The first round of brown and black belt action took place today at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018, with top athletes from around the world competing for spots in the semi-finals. Today’s qualifying rounds included male and female competitors from the Adult, Master 1 and Master 2 brown and black belt divisions, with the Master 2 finals also taking place today.
The Masters 2 rounds saw Brazil take the lead with a total of six gold medals, three silver and six bronze, while the United Kingdom came in second place overall with one silver medal and two bronze medals. In third place was France with one silver medal.
For black and brown belt action, the Championship applies a double elimination bracket for the main draw. The bracket system groups countries together, meaning that a maximum of two competitors per country will proceed to tomorrow’s rounds.
The event is held by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and has attracted the attendance of several high-profile dignitaries. Among those spectating the sport today were H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Director of The Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court.
H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said: “The UAE has a long and established record in organizing global events across a range of sectors, particularly in sports and economic affairs. This stems from the international community’s trust and support in our nation, which was secured in the days of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
“Today, we have seen more than 120 countries taking part in this international sporting event. The Championship has succeed thanks to the diligent interest and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who established the UAE as a global hub of Jiu-Jitsu. His Highness has actively encouraged Emirati youth to practice the sport and they have excelled throughout this Championship, where they have had the opportunity to take on the most prominent athletes in the world. This is evidence of the Emirati community’s love for Jiu-Jitsu and its honest competition.”
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, who awarded medals to today’s winners, said: “This landmark tenth edition of the Championship has enjoyed wide and distinguished Emirati participation, as well as bringing in global Jiu-Jitsu stars. As a new addition to the Championship, the King of Mats competition has left a notable mark on the event and the public attendance alike.”
He went on to praise the high level of technical skill and competition, in addition to the positive atmosphere throughout the tournament.
Other high-profile attendees included Sheikh Zayed Bin Khalifa Bin Shakhbout Al Nahyan; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; H.E. Abdulmonem Al Hashemi, UAEJJF Chairman; Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Advisor to the ADEK Chairman; and Youssef Al Batran, UAEJJF Board Member.
Fahad Al Shamsi, UAEJJF CEO, said: “Today, we have seen the best Jiu-Jitsu athletes in the world compete here in Abu Dhabi, in one of the most important events on the sport’s calendar. This is a testament to our success in advancing Jiu-Jitsu, particularly over the past decade, and we are proud of this distinct achievement.
“As our national sport, Jiu-Jitsu is a focus for all aspects of society, and we have been blessed with strong support from our leadership, most notably His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, who has been behind success after success,” he added.
David Clark, a black belt in the Master 2, 77kg division, spoke of the opportunities for Jiu-Jitsu here in the UAE. “This is the consolidated capital for Jiu-Jitsu,” he said, noting that the level of expert coaches in the country is equivalent to every football club training with Cristiano Ronaldo.
On the benefits of the sport for children, Clark said: “Jiu-Jitsu brings kids respect and a gratefulness. They have to work for success, so they become humble. This means that there is no venom or anger on the mat — everybody is treated equally and with respect. Kids have got a fantastic opportunity here, not only for developing their coordination and flexibility, but also with increased awareness about health and diet in general, which the government is promoting.”
Having got through the first round, two Adult black belt winners from each country will go through to the eighth-, quarter- and semi-finals tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Adult male brown belt final and third place fights will be held tomorrow, as well as the male and female Master 1 brown and black belt finals.
The Adult and Master 1 finals will take place on Saturday, April 28.
For the second day in a row, animated logos of the 10th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Champions were projected onto iconic buildings around the UAE, including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the ADNOC headquarters, which will continue with the Jiu-Jitsu displays until tomorrow.
About the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation
With the support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation was established in November 2012 as the official authority for Jiu-Jitsu in the UAE .
The Federation plays a leading role in supporting Jiu-Jitsu and contributing to build a strong generation of UAE athletes to excel at the local and international levels. The Federation's role is to implement policies that develop the sport in collaboration with various government entities, educational institutions and other partners in order to advance the sport locally, regionally and globally .
For more information, please visit http://www.uaejjf.com.
About Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018
The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2018 and co-located events are held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces . It is hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), responsible for organizing Jiu-Jitsu communities and activities nationwide, and is held April 16 – 28 at Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi .
ADWPJJC 2018 is the largest Jiu-Jitsu championship to date, with more than 9,000 athletes competing for total cash prizes of USD 1 million . It will include new features such as ‘King of Mats’ – a special nostalgic tournament that will see champions from the past nine events grapple it out for new titles .