Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi Becomes First BJJ Practitioner In Space

Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi Becomes First BJJ Practitioner In Space

One small step for man… One giant leap for Jiu-Jitsu?

Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, native of United Arab Emirates (UAE), has took off to his country’s first long duration space mission.
Al Neyadi is also a long-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, who’s been training for around seven years!

And do you know what he brought with himself to the spacecraft? His gi!


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Al Neyadi was one of only two people who were selected – from 4,022 candidates – to become the first UAE astronauts. He went under a series of physical and mental tests in the UAE and Russia, after which we was a part of the UAE Astronaut Programme at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

The 41-year-old’s first venture in space was in March 2023, on NASA’s crew rotation flight.

And now, Al Neyadi – who has been navigating in the universe with his Crew-6 colleagues over the last 24 hours – has recently entered the International Space Station (ISS), which will be his home for the next six months.

In one interview, Al Neyadi credited Jiu-Jitsu for being in such a good physical and mental shape:

I have trained in Jiu-Jitsu for almost seven years now and the benefits that the sport brought me were clearly visible during our training process.

I was flexible, had good physical strength and was able to focus mentally for long periods.

Al Neyadi doing BJJ with a spacesuit

Sultan Al Neyadi “practicing” his throws with a spacesuit