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From Brazil To Malaysia, Bruno’s Experience as an Expat

Bruno left Brazil, turned his passion into a job and started a new life in Malaysia. He answers our questions to share his story and experience.

First of all, thank you Bruno for sharing your experience with us. Just to get started, can you tell us something about you?

My name is Bruno Barbosa and I’m 34 years old. I’m Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt 3rd Degree and Head BJJ Coach at Monarchy MMA Gym. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Asian Champion as an athlete and 9 Times Copa de Malaysia Champion as a Coach.

How did you end up in Malaysia?

A friend of my from France heard from his friend that there was a MMA Gym opening in Malaysia and they were looking for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, so he got in touch with me and asked me if I wanted to apply to be a coach in this gym. So I sent my CV and the Monarchy MMA selected me.


Tell us a bit more about the place where you grew up?

I grew up in Petrópolis a city known as Brazil’s Imperial City, located in the Rio de Janeiro State.

What are the main differences between your culture and the one you discovered there?

I think religion is the biggest difference between Malaysia and Brazil, as I never had such a close contact to Islam Buddhism or Hinduism. It was all new for me.

What are the benefits of living in Malaysia?

Here is where I bring food to my table, where I’m changing peoples life and getting my life changed too,  as we learn something from each other everyday.

What is the main challenge for a Brazilian in Malaysia?

Food is the right answer hahahah! 🙂 We’re not used to spicy food, most of my Brazilian friends complain about the same thing when they come to Malaysia. The second one is the language, but after sometimes everything is fine.

What is like to be an expat in in this country?

You have to learn and understand that we're not in our country , it’s not your culture and the local people won’t change their culture because of you. You have to learn how to respect and get used to it, learn that people are different and respect that.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to move there?

Just come lah

Malaysia is a special country, lovely people, with problems like any other country. But with hard work, patience and good friends we can get through anything!!

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of being a foreigner who’s able to share something that I learned back in Brazil and changed my life, giving hope to others, also want to have their life changed through the sport.

Do you ever think to go back home?

Not at the moment!


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