The final day of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival, which is part of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, 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 came to an exciting close. The extended Festival saw additional categories and activities added to this edition which allowed future generations to compete in Jiu-Jitsu.
Today we witnessed the highest level of male and female Jiu-Jitsu talent hit the mat and compete in blue, purple, brown, black belt and across different masters categories. To achieve black belt status Jiu-Jitsu fighters, have to go through many years of intensive, dedicated training.
More than 450 male and female players from 7 countries fought it out for 143 medals (61 gold, 50 silver and 42 bronze) across 61 different categories.
Additionally, running alongside the competition was the second day of technical workshops for referees allowing them to learn new skills and develop current practices.
Because of the commitment that the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation has shown to Jiu-Jitsu it’s becoming more popular every day, not only in the UAE but across the globe. This year, for the first time ever, we have seen three UAE referees successfully take part in the competition.
One of the local referees Obaid Al Kaabi said:
“I am very happy to be part of the official referee team at this year’s event. I used to be a competitor before I became a referee and Jiu-Jitsu is my passion. It teaches us to be patient, stronger and quick thinking.”
“The process to become an official referee is very arduous and involves intensive training and how to focus on techniques and how to calculate points. Our training also teaches us how to handle the pressure we might face from players, coaches or even the audience.”
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation has embraced the Year of Giving and on each day of the Championship is promoting a theme that furthers this noble cause. The past days saw themes that included: Education, Health and Fitness and Media Awareness. Today’s theme was “Happiness & Positivity” and all participants and spectators were encouraged to donate to the blood bank which was located in the Fan Zone.
Also in the IPIC Fan Zone spectators were treated to a dog show by the Abu Dhabi Police, were able to take part in the Majid TV competition and also were able to enjoy food truck park, which is open throughout the event. Each day there’s also a draw for one lucky winner to win a return ticket on Etihad Airways which will take them anywhere on the Etihad Airways flight network. Spectators can even enter a draw to win a brand-new car from Premier Motors; a Jaguar XE.
Tomorrow is the start of the exciting Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship which will run over two days, from April 16-17. This will see children of all belts, aged between 10 – 17 years old, fight it out for glory.
Highlights to come over the coming weeks include the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship from April 18-22, which will see hundreds of the sport’s elite compete for the highest honours including international stars Gabriel Arges, Alexandre Ribeiro, Jose Junior and Mackenzie Dern; the Abu Dhabi Legends live weigh-in event which will take place at 7pm Town Square, Yas Mall on 21 April; the return of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Legends, an epic clash of Jiu-Jitsu icons such as Kenny Florian, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz and Helio “Soneca” Moreira; plus the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards which recognises the talent of the sport at every level.