The 2018/19 UAE jiu-jitsu season gets under way this weekend as part of of 16 domestic competitions that concludes with the 11th staging of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship next April.
Friday will see Round 1 of the Mother of Nation for Emirati women with the first installment of President’s Cup for Emirati men on Saturday. Both events will be held at Zayed Sports City’s Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.
A new addition to the calendar is the Vice President’s Cup – named after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid – also over three rounds.
“The name of His Highness will add prestige and motivate the athletes to win a coveted medal,” Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), said at Tuesday's launch of the new season at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The launch of the domestic season comes on the back of a superb performance by the UAE jiu-jitsu team at the recently concluded Asian Games in Jakarta, where Emiratis returned with two golds, five silvers and two bronze medals.
“We won nine medals from a total of 14 won by the UAE at the Asian Games. This is a remarkable achievement and reward for work of the federation," Al Dhaheri added.
“The federation is honoured to pay tribute not only to all our champions but to their families and friends for the encouragement and support to both our champions and the sport.
“The success we are enjoying now because of the federation’s vision since launching the jiu-jitsu school programme in 2008.”
The jiu-jitsu school programme was launched after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UAEJJF and the Abu Dhabi Education Council to include the martial sport in the public school curriculum.
“Our goal is to keep producing more and more of jiu-jitsu fighters and remain as a leader both locally and internationally,” Al Dhaheri said.
“We have also established a jiu-jitsu family globally and it’s continuing to grow with more and more members joining.”
According to Fouad Darwish, general manager of Palms Sports, the technical arm of the UAEJJF, the number of blue belts – the highest rating for juniors Under 18, has crossed 20,000 in the country.
“This is an accomplishment to reach this milestone in 10 years of the school programme,” he said.
Yousif Al Batran, a member of the UAEJJF’s board of directors, said they are now reaching the community following the success of the school program.
“We want to spread jiu-jitsu for each and everyone in the country whether it be for competition, recreation or for fitness,” he added.
September 28: Mother of Nation Round 1
September 29: President’s Cup Round 1
October 12-13: Al Ain U18
October 26-27: Al Ain Pro Championship
November 10: Vice President’s Cup
November 22-24: Al Shaheed (Martyr) Championship
December 7: Mother of Nation Round 2
December 15: President’s Cup Round 2
December 28-29: Dubai Pro Championship
January 18-19: Fujairah Pro Championship
January 26: Vice President’s Cup Round 2
February 7-9: Challenge Championship
February 22-23: Ras Al Khaimah Pro Championship
March 2: Vice President’s Cup Round 3
March 29: Mother of Nation Round 3
March 30: President’s Cup Round 3
April 19-27: Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship