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Boondock Saints Actor Masters Jiu-Jitsu

Updated on December 9, 2017
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna worked on many productions as PA, Craft Services, Talent Scout, Grip, and Producer. Credits include Bowling for Columbine, Wallace.

Boondocks Saints

Quite some time ago, the Boondock Saints cast joined the USO tour. They made the long-distance journey to entertain the troops and to celebrate action film’s 10-year anniversary. So, actors Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus and Brian Mahoney, together with the film’s writer/director Troy Duffy and producer Chris Brinker hopped on a plane to visit multiple military bases. They signed autographs and posed for photos. Troy Duffy was asked if he worked out at all. He laughed and said loudly “No!” But, he mentioned that the star of the movie, Sean Patrick Flanery, possesses a black belt in jiu-jitsu and even teaches at his own academy in Los Angeles.


Flanery does his fare share of acting in movies like Saw 3D, but he is an action film star. In his late forties, the actor holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His journey in martial arts began at the age of nine. He started with Tae Kwon Do because he felt the style was the ultimate fighting technique. He wanted to beat up guys like David Carradine in the television show Kung Fu.

The action film star found his calling and trained in a variety of martial arts styles. At the first UFC event in 1993, Flanery saw Royce Gracie dominate the competition with his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As a result, he gave up everything and decided to master this discipline. Then, his acting career started took off, nabbing the lead role in the action television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. After the series, he was cast in several notable movies that include Powder, Simply Irresistible and The Boondock Saints. The formal Jiu-Jitsu training started in 2001 with the intent of becoming a champion himself.

Like all beginners Flanery began as a white belt, training three times a week. It was an intense training regimen that consumed his life. However, he stayed with his acting career, signing on to roles in Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone and Charmed.

Boondock Saints

Flanery even took a 6 months break away from his acting career to honestly master the discipline. He entered the Pan Ams Jiu-Jitsu tournament and other meets as well. He experienced great success, taking the first annual Inland Empire Champion in 2002. He also won American Nationals Champion and Pan American Champion in 2003. Eventually, he earned his black belt in 2008.

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Flanery says he will always be a master of jiu-jitsu and trains even when he goes on movie locations around the world. But, it’s The Boondock Saints movies which have placed him in the glare of publicity. But, Flanery places martial arts ahead of his film career. If you ever want to meet up with him, you can visit him at his jiu-jitsu academy in Hollywood.

© 2016 Kenna McHugh


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