There are a number of movies that feature MMA and Jiu Jitsu styles in their fight scenes. This has grown over the years with the rising popularity of MMA. Here we have a list of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu movies you should see.
Let’s get the big Hollywood picture out of the way first.
Hollywood might not have the best reputation for accurately portraying historical events, medical procedures, physics, or just plain realism when it comes to movies that are based in reality. However, Lethal Weapon went out of its way to ensure its fight scenes were accurate.
Lethal Weapon wanted to portray one of the main characters, Martin Riggs, as lethal as can be, thanks to his special forces training. In order to accomplish this, the producers hired several technical advisors that taught the cast fighting moves. These advisors included Cedric Adams who taught cast Capoeira moves, Dennis Newsome for his experience in the jailhouse rock style of fighting, and finally Rorion Gracie for his expertise in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In fact, Gracie himself cameoed as one of the henchmen getting beat up by Rene Russo’s character with moves he no doubt taught her.
Here you can see Mel Gibson’s character use a triangle choke against his opponent at the end of the fight scene.
Lethal Weapon is important because it was probably the first time American audiences were introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, even though they probably didn’t know it.
This 1999 documentary features Rickson Gracie as he prepares and competes in the Tokyo’s Vale Tudo Japan 1995. The film maker’s access in this movie really gives you a behind-the-scenes look into what goes on in preparing and competing in a major competition. This film doesn’t just follow Rickson Gracie, but also gives insight into the training and preparation of Japanese competitor Koichiro Kimura and American boxer Todd Hays.
The Smashing Machine
This 2003 documentary tells the compelling story of Mark Kerr’s climb to the top and tragic fall from it. The film details Mark’s MMA career fighting in Vale Tudo, UFC, and PRIDE. It also features his relationship with his then girlfriend and trainers, and how his MMA career effects those relationships. Like Choke, The Smashing Machine truly gives a good behind-the-scenes look at what being a prized MMA fighter can do to someone.
Renzo Gracie: Legacy
Shot over a ten year period, Renzo Gracie Legacy details the origins of the MMA sport from its rise as bare knuckle fighting to the popularity explosion it’s seen across America and Japan. This film gives incredible insight into the Gracie family, and while MMA and Jiu Jitsu fans will like this, it is shot in a compelling way that even those unfamiliar with the sport will most likely enjoy themselves.