According to a report from Rolling Stone's Alexander Darwin, the late celebrity chef and popular CNN "Parts Unknown" host Anthony Bourdain kept up a steady flow of commentary on a Reddit martial arts forum where he only identified himself as "NooYawkCity" and described himself as a " 58 year old white belt."
Bourdain died by suicide in 2018 at the age of 61.
According to the report, that collects an assortment of his ruminations that began in 2014 and then ended in 2017, his identity as the author of the posts was confirmed by his widow Ottavia Busia 'who had introduced him to Brazilian jiujitsu ... as has an additional source close to the 'No Reservations' host."
In his initial posting on June 29, 2014, he wrote, "I’ve been training about a year, and only recently gotten solidly hooked. From once every few weeks, to once a week to nearly every day. Now it’s an obsession. I’m in shit shape, gas early, and of course, hurt like hell after training. Given the limits of any reasonable expectations, am I out of my f*cking mind?"
In later postings he hinted at the demons that pursued him till the very end, writing in December of 2014, "For over 40 years, my life pretty much revolved around drugs. Booze and cigarettes almost the background music to my drugs of choice (heroin and cocaine). Drug free but a drinker until I started BJJ — at which point the inevitability of getting smashed every day made alcohol a much less attractive option and cigarettes out of the question. Frankly, BJJ as an addiction has in many ways replaced my previous ones. If I’m away from my home academy, I find myself looking for someplace anyplace to train like a dope fiend looking for a methadone clinic. My emotional state when deprived of training would, in different circumstances, be called 'drug seeking behavior'."
Noting that Bourdain dropped hints about his identity in some of the 80-plus posts -- by alluding to his travels -- Rolling Stone's Darwin wrote of Bourdain's last comments, "Bourdain’s final post on r/bjj was Jan. 5, 2017. His last reference to jiu jitsu in an Instagram post, a solemn picture of himself clad in his gi uniform, came two days later. But Busia confirmed that he continued training even after he stopped posting about it, with his last session coming on May 31, 2018, just eight days before he died. It was clear BJJ had a positive influence on Bourdain’s life. As with many practitioners, the sport replaced a host of addictions he’d acquired previously."
You can read more of
Bourdain's Reddit writings here courtesy of Rolling Stone.