October 21, 2020

Does Keanu Reeves Know Martial Arts?

When we talk about Hollywood, we know for sure how it has churned out a bunch of quality movies over the years. Action movies have always been a favorite of many and watching the actors perform a splendid job of them is what keeps us gripped to our seats. One of our favorite action movie hero, Keanu Reeves is a packet full of surprise, with the skills to match any martial arts expert.

If you didn’t already know about it, Keanu Reeves has a diverse acting portfolio. It has seen his participation in several classic comedies, as well as many action packed movies. After watching his blockbuster hit, the Matrix series, if you got down to wondering about the action skills of the actor, let us tell you all about it.

For his roles in the award winning movies, John Wick and the Matrix series, Keanu Reeves trained incredibly well for various martial arts. From Jiu Jitsu to Wushu and boxing, he prepared in a variety of martial arts to become a skilled performer of the martial arts.

Owing to this, Keanu Reeves could practically do most scenes that involved fighting and action. He does not need a body double to do it for him. Due to this, his directors have credited the longer takes of the movie and the ease of filming, to this factor.

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Word has it, that when his movie, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, released along with Avengers: Endgame, his movie quickly took over the top spot at the box office. The combat scenes portrayed in the movie have earned a high spot with the movie buffs. Perhaps, it really is the magic of Keanu Reeves and his excellence at martial arts that earned him the big spot at the screens.

Keanu Reeves is one talented on screen actor. Apparently he knows how to work with his character and make the most out of it. He makes the work easier for his directors, with fewer cuts and perfected scenes. So, what really is the story behind all the marvelous acts we have seen from the actor? Has he ever really trained at these martial arts? Or is it just some big show of appeal by the producers to grab the attention of the audience on the screen? Let us find out.

Keanu Reeves Martial Arts Training

If the sources are to be believed, the very first time when Keanu Reeves took up training in martial arts, was during the filming and production of the thriller movie series, the Matrix. This was back in the year 1999.

Which forms of martial arts did he train in?

Apart from regular fighting sequences, Reeves also trained himself in Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Wushi and Boxing. It is believed that he later also added Judo and Karate to his training sequence. This further improved his martial arts skills.

For the action movie, John Wick, Reeves practically worked round the clock to prepare himself. He did this in same as a proper martial arts expert so that he could perform his part in the movie with perfection. Banking upon the skills that he had learnt in his previous movies, he stepped up the ladder to build his action form even better.

The Actor got the chance to work on a lot of weapon training in the previous movies. In these, there were the additional challenges of being able to ride a horse, fighting with swords and more. Apparently, Reeves never uses a body double for all the scenes in his movies.

All that combat work you watch on the silver screen, is one hundred per cent Keanu Reeves originally.

The beauty of the shot, as described by him, comes with the choreography. This what that the audience can watch in the fight sequences. This is only because as an actor, they are able to perform the fight on their own. This gives rest to the need to take multiple shots or cut in between the shots.

As claimed by his own producers and directors, the actor does 98% of the jobs himself. The only exception of a 2%, which have to be left out because the insurance policy just doesn’t permit it.

One may argue that Reeves isn’t exactly the most well trained performer in the field of martial arts. Though his constant zeal to work hard to bring out the best screen action for his viewers is largely commendable.

It is said that Keanu Reeves went through four months of rigorous training in Judo and Jui jitsu. He did that to be able to create a unique fighting style that he portrayed on the screen. Of course, a lot of his training was focused on moves and sequences that would fit the screen and appeal to the audience. To perfect his moves, Reeves also learnt a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jutsu moves, standing judo and even tactical gun fighting.  

Keanu Reeves Martial Arts Belts

On the Jiu Jitsu list of fame is Keanu Reeves, who was a white belt holder. He earned it in the Brazilian martial arts until some time back. Now, over time after intense practice and fame, he has been presented with the Judo black belt.

The honour comes by an Olympic champion, Nomura Tadahiro. He started from the bottom of the martial art. Today, he has made his way to the top with intense practice and training.           

Decoding Keanu Reeves’ Movie Characters

If you take a close look at the characters portrayed by the actor in his movies, you will come across a ferocious honesty in all his roles. With sheer simplicity and creative balance, he, along with his film makers, have managed to produce a tremendous output, which is quite visible in the form of brutal choreography and a careful balance of the emotional aspects of his role.

For once, the viewer can sit down to delve into action scenes, which have a lot going on behind them. Hopefully, this would have answered your curiosity if Keanu Reeves knows martial arts or not.

Do you have any other input to share with us? Shoot them below.  

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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