Inside Joe Rogan’s Taekwondo Career: The Black Belt Who Kicked His Way to Victory

We all know Joe Rogan, the guy on the POPULAR podcast PowerfulJRE (Joe Rogan Experience), who brings famous people and his friends on the show.

What is so FASCINATING about Joe is his ability to connect and have in-depth conversations with people on his show about various topics.

Joe’s favorite topics include the mystery of space, how people view the world, global warming, drugs, life, comedy, bullying, and sex.

However, when it comes to material arts, Joe is extremely PASSIONATE. One of his favorite topics to talk about!

At age 15, Joe started taking taekwondo classes and won the US Open Taekwondo championship, so Joe is a dedicated practitioner of the Martial arts and a student of the game.

(Joe Rogan speaks openly about being vulnerable and being in a helpless position as a school kid at a confrontation with a bully. And that inspired him to start his martial arts journey).

Joe Rogan Taekwondo Record

Joe Rogan has won the taekwondo state championship four times and a US open taekwondo championship at nineteen in a lightweight category.

Sometimes state championships can be equally CHALLENGING as winning the national taekwondo championship, depending on the competition.

Having won the US open taekwondo championship gives Joe a lot of Credibilities to talk about Taekwondo.

The fact that he won Massachusetts State Championship 4 times in a row shows his dedication to taekwondo early in his life.

Joe did not participate in any INTERNATIONAL taekwondo competition (a highly competitive selection process representing the US at the international level) partly because they were not many international Taekwondo competitions like we have now.

Joe Rogan Taekwondo Career

Joe did not pursue Taekwondo further because he had no money and a POTENTIAL FUTURE in the sport.

(Taekwondo was not as popular back then and was also not an Olympic sport back in the 1980s when Joe Rogan participated in Taekwondo).

Taekwondo Joe Rogan

Instead, Joe focused more time later, dedicating his time to learning Kickboxing and Comedy.

Yet, Joe realized Taekwondo does not use hands so much as, especially in WTF Taekwondo, you focused on kicking (It is debatable about the effectiveness of Taekwondo/Karate style punches and blocks in real combat situations compared to other material arts).

Your hand usually always STAYS down in taekwondo, particularly in sparring.

Therefore, he found a limitation in Taekwondo, which is excellent for kicking but not so valuable for MMA or street fights. Joe realized you also need to be good at fighting with your hands and able to fight on the ground, among other things. 

When Did Joe Rogan Compete In Taekwondo

Joe Rogan won the US Open Taekwondo Tournament at age 19, roughly during 1986, when the original Karate Kid movie was popular.

Therefore it is safe to say Joe was still a teenager when he started competing at a national level in Taekwondo and competed in a bunch of Taekwondo competitions in a district and in-house sparring sessions when he began taking Taekwondo Classes when he was 15 years old.

Joe Rogan Taekwondo Belt

Joe holds a black belt in Taekwondo. The amount of time to get a 1st-degree black belt VARIES according to the school you train.

It takes three to five years to get a black belt in Taekwondo. Joe has put in enough time and dedication to earn his taekwondo black belt.

And not every black belt in taekwondo ACTIVELY participates in competitions. Joe actively took part in many taekwondo competitions and was successful at it.

You can see from his youtube videos of him kicking that Joe has solid fundamentals, excellent balance, speed, and TREMENDOUS POWER to his kicks.

If you have at least a little bit of TRAINING in martial arts, it is not hard to tell his spinning sidekick is many years/decades of perfection.

But, more than being a black belt, you can see how passionate he is about passing on his knowledge.

It is so great to see.

Joe Rogan Taekwondo History

Being a taekwondo student since Joe was a teenager (learning Shotokan Karate a year before learning Taekwondo) helped Joe to start learning Various Stances And Fundamentals Of Kicking.

What is so cool from the clip below of Joe Rogan knocking a guy out with a back kick to the body is how effortless and natural the kick looks.


Joe Rogan Bay State Games

Joe Rogan wins by spinning back Kick KO in taekwondo fight like it is just another day in the OFFICE for him.

Joe knocked out a black belt, which means the other guy is not a beginner in the sport. It takes a lot of practice and dedication to execute the back kick and spinning hook kick perfectly, particularly during competition. 

What’s INTERESTING is there are no fighting mats.

Things were different back then!

Joe Rogan also taught Taekwondo at Boston University. Joe Rogan had a long history with Taekwondo before he even started MMA, which he is deeply passionate about.

Where did Joe Rogan Learn Taekwondo?

Joe Rogan learned Taekwondo in the Boston area.

He trained under a Korean instructor, but It is not clear which Taekwondo school he attended; however, this is an INTERESTING Joe Rogan story.

Crazy story, right?

Joe described it in the video above if you are wondering about the wheel kick (or spinning hook kick). Here is a fun video for you to enjoy (absolutely DEVASTATING KNOCKOUT):

If you enjoyed this article, check out where Joe demonstrates one of the strongest kicks in the world.

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