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Rock icon awarded Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt

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Maynard James Keenan, who is known best for his career as the lead singer for iconic bands such as A Perfect Circle and Tool, has recently been awarded his purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

When it comes to alternative metal, few men have been as influential as Maynard James Keenan. Through his career as the lead singer for iconic bands such as Tool and A Perfect Circle, Maynard has influenced many with his thought provoking lyrics, but unbeknownst to most music fans, Maynard has also been grappler for the better part of 20 years. Earning his blue belt from Rickson Gracie 16 years ago and after an extended period of sporadic training, he was finally awarded his purple belt by Luis ‘Limao' Heredia while on a family holiday in Hawaii.

Thankful moment. Yesterday, while on family vacation in Hawaii, I was blessed with a curveball. The coach that gave me...

Posted by Fifth Dimension Studios Mixed Martial Arts & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Thursday, 28 May 2015

Throughout the 1990's Maynard trained with a who's who, including B.J. Penn and Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Dave Camarillo, who were then purple belts. With the rise to success of Tool and A Perfect Circle, the constant strain of touring and recording compiled by a litany of niggling injuries forced Maynard to stop grappling consistently for a number of years. But over recent months he has refocused upon his training, finding some time to make trips to Henry Akins in Los Angeles while tending to his successful vineyard.

Keenan's on stage life and his Brazilian jiu-jitsu training famously came together at one point as a fan bypassed security at a concert and made a run toward Maynard, who was forced to utilise his grappling skills to apprehend the fan.He recalled this incident on Joe Rogan's podcast in 2012.