The world’s best athletes will descend on the UAE this week as the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship returns for its 10th edition.
Not only can you watch the exciting battles for free, there’s also plenty of activities to keep you and your family busy as well as winning some attractive prizes.
All eyes will be on the Mubadala Arena from Tuesday until Saturday as more than 2,000 will take to the mat over the five days.
Since launching in 2009, the competition has gone from strength to strength, attracting the world’s best to the capital. It will be the same this time round while UAE’s Faisal Al Ketbi will be aiming to claim his first gold in the black belt in this competition.
The Mubadala Arena has already attracted big numbers after hosting the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Festival since last Sunday and with the main event set to begin, UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation chairman Abdeulmonem Al Hashemi believes attending the competition will inspire more people to take up the sport.
“We have a great responsibility in uncovering new talents and supporting thousands of champions. It is crucial to continue opening up new training opportunities and access to international events,” he said. “All of this contributes to the establishment of a world-leading model, and we are proud of this sporting experience that has placed us at the forefront of the global sports scene.”
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, presents our new Champions with their awards.#ADWPJJC18 #ChampionWithin pic.twitter.com/CNze25IEJu— UAEJJF (@uaejjf) April 21, 2018
He added: “Ten years after launching this event, we feel proud of our successes in spreading Jiu-Jitsu throughout the country, as well as the sports regional and global achievements. This sport promotes the values of patience, endurance, discipline and courage. As a result, it plays a major role in building the upcoming generation.”
Throughout the event, there will also be a dedicated children’s area that caters for fans and family. Children can look forward to face-painting, arts and crafts, while there are a range of cultural activities including Arabic calligraphy, falconry and henna drawings.
Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAEJJF, added: “The tenth edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship is one of the largest sports events in the world and has become the most important international event for the UAE and the global Jiu-Jitsu agenda. As such, the Championship has imbued a sense of pride among Emiratis, since it is one of the most significant national products.”
What: Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Where: Mubadala Arena, Abu Dhabi
When: Tuesday April 24 until Saturday, April 28
Contact: For more information, visit www.uaejjf.org
The Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Festival 2018 continued its third day successfully with Emirati schoolgirls from ten to 19 years old and across a range of belts competing for the top ranks in the School Jiu-Jitsu National Championship.
Results from day one for the cycle two age group, which includes competitors aged 10 to 15, saw Al Reef School take first place with five gold medals, five silvers and eight bronzes.
Al Erteqaa School came second place overall with four gold, three silver and four bronze medals, while Hessa bin Mohamed School finished in third place, with a total of three gold medals, five silver and four bronze.
Meanwhile, in cycle three, for the 16 to 19 age bracket, Um Kulthoom School stormed to victory with six gold, one silver and five bronze medals. Al Shahama School arrived in a close second place, with four gold medals, four silvers and one bronze, with Al Shiyam School finishing third three gold, one silver and one three bronze.
White-belt athlete Rawda Al Dhaheri, age 14, said: “I started playing Jiu-Jitsu since grade six, and was taught it at school as an integral part of the curriculum. It taught me a lot of important values, including self-confidence. I started preparing for the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Festival a long time ago — training and sticking to a healthy food system. I was encouraged most by my mother. I’m proud to be taking part in this year’s Championship in the Year of Zayed, and I’m pleased with the standards of the organisation and the outstanding facilities. It’s a very comfortable environment to be competing in.”
Ibtisama Mohammed, a 14-year-old yellow belt weighing in at 48kg, said that she has discovered many values and principles through Jiu-Jitsu, including respect, responsibility and rising to a challenge. She looks forward to receiving her orange belt after the tournament, for which she has put in a lot of effort and preparation.
“I’ve worked hard to learn from my mistakes in the past, which have allowed me to improve my performance,” she said.
Jiu-jitsu will only be making its Asian Games debut later this year in Indonesia, but UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation CEO Fahad Al Shamsi already believes it will have one of the highest number of participating countries.
The 18th Asian Games takes place in Jakarta and Palembang in September, with a record-equaling 42 sports being contested – including all 28 full Summer Olympic sports.
Jiu-jitsu is easily one of the most popular sports in the UAE, with the nation also becoming pioneers across the globe in both promoting the sport and hosting tournaments.
And ahead of the Federation’s pride and joy spectacle – the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018 – starting in the capital on Saturday, Al Shamsi says it is the perfect warm-up to the Asian Games.
“This is very important with the Asian Games coming up in a few months,” Al Shamsi said at the launch of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
“More than 2,500 athletes from outside the UAE coming for the competition which shows the importance of the competition.
“It’s a big test and the players will be at a very strong level as they build up to that. The UAE and all other Asia countries have a strong jiu-jitsu programme.
“We have 36 countries competing at the Asia Games in jiu-jitsu, it’s one of the most number of countries competing. I think football is more. And it’s the biggest individual sport.
“It’s exciting and we believe in our programme, in our players. They will use their experience to represent the UAE in a good way. When we go there we will represent the country well.”
Al Shamsi is excited by the fact many other Asian countries are sending their stars to the tournament, with some even coming to the Emirates for training camps ahead of September’s Games.
“Some national teams have been doing training camps here through the Asian union, like Iran, Indonesia and Thailand,” he said.
“Indonesia are hosting the Asia Games. That they’re training here shows the importance of the role played by the UAEJJF.”
It’s special year for the tournament, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. There’s a host of special events planned to mark the occasion, such as the King of the Mat contest which pits former winners against each other, while prize money is at a record high.
“It’s the highest one in terms of prizemoney ever,” said Al Shamsi.
“Dh4 million, which is attractive. I don’t think you can find another jiu-jitsu competition in the world that offers the same. There’s big exposure, high prize money and the level of competition is very high.
“Former champions will be competing in the King of the Mat competition, but most of them are still fighting. They have played in one of these competitions before and all of them are still fighting in other organisations or competitions.
“We expect the level to be very high.”