Most mixed martial arts fans know Joe Rogan as the longtime color commentator for the UFC. Since his UFC debut in 2002, Rogan has also gone on to become a television show host, a successful stand-up comedian, and a podcaster with more than 10 million viewers on average.
Some may still not realize that Joe Rogan is also an accomplished combat sports practitioner. Taking up Taekwondo at a young age, Rogan competed in a state championship on top of fighting as a professional kickboxer. He also holds a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.
While speaking to Hollywood film producer Jon Peters on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, Rogan detailed the moment that prompted him to take up martial arts more than 40 years ago.
“The last one that I got in, I lost. And the guy didn’t even hurt me. He got me in a headlock. Like, I didn’t even know we were going to fight.”
“I was like why is this guy staring at me like this? Like he got my face, he grabbed me in a headlock and he threw me to the ground and he got on top of me in the bathroom of the boy’s room. And he got, he went that like he was going to punch me, then he laughs and he was like, ‘Nah, I don’t even have to.'”
“And he let me up and it was humiliating, it was humiliating.”
Joe Rogan Realized at That Moment He Needed to Learn How to Defend Himself
Following the embarrassing moment, Joe Rogan realized at a young age that he needed to learn how to defend himself. Rogan began training in Taekwondo but did not stop there. He also began learning the art of jiu-jitsu and eventually took up wrestling.
“I realize like, Oh my god, I gotta learn how to wrestle,” said Rogan. “And then I joined the wrestling team.”
Now at 55 years old, Rogan has a plethora of knowledge and experience in the world of combat sports that has helped in his success as a UFC color commentator and on his immensely popular podcast which features members of the MMA community on a regular basis.