World's best gather in Abu Dhabi for jiu-jitsu carnival

More than 7,000 athletes from over 100 countries are set to compete in two World Championships

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is preparing for a ‘jiu-jitsu month’ in Abu Dhabi. Photo: UAEJJF
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The Jiu-Jitsu Arena at the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi will turn into a martial arts festival with two World Championships set to be staged over 18 days.

More than 7,000 fighters from over 100 countries will arrive in the UAE capital for the 27th Jiu-Jitsu International Federation’s (JJIF) World Championships, which begins on Saturday and runs until November 8.

It will be followed by the 14th staging of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship from November 11-19.

“In the weeks to come, Abu Dhabi will be the centre of attention for the whole jiu-jitsu world as it stages two of the most prestigious championships on the international sporting calendar,” Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice-president of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), said at the launch on Thursday.

“These world class events confirm the city's undeniable position as the global capital of jiu-jitsu, as well as its capacity to host major sporting events that dazzle the world.

“Abu Dhabi is ready to receive thousands of athletes from around the world. Our UAE national team is determined to repeat the joy we lived through these past months including the World Games in Birmingham.”

Faisal Al Ketbi won two golds, while Mohammed Al Suwaidi bagged a silver and Shamma Al Kalbani grabbed two bronze at the Games. All three will be in the home team’s squad vying for medals in the two championships.

Joachim Thumfart, director general, JJIF, thanked the UAEJJF for hosting the championship for the third year in a row.

“We are proud to have the championship in Abu Dhabi for a third consecutive year,” he said.

“With its top-notch infrastructure and sporting facilities, the city has been extremely welcoming and encouraging of international players. The championship's previous two editions were a huge success, and there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the events.”

Aref Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, added: “Hosting the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship is evidence of Abu Dhabi’s exceptional status as the global jiu-jitsu capital.

“I want to applaud the UAEJJF for its efforts in promoting jiu-jitsu and expanding the number of practitioners by creating effective plans and strategies, which help to reaffirm the UAE's reputation as a worldwide promoter of jiu-jitsu.”

Updated: October 27, 2022, 4:53 PM