Ahmed Best is renowned for his portrayal of the iconic Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. He is not just a Hollywood star but a formidable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Looking into his journey, it’s evident that Best’s passion extends beyond the silver screen to the mat.
In a candid conversation on the Karbis Sarafyan YouTube channel, Best shares his profound connection with Jiu-Jitsu.
He said: “I always felt like Jiu-Jitsu was incredibly honest. It’s one of the very few creative spaces that you put your money where your mouth is.”
“A lot of people talk a lot of game, especially in Hollywood or in other martial arts, where it’s kind of dangerous to go ‘full out’. But in Jiu-Jitsu, you can go full out and be the thing you say you are.”
Best applauds Jiu-Jitsu for providing practitioners the opportunity to truly embody their strengths without restraint.
“It really is a great equalizer. It’s one of the few martial arts that has that at its disposal.”
Best also talked about the essence of earning a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. According to him, being a black belt is not solely about tapping opponents but about how many times one has faced defeat and learned from those experiences.
He continued: “Being a black belt has very little to do with how many people you tap. I think that it has a lot more to do with how many times you’ve tapped. And I think that’s where you get your black belt from, it’s from that experience.”
“As a purple belt, I was tapping black belts. [But] I didn’t get the black belt the next day. It was the time that I had to spend on the mat, learning…And I’m glad for that time, I’m glad for that purple belt journey.”
Best expresses gratitude for the guidance of his teacher, who insisted on continuous learning and growth.
“I’m glad that I had a teacher that goes: ‘Look, I don’t care. You still have a lot to learn.'”
For Ahmed Best, the black belt in Jiu-Jitsu symbolizes the commitment and time invested in mastering the art. It serves as a testament to the practitioner’s perseverance, irrespective of their initial skill level or how many opponents they’ve tapped. Everyone starts on equal footing in jiu-jitsu, and the black belt is a recognition of the dedication and hours spent refining one’s craft.
He said: “In this martial art, the black belt is about the time that you’ve spent, and that’s a great equalizer.”
Beyond the glitz of the entertainment industry, it seems like Best found solace on the mat.