Local and global athletes in the spotlight as UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) crowns winners of Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards 2021

04 February, 2022


Awards wrap up a week of high-quality sport at the 13th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC)

Glittering ceremony at Jiu-Jitsu Arena awards 24 winners in various club and individual categories

Al Hashemi: Abu Dhabi will continue to be the global capital of jiu-jitsu and give our heroes a springboard to reach for the stars

Hollywood action star Steven Seagal presents 300-year-old Samurai sword


Jiu-jitsu stars from the UAE and across the global were honoured in a grand ceremony organised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), the governing body for the sport in the UAE, following the culmination of a thrilling Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) at Jiu-Jitsu Arena.

His Excellency Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAEJJF, President of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Federation and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation presented 24 awards to the leading lights of jiu-jitsu in the presence of H.E Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice President, UAEJJF, Mr. Fahad Al Shamsi, Secretary General, UAEJJF, Hollywood action hero Steven Seagal, and representatives of UAEJJF partners and sponsors.

Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards Recognise Exceptional Achievements

His Excellency Al Hashemi said: “Abu Dhabi will always be the global capital of jiu-jitsu and continue providing a platform for our heroes of the sport to aim for the stars.”

“The Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards have become the most important honour jiu-jitsu athletes from around the world seek to win especially as the awards recognise and acknowledge achievements over the past season and follow the ADWPJJC, the largest and most prestigious event on our calendar, which is held under the generous patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.” Al Hashemi added.

“We are proud to be able to provide the ideal platform for players around the world to compete and prove their capabilities.”

“Today as we mark the achievements of the past season, we also look forward, marching towards continued excellence to consolidate Abu Dhabi’s status as the global capital of jiu-jitsu and a destination for world stars.”

AJP’s International athletes and academies honoured at Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards

Congratulating the awards winners, Tareq Al Bahri, General Manager at the AJP said: “The Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards gathered elite international players and academies under one roof, after a successful jiu-jitsu calendar season.

“100 players from AJP’s 81 championships qualified to be part to the largest and most prestigious event on the global calendar, the 13th of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, having received the highest-ranking points.  Granting awards for the highest ranked international players and academies at the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards with the most prestigious titles crowns a spectacle run they had in the 2021 season.”

UAE Jiu-Jitsu community took centre stage of Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards

Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club Academy won two awards including the ‘Best UAE Club for U-16’ and the ‘Best UAE Club for Adults’, due to the strong performance displayed by their players in the season.

Commenting on the awards, Ahmed Al Junaibi, Director of Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club Academy, said: “Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club Academy heroes continue to shine year after year, as the academy continues to attract the world’s brightest names to participate in the championships. We are thrilled in winning two awards after a performance for the ages by our players during the season and at the 13th edition of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.”

Omar Al Fadhli rose to the occasion and stole the show at the 13th ADWPJJC winning the gold in the 62kg men’s brown belt competition resulting in his upgrade to black belt, earning him the UAEJJF’s Most Valuable Player Award.

Commenting on his win, Al Fadhli said: “All the hard work and efforts that I put in training paid off, however, the biggest contributor of my success was the unlimited support provided by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, my fellow Emirati colleagues, and of course the special attention from H.E Al Hashemi.

“I am honoured to receive the award today. Jiu-jitsu has taught us that the path of success does not end, therefore, I must direct my focus on what’s next.  After obtaining the black belt, I need to train harder to acquire new skill set to compete in the highest level and win against the best in the world. I am confident in what the future holds.”

Hollywood action hero presents 300-year-old Samurai sword

During the evening’s activities, Hollywood action star Steven Seagal, presented H.E Al Hashemi with a 300-year-old Samurai sword as a token of appreciation for Abu Dhabi’s efforts to continuing growing the sport and providing a platform for the world’s athletes to compete.

“The Samurai sword embodies the spirit of the fighter and carries a special significance in Japanese culture,” said Seagal. “As we share a love for this sport, I wanted to show my appreciation for what Abu Dhabi is achieving in the world of jiu-jitsu by presenting this sword to the Federation, and it serves as a token of respect to the jiu-jitsu players of this country. The blade length is the highest standards according to Japanese culture and the handle and scabbard bear distinctive engravings. It is my honour to present this to my friends in Abu Dhabi.”

Local Heroes Honoured for Season of Excellence

The Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards ceremony celebrated clubs in the UAE that have excelled during this season and continue to grow the sport. Those winners included:

  • Best UAE Club for U-16s: Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club Academy
  • Best UAE Club for U-18s: Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club
  • Best UAE Club for Adults: Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club Academy

The awards ceremony also included honours for UAE jiu-jitsu athletes who have impressed on the mats this season:

  • Best UAE Female Athlete U-16: Meera Al Gargawi
  • Best UAE Male Athlete U-16: Jassim Abdullah Al Hosani
  • Best UAE Female Athlete U-18: Balquees Abdullah
  • BestUAE Male Athlete U-18: Saif Al Mansoori
  • Outstanding Achievement Award: Shamma Al Kalbani; Hamda Al Sheikhli
  • Best UAE Athlete in the Adult Category: Shamsa Al Ameri
  • Best UAE Athlete in the Seniors Category: Khalid Mohammed Al Shehhi
  • UAEJJF Most Valuable Player Award: Omar Al Fadhli

In a celebration of the continued growth of jiu-jitsu around the world, the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards crowned a range of continental winners:

  • Best Jiu-Jitsu Federation in Asia: UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation
  • Asian Athlete of the Year: Ali Al Monfaradi (Bahrain)
  • Oceania Athlete of the Year: William Dias (Australia)
  • European Athlete of the Year: Liisi Vaht (Estonia)
  • North and Central American Athlete of the Year: Alexa Yanes (United States)
  • African Athlete of the Year: William Dos Santos (Angola)
  • South American Athlete of the Year: Francisco Jonas Andrade (Brazil)

The awards ceremony culminated with the Abu Dhabi World Player Awards, presented to global athletes who have had a truly exceptional year on the mats around the world. Those winners included:

  • International Academy of the Year GF Team
  • Rookie of the Year: Leonardo Mario (Brazil)
  • Best Master of the Year: Sergio Rios (Brazil)
  • Best Female Athlete: Brenda Larissa (Brazil)
  • Best Male Athlete: Francisco Jonas Andrade (Brazil)