Actor Tom Hardy surprised fans this weekend by making an appearance at the inaugural REORG Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Wolverhampton.
The event, at Aldersley Leisure Village on Saturday, was held to raise money for a charity that supports BJJ training for military personnel and first responders facing serious mental and physical challenges.
There are two forms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ Gi and No-Gi.
Gi Jiu-Jitsu involves wrestling using the traditional training uniform that allows you to grab onto your opponent’s clothing.
However, No-Gi BJJ struggles without the traditional uniform. Instead, practitioners wore shorts and lycra.
Hardy was filmed competing in a full Gi with a blue belt to demonstrate his rank and looked quite impressive as he dominated his opponent from the start before slowly and methodically working his way to an armband submission victory similar to UFC legend Ronda Rousey.
Later that day, the Peaky Blinders star won another match via submission.
This time he competed without the Gi before being photographed again at the top of the podium with another gold medal around his neck.
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In addition to his role on British show Peaky Blinders and superhero film Venom, Hardy is known for playing sailor Tommy Riordan, who competes in an MMA tournament in the 2011 drama “Warrior.”
However, as one user on Twitter commented, “Imagine showing up to your local jiu-jitsu competition and having to fight Bane,” in reference to his role as Batman’s nemesis.
And that’s something that crossed Danny Appleby’s mind when he faced him.
“I was waiting for the semi-final in Wolverhampton when Tom showed up,” he told Gazette Live. “I didn’t know he was going to be there. And they expected me to stay calm,” he added.
“I was in shock. He said ‘just forget it’s me and do what you normally would,'” explaining that he was taken aback by Hardy’s strength and pointed out that he had time for everyone at the end.
“He certainly lived up to his Bane persona, that’s for sure.”
Before Warrior hit theaters over a decade ago, Hardy couldn’t even fight and had to learn the basics and build muscle for the role.
Now, in 2023, not only has the 44-year-old wowed everyone with his BJJ skills, but he’s also made a young Venom fan’s day by giving him a big hug.
Carla Frost traveled to the scene with her six-year-old son after hearing Hardy was there only to be told they had just missed him when they arrived, leaving the youngster devastated.
“My son burst into tears. The lovely lady from REORG decided to check it out and the next thing I know this lovely man is walking through the gym for us,” Carla told Birmingham Live.
“He instinctively hugged my son and calmed him down so quickly. The lady from the charity was so sweet, she stopped with us, took pictures and was just lovely.”
Hardy ended his day sending the delighted boy on his way with a signed hat after proving he doesn’t just play tough men on the big screen, he has real-life skills too.
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