu Jitsu at Unbreakable Performance  under Danielle Martin.

Check out Part 1 of our YouTube BJJ Celebrities Series which covers Demi Lovato’s complete Jiu Jitsu journey:

Demi Lovato BJJ FAQ

Everything you need to know about Demi Lovato’s Jiu Jitsu Journey:

Demi trained Jiu Jitsu consistently until the Corona pandemic started. She stated that she was afraid to keep training with close body contact due to her having asthma and autoimmune disorders. It is unclear how consistent the celebrity trains today.

The singer initially started training BJJ in 2016 under Orlando Sanchez, a BJJ world champion who is famous for overcoming drug addiction through Jiu Jitsu.

Since Demi started training BJJ in 2016 she was about 24 years old when she began her Jiu Jitsu training journey.

2023 would be Demi’s 8th year of training BJJ already, if she had trained consistently.

The celebrity has a long way to go to earn her Black Belt in BJJ as she is a Blue Belt today. To receive her Black Belt, she has to go through the ranks of Purple Belt and Brown Belt next.

Demi Lovato is currently a Blue Belt in Jiu Jitsu. She was promoted in 2017 by her coach Orlando Sanchez.

Demi started out training Jiu Jitsu under coach Orlando Sanchez of Gracie Barra, a BJJ world champion, and earned her Blue Belt from him. She later trained at Unbreakable Performance in Hollywood under Danielle Martin who is also a Jiu Jitsu world champion.

The singer trains at Unbreakable performance, a private gym in West Hollywood, among other celebrities like Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg.

It is unlikely that the singer has ever competed in BJJ or will compete in the future. Lovato makes sure not to get injured by only taking private classes to make sure she can pursue her career.

How Jiu Jitsu helps Demi Lovato with Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

The singer has been very open about her drug abuse and struggle with depression, anxiety and eating disorder in the past. In 2018 she overdosed on heroin and fentanyl. She is not the only one that uses Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to tackle personal issues beyond the sport.

Demi started her BJJ training journey under Orlando Sanchez, an accomplished BJJ world champion, who unfortunately passed away in 2022. Sanchez was very open about his struggle with depression and drug addiction himself in the past. Jiu Jitsu famously helped him deal with depression and anxiety once upon a time and he continued to become a world champion. Therefore, he was the right person to introduce Demi to the sport. On Instagram he stated in 2021:

“I’ve been struggling for many years. I’ve always been in a battle with my depression, my anxiety etc. and it never gets easier. I’m just more aware of the love and positivity around me. Always reach out to the ones you love. Just checking on someone can save a life.”

Orlando Sanchez
Orlando Sanchez

In 2018 Lovato was struggling with drug abuse again and her personal assistant had to make a 911 call to take care of the medical emergency.

Her coach Danielle Martin says in an interview following the incident that she already saw the warning signs but she can only do so much to help the singer:

Demi Lovato described Jiu Jitsu as meditative on the Joe Rogan podcast when she said:

Jiu Jitsu is meditation, especially flow rolling. That is meditation”

Lovato told People magazine the following:

“I would say that if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or any other type of stressors in your life, a really great way to get rid of those is through physical exercise and fitness.”

How good is Demi Lovato at Jiu Jitsu?

Demi trains up to 6 times a week, for many hours at a time. However, celebrity Jiu Jitsu practitioners’ skill level is often questioned. The same goes for Demi Lovato.

The singer was promoted to Blue Belt in 2017 by Orlando Sanchez after training Jiu Jitsu for only about a year. She only takes private lessons and doesn’t roll with the public which is understandable for a celebrity that has to preserve looks and wants to avoid excessive publicity. However, it makes other practitioners question Demi’s actual skill level.

Training is certainly tougher in public classes, but it is still great to see another celebrity fall in love with Jiu Jitsu.

The following video shows one of Demi typical training sessions with her coach Danielle Martin back when she was a four stripe White Belt. It consists of a warmup, a technique session and ends with sparring like most BJJ classes.

Why Demi Lovato only trains at Private Gyms

Demi stated on Joe Rogan’s podcast that she usually trains privately with her coach at Unbreakable Performance in Hollywood but has joined different gyms throughout the country when she was travelling. However, she doesn’t join regular classes since she must make sure not to get hurt which would affect her career negatively.

Demi Lovato Empowers Women to do Jiu Jitsu

The celebrity shows that Jiu Jitsu is not only a sport for men. Women can also benefit from training BJJ through increased fitness and flexibility, learning self-defense and gaining mental strength.

The singer is coached by a world champion female coach Danielle Martin and together they create an example for women to get into Jiu jitsu.


Demi Lovato has many years of training Jiu Jitsu under her belt now. She is a great representative for the sport as she only has good things to say about it. She shows what martial arts are all about: Learning how to fight, but also learning about oneself and life in general.

We hope Demi keeps training hard and wish her all the best for the future.

Check out our complete list of BJJ celebrities:

BJJ celebrities

Complete List of Celebrities that do BJJ

Which stars do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Which belt ranks are the 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

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