Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

UAE jiu-jitsu set for a 'busier' season ahead of Asian Games debut

New calendar announced by the UAEJJF will conclude with the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship in April.

Faisal Al Ketbi won gold and silver at the World Games in Poland earlier this year. Ravindranath K / The National
Faisal Al Ketbi won gold and silver at the World Games in Poland earlier this year. Ravindranath K / The National

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) unveiled the calendar for 2017/18 season which has already got under way and culminates with the 10th Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship in April.

While the national team fighters will have a busy international schedule, the Emirati female fighters will have a new competition to look forward to - the Mother of The Nation Cup, which will be staged over three rounds.

“The schedule every season has got busier and as a matter of fact, we are just continuing from the previous season,” said Fahad Al Shamsi, chief executive officer of UAEJJF, at the launch ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Tuesday.

Between the old and new schedules, three Ramadan Cup competitions were staged in Fujairah, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi in June.

That was followed by the Grand Slam Tokyo and national team’s participation in both the World Beach Games Asian edition in Thailand and the World Games in Poland, in which Faisal Al Ketbi won gold in the 94-kilogram weight and silver in the absolute division.

“Faisal’s success is one of the biggest sporting achievement for the federation,” Al Shamsi said. “And to have jiu-jitsu included in the Games is another forward move for the sport to be considered for the Olympics, as this competition was staged under patronage of the IOC (International Olympic Committee).”

The new season is an important one as jiu-jitsu will make its debut at the Asian Games in Jakarta in September. Al Shamsi said their objectives were the same with full attention provided for local events.

“The national team squad will have a different preparation as they have a busy schedule to cope with,” he said. “They have already participated in two major competitions and travel to Vietnam for the Asian Championship next week.”

The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat in September is next and the World Beach Championship in Columbia in November. The national team will have a small break in December after which the focus will shift to the World Pro.

“These competitions by itself are good preparation for the Asian Games,” said Al Shamsi, when asked on their preparation for the continent’s biggest sporting spectacle and the 10-year milestone of the World Pro.

“We are still in the planning stage of the World Pro and to mark 10 years we want to bring out something special, which we will announce as the date of the event gets closer.”

The national youth team will also have two championships to prepare for; the Balkan International in September and the Youth World Cup in Abu Dhabi in March.

Aside from the busy international calendar, there are the remaining four Grand Slams (Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi and London). According to Al Shamsi, the UAE clubs will prepare fighters for the Grand Slam, as they did at Tokyo last month.

“This trend will continue in the future with the clubs taking the responsibility to prepare fighters for the Grand Slams,” he said. “Of course there are several national team fighters in the club teams and they are free to participate in the competitions when they have not on national team duties.”

Updated: August 1, 2017 07:18 PM



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