Anthony Bourdain was an American celebrity chef, author and television personality who embraced BJJ relatively late in his fifties, back in 2014 thanks to the influence of his then-wife, Ottavia Busia. Bourdain spoke about his commitment to BJJ and how he would always make time for training no matter where he was in the world. It was this kind of dedication that led to him being awarded his Blue Belt. Sadly, he took his own life in 2018, just 17 days shy of his 62nd birthday.
The above footage has now emerged of Anthony Bourdain competing in BJJ, something that’s actually remarkably rare for celebrities who engage in the sport. The vast majority of them simply do not compete and many do not even roll competitively due to the limitations of their careers and the risk of injury. The range of how much a celebrity actually trains and practices BJJ is very wide, some like supermodel Kate Upton are highly unlikely to engage in intense sparring. Others, like Russell Brand are probably more free to train in a similar fashion to how BJJ is usually practiced around the world and we’ve even been fortunate to see some footage of one of the most popular celebrity BJJ practitioners, Ashton Kutcher, rolling with Craig Jones.
Then, on the complete other side of the spectrum you have celebrities like Anthony Bourdain, who made the leap into competition despite being over 50 when he began the sport, or Stuart Lipnicki, who has committed decades to the sport and reportedly trains exactly the same as any other person would and rolls with anyone and everyone.