x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Joining a sport tradition

The UAE is acquiring a formidable presence in the sport of jiu-jitsu, and this weekend, some of the best in the business will be in the capital.

It started in Japan and was modified in Brazil, but jiu-jitsu is finding a home in the UAE, where the world professional championships take place this weekend at Adnec in the capital.

Over 700 athletes from 48 countries are expected to take part in the event, being held in this country for the fourth consecutive year.

In Japan jiu-jitsu is a traditional martial art with a known history going back almost 500 years. About a century ago a sport-competitive version began to catch on in Brazil.

The UAE's emergence as a global hub for the sport owes much to Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, who learnt jiu-jitsu in California - and earned a black belt, symbolising a high level of proficiency. He brought home an interest in the sport that he now shares with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Under such patronage, the UAE is acquiring a formidable presence in the sport, although it is still dominated by Brazilians and Americans.

Admission at Adnec, today and tomorrow, is free.