Abu Dhabi World Pro targeted for November as jiu-jitsu plans return after pandemic

12th edition of championship had to be postponed in April

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The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has been targeted for November as part of plans drawn up for the martial art to resume after Covid-19.

The 12th edition of the championship, also known as the World Pro, is the highlight of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s (UAEJJF) worldwide calendar and normally takes place as the season-ending finale in April.

The 2020 World Pro was slated for April 11-18 followed by the gala awards to crown the world champions the day after.

Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAEJJF, said it was the first time in 12 years they had to postpone the World Pro.

“We didn't take that decision easily,” he said. “This is an unprecedented global crisis and we offer the jiu-jitsu community words of hope and optimism. We all know how hard our community has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Al Hashemi stressed his team has been working continuously to come up with solutions during the difficult time.

“We are pleased to announce that our team is already working with a new timeline for the 2020 World Pro and all other jiu-jitsu activities to resume,” he added.

“November is the most tentative target to stage the World Pro. We are already working with the local authorities also to make it possible to schedule local, regional, national and international events as soon as possible.”

The World Pro with a prize fund of over Dh2.5million is the richest championship in the world and draws more than 5,000 fighters from more than 100 countries.

In the UAE alone, there are more than 140,000 Emirati practitioners of the martial art, including over 80,000 schoolchildren.

According to Palms Sports, the technical arm of the UAEJJF, they conduct more than 10,000 classes every week across the country in schools, military, Abu Dhabi Police and the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination.

All these classes had ceased during the spread of the virus and now the UAEJJF has emerged as the first national federation to begin work to resume the jiu-jitsu activities.