DUBAI: The 15th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and the first-ever World Teams Cup are among the thrilling events on the schedule this year, which shows a 40% increase in events compared to the previous year.
The UAEJJF has designated four Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival competitions for January, May, September and October demonstrating its commitment to investing in finding fresh talent in the upcoming season. The Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup in April, the Vice-Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup, which takes place in June, and the Mother of the Nation Jiu-Jitsu Cup in October are other notable domestic events that are open to local clubs and academies. These events serve as the foundations for the UAE champions to show their brilliance and advance to international competitions.
The Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP) events, which take place in February, March, May, June, July, September and December, are also on the schedule of regional competitions for the upcoming season. Performance in these championships helps the participants accumulate points to win the prestigious Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards. Other AJP tournaments on the calendar include the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix No-Gi competition in December, the AJP UAE National Pro in July, the AJP Asia Continental Pro in September.
The inaugural Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Teams Cup, which will bring together hundreds of athletes from clubs and academies around the world in April this year, is anticipated to be one of the biggest international jiu-jitsu events ever held in Abu Dhabi. This is in addition to the 15th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, the most prominent jiu-jitsu tournament in the international sporting calendar which is expected to attract more than 6,000 participants from all over the world to Abu Dhabi in November.
“The UAE’s jiu-jitsu has achieved several milestones over the last year, both in terms of the national team’s performance, as well as the discovery of talents and nurturing champions,” Fahad Ali Al-Shamsi, Secretary-General of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, noted.
“In 2022, the UAE made history by winning the Asian Championship in Bahrain, the World Championship in Abu Dhabi, and capturing a record-breaking five medals at the World Games in Birmingham. All of this is largely attributable to the wise leadership’s unending support and the UAEJJF’s well-planned strategy to spread and develop the sport, identify talents, develop champions, and create opportunities for intense competition through local and international events,” he said.
“The new season’s calendar includes a broad range of tournaments aimed at various age groups. This reflects the Federation’s strategy, which is based on ensuring sustainable development and putting the best programmes into practice in accordance with the highest international standards,” he added.
One of the season’s fascinating additions to the calendar is the Youth Mixed Martial Arts Championships, of which the first was held in January while the rest will continue in March, May, June and November, attracting the most prominent MMA fighters to the UAE capital.
Al Shamsi asserted that the inclusion of the MMA events in the new season will benefit the practitioners. “The MMA events will help the practitioners move steadily towards professionalism, creativity and get more exposure to the world of the sport, by taking advantage of the great capabilities of the Federation in terms of high-level training as well as the exceptional sports infrastructure that enables athletes to develop sustainable physical and mental health,” he said.
The UAE national team has a compelling schedule of international competitions planned for the latest season, which helps in maintaining their success thus far. The team’s march will start in February with the 7th Asian Championship competition in Thailand, followed in April by the Grand Prix in France and May’s Open Grand Prix in Thailand.
The JJIF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship for Adults and Para in Mongolia in July, the JJIF World Youth Championship in Kazakhstan in August, the World Combat Games in Saudi Arabia in October, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand in November, the JJIF World Beach Cup in Thailand in September, and the Asian Games in China in October are also on the team’s radar.