The metal legend was promoted by third-degree black belt Reggie Almeida, who leads Gracie Barra Spring Hill BJJ & Self-Defense in Nashville, Tennessee. Mustaine earned his purple belt — the middle belt in jiu-jitsu — almost two years after notching the first stripe on his blue belt.
Almeida spread the news on his gym’s social media: “After 2 years as a blue belt and hard training and lots of ups and downs today I had the honor to promote Mr @davemustaine to his well deserved purple belt ! Congratulations kid !!!”
Even more impressive, Mustaine’s promotion comes after the 59-year-old’s recent battle with throat cancer. A longtime practitioner of martial arts, Mustaine started training in Taekwondo in 1999 in Arizona before moving to California, having previously practiced “kung fu and other martial arts.” He continued his training in California and eventually became a black belt in Ukidokan karate and Taekwondo.
In a 2010 interview with The Quietus, Mustaine spoke about his Ukidokan karate training. “My sensei — Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez — has the style of karate, kung-fu, aikido, judo, jiu-jitsu, Taekwondo, Greco-Roman wrestling, Muay Thai boxing and American boxing. So it’s all those things rolled into one. It’s a nine-style discipline. My second black belt is in Songham taekwondo and I was an assistant instructor in that style, and then I taught it privately for a while.”
When Mustaine and his family moved to suburb in Nashville, he began training in jiu-jitsu with Almeida, earning the first stripe on his blue belt in February 2019.
Watch Almeida’s short video featuring Mustaine earning his new purple belt below.