Hearing this “BJJ in Space”, can be the most unbelievable thing you have ever heard. But believe us, it is true. And when we say true, it means 100% true.
The United Arab Emirates’ astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, has made history by becoming the first BJJ practitioner to perform the gentle art in space.
Astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, Mission Specialist, Primary Crew, Crew-6, heading to the Kennedy Space Center, 5 days before the launch of the mission. pic.twitter.com/xmVLgWcLKN— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) February 21, 2023
The Emirati astronaut, who spent eight days in space as part of a mission to the International Space Station, is known for his love of grappling martial arts BJJ. Neyadi took his BJJ Gi with him to space and was able to practice BJJ moves while floating weightlessly in zero gravity. He was one of the 4,022 candidates who applied from the program. Neyadi was the only one who passed every single test and became eligible for the mission. Before becoming an astronaut, Neyadi practiced BJJ for seven years.
لحظات تاريخية!— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) March 3, 2023
رائد الفضاء سلطان النيادي يدخل الآن إلى محطة الفضاء الدولية، ليبدأ أطول مهمة فضائية في تاريخ العرب، والتي ستمتد لـ6 أشهر.#طموح_زايد #أطول_مهمة_فضائية_في_تاريخ_العرب pic.twitter.com/tomrYxMzkX
In a recent interview, Neyadi revealed that BJJ was his way of staying grounded while in space, both mentally and physically. He explained that practicing the art helped him maintain a sense of routine in an otherwise unfamiliar environment.
“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.”
(Sultan Al Neyadi)
He used specially designed belts and hooks to anchor himself and maintain his balance while performing different BJJ moves. Neyadi’s dedication and commitment to his practice even while in space, highlights the importance of his passion.
Photo credit: @astro_alneyadi