59 year old BJJ blue belt Anthony Bourdain is an American chef, author, and television personality. He is known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and in 2005 he began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, he joined CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Bourdain’s wife. Ottavia is a purple belt BJJ competitor. She trains twice a day. In September 2013, she convinced him to start training at Renzo Gracie academy in New York.
After his first training session, he was hooked. He has a very demanding job which requires him to travel a lot so he always makes it a point to train Jiu-Jitsu abroad. In the past years he has trained in Hungary, Korea, Turkey, USA, Scotland and many other locations.
As a result of his training, he has lost 30lbs. 6 months ago, Bourdain was promoted to BJJ blue belt by Igor Gracie, after 2 years of training.
Bourdain has now taken it one step further by registering for IBJJF New York fall Open, which will be on April 9 & 10th in New York.
At 59 years of age, Bourdain will be competing in the Master 6 blue belt, middle weight!
Bourdain, has been training seriously for the past few months, but still has modest ambitions as he told Medium.com about his love for Jiu-Jitsu:
I will never be a black belt. I will never successfully compete against similarly ranked opponents half my age, I will never be great at Brazilian jiu jitsu. There is an urgency to my training because I’m sure as shit not getting any younger, or more flexible. I’m certainly not getting any faster. And as I head down the highway on my jiu jitsu journey, the likelihood of the wheels coming off the car grows stronger every day.
But I am determined to suck less at this jiu jitsu thing every day if I can.
Jiu Jitsu makes me very happy — regardless of how good or bad I am at it — and how dim my prospects of ever excelling at it. It’s become a family tradition: my wife does it pretty much as a profession, seeking to tear knees and ankles off people — or occasionally, helping to teach others how to do same. My daughter does it because it’s fun — and because every young girl, if possible, should be free of ever being physically intimidated by a boy (I pity the first little boy who shoves my daughter to the ground).
I do it because it’s hard. Because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And because it never ends. Every day presents me with a series of problems that I spend the rest of the day thinking about how I might solve — or at least chip away at. Next day same. And the day after that.