Joe Rogan is a big-time celebrity and an influential figure in combat sports. He has been a core part of the UFC since 1997, and his podcast guests, including a who’s who of fighting, have inspired countless people to begin training. His love for jiu-jitsu is well known, but is he a legitimate grappler, and what belt does he have?
Joe Rogan has two black belts in BJJ. Both were awarded in 2012, first by Eddie Bravo in his no-gi 10th Planet jiu-jitsu system and a few months later by Jean Jacques Machado in traditional BJJ.
Joe Rogan’s jiu-jitsu story would not be extraordinary if he weren’t so successful in many other fields. He has always been a vocal proponent of jiu-jitsu and one of the most visible ambassadors of the sport, which is why the community reveres him.
Joe Rogan has two black belts in jiu-jitsu- one under Jean Jacques Machado in traditional BJJ and one under Eddie Bravo in his 10th Planet jiu-jitsu system.
Joe Rogan is a unique persona in combat sports and has been a great ambassador for them, constantly encouraging people to pick up BJJ. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if Rogan weren’t the host of the world’s biggest and most popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
In addition, everyone who’s ever watched a UFC event knows him as a color commentator for the promotion. Joe has been with the promotion since 1997 when it was still an underground cage fight event and very far from the mainstream multi-billion-dollar enterprise it is today.
On the podcast, Joe frequently invites the biggest names from the grappling and MMA world and exposes huge crowds to them. Numerous people have been inspired to start training by his talks with Jocko Willink, Rickson Gracie, Eddie Bravo, and many others. So, it’s safe to say Joe Rogan is a pretty important figure in the combat sports world.
Aside from being a simple ambassador, Joe is a lifelong martial artist. Joe has been training since his early teens, and his multiple black belts are a testament to his dedication.
Joe Rogan’s Jiu-Jitsu History
Joe Rogan was an accomplished taekwondo competitor and quite the striker by the time he was in his 20s. But like many others, he was shocked by watching the first UFC events and the success Royce Gracie reaped just by using jiu-jitsu.
Joe’s jits’ journey began in 1996 when he trained under Carlson Gracie in California. The early stages were rough, and his extensive striking background did not help him avoid getting mauled on the mats.
But he persevered and continued training, eventually moving to Jean Jacques Machado’s academy. There, Joe also met Eddie Bravo, who, after his surprising success at the 2003 ADCC tournament, created his academy for jiu-jitsu focused solely on no-gi called 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.
The two remain close friends to this day, and Rogan is the one who came up with the name 10th Planet and has been strongly supportive of the whole endeavor, which was heavily criticized in the BJJ community early on.
Training both with the gi with Machado and no-gi with Bravo, Joe Rogan finally achieved the coveted goal of every BJJ practitioner and was promoted to black belt in 2012.
First, Eddie Bravo promoted Joe to black belt in his 10th Planet jiu-jitsu on June 26, 2012. You can see the video of the heartwarming ceremony below, where you will also hear how they came up with the name.
Then, a few months later, in September, his other professor, Jean Jacques Machado, also promoted Joe to a black belt in the traditional gi.
How Long Did It Take Joe Rogan To Get Black Belt In BJJ
Joe Rogan’s path to a black belt was not quick, but it’s to be expected for someone successful in so many fields. Rogan started training in 1996 and got his black belt in 2012, which sums to 16 years of practice.
While this may sound a lot, remember that Rogan has also created a huge podcast, is a super successful stand-up comedian, works for the UFC, and has other ventures he is part of. So, reaching the black belt level at all is impressive.
This is also a good moment to remind ourselves that BJJ belts are legitimate, unlike many other martial arts. Even though the color of the belt does not encompass all the skills and qualities of a practitioner, it’s still a tangible goal that requires a ton of work to achieve.
Rogan and Eddie Bravo have been close friends. Joe helped fund the 10th Planet Academy and popularized it every step of the way, and still, Bravo waited nearly 10 years before he finally promoted Rogan to a black belt.
What Belt Is Joe Rogan In Taekwondo
Before Joe Rogan embarked on the BJJ journey, his main discipline was taekwondo, where he also holds a black belt. He was a great competitor with over 100 taekwondo matches and a modest 2-1 kickboxing record. When he was 19, he won the US Open Championship taekwondo tournament as a lightweight.
He was also a Massachusetts full-contact state champion for four consecutive years and was a taekwondo teacher in multiple places in his early 20s. Throughout his life, he has also developed admirable striking skills from other styles like Muay Thai, which he has showcased in many videos and has been confirmed by elite strikers.
Joe Rogan is a badass with two BJJ black belts awarded by Jean Jacques Machado and Eddie Bravo, a black belt in taekwondo, and a lifetime of practicing martial arts. Regardless of your opinion of his, his skills, and, most of all, his influence on the combat sports world he’s had cannot be denied.