Jiu-jitsu has undoubtably become an obsession for the Meta CEO ever since he was first introduced the sport. As a result, the billionaire has now developed quite the itch for competition, where he has recently been seen on the mat impressing spectators in jiu-jitsu competitions.
Whilst Mark Zuckerberg is naturally competitive, the decision to enter any sort of competition was made after being challenged by a friend.
“I got a ton of my friends into it. We all train together. We have a mini Academy in my garage. And one of my friends was like, ‘Hey, we should go do a tournament.’ ‘I was like, okay, yeah, let’s do it.’ I’m not gonna shy away from a challenge. I registered under my first and middle name, so Mark Elliot and it wasn’t until I actually like pulled all that stuff off right before I got on the mat that I think people knew it was me,”Zuckerberg said on the Lex Fridman podcast.
Although Zuckerberg’s life is inevitably time consuming, he spoke on the importance jiu-jitsu has on his mental health, especially when it comes down to making big business decisions at META.
“I’m a competitive person. Doing sports that basically require your full attention, I think is really important to my mental health and the way I just stay focused on doing everything I’m doing. So, I decided to get into martial arts and it’s, it’s awesome,” Zuckerberg expressed.
Mark Zuckerberg explains the fundamental life lessons jiu-jitsu has taught him
Despite his recent success within jiu-jitsu competitions, Zuckerberg’s recently lost a tournament after he was beaten by a choke, in spite of his protests to the referee.
While some people will make fun of the 39-year-old, Zuckerberg admits he has been embarrassed to many times in life, and jiu-jitsu has taught him embrace and learn from failure, whilst also being humble in defeat.
“You only get into a bad situation if you’re not willing to tap once you’ve already lost, right but obviously when you’re getting started with something, you’re not going to be an expert at it immediately. So, you just need to be willing to go with it. I mean, maybe I’ve just been embarrassed enough times in my life,” Zuckerberg stated.
Mark Zuckerberg continued to express his gratitude for jiu-jitsu especially when it comes to running a business, expressing that the lessons learnt on the mat are useful off it, even helping him navigate pressure driven decisions more methodically.
“I think that almost all the people that start successful companies or thinks like are working extremely hard, but one of the things that you learn by doing this over time or very acutely with things like jiu jitsu or surfing is that you can’t push through everything.”
Zuckerberg continued, “I do think that’s sort of a humbling but also an important life lesson for people who are running things or building things, yeah a lot of the game is just being able to push and work through complicated things, but you also need to have enough of an understanding of which things you just can’t push through and where the finesse is more important.”
It is clear to see that, Zuckerberg has been reinvigorated since lacing up his gi, it will be interesting to see if MMA is the next think for the Facebook founder.