Who trained John Wick?

Played by Keanu Reeves, John Wick is an international hitman of extraordinary skill, so how did he get that skill and who trained John Wick?

Who trained John Wick: Keanu Reeves as John Wick

Where did John Wick learn his skills? John Wick is one of the deadliest, most intimidating assassins ever put to screen. Brought to life by action movie legend Keanu Reeves, we see the character: shoot, stab, smack, and slash his way through his enemies and adversaries, like a hot knife through butter.

John Wick 4 is on the horizon, as well as a spin-off starring James Bond movie star Ana de Armas. That means we’re going to see more dog-avenging arse-kicking in the very near future.

But, as Luke Skywalker will tell you: great power and ability only comes through training, and is often passed down from one person (or, small frog-like thing in Yoda‘s case) to another. So, naturally the next question to ask is: who trained John Wick?

Who trained John Wick?

John Wick’s backstory is only vaguely explored, and we know a little about his life prior to the events of the John Wick movies. However, what we don’t know is who specifically trained him. But bear with us! There are still some hints and suggestions scattered through the movies, and we can piece together a pretty good picture of how John Wick came to possess his enormous talent for killing.

Under the wing of The Director (his adoptive mother, who led the Ruska Roma), John Wick was taken to North America. It was here where he first learned his martial arts skills, but little else is known about his early years.

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Beyond that, the first real clue as to John Wick’s background is one of his tattoos. We see that John Wick has a tattoo on his back with the words: Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat.

This translates to ‘Fortune Favours the Bold’, which is a famous phrase that is associated with the  United States Marine Corps. This could suggest that John Wick has a military background within the Marine Corps, which would explain much of his training and why he’s so proficient and knowledgeable in security and black ops.

After this, we know that John Wick worked as a hitman under the eye of Viggo Tarasov for a large portion of time. Tarasov didn’t mentor or tutor John Wick exactly, but before they became enemies, he did help to steer him in the right direction when it came to the world of the criminal underground.

If you enjoy pulse-raising action and espionage, check out our guide to the best spy movies and the best thriller movies.