Paul Walker received a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the memorial service held by his family. Walker, a huge fan of mixed martial arts and UFC, was studying under instructor and mentor Ricardo ‘Franjinha’ Miller at the Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in California. He had already been awarded his brown belt before his death in a fatal car crash on November 30th.
Walker had been training with Miller since 2004. Many of the fight sequences involving Walker in the Fast and Furious series used a heavy amount of jiu-jitsu techniques. Jiu-jitsu is characterized by grappling instead of punching and kicking. According to Miller, Walker had asked him to help with the fight scenes in his movie Brick Mansions.
All manner of stories have surfaced about the life of Paul Walker after his death. Walker, who was only 40 at the time of his death, seemed to have lived a full life with lots of experiences.
Miller tells why he decided to award the black belt to his actor friend and student.
“As I reflect back on his life, I remember one of our first conversations. Sitting in our gis on the mat, Paul was like many white belts; he wanted to know about becoming a black belt. I told him that at Paragon we don’t give away black belts. I said that I didn’t care who he was, I was not giving him a ‘celebrity black belt.’ He loved that! He said that he knew that he was starting late (he was 31), but he was determined to become a black belt. He said ‘I will get my black belt, even if I need to get it in my coffin.’
Now in the wake of his death, I would like to reward Paul Walker the black belt that he wanted so much during his life.”