ABU DHABI 12 April 2017: Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), and Secretary-General of the Asian and International Federations, has revealed that the total number of jiu-jitsu players in the country has currently reached over 100,000.
It was a number targeted by the federation’s plan for 2020, while adding that this large increase in numbers highlights the desire of different sectors of society to practice the sport of jiu-jitsu.
In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the sidelines of the launch of competitions of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC), Al Shamsi stated that the ADWPJJC reflects the UAE’s stature as a global capital of jiu-jitsu and highlighted that the championship attracts players from the age of four years, representing the work of the federation in training young generations to practice this sport and its great demand from different sectors of society.
He added that, regarding its accomplishments in jiu-jitsu, the UAE has teams with high levels of ability and managed to be on victory platforms in different regional and international events, as part of a long and continuous preparation programme by the federation to achieve consecutive accomplishments in this sport.
Regarding the activities of the international championship, he further added that the UAEJJF strives, through this major sporting event, to establish social responsibility in line with the goals of the Year of Giving by launching initiatives during the course of the championship, including cultural, artistic and community workshops that cover important topics on the sidelines of the event. The championship also promotes many national initiatives such as the Jasadak Amana and the UAE Food Bank, showing that the championship is not only about jiu-jitsu but is also a comprehensive event for everyone from different age groups.
He stressed that there is a system of values listed within the goals of practising jiu-jitsu, including health values to counter many modern diseases, as well as social values such as the exchange of knowledge and the gaining of expertise and discipline.
World’s most prestigious jiu-jitsu competition opens in Abu Dhabi
Millions of Jiu-Jitsu fans across the globe turned their attention to Abu Dhabi as youth female athletes took to the mat at the opening day of the ninth annual Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championships.
The Festival, which will run until April 15, features thousands of young athletes, beginning today and continuing tomorrow with girls’ competition, before moving on to boys, senior athletes then finally the newly added Para-division.
Over two-weeks of competition, more than 7,000 male and female competitors as young as four-years-old, right through to a select group of the world’s elite professionals, will be fighting for AED3 million in prize fund.
Split into categories for amateurs, young professionals and the world’s senior elite, the competition aims to inspire and nurture an emerging generation of Jiu-Jitsu athletes throughout the region. To mark the UAE’s 2017 Year of Giving, the contest will for the first time hold a dedicated Para-Jiu-Jitsu division for fighters with disabilities and special needs.
After the Festival, next to step onto the mat will be a select group of young fighters on the verge of professional stardom. The two-day Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Youth Championship on April 16th and 17th. The stage will then be set for hundreds of the sport’s elite to compete for the highest honours as they battle out the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship from April 18-22. Fans will also be able to see international legends including Gabriel Arges, Alexandre Ribeiro, Jose Junior and Mackenzie Dern in an epic contest of strength and skill.
Ten Jiu-Jitsu icons, both current and retired, will then battle it out for five gold belts in the ultimate clash of talent on April 22. The return of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Legends for the second-year running will feature Bantamweight legends Wellington “Megaton” Dias (USA) and Helio “Soneca” Moreira (Brazil); Lightweight legends Alexandre “Soca” Freitas and Baret Yoshida (HAW); Welterweight legends Kenny Florian (USA) and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro; Middleweight legends Amaury Bitetti (BRA) and Roberto “Spider” Traven (USA); and Heavyweight legends Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz (BRA) and Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (BRA).
– By Sports Staff