Actor Tom Hardy made a surprise appearance in a martial arts match on Saturday and went on to win the event.
Hardy, 45, competed in the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship, a competition held by Ultimate Martial Arts Championships at Oakgrove school in Milton Keynes, Hyde News & Pictures reported.
Attendees watched the Mad Max: Fury Road star, donned a blue gi, tamed his opponents and won all of his matches. Hardy’s certificate of achievement was awarded to “Edward Hardy” – the actor’s real name.
A championship spokesperson called Hardy a “very nice guy” who was a “real pleasure” to host at their tournament.
“Everyone recognized him, but he was very humble and gladly took the time for people to have their picture taken with him,” the spokesperson said. “It was a real pleasure to have him at our event.”
This wasn’t the first time Hardy, a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, had quietly turned up to a martial arts match.
In August, the actor won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton, a fundraising tournament for military personnel, veterans and aid workers. Hardy is a trustee for REORG, a charity that teaches jiu-jitsu to people with serious injuries, or who suffer from PTSD and depression.
Hardy’s opponent, veteran Danny Appleby, told local media he was stunned to see the actor – whom he called a “really really nice guy” – appear in the semifinals of the tournament.
“I was shocked,” Appleby said. “[Hardy] said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you normally would.’”
Appleby said the actor is “a really strong man… You wouldn’t think so if he’s a celebrity.”
“I’ve done about six tournaments and in every tournament I’ve been on the podium. But he’s probably the strongest competitor I’ve had — he definitely lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure,” he said, referring to Hardy’s character in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Known for his tough on-screen personas, Hardy’s acting credits include films like Inception, Dunkirk, and Venom, as well as the hit television show Peaky Blinders. His role in 2015 drama The Revenant earned him an Academy Award nomination.
In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, the actor discussed his training schedule for his movie Warrior, in which he portrays a United States Marine who participates in a mixed martial arts competition that culminates in fighting his estranged brother.
“I did boxing for two hours a day, two hours muay thai, two hours jiu-jitsu followed by two hours of choreography and two hours of weightlifting seven days a week for three months,” Hardy said.
“So come on! You really have to want that, so it was a challenge.”