Celebrities who train MMA: Ed O’Neill
Ed O’Neill has had one of the most successful Hollywood careers of the past 30 years. As the star of Married with Children, and now one of the stars of Modern Family, O’Neill has perfected the role of TV dad. However, off the small screen, O’Neill has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since the late 1980s.
O’Neill was first introduced to BJJ by the most famous family in the sport, the Gracie’s. O’Neill credits Jiu-jitsu for keeping him humble in a time when his fame was growing exponentially.
“It is an energy-conserving system,” O’Neill said in an interview with Bloody Elbow. “I had to learn to relax – not to be so tense – and had to learn to breathe. I also had to learn not to panic when someone gets on top of me. Some of it is trying to find the right balance. There are so many things to keep in mind; your reach, your physical condition, your mind, how athletic you are as opposed to your opponent. There are so many things you have to gauge.”
O’Neill trained with Rorion Gracie, who had a pivotal role in the creation of the UFC. O’Neill is now a black belt under the Gracies. In addition, O’Neill has become an avid fan of MMA as a whole.
“The night that I got it (black belt) I didn’t expect it at all,” O’Neil said in an interview with Maxim. “When I started I thought if I ever get a purple belt I’ll quit. Then I had this relationship and I just kept going.”
O’Neill continues to train and attend events in both MMA and boxing.