Comedian, actor, podcaster and TV host Joe Rogan landed his color commentary role at the UFC despite never having competed in a mixed martial arts bout, but make no mistake, he’s a highly skilled martial artist – and we’ve got the video footage to prove it!
Rogan admits to having been obsessed with martial arts in his youth, becoming a taekwondo black belt by the age of 15 and going on to win four championships in Massachusetts along with a US Open tournament.
He stopped competing in his early 20s after also dabbling in judo and kickboxing, but he’s never stopped training, and in addition to refining his striking skills he’s since become a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under Jean Jacques Machado and a black belt in 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu (no-gi) under Eddie Bravo.
Over the years Rogan has repeatedly turned down pleas from fans to fight in the Octagon, confessing that he has real concerns about the potential for head trauma, and also once joking with fans that, “I would break that drug test like a hammer hitting a carnival bell in a bugs bunny cartoon.”
Nevertheless, based on the video footage you’re about to see, it’s a crying shame that we’ll never get a chance to see him in action as there’s no doubting he has some serious skills.
- 1 15.Joe Rogan Taekwondo Kicks with Eddie Bravo
- 2 14.Joe Rogan Teaching GSP His Turning Side Kick
- 3 13.Joe Rogan Gives Bryan Callen Kicking Lessons
- 4 Joe Rogan Training With Coach Mark DellaGrotte
- 5 Joe Rogan Hitting Pads With Duane Ludwig
- 6 Joe Rogan’s Demo For ‘Duke Roufus University’
- 7 Joe Rogan Breaks Down The ‘Imanari’ Finish
- 8 Joe Rogan Demo With Bas Rutten
- 9 Joe Rogan Rolls with TJ Dillashaw & Danny Castillo
- 10 Joe Rogan Chokes Out Radio Host
- 11 Joe Rogan Fight With Fear Factor Guest
- 12 Joe Rogan Chokes Man After Argument
- 13 Joe Rogan Sparring With John Wayne Parr
- 14 Joe Rogan vs. Myspace Challenger
- 15 Joe Rogan Karate Tournament KO From 1987
15.Joe Rogan Taekwondo Kicks with Eddie Bravo
If it wasn’t for Rogan’s long-time friend Eddie Bravo it’s possible the world would never have known just how devastating his kicks are.
Bravo knew only too well and was eager to spread the word, so he encouraged Rogan to demonstrate some of his taekwondo techniques which would be featured on his 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu ‘Mastering The System’ YouTube video series.
A bumper collection of clips from those segments, filmed at Rogan’s own custom-made home gym are featured in this video.
They show Rogan’s excellent technique and in particular the jaw-dropping power that he’s able to generate as he practically folds his muay thai bag in half with turning and spinning side kicks, not to mention wheel kicks, spinning heel kicks, and more.
14.Joe Rogan Teaching GSP His Turning Side Kick
Thanks to Bravo’s videos word quickly spread that Rogan’s kicks were extremely potent and that led to a number of famous mixed martial arts fighters seeking advice from the UFC color commentator.
Perhaps Rogan’s greatest honor came when UFC superstar Georges St. Pierre personally asked him to help with his own turning side kick technique despite being a Kyokushin Karate black belt in his own right.
”The best side kick I have seen in my life,” GSP said in admiration as he filmed Rogan killing the bag.
13.Joe Rogan Gives Bryan Callen Kicking Lessons
Here’s Rogan giving his friend and fellow comedian / actor / podcaster Bryan Callen an impromptu kicking lesson during a recent edition of the ‘Joe Rogan Fight Companion’ show.
Callen claimed to have taken taekwondo lessons in his youth, but it quickly becomes clear he could use a few pointers!
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Joe Rogan Training With Coach Mark DellaGrotte
Even though he has no intention of competing, Rogan still shows a desire to learn and improve his striking, training with a number of respected MMA coaches including Mark DellaGrotte who’s previously worked with the likes of Kenny Florian, Frank Mir, Stephan Bonnar, Marcus Davis, Jorge Rivera and Patrick Côté .
”Savage shit today training wit @joerogan!” DellaGrotte exclaimed on Twitter after training with Rogan. “Ain’t gon lie, this man kicks hahda than anyone I Eva held pads for!”
For the record, Rogan has said in the past that the hardest kicks he’s ever seen were delivered by former UFC heavyweight Pedro Rizzo.
Joe Rogan Hitting Pads With Duane Ludwig
Rogan has also trained with former UFC fighter and kickboxing champion turned elite MMA coach Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig who oversaw TJ Dillashaw’s rise to claim the bantamweight title.
In this clip ‘Bang’ has to brace himself as Rogan repeatedly sends him backwards with his trademark turning side kick.
Joe Rogan’s Demo For ‘Duke Roufus University’
These days Duke Roufus is best known for coaching former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, but back in the day he was a champion kickboxer who was known to be a destructive kicker in his own right.
However, he was only too happy to talk technique with Rogan for his ‘Duke Roufus Striking University’ video series, and the mutal respect between the two is clear to see.
Joe Rogan Breaks Down The ‘Imanari’ Finish
His kicks are clearly powerful, but let’s not forget that Rogan isn’t just a striker all-around.
Here he is giving a glimpse of his black belt level jiu-jitsu skills while breaking down the ‘Imanari’ finish step-by-step at the ‘Onnit’ Academy.
Joe Rogan Demo With Bas Rutten
In this video, Rogan enlists the help of MMA legend Bas Rutten in order to show an alternative way to take an opponents back during an appearance on the ‘Inside MMA’ TV show.
Joe Rogan Rolls with TJ Dillashaw & Danny Castillo
As with his kicks, Rogan is only too happy to share the knowledge he’s learned with the pros, as is the case here where he is rolling with TJ Dillashaw and Danny Castillo.
Joe Rogan Chokes Out Radio Host
During a radio interview Rogan was asked to choke out the host, and he duly obliged.
It didn’t quite go according to plan though as the host went to sleep in a matter of seconds and then slumped face first to the floor when Rogan let go. Oops!
Luckily the host came to a few moments later, dazed but not hurt after his impromptu nap.
Joe Rogan Fight With Fear Factor Guest
Rogan was the host of the successful TV series ‘Fear Factor’ on NBC in the early 21st century and unexpectedly found himself in a physical altercation with a contestant when things got heated on set.
The 2006 incident sparked off when a female contestant slapped a male member of the cast, which led to Rogan telling her off. The woman’s husband, filmmaker Jonathan Baker, then became involved, moving towards Rogan aggressively while shouting at him.
Unfortunately due to the way the incident was cut we don’t get to see exactly what happened next other than a brief glimpse of Rogan pulling Baker’s head down from the clinch before the scuffle is broken up.
However, Baker would later offer up his version of what really happened.
“I stepped out and looked him dead in the eyes and asked him who the f*** he thought he was and look at me, he snapped, you could see it in his eyes and then he hit me,” Baker told SheKnows.com. “I went down, got up, he hit me again, and as I was coming up the second time, he put me in a headlock.”
Joe Rogan Chokes Man After Argument
The Fear Factor incident wasn’t the only time Rogan has been caught on film in a physical confrontation.
Two years earlier in 2004 Rogan was engaged in a heated conversation with an apparently inebriated man outside The Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
As things escalated the man said, “f*ck you dude,” and touched his arm. An iratated Rogan warned that if he touched him again he’d choke him out.
Sure enough the man did touch him again and true to his word Rogan immediately put him in a standing guillotine choke, though he seemed to come to his senses and stopped short of putting him to sleep.
As annoying as the guy was, this wasn’t one of Rogan’s finer moments, but if nothing else it served as a reminder that he’s not a man to be messed with.
Joe Rogan Sparring With John Wayne Parr
By this stage you’re no doubt itching to see what it would look like if Rogan had ever fought professionally.
With that in mind, this light sparring session with decorated kickboxing champion John Wayne Parr is intriguing.
”Just so everyone knows, this was just a fun morning doing pads and light round of sparring,” Parr wrote afterwards. “There was no egos, just two mates having a move around.”
Joe Rogan vs. Myspace Challenger
Of course when you’re as big a star as Rogan, you’re always going to get some haters, such as this guy who questioned his abilities and challenged him to a jiu-jitsu contest on social media back in 2006.
Rogan obliged, giving everyone a rare opportunity to see the man at work in a semi-competitive environment on the mat, quickly making his opponent eat humble pie.
Joe Rogan Karate Tournament KO From 1987
And so we arrive at the final video, and we’ve kept the best until last!
It’s one thing to look like a badass while beating up a heavy bag or crushing the mitts, but a live fight is a different beast entirely. Could Rogan really pull off those eye-catching kicks in competition, and if so, would they really be as devastating as the footage we’ve seen so far suggests?
Luckily someone happened to find an old VHS copy of Rogan fighting in a US open taekwondo tournament back in 1987, and it just so happens to show him KO’ing his opponent with a spinning back kick, before casually walking off like this was an everyday occurrence.