Jiu-jitsu in Abu Dhabi

Jiu-jitsu black belt Faisal Al Ketbi on the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Discuss this article

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© ITP Images

When asked for his career highlights, it speaks volumes about Faisal Al Ketbi’s motivations that he chooses an achievement that benefits the sport.

“Going to the schools and being part of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s campaign to promote the sport,” he tells us. “This is one of the best moments of my life because it matters and you can see the results.”

Jiu-jitsu is a martial art that uses grappling, joint-locks and choke-holds. It’s a self-defence combat sport that relies on technique over strength.

And Al Ketbi is one of the leading lights on the UAE and international jiu-jitsu scenes. He has competed in tournaments around the world, picking up titles through blue, purple and brown belt competitions. Now a black belt, he’s targeting a strong start to 2017 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.

Taking place from January 13 to 14, the tournament is part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour 2016/17. The previous rounds took place in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, with the final round in London on March 18.

“It will be one of the most important competitions this year,” says Al Ketbi. “Hopefully I’ll do well, but it’s hard and I need to be ready for it.”

The 28-year-old first got into jiu-jitsu at the age of 11 and entered his first competition six years later. “I like the teamwork, the confidence it gives me, the power and the challenging competitions. The main goal is to work as a team to achieve as much as you can. And to be positive in your life.”
So make sure you head down to Zayed Sports City and cheer this local favourite on.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, January 13-14, IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City, www.uaejjf.org.

By Christopher Hough
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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