Mel Gibson uses Gracie Jiu-Jitsu technique in movie before UFC 1
One of the greatest action films of our time Lethal Weapon was also one of the first introductions films audiences had to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In the final scene of the film Martin Riggs played by Mel Gibson engaged the film’s villain Joshua played Gary Busey in a no holds barred showdown in the rain. After duking it out with their fists and weapons, the fight finds its way to the floor. After repeatedly getting punched in the face, Riggs locks in a deep triangle choke that puts Joshua to sleep.
But who taught Gibson and the crew the way of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? None other than Rorion Gracie.
In a 2011 interview with Aikido Journal, Rorion shared the story of getting the gig on the production.
“A production assistant for the movie “Lethal Weapon” had seen one of my fights against a kickboxer. The script had a big fighting scene and the director needed a fight coordinator. The man who had seen me told the director: “Look, you’ve got to meet this guy. He’s the best.” So the director hired me to choreograph the fight and teach Mel Gibson and Gary Busey for “Lethal Weapon I.”
A couple of years later I worked with Rene Russo on “Lethal Weapon 3.” I not only trained her, but also when it came time for the fight scene, they hired me as a stuntman.”
About Lethal Weapon:
Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of L.A.P.D. detectives and stars Mitchell Ryan and Gary Busey as their primary adversaries. The film was a critical and commercial success, and resulted in three sequels: Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).