I got beaten up a lot

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The face of Facebook isn’t afraid to have his rearranged.

From starting Brazilian jiujitsu just a few years ago, Meta boss and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg has gotten so proficient that he’s medaling in BJJ tournaments. His advice for anyone looking to follow suit? Prepare to get your butt kicked.

During a recent three-hour podcast with computer scientist Lex Fridman, Zuckerberg, 39, declared that beginners have to be willing “to get beaten up a lot” if they want to master the grappling art, in which participants try to best each other using various joint locks and submission holds.

“Part of learning is failing,” the social network mogul elaborated. “People who train jiujitsu — you need to not have pride.”

He claims that part of the problem is that people are less willing to be embarrassed as they grow older.

“Maybe to some degree, your ability to keep doing interesting things is your willingness to be embarrassed again and go back to step one and start as a beginner, and get your ass kicked,” he said.

Zuckerberg after winning a BJJ match.
Mark Zuckerberg (left) after winning a BJJ match.

Zuckerberg explains what it takes to do jiujitsu during a recent appearance on the "Lex Fridman Podcast."
Zuckerberg explained what it takes to do jiujitsu during a recent appearance on the “Lex Fridman Podcast.”
YouTube/Lex Fridman

This is perhaps especially important in BJJ, where — perhaps more than any other physical pursuit — it’s not uncommon to be dominated by a much smaller, weaker opponent who was superior technique. (See every video of a tiny female BJJ practitioner submitting larger, untrained guys.)

This is perhaps due to the pastime’s more cerebral nature, which has earned the martial art comparisons to physical chess.

Since starting BJJ during the coronavirus pandemic, Zuckerberg has seemingly progressed leaps and bounds.

Zuckerberg practicing mixed martial arts.
Zuckerberg practicing mixed martial arts.

He notably won gold and silver medals in the white belt division at a tournament in Redwood City, California, in May.

The New York native told Fridman that he rocked up the tourney in a hat, sunglasses,” and a face mask — and also registered with his first and middle names, Mark Elliot — to maintain anonymity ahead of competing.

Zuckerberg’s showing earned him the praise of UFC commentator and podcaster Joe Rogan, who called the tech magnate a “f–king savage” during an episode of his eponymous show last month.

Zuckerberg grappling an opponent during a BJJ tournament.
Mark Zuckerberg won both gold and silver medals at his first Brazilian jiujitsu tournament.

It’s safe to say Zuck, who also practices mixed martial arts (MMA), has fallen in love with the sport.

During an appearance on the “Joe Rogan Experience” in August, the social networking guru dubbed BJJ both intellectually and physically “engaging” and something “you can’t afford to focus on something else” while doing it.

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