Malakai Black

Malakai Black on pro wrestling and martial arts overlap

Malakai Black is one-half of the current PWG tag team champions, the leader of the House of Black in All Elite Wrestling, and has been in pro wrestling for over twenty years. Black was a guest on Bowks Talking Bouts ahead of AEW All Out 2022 and several subjects were covered during our chat. Excerpts from our chat are below.

Malakai Black

Black seeing his growth as a pro wrestler through the lens of the martial artist as a lifestyle ethos

“I’ve always approached wrestling as a variety of combined sports and obviously theatrics. Combat sports but also of course, athleticism. So you have to train each component differently. You can’t just train pro wrestling, in my book, to be a pro wrestler. You have to go to the gym and you’ve got to do what you do in the gym. For me, it ties in doing a certain form of gymnastics. Certain forms of martial arts that I continuously implement. Not just in my style but in my functional training. Because the conditioning aspect of it for me mimics a lot of what I do in the ring.”


Black’s in-ring style altering w/ character changes and this permutation being more grappling heavy

“Now I wouldn’t call myself like a submission specialist or anything. But I have some of an extension; understanding of like more catch wrestling and certain grappling holds. A little bit of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. On any level, it is not as high-level as I would say my Muay Thai is or my kickboxing is or other various forms of martial arts that I do. I felt that with the character of Malakai, basically myself, I couldn’t be as flashy as I was in previous installments because the motivation was different.”

“Where I felt Malakai is more based on punishment and on grinding down and violence. Where I felt that previous installments were a little bit more flashy. Still clearly obviously very based on martial arts but this installment felt like it needed to go to the ground more. So you see me implement; more reliant on kneebars, heel hooks, short arm scissors. Offense towards ligaments and stuff like that.”

Parting thoughts for Malakai Black

“I think that the blend between professional wrestling and martial arts has been blended obviously for a very long time. I feel that I myself am one of the more modern torch-bearers of that style and of bridging those two gaps. Of course, there’s plenty more with me that do that. But I feel like I somehow, not that I have to lead but I’m in one of the more predominant places doing it. I will always carry a warm heart to martial arts. I will carry a warm heart to professional wrestling forever.”

“So yeah, man. It’s interesting and crazy to see how far this ride in twenty-two years has taken me. Obviously, I always hope for more to come. But if this is what it’s going to be then I look back at what I’ve done with a lot of pride and love in my heart.”

Do Not Sell My Personal Information