After unprecedented success for
the country’s para, youth and master athletes in dedicated competitions at
Mubadala Arena this week, Mr. Fahad Al Shamsi is eager to see how the UAE’s male and
female adult experts fare in the
Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2019
Abu Dhabi, UAE – April 24, 2019: In only 10 years, Abu Dhabi
has borne its own Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), established de facto homes in
the UAE capital for the sport’s global and Asian Federations, energised
international competitions through the multi-country Abu Dhabi Grand Slam series,
hosted 10 previous editions of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu
Championship (ADWPJJF) and established a heralded, worldwide reputation as the
global capital of jiu-jitsu.
As the 11th edition of
ADWPJJC – held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh
Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme
Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the biggest event on the sport’s global calendar – unfolds
at Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi this week, it may surprise many that Abu Dhabi’s
biggest jiu-jitsu achievement to date lies at home, within the borders of the
Much to the delight of Mr.
Fahad Al Shamsi, Chief Executive
Officer of the UAEJJF, the
country’s boys and girls have seen off challengers from more than 100 countries
to emerge as the undisputed champions of this week’s Abu Dhabi World Youth
Jiu-Jitsu Championship - the dedicated competition for local and international
youth at the ADWPJJC 2019. The UAE also finished second in the Abu Dhabi World
Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which concluded on Tuesday.
“We are proud
and happy with where we have reached, it shows the quality of our national programme
and reflects the work that started 10 years ago when the Federation was
established under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al
Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed
Forces,” said Al Shamsi.
“Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed
bin Zayed Al Nahyan, our vision was to build the culture of the sport in the
Emirates – all of the Emirates – from the ground up. Our youth results this
week reflect the quality of work conducted with our partners in domestic clubs,
the selection and training of coaches and the widespread development of
academies across the country. We plan to achieve successful results for years to
come and events like this week shows the rewards of those efforts.”
foundations for future success
There are currently 16 official jiu-jitsu clubs
operating across the UAE that are sanctioned and supported by the UAEJJF. The
clubs, collectively, are responsible for talent identification and developing athletes
- from grassroots through to professional level - according to Al Shamsi.
“We have worked hard to build strong relationships
with local clubs,” said the CEO of the UAEJJF. “We firmly believe that the
clubs are partners and, as a Federation, we can design programmes, but they
will only succeed if clubs back those designs and drive participation.
“In that sense, we are always working to implement our
plans and strategies with our partners at club-level,” added Al Shamsi. “We
believe we still have a considerable margin of improvement and we are highly-motivated
to get better and provide efficient environments that further boost the value
for UAE athletes. There is always potential to improve and progress.”
athletes prepare to face world’s best
Part of that progress will be evidenced in the success
of the UAE’s adult athletes participating in this week’s ADWPJJC – the
highlight of the global jiu-jitsu calendar.
In the numerous ADWPJJC categories being contested
Wednesday through Friday at Mubadala Arena, UAE athletes will share mats with
the best athletes from major jiu-jitsu nations including Brazil, the USA,
Japan, France, Australia and the UK.
Joining them will be hundreds of athletes from emerging
talent hotspots such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russian and other nations
across the Gulf, wider Asia, Europe, Africa and South America – a traditional conveyor
belt for world-class jiu-jitsu practitioners and the source market for many of
the UAE’s professional coaches now working at clubs across the country.
“It will be very
intriguing to see how our talented athletes fare in the Abu Dhabi World
Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship,” said Al Shamsi. “We do not want to put
too much pressure on our athletes because many have been training for a lot
less years than their international opponents. But jiu-jitsu has penetrated the depths of Emirati culture, it is
a core component of our educational curriculum and national consciousness –
thankfully we are seeing that in the new generation. We have high hopes for the
UAE’s children of jiu-jitsu.”
The world of jiu-jitsu may have Abu Dhabi to thank
for throwing its considerable weight behind the sport – but Al Hashemi believes
Abu Dhabi also has reasons to be thankful.
“Jiu-jitsu teaches our youth the values of fair
competition, honesty, integrity, tolerance, patience, so many virtues. Our
investment in jiu-jitsu is part of a long-term strategy to grow the sport at
home in the UAE and abroad - that journey continues but we are well and truly
on course,” concluded Al Hashemi.