Downtime with Nick Osipczak — Vice Sports spends some quality time with MMA fighter Nick Osipczak, discovering that Taoism and sacred geometry are just as important to him as hitting the gym.

On the face of it, the world of mixed martial arts can seem a chaotic enterprise where aggressive physicality reigns supreme. But for British fighter Nick Osipczak, MMA has helped him cultivate a more spiritual perspective.

As part of a new collaboration with Lynx, Vice Sports meets with the London-born UFC welterweight fighter during his downtime to learn how the art of Zen influences his outlook.

The video is part of a larger campaign by Lynx to make guys feel more comfortable with who they are. Sport can provide a much needed release for many people, but the industry is no stranger to conventional notions of masculinity. For athletes like Nick, being unafraid to express himself is a crucial part of who he is.

Nick’s devotion to martial arts has also allowed him to incorporate Tai Chi and Taoist tenants into his daily life, with an interest in sacred geometry helping him focus his energy.

“I believe that there are fundamental underlying patterns which make up all of our reality and can be found in many examples in nature,” Nick says in the film. “And one of the ways I find I can learn about them more is by painting them.”

Art has not been a constant in Nick’s life. After studying it during his A-Levels, he didn’t paint again until a decade later. But ever since then, he has harnessed it as a way to navigate his consciousness.

“Once you’ve found the way, you can see it in all things. I like to think I’m just applying the same formula to whatever endeavour I take on.”

Nick’s experiences highlight the importance of expressing yourself and not shying away from your internal being. Regardless of what’s expected of him, he has found a way to channel art, spirituality and self-expression into everything he does – and is all the more powerful because of it.

Off-Day is a series of short films exploring the fun and weird ways that top athletes use their limited free time. Watch the rest of the series on Vice Sports.