Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory Earns Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
Five Finger Death Punch's Zoltan Bathory's pursuit of martial arts has yielded a new milestone - the guitarist has just earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Bathory's latest accomplishment was confirmed this past Saturday (March 13) when he was presented the black belt by his instructors - four-time world champion and 7th degree Red/Black Belt, Master Royler Gracie, and fifth degree Black Belt BJJ World Champion, Professor Mica Cipili.
The musician has pursued a variety of martial arts over the years and also is a Judo Black Belt, a Wing Chun Kung Fu practitioner under Grand Master Randy Williams and earned his U.S. Army Modern Combatives Close Quarter Combat instructor certificate under Professor John Simons III and Professor Iako Kalili.
Bathory started his exploration of Jiu-Jitsu in 2008 after a training session with Gracie.
“I’ve been practicing Judo since I was 9 years old, but I was always interested in Jiu-Jitsu as I knew about the Gracie family’s open challenge (which later became the UFC). Famous martial artists would travel to Brazil to fight them and the Gracies remained undefeated decade after decade," says Bathory. "Many years later as an adult I finally had an opportunity to go to the source and train with probably the most recognized martial artist of all time next to Bruce Lee, the legendary Royce Gracie. After the session I asked him for a white belt and then began my Jiu-Jitsu journey."
He continued, "For a while, I would travel around the world with Royce’s brother Royler Gracie who is one of the most decorated BJJ fighters of all time. I’d partake in his seminars everywhere he’d go. Later I joined Professor Mica Cipili’s Gracie Las Vegas team which I've called home for the last 12 years."
For those wondering how Bathory was able to balance the time between the band, as a band manager and pursuing martial arts, he explained, “All of our security guys are Jiu-Jitsu black belts, it’s a requirement for the position so I can train while we are on the road. When I’m home, I train at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academies in Las Vegas, and I also have a personal dojo in my house.”