Winners pose with dignitaries during the presentation ceremony.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Hundreds of people gathered for the opening two days of the Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship at the UAE University in Al Ain, with FAB Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Al Ain Club and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club all impressing.
There was a real sense of excitement towards the event, with the Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship kicking off the 2023 jiu-jitsu season.
FAB Jiu-Jitsu Academy came out on top in the kids and infants’ competition on day one, with Al Ain Club finishing second and Sharjah Self-Defense Club eventually coming third place.
Meanwhile, on day two it was the latter who took the top honours in the juniors’ category, with FAB Jiu-Jitsu Academy coming second while Al Ain Club came third. In terms of the country’s rankings, UAE were first, following by Egypt and Brazil.
The Festival features hundreds of male and female players between the ages of four and 17 annually, who all come from different clubs and academies around the UAE.
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A key date on the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) calendar, the event perfectly represents the federation’s long-term vision to promote the sport among the country’s younger generation; who are rightly identified as the future of Jiu-Jitsu.
The federation attaches special importance to organising tournaments that target young children. Through development of long-term training programmes and unwavering commitment, they follow a clear strategy to attract, train and prepare young talent in the hope that one day they will represent the country on regional and global scales.
On the great turnout, Fahd Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the UAEJJF said: “One of the most important gains achieved by UAE Jiu-Jitsu in recent years is the increase in community awareness of this sport and its importance.”
Dr Ahmed Murad, Associate Vice-Deputy for Scientific Research Affairs at UAEU, commented: “We are incredibly happy to host this wonderful generation of future champions at the UAE University here in Al Ain, where strong ambitions and determination can result in achieving a distinguished sports career and embarking on a unique educational journey.
“We have seen our sons and daughters present the best performance on the mat and set the finest examples, demonstrating honest competition, sportsmanship, and persistence towards achieving excellence and success.
“We must also mention the tremendous efforts of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, which is working hard to develop a sustainable base for players who are able to continue the distinguished march of the UAE in the world of jiu-jitsu.”
The mother of Hussein Al-Sheikh, a six-year-old participant who has practised jiu-jitsu since the age of three, hailed the benefits of the sport.
“Jiu-Jitsu brings many advantages to our children, the most important of which is discipline, commitment, persistence, goal setting and desire to achieve those goals,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Abu Mariam, father of two girls aged six and seven, said such community focused events further strengthen the relationship between parents and their children.
“Jiu-Jitsu has contributed to enhancing my daughters’ self-confidence,” He said. “Jiu-Jitsu works on developing the psychological side in parallel with the physical side, as it helps children to become more balanced and make better decisions.”