What’s it like to get taken down by Tom Hardy?
When asked if he’d fight Tom Hardy again, his opponent said: “I would, absolutely.”
By Douglas Whitbread via SWNS
Footage has emerged of Tom Hardy taking down an opponent in a martial arts championship – before going onto win gold.
The video shows the star, dressed in blue robes, grappling with fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter Gavin Marsh at an event he secretly entered in a school sports hall.
During the clip, the tough guy actor manages to hook his arm around his opponent’s neck – and within just 20 seconds, he’s declared the winner by submission.
Hardy, 45, known for his hardman roles in "Mad Max: Fury Road", "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Dunkirk", took part in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship on Sept 17.
And the action hero - who holds a high-level blue belt in the ground-fighting combat sport - was declared the champion of his section after beating all-comers.
Sean Rosborough, who sponsored the event, said the organizers knew the global mega-star would be coming to Oakgrove School, in Milton Keynes, a few weeks earlier.
But he said they kept the dashing actor's appearance “to themselves” to stop masses of people "distracting" him from taking part in the competition.
Sean, 37, said Hardy was “brilliant” with fans who approached him for photographs while adding that the mums in the audience were “all over him”.
He said: “We found out he was coming probably a couple of weeks before.
"But the organizers kept it to themselves – and didn’t want masses of people turning up distracting him from what he was doing."
“He was brilliant. A lot of people were asking for photos, and coming up to him, and he had no problem with that all. The mums were all over him. It didn’t bother him.
“And when he was fighting, he was focused on what he was doing. He’s amazing at Jiu-Jitsu.”
Hardy reportedly got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when he trained for the film "Warrior" where he played the part of a former boxer who trains to be an MMA fighter.
Those who take part in the hundred-year-old sport grapple with their opponents on a floor mat in order to achieve “non-violent” submissions.
Dad Andy Leatherland, 42, a sales manager and blue belt who lost to Tom in the championship final, said he entered the local event after realizing the actor might be there.
He said: “I knew he fought in the last competition locally and won two golds, and I knew at that point that I fitted into his category - I was the same age, belt and weight as him.
“We used to joke that if he was to fight, I would be the one to fight him, but I didn’t think anything of it.
“I was contemplating the Milton Keynes tournament as it was very local. And then one morning - he goes by the name Edward Hardy – I saw that he’d actually signed up.”
Andy said he found out the day before the competition that he would only fight Tom if they came face to face in the final or bronze level match.
The dad-of-one said: “When they put the bracket out the day before, I could see that I would only meet him if it went to a bronze level match or if I saw him in the final.
“And on the day, he won his first and second match, so I ended up meeting him in the final."
And when he faced up to the beefy actor, he said Tom was entirely focused during the fight.
“Lining up, he was very focused. The intensity that he brought to his movie roles, he brought that. He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything.
“When it came to the match, you couldn’t help notice that it’s him, but then it just became a competition.
“I made a mistake and he capitalized on that. He absolutely nailed it, and he subbed me, and it was over relatively quickly."
Andy said that Tom was “absolutely sound" when they chatted after the fight and admitted to him that he found the martial arts competitions “nerve-wracking”.
He said: “Afterwards, he was absolutely sound.
“He said 'these things are nerve-wracking' and though he’s often on the screen, he said jiu-jitsu is real and nerve-racking to do”.
When asked if he’d fight Tom Hardy again, Andy added: “I would, absolutely.”
Sean, who watched each of Hardy’s fights, said the actor won rapid victories in all of them in order to be crowned champion of his section.
He said: “I saw his matches, and he had submissions in them all – and they were really quick.
“He did really, really well. He’s not the highest grade, but you could see he had turned up to win, and he was impressive in every fight.”
Sean said he had tried not to bother the star too much, adding that he felt the actor had a “good time” at the local event.
He said: “We tried not to bother him too much. We didn’t pap him to bits.
“We just tried to keep it as normal as possible for him. I think he had a good time.”
Hardy most recently starred as Alfie Solomons in the final season of hit series Peaky Blinders.
And he is expected to soon reprise his role as Eddie Brock in the superhero movie Venom, currently in pre-production.
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