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UAE Jiu-Jitsu National Team Members To Kick Off Their World Championship Campaign In Abu Dhabi

The UAE national team starts the pursuit of global glory at the 26th edition of the Ju-Jitsu World Championship (JJWC), at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena, Zayed Sports City, in Abu Dhabi, on Sunday 7 November.

The JJWC, which has attracted more than 2,000 athletes from across the global, runs until 11 November under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office.

The host national team has prepared a strong line-up for the championship, with 59 players competing in the men’s championship, consisting of experienced, youth, and emerging talents. The male team has 13 players in the adult category; 12 players in the youth category (U21s); 16 players in the under-18 category, and 18 players in the under-16 category. The women's team is participating in the tournament with 57 players across the adult, youth, under-18, and under-16 categories.

Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, President of the UAE and Asian Federations, and Senior Vice President of the International Ju Jitsu Federation paid a visit to the national team training camp and expressed his confidence in the players to compete at the highest level at Ju-Jitsu World Championship.

Addressing the players, Abdul Moneim said: "Competition will not be easy at the Ju-Jitsu World Championship. The sport is developing rapidly in many countries around the world, as we saw at the 5th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championships, here in Abu Dhabi, in September. Moreover, every athlete in the championship who faces a UAE player will have the added motivation of dethrone the last edition’s champion. However, I have full confidence in what you will bring to the mat, similar to previous championships. This is your time to win gold."

Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice President of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, stressed the national team is entering the tournament fully prepared to shine and make the Emirati fans proud.

"Our confidence in our athletes’ capability to continue what they started a decade ago has no limits. The world championship is an essential stop in their journey, and we are certain that the feelings of joy and pride that we experienced in previous world championships will be repeated this week. This generation is armed with the elements of strength and capabilities," said Al Dhaheri.

Sunday’s competitions begin at 10 am with preliminary rounds for male and female athletes under 16 years across weight categories. The final rounds will be held on a single mat for the qualifiers in the same categories at 3 pm until 5.30 pm. The official opening ceremony will be held at 2:30 pm and will include the display of the flags of the participating countries and teams.

"We are aware of the hopes placed on us, we have prepared very well for the competition, and we promise our fans that we will fight to retain the title," said the national team star Faisal Al Ketbi. Al Ketbi also thanked the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation for its support of national team players and its keenness to provide everything to guarantee the success of the athletes in international jiu-jitsu arenas.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Nascimento, head of the referees for the world championship, confirmed that the International Ju-Jitsu Federation is in the process of adopting a unified system for classifying belts.

He said: "Presently, each country follows the rules set by the regional federation to which it belongs. The International Federation has now taken a crucial step towards standardising the classification of belts for federations around the world. We will issue a special rulebook in this regard."

"The classification system used in the UAE is a model to follow and we have taken the initiative to provide all the technical details related to this system to the International Federation. In the beginning, we will give certificates exclusively for the black belt holders, and eventually, we will grant other certificates as well, which will motivate athletes to reach higher levels."

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