Having done other boxing in the past, Fight for Peace member Malachai recently switched it up and started doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a martial art sometimes referred to as mental chess. We sat down with the new convert to the sport to discuss the mental side of the game, how BJJ has changed his outlook, and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!

“I’ve been training since March this year, I’m really into martial arts. My friend got me into it. I feel like I can already do a bit of boxing but I wanted to step out of that and this was the best thing to do I think.

Through boxing I feel like it’s very much a strength game that can take you out, cool you got technique and you can slip but it’s a long game. With Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, someone way weaker than me, if they know how to utilise my own body against me, then it’s long for me.

I feel like you are using different muscles as well and it’s surprisingly exhausting. It’s difficult but it disciplines your mind.

I definitely feel as if once you do those first BJJ sessions you are out of your comfort zone already. I can’t rationalise it other than the moment you do it you’ll feel so much more comfortable. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself, understand your body a lot more, the way you utilise it, even the way you look at certain things.

I feel like it definitely changes your outlook. A lot of people think fighting is about getting scruffy and punching and all of that but sometimes it’s the grappling that can take you to the next level. It’s mind games, mind games. When you get through that first session it just eases you so much in my opinion. 

With BJJ because you constantly so up and personal, the moment you get someone in a wrap with you, you can have a thousand thoughts but once you collect yourself, calm down and recognise you aren’t going to die from this it’s a lot easier to just get into your position and figure out how to get out of a hold or to get a hold for yourself. BJJ is a mind game!

It’s literally just you staying uncomfortable and being comfortable being uncomfortable.”

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