Here on our blog we often talk about the benefits that Tae Kwon Do training can have in all areas of your life, especially in regards to the discipline, dedication, and self-control that comes with practicing martial arts. However, rather than just take our word from it, why not take a look at the vast number of celebrities who have experience in mastering the art of Tae Kwon Do?
Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of famous people who have dedicated a great deal of their time to honing their Tae Kwon Do skills, and for many, they credit at least some of their success to the way in which martial arts training helped them to assert greater control and direction to their lives. With that in mind, here are just a few celebrities who have risen to the rank of black belt in Tae Kwon Do or any other martial art.
It may not come as a huge surprise to any fans of the movie star, but Chuck Norris is one of the more famous practitioners of Tae Kwon Do. Aside from his expertise in a host of other martial arts, including becoming a six-time undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate Champion, Chuck became the first Westerner to achieve the rank of 8th degree Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. Amazingly, he even found time to create his own martial arts system called Chun Kuk Do, roughly translating as “The Universal Way”.
Sarah Michelle Geller
Next on our list is Sarah Michelle Geller, who rose to prominence for her role as Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The film and TV star has spoken of how Tae Kwon Do has helped her during her career, and she currently holds the rank of 1st degree black belt. For any budding actresses out there, learning Tae Kwon Do may just help you on your way!
Another celebrity with an impressive martial arts background is the iconic country music star Willie Nelson. Willie rose to the rank of 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, an impressive achievement in itself; but to add to it, he did this just days before he turned 81. What’s more, he’s also a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Undoubtedly a fantastic achievement, and one that should be a great inspiration for any martial arts student – it’s never too late!
Next on our list is Michael Imperioli, who rose to fame on the gold standard of TV shows, HBO’s The Sopranos playing Tony Soprano’s nephew Christopher. Michael is currently a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and he credits practice of the martial art for changing his life, and those of his family. In an interview, Michael stated, “Tae Kwon Do has transformed our family in body, mind, and spirit. It has changed us as human beings. I have more focus, concentration, confidence; Tae Kwon Do teaches you that you can overcome any obstacle, that you can tackle anything.”
Any list of famous martial artists would be incomplete without comedian, podcaster, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who continually stresses the importance of practicing martial arts as part of a healthy lifestyle. As a young man, Joe took part in many martial arts competitions, winning 19 US Open Tournaments in Tae Kwon Do. Despite no longer competing, Joe remains an avid martial artist, with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to his name, alongside training in Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai.
Famous for her role as a queen on the hit series Vikings, Katheryn Winnick has also found the time to hone her skills at several martial arts. She’s reached the rank of 2nd Dan in Karate, and moreover, has also achieved 3rd Dan in Tae Kwon Do. An impressive feat for an incredibly busy woman!
Last on our list is the star of Best of the Best, actor Eric Roberts. Unsurprisingly for a film so heavily concerned with martial arts, Roberts’ and his co-star Chris Penn ensured they were as trained in martial arts as possible for the movie, and Roberts practiced so much that he ended up achieving the rank of black belt in Tae Kwon Do. It turns out that sometimes actors are as tough as they seem on the big screen!
We hope you have enjoyed our list of famous people who have achieved the rank of black belt. As you can see, there are a wide variety of people who have engaged with martial arts, and here at our world-class Tae Kwon Do training school, we think that everyone can benefit from learning the dedication, self-discipline, and proactive mindset that comes with martial arts training. To learn more about how martial arts training can change your life, getting started is easy!
About the Author:Master Justin Scarsella has been teaching with his team of talented instructors in Birmingham since 2004, and World Class Tae Kwon Do Schools have been operating across the country since 1983! Their top-rated instruction methods, along with the time and care dedicated to each student’s needs and abilities, have seen him receive glowing reviews throughout his career. He now has two locations in the Hoover and Birmingham areas, and his classes cater to all ages, aged 4 and up – even families can take part together! You can try your first three classes FREE – which includes a FREE uniform!