Max Key


Max Key says he’s learned how to better cope with stress and as a result is “much happier” since picking up jiu-jitsu.

The son of former Prime Minister Sir John Key, who knew nothing about the martial art before joining a jiu-jitsu gym, has since won a few fights at world championships. But it all began when driving home from holiday.

Fergs Coffee

“I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast driving home from up north around New Years, and they were talking about the best thing for brain development is to do something you’re really bad at, or that you don’t know,” Key explained during an appearance on AM on Thursday morning.

And out of all the things he didn’t know how to do at the time, Key thought jiu-jitsu would be the most challenging.

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Key, who boasts almost 62,000 followers on Instagram, told AM he previously spent a lot of time on social media, sharing his antics and day-to-day activities with his followers.

“I just got to a point where I just felt, like, it was so fake.”

Now with a burgeoning career in property development and a new hobby under his belt, Key said he’s “much happier” – particularly spending less time glued to a screen.

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“Because I’m doing what I wanna do, I’m not doing things because other people think it’s cool.”

Key added his mental health has benefited from taking up the Brazilian martial art, adding that the skills he’s learning are also helping in his business endeavors.

He said the hobby has equipped him with the skills and knowledge to better handle stressful situations that formerly made him anxious, such as the challenges that come with a high-pressure career.