Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and a growing number of other Silicon Valley executives are taking their minds off the current tech sector slump by hitting the gym for mixed martial arts training, according to a report.
Tech workers like Zuckerberg are now a regular sight at MMA gyms, according to Khai Wu, a professional mixed martial artist and jiujitsu black belt who Zuckerberg described as one of his training partners.
According to Wu, Zuckerberg’s status as one of the world’s most scrutinized business leaders hasn’t kept him from mixing it up in training.
“He’s never like, ‘Don’t do that,’” Wu told The Information. “He’s actually asked, ‘Can you give me a little more resistance, a little more force? I want to feel it.’”
Zuckerberg, 39, has participated in private training sessions with Wu and others for the last several months, according to the outlet. The Meta CEO joins the likes of PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, who trains in krav maga, and Palantir CEO Alex Karp, who dabbles in jiujitsu and aikido, among other executives.
Wu said he faces off against Zuckerberg and other “jiujitsu nerds” at the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Academy in San Jose, Calif.
“You’d never expect these guys to be able to take you down. Next thing you know, they’re attacking you with these extremely technical moves,” Wu added. “You don’t know this nerd is a silent killer.”
Zuckerberg called attention to his hobby on Sept. 3 when he shared a sizzle reel of his training sessions with Wu on his Instagram account – with UFC commentator Joe Rogan and fighter Gilbert Burns among those who took notice.
“This is great! I’m so happy to see this. Training looks solid too!” Rogan commented.
The video shows an intense-looking Zuckerberg trading blows and takedowns with Wu ahead of his debut on UFC Fight Pass.
“One of my training partners, @khaiwu, is making his @ufcfightpass debut tonight. Go get it Khai and looking forward to a great fight!” Zuckerberg captioned the video.
Zuckerberg also discussed his newfound affinity for mixed martial arts during his recent appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast – describing the pastime as a key boost of his work routine.
“After an hour or two of working out or rolling or wrestling with friends or training with different folks, now I’m ready to go solve whatever problem at work for the day,” Zuckerberg said.
The tech billionaire gave a shoutout to his training gym on the podcast and described jiujitsu as “the best sport.”
“The question isn’t how did I get into it, it’s how did I not know about it until just now?” he said. “From the very first session that I did, like five minutes in, I was like ‘where has this been my whole life?”
Zuckerberg has plenty of reasons to want to blow off steam. His personal net worth has plummeted more than $70 billion this year alone as Meta attempts to reinvent itself as a metaverse company while dodging Congressional scrutiny and an economic downturn.
Zuckerberg isn’t the only tech boss who incorporates his training into his work routine. PayPal executive Amanda Coffee said Schulman often references his martial arts training lessons during company meetings.
“He’ll often quote krav maga lessons like, ‘If you’re standing still, you’re asking to be hurt,’” Coffee told the outlet.