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2023 IOTM FARIS'S inTerview VIDEO

Video Edited by: 22B9011, Muhammad Nazirul Aiman bin Khalid (Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Host: 21B9017, Nur Rahmah Haziqah binti Mohammad Nazif
(Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Interviewer: 19B2111, Nabilah Assyahirah binti Norman
(Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Written by: 22B0078, Syahzani Afiqah Binti Mohammad Hasry (Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

It is with great honour that we introduce Awangku Faris bin Pg Shamhary as one of the Inspirasees of August 2023, under the Community category. Faris is a third-year student majoring in Biomedical Science at the Institute of Health Sciences at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). He has been nominated for his passion and participation in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).


Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling, self-defence martial arts sport. Out of boredom, Faris joined the sport back in 2020 during the semester break with his brother at a local martial arts school, Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts located in Kiarong. The school offers numerous types of martial arts such as boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and many more.


Although Faris has won multiple awards from competitions and tournaments, he did not start by being the best. After a few classes of BJJ, Faris dropped out as he felt that it was too difficult. However, two months later, his brother persuaded him to join BJJ again and he has been doing the sport since then. Faris began BJJ without any goals or objectives as he quotes, “jumping headfirst into deep water”. 

As a student and an athlete, to Faris, discipline is the number one important quality to have. No matter how tired he is from school, he always shows up for training. Although he enjoys doing BJJ, there are some days when it will be very hard. However, Faris manages to balance both his studies and training. Faris’ brother is an inspiration to him when it comes to BJJ as they train, fight, and compete together, and he is the reason why Faris rejoined the sport.


Faris has won multiple medals and awards from both local and international tournaments and competitions. One of his first medals was from the first BJJ tournament held in Brunei which was hosted by his teammate, Fakhrul. Despite joining the competition six months after joining the sport, Faris was able to beat a 31-year-old opponent at the age of 18 years old and he was very proud of himself. His favourite medal award was when he competed in Kuala Lumpur at a Southeast Asia International Open Tournament in which he managed to get a gold medal. 


Faris sees BJJ as an ‘ever-changing sport’ as every time you step on the mat, it’s a new game and he describes it as a game of chess.

Faris has also shared with us what his daily life would normally be like. He usually wakes up at around 6.20 a.m. to get ready for the day and sends his little brother to school. He attends classes at around 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., brushes up on his school notes, does some homework, and then picks up his little brother from school and gets home. Once he arrives home, he would immediately get ready for BJJ and usually finish at about 9.30 p.m. 


To Faris, his greatest achievement is still being a part of the BJJ community, and he plans to continue doing the sport. In the BJJ world, only about 10% of the community has ever gotten a blue belt, and about 80 to 90% quit the sport. Averagely, it takes about three to seven years for an athlete to go from a white belt to a blue belt. 


In five years, Faris sees himself hopefully getting into medical school and becoming a doctor. He hopes he will still be doing BJJ whether he gets promoted to a blue belt or not, as to Faris, it does not matter as long as you show up.


Faris has recently participated in a competition in Johor, Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro. 

During the questions and answers session, Faris talked about his diet. Normally he does not eat breakfast but eats a lot during lunch and dinner. Although he does not have a strict diet, he always tries to meet his protein needs. 


Faris has mentioned that he has suffered from serious injuries before but not from BJJ. He sees BJJ as a safe sport due to the etiquette where when your opponent taps, you must let them go. His serious injuries were from when he went for a run and sprained his leg just six weeks before a competition. However, he was able to push through his competition. 


As BJJ is quite a new sport, Faris wishes to see more people joining as the BJJ community is quite small in Brunei. Sometimes people would try it out then quit and Faris sometimes finds it quite demotivating, especially since he is the only white belt in his team.


When asked about his thoughts and opinions on opening a BJJ club in UBD, Faris answered he would organise one if he could and hopes to be able to manage it all.

Faris has also shared his exercise routine with the viewers. When he is not in the training season, he would show up to BJJ class at least twice a week to maintain and polish his skills. He would go to the gym three times a week, leaving with two days off. However, on Sundays, sometimes, he would do an open mat with his brothers and spar. Normally he would go to do training on Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday, for about 2 hours per session. He would go to the gym on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and his rest day would be Saturday.

Some advice Faris has given for those who are interested in joining BJJ is to “just show up; it may be tough at first, but I assure you, you need to stick to the sport. You may get submitted a hundred times, but you should stay until you get your first submission.” 

To know more about Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you may contact Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts at @mixedmartialarts or contact our Community Inspirasee, Faris at @howisfaris on Instagram.

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