Ahmed Faez Anuar or better known as Eazy Anuar, is easily the most well known figure in the martial arts scene of Brunei. Coming from a Rugby Boxing background, he has since become the face of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) in Brunei, whom has brought fame to Brunei sports through his numerous victories in BJJ competition around the region.
Muslim around the world observe their holy month of Ramadhan this month with the required practice of fasting. Aside from fasting, Muslim also increase their devotions to Allah through prayers and charity works. For Eazy the founder of Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts, Ramadan is also a time to reflect on his life and to give back to society.
He organised a BJJ Rollathon on 26 May 2018. What’s a BJJ Rollathon you may ask. Well it’s simply a session of continuous sparring (in BJJ it’s call roll) from 5pm of 26 May till 12am on 27 May. At any one time, there must be minimum a pair of exponent rolling on the mat. Those who take part are required to make a donation of either money, food items or personal care items.
Many of us would think of Brunei as an oil rich country of abundance wealth may not have poors. But there are still some marginalised families that require much help and assistance. Eazy has committed 100% of the donations to go to these group of unfortunate.
It was 9 years ago in 2009, when Eazy fell in love with BJJ. It was not his initial love. He was into Rugby. BJJ was a new thing introduced to him by his wife Norfaziah to keep him and his Rugby mates occupied in the off season. They learn from David, a New Zealander teacher working in Brunei.
2 years later as David had to leave for home. Eazy even though just a white belt then, was entrusted to lead the small group of BJJ enthusiasts, to keep it going. He started a class and coach BJJ in Busiido. Needless to say he didn’t just kept it going but he grew it a few fold.
|Brunei’s 1st Rollathon participants|
Brunei BJJ community even though small but has grown steadily and consistently. For a country that has considerably a small of population of only 433,726 it can now proudly boast to have at least 5 places to train BJJ.
Towards the end of 2017 he parted ways with Busiido. Eazy again felt that he is entrusted to bring Brunei BJJ to a higher level. Hence he decided to open his own gym. He named it Khalifa, which means entrusted to do something good. In a short 5 months, Khalifa MMA has grown into the go-to place for BJJ and mixed martial arts in Brunei.
This development even caught the attention of Rich Franklin (former UFC Middleweight Champion), whom went to Brunei for shooting of ONE Warriors Series, which is a series of Rich’s journeys throughout Asia to scout for promising martial artists, to be awarded ONE Championship contract.
|Eazy with his wife (middle) and Rich Franklin (L)|
Now back to the Rollathon. In total 43 Juijiteiros participated in the Rollathon and 58 made donations. Eazy was overwhelmed with the response but nontheless happy to be busy for a few days segregating the many items to be donated to the poor in Brunei.
WRB: How did this Rollathon idea came about?
Eazy : The idea was in the pipeline since we opened Khalifa, thought it would be a good idea to bring people together for a good cause and create awareness about the jits community and the public would know that we can do other things besides jits. It was mainly an idea from my wife! So we decided Ramadhan would be a good month. Besides who doesn’t love a good old open mat (open training session).
On 2nd June which is the religious holiday of Nuzul Al-Quran in Brunei, the Brunei Jiu-Jitsu community came together to bring the much needed donations items and money direct to 50 families around Tutong and Bandar Seri Begawan.
Eazy: The Brunei BJJ community is a tight-knit community of people of different ethnicity, religion, culture, language and background where on the mats we compete against each other but as soon as we step off the mat we celebrate each other’s victories. With this Rollathon and donation, we strengthened our bonds by focusing on a mission bigger than ourselves: giving back to those less fortunate.
|segregation and planning of distribution|
“This is one of the meaningful ways Khalifa MMA proves its dedication to build better human beings, and support the mission to encourage more Bruneian women in BJJ and most importantly for Brunei BJJ to create and cultivate a community that cares.”
In Ramadhan, even when he fast, Eazy does not stop training. Before training, his favourite break fast food are dates and iced coffee. Then off he goes for training. After training he goes for a big meal of rice and protein ( plenty of chicken & fish ). Yup, you read it right. Those who knew Eazy as a vegetarian, well sorry to disappoint, he has join the dark side early this year…LOL
|Eazy supporting a local Brunei brand Dark Arts|
As for the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri to mark the end of Ramadhan, which is roughly less than two weeks away Eazy can’t wait to dive into plenty of Nutella cakes!
Hari Raya is celebrated joyously with plenty of delicious food in Brunei. Go ahead celebrate with friends and good food. But after days of feasting do visit Khalifa MMA, and its associate gym around Brunei to get yourself back in fighting shape.
Warriors of Borneo wishes all the Bruneian BJJ community a blessed Ramadhan and a coming wonderful Aidilfitri!