Tom Hardy has spoken about the impact jiu-jitsu has had on his life, following his 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship win.
The Peaky Blinders star reportedly “secretly arranged” to participate in the competition at the Oakgrove School in Milton Keys on 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.
During the final round, the Venom star faced Andy Leatherland, a 42-year-old sales manager and a jiu-jitsu blue belt, like Hardy.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday (21 September), the 45-year-old actor reviled he participated in the championship as a part of global nonprofit organisation REORG.
“Addiction is difficult and complex stuff to navigate; as is mental health,” Hardy wrote in his post. “Subjects which are both deeply personal for me and extremely close to my heart.
“It is an honour to be able to represent the charity and my team REORG and the great work they do supporting the mental health and well-being of veterans of service, military, and first responders through the therapeutic benefits of Jiu Jitsu and fitness training.”
The Venom star also spoke about the benefits of jiu-jitsu and what it means to him.
“Simple training, for me (as a hobby and a private love ) has been fundamentally key to further develop a deeper sense of inner resilience, calm and well being,” he said. “I can’t stress the importance it has had and the impact on my life and my fellow teammates.”
Hardy is a recovered substance addict, and has previously spoken about how his addictions to legal drug and drugs spiralled out of control around 2002.
“I was a shameful suburban statistic. I was told very clearly, ‘You go down that road, Tom, you won’t come back. That’s it. All you need to know,’” he told Yahoo in a 2015 interview. “That message stayed with me clearly for the rest of my days.
“I am f***ing lucky to be here.”
In his Instagram post, Hardy highlighted all the ways REORG help people deal with their addictions.
“Their work has changed and saved lives around the world by not only providing an effective, positive means for navigating and managing the challenging psychological aspects of military and first responder careers, but also has allowed many to find a renewed sense of purpose, identity, and community thats often lost when transitioning to civilian life,” the actor wrote.
Last month, Hardy won two medals at a charity jiu-jitsu competition for REORG in Wolverhampton. He began training with the organisation to prepare for his 2011 film Warrior and has a blue belt.
If you or someone you know is suffering from legal drug addiction, you can confidentially call the national legal drug helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.
If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.
In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.