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Maynard James Keenan awarded jiu-jitsu purple belt

Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has been awarded his purple belt in the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The singer – who is also a member of Puscifer and A Perfect Circle – has practiced the grappling technique for years under the guidance of jiu-jitsu icon Rickson Gracie, but had been sidelined by injuries for some time.

But after picking up his training again recently, the 51-year-old was given his purple belt in recognition of his skill advancement.

On Instagram, Keenan says: “While on family vacation in Hawaii, I was blessed with a curveball. The coach that gave me my blue belt years ago surprised me unexpectedly with a long, very kind, heart felt speech and my purple belt.

“It’s taken quite a while to get here. I moved to an area that had no Rickson Gracie jiu-jitsu school in late 96 and had to commute back and forth to keep up training which just wasn’t practical.

“I also suffered a few injuries which also made training inconsistent. And even when I could train, it wasn’t under a single instructor with a Rickson Gracie curriculum. So very difficult to advance in belts under this scenario.

“But more recently I resumed training after some supportive prodding from one of my best friends in the world, Todd Fox.”

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is one of the most widely-used skills in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Tool are working on their long-awaited fifth album after finally clearing up a legal issue that was holding them back.

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Stef wrote close to 5000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind in late 2016 and has since moved to his beloved Canada.