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The Busiido Mixed Martial Arts Gym

Let me just say this off the bat. I am a fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).  It started casually enough - I was just channel surfing and I came across the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I cannot recall who was fighting who (this was back in 2009) but I have been a fanboy ever since. If you are unfamiliar with MMA, it is "is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles." (Wikipedia) The idea is simple. There is a specified 'fighting' space, a referee, strict rules, a few rounds, a time limit and two 'fighters'. Before the final bell, one wins either by knocking out or submitting the opponent, or by technical knock out (TKO) where the referee stops the fight. Otherwise, it is left to a few judges to decide.

Why am I a fanboy? Well, asides from the excitement of watching a 'fight', there is so (SO) much technique and discipline involved in MMA. Having said that, I should also say that I have never done any martial arts training. Ever. I have engaged in 'fights' with my (deserving) cousins, mimicking a few WWE moves, but proper martial arts? Nope. So when I heard about a new MMA gym in Kiarong...let's just say I was eager to visit and experience it for myself.

The Busiido Mixed Martial Arts gym. I do not have the exact street address but it is located in Kiarong, a few blocks away from the Fleur-de-Lys block. Drive into Simpang 69, off Jalan Kiarong and you will soon see a new grey and green building. The official grand opening will be later on this month, but for it is open to anyone from Monday to Friday, 5.00pm to 9.30pm.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques demonstration

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Busiido MMA gym layout

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The Ring

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Kick drills

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Brazilian Jiu-jitsu drills

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Sparring inside the Ring

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I visited the gym yesterday. It has all the elements you would expect from a MMA gym: ample space, protective body gear, boxing gloves, floor mats, mirrors, punching bags, ceiling ropes, a well-thought out locker-cum-toilet area, padded vinyl flooring, good music playing in the background (none of that Crazy Frog stuff) and a 'ring'. I participated in their muay Thai beginners' session. After a brief warm-up, there I was at 5.30pm. Mr I-Love-Watching-UFC feeling like Anderson Silva, jabbing away into the air. There were about 15 people in the beginners group and the trainers taught us a range of things: posture, stance, breathing techniques, footwork, the "1, 2", stretches and a mean leg-kick. By 6.30pm, the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class started but by then, I had to leave. Will I be back? Most definitely.

Whether you are into martial arts, MMA or just keen to get your fitness levels up, look up Busiido MMA on Facebook and check out the gym for yourselves. Here are some photographs from their Facebook group.

The grey and green building along Simpang 69, Kiarong

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Inside the gym

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Class in session

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Here's an excerpt from The Brunei Times about the gym:

Ahmed Faez Anuar, an instructor in Busiido MMA shares with The Brunei Times, "MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world today. With organisations like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Pride, Malaysian Fighting Championship, and so on, promoting the sport, we look to bring it to Brunei."

Alwee See, the owner of Busiido MMA and Ahmad Faez mentioned, "We want to provide a proper martial arts lesson to all and bring them to a proper lifestyle. To live a proper way of life rather then them loitering around we want to give them a place to call a second home. "We look to promote fitness, a healthy lifestyle and build self-esteem especially in their growth and maturity."

Ahmed Faez added, "This is boldly the best move ever for someone to invest and provide this sort of facility. Having, grabbling mats (correction: grappling mats), a ring and strength conditioning equipment all under one roof is a first for Brunei."

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