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Tom Hardy makes surprise entry into charity martial arts contest, ends up winning gold

The 'Mad Max' actor is an accomplished blue belt in jiujitsu.

Tom Hardy makes surprise entry into charity martial arts contest, ends up winning gold
Cover Image Source: YouTube Screenshot/The Guardian

Tom Hardy has proven that he's not just a badass on screen, but also in real life. Channeling his inner Bane from "The Dark Knight Rises" and Tommy Conlon from "Warrior," the 45-year-old actor was a surprise competitor at the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in Milton Keynes, England. A representative for the tournament's organizers, Ultimate Martial Arts Championship, described the actor as "a really nice guy" who "was very humble" and "happy to take time out for people to take photographs with him." Everyone at the competition recognized the actor, added the rep, according to PEOPLE.


The actor entered the competition under his real name Edward Hardy and ended up winning the gold prize. The "Mad Max" star is no stranger to the world of martial arts and is an accomplished blue belt in jiujitsu. One of his opponents admitted to feeling a little starstruck by the actor. Veteran Danny Appleby told local media site Teesside Live that he was "shell-shocked" when he saw the actor at the tournament’s semi-final. “[Hardy] said, 'Just forget it's me and do what you would normally do.'" Hardy is "a really strong guy... You wouldn't think it with him being a celebrity. 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," he said, referring to the actor's character, an antagonist in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises."


"I said I couldn't believe it was actually him, he just kind of laughed," 41-year-old Danny added. He revealed that the "Peaky Blinders" star has "actually been to our gym [Gracie Barra in Middlesbrough] to train. But I was unlucky and never got to meet him, I've always been away with work. So we had that in common. His wife's family live on Teesside and he mentioned his grandad is also from Stockton. He said he's got family ties to the area and that's why he comes up a lot. There was a million and one things I wish I'd asked him afterwards but didn't, with everything going on and the adrenalin."


This isn't the star's first tournament title this year. According to The Guardian, he also won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton, England, last month. The actor is a trustee of REORG, a nonprofit that uses Brazilian jiujitsu training to help people, particularly veterans, military and emergency service members, with physical injuries as well as PTSD and depression. "Simple training, for me (as a hobby and a private love ) has been fundamentally key to further develop a deeper sense of inner resilience, calm and well being," Hardy wrote on Instagram. "I can't stress the importance it has had and the impact on my life and my fellow teammates. Their work has changed and saved lives around the world by not only providing an effective, positive means for navigating and managing the challenging psychological aspects of military and first responder careers, but also has allowed many to find a renewed sense of purpose, identity, and community that's often lost when transitioning to civilian life."


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