Abu Dhabi gears up for World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championships

Abdulmunem Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAEJJF at the launch of the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championships on Monday. (Supplied)

Abu Dhabi, the global capital of Jiu-Jitsu, is set to welcome the best exponents of the sports and the biggest event when it hosts the seventh edition of the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championships next month.

Held under the Patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the championships will attract competitors from over 100 countries.

They will be battling for prestigious titles and increased prize fund of over Dh 2 million.

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) , organisers of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2015 and World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup officially launched the event on Monday.

The first three days of the tournament, which runs until April 25, are for youngsters and the remaining three days for the main championships which takes place at the IPIC Arena at the Zayed Sports City.

Marcos Almeida and Gabriella Garcia, the men and women’s ultimate class winners both from Brazil, have confirmed they are coming to defend their titles.

The extended programme will also feature Jiu-Jitsu workshops tailored for special needs players, anti-doping workshops and family-focused sessions to provide nutrition tips and highlight the importance of a healthy body in and off the mat.

Alongside the championship, the Jiu-Jitsu Federation has announced a new programme that will monitor the competition and select the best Jiu-Jitsu players to support and encourage bright talents throughout the tournament.

The championship will also see the return of Emirati stars including crowd favourite Faisal Al Ketbi (Black belt) along with several others from across the nation.

Al Ketbi, along with nine members of the UAE team have flown to Brazil for a six-week training camp ahead of the championships.

Abdulmunem Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAEJJF, feels the sport is growing at a phenomenal rate.

“The sheer number of quality international players, the expanded children’s cup and the ever growing standard of competition will undoubtedly set a new precedent. Through the support of our sponsors we have prepared for a world-class event and an exciting festival of activities away from the mats in the Fan Zone," he said.

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation expects more than 1,000 international entries across multiple divisions as several international trial tournaments have taken place across the globe for players to qualify for the championship.

“We already have more than 1,000 registered international entries, it is the same in the kids championships. We normally receive around 1,000 for a local competition and here it can easily be in excess of 1,500 to 2,000. That’s the reason we have expanded it (the kids championships) to over three days,” said Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, chief executive of UAEJJF.

The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is the Official Partner of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and will be welcoming fans to their larger fan zone inside the arena this year.

2015 marks the second year IPIC has provided its tremendous support for the international sporting event.

Khadem Al Qubaisi, Managing Director of IPIC said: "We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his unlimited support for UAE athletes, particularly Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. We are proud to be the official partner of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2015, which will be held next month in IPIC Arena.”

UAE residents and Jiu-Jitsu fans are invited to witness the Championship at the IPIC Arena and partake in a number of free activities provided by sponsors in the Fan Zone.

Attendees of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2015 and World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup will have an even greater fan experience, an enhanced spectator programme that includes an opening ceremony, sponsor activities, family events, interactive stands, and a raffle where all visitors will have the chance to win exciting prizes of a Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar XF.

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