Free Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship striking Dubai this weekend

Denzil Pinto 14:22 18/09/2014
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Big UAE contingent: The Emirates will be represented by over 100 fighters at the event.

Dubai welcomes some of the top jiu-jitsu fighters this weekend when not only can you witness the matches for free, but you could walk away with some fantastic prizes.

The Dubai Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship on Friday and Saturday marks the first competition of the new season for the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) with 335 fighters from around the world competing.

It’s the second straight year Dubai will host the competition following its success in the previously-launched Asian Jiu-Jitsu Open Cup.

Headlining the UAE field is Faisal Al Ketbi, who will be eyeing a podium finish when he makes his first appearance of the new season in the black belt category. The 26-year-old only made the move up from brown in May, winning gold at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJC), and will now be looking to improve on his fourth place finish at the Armed Forces Officers Club Ramadan tournament in July.

He joins 118 Emiratis, including Eid Rehan Al Tunaiji (purple, +95kg) who will all be looking to excel at the Al Wasl Indoor Stadium.

The field includes fighters from Brazil, Jordan, Syria and the US with medals in five belts – white, blue, purple, brown and black up for grabs at the two-day event.

Friday’s action begins with the No-Gi (non-kimono), while fans will be treated to thrilling action in Saturday’s Gi (kimono) category.

The UAE has vast experience of hosting jiu-jitsu competitions, most notably with the ADWPJC which attracts some of the best jiu-jitsu fighters around the world in April each year.

With competitions planned in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah, the UAEJJF is keen to popularise the sport around the country, starting by offering the public the chance to witness the action for free.

Fahad Al Shamsi, UAEJJF CEO, said: “It’s the federation’s first event of the new season and the marketing and media departments have worked very hard to ensure it is properly organised for competitors and the spectators.

“We have some great competitors already signed up along with a big UAE team including Faisal Al Ketbi. It’s going to be an interesting and fun two days which will entertain the spectators inside the stadium.”

While the jiu-jitsu fighters eye glory in their matches, the spectators will have a chance of winning some attractive prizes in the raffle draw that will take place on each of the two days.

Al Shamsi added: “There are different prizes to be won in the free raffle draw for those who attend. The prizes are attractive products of high value.”

Al Shamsi believes it’s the perfect opportunity to make a day out of it with family and friends to witness some top-class action.
“It’s a chance to learn and understand the rules and the benefits of the sport because it’s very different to other sports. It’s a martial art so there will exciting moves made by the competitors and I am sure that people who attend will enjoy it.”

By witnessing the action, not only will your presence make a difference to the atmosphere inside the stadium, but will also help the UAEJJF in their attempt to promote the sport and attract more competitors.

Mohamed Humaid Dalmoog Al Dhaher, UAEJJF board member, said: “Our main objective is to unearth new talent and provide a good environment to enhance the quality of our champions and the champions in the making.

“The UAEJJF is striving hard to increase participation and draw new audiences to the sport all over the UAE. The federation aims to spread the sport and wants to focus on supporting young talent,” added Al Dhaher.

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