Tom Hardy Secretly Won a Martial Arts Tournament in England

Tom Hardy.
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A real-life superhero. Tom HardyHe quietly entered a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition in England and won the gold medal.

“Everyone recognized him, but he was very humble and was happy to take time out for people to take photographs with him,” a spokesperson for the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in Milton Keynes, England, told The GuardianTuesday, September 20. “It was a real pleasure to have him compete at our event.”

He also stated that the Dark Knight Rises star, 45, was a “really nice guy” and a “real pleasure” to have in the competition.

Hardy entered the competition under his birth name — Edward Hardy — which surprised many of his competitors throughout the day. “I was shell-shocked,” martial arts veteran Danny ApplebyAfter the tournament, he spoke out to a local media outlet about his encounter with the Oscar nominee. “He said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.’”

The athlete continued: “He’s 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 every one. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve had — he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure.”

This is not Hardy’s first gold medal of the year. According to The GuardianThe RenewStar won the REORG Open Jiu Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton (England), which was a charity event that raised funds to support military personnel, veterans, and emergency service workers. Hardy is involved in REORG which teaches Jiu-Jitsu to those with serious injuries, PTSD and other mental disorders.

Hardy previously spoke out about his martial arts training which included boxing, Muy Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu. “I did two hours boxing a day, two hours Muay Thai, two hours jiu-jitsu followed by two hours choreography and two hours of weightlifting seven days a week for three months,” he told the GuardianIn September 2011, while discussing his training in MMA drama Warrior. “You have to really want to do that, so it was a challenge.”

He also said that Jiu-Jitsu was appealing to him for its spiritual aspect and physicality. “Jiu-jitsu is very Buddhist,” Hardy said at the time. “All that we fear we hold close to ourselves to survive. So if you’re drowning and you see a corpse floating by, hang on to it because it will rescue you.”