A milestone martial arts extravaganza is set to take centre stage in the capital – as the welcome mat is rolled out for the hotly-awaited return of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
The tenth annual global bonanza – which kicks off on April 16 – will see an international cast of more than 9,000 athletes battling it out for glory in the biggest tournament yet.
The fantastic 13-day carnival of sport will bring together martial arts masters from all corners of the planet, including Adolf Kaure and Ruben Lemos from Africa, Youngam Noh and Joao Carlos from Asia, Krzysztof Flak and Adam Rardzinski, hailing from Europe, Matthew Leighton and Jonathan Satava from North America, Lachlan Giles and Ben Hodgkinson from Australia, and South American duo Igor Silva and Jose Lima.
There will be course plenty of pride and podium places at stake – as well as a record-smashing prize pool of more than Dhs4 million.
A total of 1,500 competitors will take part in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship itself from April 24 to April 28, with another 1,500 rising stars bidding for success in the youth championship held on April 22 and 23.
In the build-up to the tenth anniversary event, organisers have launched the Champion Within initiative aimed at motivating young people to embrace their talents and strengthen their self-determination in order to unleash the inner-champion within them.
His Excellency Abdelmonem Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union and Senior Vice President of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, said: “Ten years after launching this event, we feel proud of our successes in spreading Jiu-Jitsu throughout the country, as well as the sports regional and global achievements. This sport promotes the values of patience, endurance, discipline and courage. As a result, it plays a major role in building the upcoming generation.
“Jiu Jitsu represents a unique experience that highlights the variety of sporting institutions in the UAE. It is built on collaboration between sports federations and public and private sector bodies that collectively support the progress in the sporting world. Working together, accessible opportunities and environments have been created to facilitate the upcoming generation’s prosperity in sports such as Jiu-Jitsu.”
Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: "The tenth edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship is one of the largest sports events in the world and has become the most important international event for the UAE and the global Jiu-Jitsu agenda. As such, the Championship has imbued a sense of pride among Emiratis, since it is one of the most significant national products.
Al Shamsi said: “Coinciding with the Year of Zayed, this year's championship has a profound meaning for the UAE. The participation rate exceeded expectations of 9,000 competitors and the event is set to include the largest financial prizes in the history of the tournament.”
The 10th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will include the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival, running from 16 to 21 April.
The festival will be dedicated to a number of age categories, including under-18, as well as a white belt category for adults and the master 3 and 4 classes in all belt colors in addition to Parajiu-jitsu category. April 16 has been allocated to the UAE National Service (NSR), with April 17 set for the Armed Forces and April 18 and 19 for schools.
The Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Youth Championship will be held from April 22 and 23, while the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship kicks off on April 24 with a huge opening ceremony, accompanied by the King of Mats competitions, continuing until April 27.
The World Championship will be followed by the final round of the black and brown belts, which will be held on April 28 at the end of the event. The tenth edition will then come to an end on April 29 with the Abu Dhabi World Award ceremony.
The championship will be held at Mubadala Arena with free admission, and spectators will have the opportunity to experience the festivities program accompanying the championship, including a dazzling opening ceremony, prize giveaways and live shows. The Championship will also include a variety of diverse social activities and sports education initiatives.
We can’t wait for the action to get underway.
Free. Apr 16-Apr 29. Mubdala Arena, Zayed Sports City, www.uaejjf.com