LOOK: 26 celebrities who train MMA [UPDATED]

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Celebrities who train MMA: Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater is known as the best surfer in the world. He has become the face for mainstream surfing, but Slater’s skills carry over from the board into other aspects of his life. Slater has a passion for mixed martial arts and both a spectator and an athlete. Slater has been training jiu-jitsu for many years and can also throw his hands when needed.

Slater grew up in Florida and began riding waves at a young age. Having older friends Slater has been vocal about his desire to keep up with them when he was young. The surf life can be laid back and chill for the most part but there is an aspect of fighting that comes with the territory. Salter and his brother took Karate as children but it was later in life that he decided to return to martial arts. That led him to find a love for jiu-jitsu.

“There’s something about jiu-jitsu that puts you in your place. Even if you’re the top guy, you still have to teach little kids,” Slater said in an interview with The Black Belt Surfer. “If you have insecurities, they get worked out on the mat. I just think it’s a humbling thing. People think of martial arts, they think that’ll make you a badass and you’ll kick somebody’s butt, but to me, it’s the opposite. If it’s treated right and taught correctly, it’s the opposite — it gives people confidence, and I think with that confidence comes less ego and more respect for other people.”

Slater trains with Rickson Gracie and enjoys combat jiu-jitsu as well and MMA. Slater can often be found watching UFC fights live and was recently on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience to talk about his love for both surfing and MMA.

Slater is an advocate for anyone to try jiu-jitsu, but more importantly so children. Slater believes that jiu-jitsu should be the first sport children try, before more mainstream sports.