Because we have so many things to worry about and occupy ourselves with, our well-being sometimes takes a backseat. If you’ve been complaining about your weight gain or poor immune system, but blame it on being too busy or not having enough time to go to the gym, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your priorities. The thing is, you would never be too busy to go shopping, hang out with your friends, or binge watch your favorite TV series. Now, before you protest, we think you should read about how 26-year-old Lee Chuan Yaw trains on a busy schedule.
“As a medical officer in the hospital, I reach the wards by 5:30 to 6 a.m. each morning to start rounding my patients before the consultant arrives,” reveals Chuan. “On a good day, I end at about 6 p.m., and I work half days on some weekends. I’m also on call at least once a week, and this involves a 32-hour shift.”
Many would probably find such a schedule overwhelming, but not Chuan, who manages to make time to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) at Evolve MMA (PoMo Mall) consistently. “While my job might seem hectic, I actually don’t bring any work back home, so that leaves me with a fair amount of free time,” he adds.
During his busiest periods, Chuan turns to BJJ to de-stress and also keeps himself motivated by focusing on self-improvement. “I focus on getting better and making progress, no matter how slow,” he explains. “Training is also an outlet for me to work out my frustrations, so it becomes even more important during stressful periods.”
There were times, of course, when Chuan wasn’t able to train as much as he would like to. During his house officer year, there were times when he was required to work 16 hours a day. Besides that, he was unable to train when he went on course after returning to the army. “It was tough returning to training and feeling like I lost touch, but once I overcame the inertia and got back into the groove, it was as if I never left,” he shares.
Before Chuan discovered BJJ, he used to compete in kayaking back when he was in Junior College. “I always loved the thrill of competitive sports,” says Chuan. “Even after I left Junior College, I continued to exercise intensively and regularly, but I could never really find a sport that could hold my attention for long.”
“When I was young, my dad used to watch UFC and boxing fights with me, as he was always interested in martial arts. So naturally, I was intrigued by it,” shares Chuan. “One day, I saw Evolve MMA and jumped at the chance to try something new. I was instantly hooked.”
Apart from his love for the sport, competitions are also a great source of motivation for Chuan when it comes to BJJ. “I feel that it is essential to test yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone. There’s no better feeling than putting yourself out there during competitions and coming out victorious,” he reveals.
“I enjoy the adrenaline of competition, but more importantly, it’s the friendships that I have made with my fellow teammates and instructors that keep me coming back,” Chuan adds. “The friends I have made through martial arts is my greatest takeaway from my training.”
There’s no doubt that Chuan has developed his grappling skills as well as gained a circle of friends through BJJ. However, the benefits don’t end there. “Besides physical fitness, I have also developed mental resilience and discipline. Most importantly, it has taught me humility,” he shares.
Perhaps we can all learn from Chuan, and follow in his footsteps – so as to maintain an active lifestyle and get in the pink of health. For those who feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, Chuan advises you to make training part of your routine. “Once you integrate it into your daily regime, it will be easy to keep going. Try to schedule in a few sessions, even during your busy periods, to keep the momentum going.”
Want to know more about what BJJ can do for you?