For Anamata Haku the beast has always been resident within, so much so that he hasn't had to try to chain it or flee from it.
Neither has Haku had to try to feed the brute inside him or, for that matter, starve it.
The 23-year-old Taylor Corporation Hawks basketballer simply gave his inner beast ample time to wake up of its own accord in the National Basketball League (NBL).
That ogre, often personified as ugliness, is in fact inherent in its characteristics and only responds to its stimuli.
Haku is, after all, only human. To survive in the NBL jungle it easily conforms to the nature of the beast although he prefers to call it confidence.
In reality, that beast can become a thing of beauty, especially if you're going to find yourself in the cage against second-placed SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks tonight in Invercargill.
"Yes, I've been a little bit longer in the league so I've built a little more confidence out there," says the Hawks swingman before the visitors, playing their third game under caretaker coach Ben Hill, tip off against the Sharks at ILT Stadium at 7pm.
"I guess, I've always wanted to be aggressive on the court but just be a little smarter."
The tongue flopping out, in Black Cap cricketer Ross Taylor fashion, is just a habit by the way.
"I'm Maori, too, so it's something we do a lot in haka," says a jovial Haku who is part Maori and Samoan.
The visitors have found a perch on the fifth rung of the NBL ladder although their consecutive victories under Hill's 100 per cent coaching record will undergo a litmus test tonight against the team Haku played for last winter after a previous season with the Hawks.
Southland are on a five-match winning streak and boast a 5-1 record on their patch.
The Jarrod Kenny and Everard Bartlett co-skippered Hawks, who will play seven of their last nine games on the road, are hellbent on making the Final Four in turning around a winless winter of despair last year. They are only four points away from overhauling James Blond Supercity Rangers above them and the Canterbury Rams are six points adrift but have played three more games than the Hawks.
The Sharks mauled the Hawks 101-87 in Napier on April 14 and history isn't on the visitors' side considering the last time they beat Southland was in the 2014 semifinals (100-87) when the Bay franchise boasted a 15-3 record.
But the beast has no respect for history in the NBL although perennial playoff merchants and undefeated defending champions Wellington Saints may dispute that.
"This will be the big test," says Haku. "It's one we're aiming to get."
It's a long haul, after they spent a good part of yesterday travelling to Mick Jagger's least desirable destination in the world, and the reception, literally, is colder.
"Well, those type of games can go either way," he says, alluding to Southland's three losses in this campaign.
Needless to say the Hawks are feeling good after an emphatic 103-80 win over Mike Pero Nelson Giants that won them a standing ovation from the Pettigrew-Green Arena faithful in Taradale last Saturday night.
While it was a bottom-of-the-table clash and the second don't-argue statement against the Giants, it's amazing what any kind of win can do for that beast of confidence.
"Our confidence is up a little bit more. With the new coach coming in there's more pressure off us because the old season and the old losses aren't hanging around his neck any more so he doesn't bring that to the table."
Frankly Haku is man enough to admit a lot of what has sparked a renaissance, since Kirstin Daly-Taylor resigned two games ago, made the players take a hard look at themselves in the mirror.
"We had a team meeting after that game [89-106 loss to Rams on April 25 in Napier] to decide whether we wanted Kirstin in the next game or not so, I guess, a lot of it was looking at ourselves in the mirror.
"Benny has just come in and demanded we give a lot more," he says although emphasising in respect to basketball and holding each other accountable they didn't treat either coach differently regardless of gender.
While he can't speak for other Hawks, Haku has always rolled with punches when singled out for attention for not carrying his share of the load on the court.
For the record, Haku returned to the Hawks' fold in the hope of scoring more minutes, considering Ruben Te Rangi and Duane Bailey were going to displace him under coach Judd Flavell.
Last season he felt as if he was helping the Sharks but not making a difference when it came down to eking out wins.