Tom Hardy surprised attendees after turning up to a jiu-jitsu competition in the UK over the weekend, where he proceeded to win a gold medal.
Hardy, 45, reportedly “secretly arranged” to participate in the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship at the Oakgrove School in Milton Keys, last Saturday (17 September).
Event sponsor Sean Rosborough told the Daily Mail that organisers knew about Hardy’s participation ahead of time, but decided to keep it under wraps because they didn’t want “masses of people turning up [and] distracting him” from the competition.
However, Hardy posed for photographs with fans afterwards, and “the mums were all over him”, Rosborough added.
The Venom actor faced Andy Leatherland, a 42-year-old sales manager and a jiu-jitsu blue belt (like Hardy), in the final round.
Leatherland signed up for the fight after realising Hardy would be there, he told the Daily Mail.
‘I was contemplating the Milton Keynes tournament as it was very local,” he said, adding, “And then one morning – [the actor] goes by the name Edward Hardy – I saw that he’d actually signed up.”
He said Hardy brought the same intensity to the fight that he does to his action movie roles, adding that he was “very focused” and their match was over “relatively quickly”.
“I made a mistake and he capitalised on that. He absolutely nailed it, and he subbed me, and it was over relatively quickly,” Hardy’s opponent said.
Last month, the 45-year-old Briton won two medals at a charity jiu-jitsu competition for REORG —which promotes the practice of Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a form of therapy for veterans, military and emergency service members who are dealing with mental disorders or “life-altering physical injuries” –in Wolverhampton.
Hardy began training with REORG to prepare for his film Warrior (2011) and has a blue belt.