Owner of Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu club, Marcus Vinicius Di Lucia spoke to Tatame about his famous BJJ students. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Marcus Vinicius Di Lucia landed in America in 1995, but had to return because of problems with his visa. In 1997, at the invitation of Joe Moreira, he became responsible for teaching Jiu-Jitsu at Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu Club.
Because of all the big names in MMA who trained at the academy, celebrities came to train:
“When I arrived, I did not have much contact with celebrities. When LL Cool Jay (Hip-Hop singer and actor) arrived, my students were poking me, and I did not even know who he was. Tommy Lee, drummer of Mötley Crüe, came to train and I did not know him. They told me that he was the husband of Pamela Anderson, so I then knew who he was (laughs). The first star to come was actor Scott Caan (star of Hawaii Five-O) then came others like Vin Diesel, Guy Ritchie, who brought Jason Statham (actor), and some younger actors like Mark Pellegrino, (Jacob, from the series Lost), who trained directly with me. I also have a lot lawyers, engineers and doctors.”
Friendship With Guy Ritchie
A personal friend of Marcus Vinicius, Guy Ritchie, director of films like “Snatch – Snatch” and “Sherlock Holmes”, and ex-husband of Madonna, was one of the most serious academy students. A Brown belt from Renzo Gracie, he stays behind the camera, so is often not recognized. However, the same can not be said forMadonna, who caused a stir when she appeared there.
“None of the celebrities asked to train on a special schedule with nobody else there. This only happened once when Madonna used my space to rehearse a choreography for a show that involved something with Kung Fu, at the request of a friend of mine. She was really discreet. Suddenly, a student noticed, picked up the phone and wanted Madonna to talk to his sister … (laughs), “
Friendship with Vin Diesel
Star of “Triple X” and “Fast and Furious”, Vin Diesel also trained on the mat of Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu Club before becoming the star of these films. The training with the actor did not last long, but enough to create a strong friendship with Marcus.
“I have a very good relationship with Vin Diesel. He loves Brazilian culture. He came in very humble at the gym, I taught at his house, but due to the success he couldn’t train much, but he always treats me very well when he meets me… Sometimes their progression through the ranks is slow because of their commitments, and the turbulent life that celebrities lead. Some try to stay a little longer, others learn, try, but do not continue. He was very fond of Jiu-Jitsu, but after the movies it became impossible as he had to travel the whole world. “