Young male athletes continued to show promise on day four of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival, part of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and spoke of the impact of the sport on their life.
For many of the youngsters, the competition is one of the last competing as a boy before they progress to the men’s division next year.
The best youth players are monitored by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation throughout the competition, offering a select group support and encouragement to develop their skills.
One of those young players is Mohammed Al Kutbi, 14, who won 3 golds medal in his category since he took up Jiu-Jitsu three years ago.
“I have been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for more than three years, and during that time I have kept training to develop my skills and physical fitness,” he said. “Today, Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival has given us the opportunity to participate at a high level and gain experiences which will help us in the future.
“I will never forget the encouragement from my friends and family during the tournament. By participating today, I have achieved my dream.
“I have won three gold medals already and now I am looking forward to the Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship on Sunday. I am pretty sure I can achieve good results there to also reach the podium.”
Jiu-Jitsu is currently having an impact on UAE society, helping many lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.
UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation believe that is why they have seen a growth, not only in the Championship event, but across all of their programmes.
Abdulaziz Hasn al Hamadi, 15, who also won the gold medal in his category, explained that since he took up Jiu-Jitsu two years ago the sport has changed his life.
“Jiu-Jitsu helps make people become friends and come together,” he said. “It creates strong links between fighters when you see each other at competitions like this. I want to keep fighting and eventually become a black belt and then turn professional.
“Before I started Jiu-Jitsu I was too fat. I weighed 65kg, now I weigh 52kg and am much healthier – I know about good nutrition now.
“Jiu-Jitsu teaches you to be calm and respect your opponent. Nobody loses in this sport, everybody learns something new every day.”