Since Keanu Reeves is well-known for his starring roles in action movies like The Matrix series and the John Wick series, many of his fans wonder if he can actually fight. As action stars often use stunt doubles, fans want to know if Keanu can actually fight, or if he was just acting.
Keanu Reeves was not just acting, he actually knows Karate and a variety of other martial arts. For many of his films, Keanu had to practice various martial arts before filming. Despite being over fifty years old, Keanu still does his own stunts, even as recently as 2019 when filming John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Continue reading to find out more about martial arts and Keanu Reeves’ training for his various films.
Different Martial Arts
Aikido is another Japanese martial art but is more recent and modern. It is a defensive martial art rather than offensive.
Judo is yet another Japanese martial art, but it has evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. The objective is to take down an opponent, immobilize them or force them to submit.
Jiu-Jitsu is a Brazilian martial art that uses grappling, submission holds and ground fighting. It is also considered a combat sport.
Krav Maga is a self-defense fighting system that was developed for the Israeli military. It was derived from Aikido, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo and Karate.
Wushu, sometimes known as Chinese Kung Fu, is a full-contact sport. It can be used for self-defense, breaking things, or fighting with kickboxing and wrestling aspects.
Keanu Reeves’ Martial Arts Training
All of these martial arts are important to note because Keanu Reeves has trained in all of them. To train for just The Matrix, Keanu had to learn Jiu-Jitsu, Wushu, Boxing, Krav Maga, Judo, and Karate.
His character, Neo, is a computer hacker trying to free other humans from “The Matrix” a virtual reality system that is keeping people imprisoned.
There were a lot of fight scenes and intricate movements throughout the trilogy, hence Keanu’s need to learn how to fight.
The entire cast had to learn how to fight in fact and trained with a professional, martial arts choreographer, Yuen Woo-Ping. The director wanted to be able to change fight sequences as they were filming which is why the cast had to learn so many different types of martial arts.
Ironically, Chad Stahelski went on to direct Keanu’s big action series, John Wick which is also a trilogy.
In that series, Keanu did all his own stunts as well. His character, John Wick, is trying to find the people who broke into his house and killed his dog.
This leaves room for a lot of fighting scenes that Keanu had to train for since he did 90% of the stunts throughout the series.
Instead of learning a variety of martial arts, Keanu’s training was more focused on the aforementioned Aikido as a self-defense method. He also received weapons training to learn how to use a gun and knife in combat.
So, not only can Keanu Reeves fight, he has been trained in Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Wushu, Boxing, Krav Maga, Judo, and Aikido.