Film buffs may know Guy Richie as the director of popular crime films such as Snatch, Sherlock Holmes, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, as well as the former husband of pop icon Madonna. However, there is one impressive detail about this British filmmaker only a few people know about: he has a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and he is a long-time practitioner of the martial art.
In an interview with Joe Rogan, Ritchie shared his passion for Jiu Jitsu. According to him, he has always been interested in the martial arts. He spent 15 years of his life practicing Karate. In fact, he even reached the rank of a 2nd dan black belt karateka. He made the switch to Jiu Jitsu after watching the documentary Choke, which he called a “revelation.” In the video, there is an 84 year old man who practices jiu jitsu. Ritchie thought that if the man can do it, why can’t he? So he went on to pursue this new passion.
When he got started, Jiu Jitsu wasn’t that popular in London. Judo was. However, this didn’t deter him from studying this martial art. Fortunately, Roger Gracie came to the United Kingdom 20 years ago and he started taking lessons under him and his father, Mauricio. Afterwards, he moved to New York with his ex wife and he went to Renzo’s Gym, which fuelled his love and obsession with Jiu Jitsu.
Like some practitioners, Ritchie experienced losing his interest in Jiu Jitsu. He admitted to having drifted in and out of the martial art and he didn’t even get his black belt when he was supposed to get it. Fortunately, he regained his interest and he trained for five years to finally secure his black belt.
Whenever he travels to a new city, Ritchie said he would search for the best gym so he can continue practicing the martial art. One of the things he loves about practicing Jiu Jitsu is the brotherhood among fighters, with everyone looking out for everyone. He said that in 20 years of being a practitioner of this martial art, he has never lost his temper because in Jiu Jitsu, there is a system of accountability. If you bully someone because you lost your temper, you will get found out.
Like in many other sports and physical activities, having injuries is a common occurrence in Jiu Jitsu and Ritchie is no stranger to injuries. A few years ago, he developed an ACL tear. He also got a recent injury, for which his doctor recommended a replacement surgery. This got him thinking about other ways to recover from it.
One type of treatment he’s looking into is stem cell therapy. Having heard about it a few times before, he’s interested in how it can help him, especially when Joe Rogan explained that this treatment method can regenerate damaged cartilage and meniscus tissue. Having experienced this type of treatment himself, Rogan said it saved him from having to undergo a shoulder surgery, which is more expensive and time-consuming.
As for his advice to those who are interested or currently practicing Jiu Jitsu, Ritchie said they must be willing to put themselves out of their comfort zones. If they become too comfortable with their gym or instructor, for instance, they could prevent themselves from evolving and becoming better versions of themselves.