Sultan Al Neyadi is an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), currently spending his time in the International Space Station (ISS).
It’s his country’s first long duration space mission – and he’s also the first person to practice Jiu-Jitsu in space!
Al Neyadi is a BJJ purple belt, who’s been training for around 7 years.
He’s brought his gi to the space mission as well and, in a recent video, appeared in it – praising what Jiu-Jitsu has done for him:
This [wearing the kimono] is because I love Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu for so many years and I think that Jiu-Jitsu helped me a lot during the preparation for this mission. And to getting adapted to the environment here, at the International Space Station.
For example, Jiu-Jitsu experience helped him when he was in the centrifuge:
There were a few times when I was in the centrifuge – which is a machine that simulates the G-forces that we encounter during launch and re-entry.
And, during the centrifuge, while I was encountering my weight times 2, 3, or even up to 8 times… The first sensation was like feeling an opponent on top of my chest.
And one of the things that I’ve learned during Jiu-Jitsu is to regulate the breathing – so this is exactly what I’ve done during the centrifuge experience.
Sultan Al Neyadi shared more on how BJJ has helped his astronaut training on the video below:
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