Watch: UAE astronaut AlNeyadi shares Jiu Jitsu drills he performs in space

Earlier this year, he created history by becoming the first person ever to perform the sport in space


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 13 Aug 2023, 8:10 PM

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has released a new video revealing that the space mission has increased his passion for the sport of Jiu Jitsu.

“I have been practising this martial art for years and it has helped me to balance in microgravity and endure physical activity, especially during the spacewalk,” he wrote along with a video on social media.

In the video, AlNeyadi - who was dressed in a blue gi and was sporting his purple belt - can be seen performing several solo Jiu Jitsu drills that he has been practising in microgravity during his more than five months stay at the International Space Station (ISS).

Starting with the traditional greeting in Jiu Jitsu, AlNeyadi begins the video by dropping down from a hatch, bringing his feet together, slapping his hands on this sides and bowing. The action is usually accompanied by the greeting “Oss”- a phrase that he has posted on his Instagram stories when sharing the video.

After this, the astronaut is seen performing a front roll followed by a cross-legged sit as he floats through the ISS in microgravity. This is followed by a cartwheel and then with a Jiu Jitsu drill called shrimping or a hip escape. He finishes off the video with some back rolls and some more cross-legged sits.

An avid Jiu Jitsu practitioner, AlNeyadi has credited the sport with helping him prepare for the space mission. Earlier this year, he created history by becoming the first person ever to perform Jiu Jitsu in space.

Recalling pre-mission training drills in a centrifuge - a machine that simulates multiple types of G-Force that astronauts encounter during launch and re-entry - AlNeyadi said: “When I was encountering my weight times two, three, or even up to eight times, the first sensation was feeling an opponent on top of my chest. One of the first things I learnt in jiu-jitsu was to regulate my breathing, so this is exactly what I did during the centrifuge experience. I think jiu-jitsu really helped me overcome that experiment.”


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