UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation Launches “Champion Within” Initiative

  • 25 / Mar / 2018

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and coinciding with Year of Zayed,

UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation Launches “Champion Within” Initiative

  • - The inspirational initiative pays tribute to the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • - Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi: Everyone who contributed to putting the UAE on the global map for Jiu-Jitsu is a champion
  • - Abu Dhabi cements its position as the global capital of the sport of Jiu-Jitsu

Abu Dhabi, 25 March 2018: The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is announcing the launch a program to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which will be held in Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City from April 16th to 28th 2018. The Bronze Jubilee of the championship coincides with the Year of Zayed, which celebrates the life of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE. The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation was inspired by Sheikh Zayed’s principles and values, and his vision to preserve the customs and traditions of his people, while having an open world view based on tolerance, cooperation, and peace. To mark this occasion, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation has launched “Champion Within”, an initiative that aims to inspire people to find the hero inside them through discovering their true potential and, in doing so, positively motivate the next generation of Heroes.

The values of the initiative are aligned with those of the Year of Zayed, which celebrates the importance of respect, human development, wisdom and sustainability. The values of Jiu-Jitsu mirror these pillars, as the sport helps develop individuals on a physical, mental, emotional, social, and even cultural level, to encourage people to positively contribute to society. The initiative also pays tribute to the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who inspired people all over the world throughout his lifetime – now encouraging a new generation to follow in his footsteps by making their own mark through courage, tolerance, and determination.

From humble beginnings to international success

Commenting on the initiative, Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, President of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations and First Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, said: “The essence of this initiative reflects the success story of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation itself, which began years ago, when we still had no headquarters, and our training sessions and meetings were held at homes or in training areas. We are grateful for the support of our government and passion and commitment of everyone involved to not only lead us to establish the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation as an official entity, but help it grow into the highly-respected authority that it is today – on both a local and international level. I would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his continued support of Jiu-Jitsu, and his help in making Abu Dhabi the capital of Jiu-Jitsu not only in the Arab world, but on an international level as well.”

We each have a Champion Within

He added: “Everyone who has worked with the Federation since its inception is a champion. Every player who believed in this sport, overcame their challenges, and contributed to putting the name of the UAE on the global map for Jiu-Jitsu is a champion and a role model for the next generation. These champions have had the determination to train consistently no matter what, and overcome obstacles such as fatigue, to reach their goals – and they continue to do so. Now, we invite everyone to support and encourage them from the stands, so that they can aim for gold at the 10th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.”

The journey of a Champion

Speaking about his own journey as a champion, Emirati Jiu-Jitsu champion Faisal AlKitbe said: “My initial career in Jiu-Jitsu was very difficult. I was training out of a small apartment with other players and experienced so many losses that I fell into despair and even considered retiring. But I refused to give up, and channeled that into my ambition instead, using it to unleash the champion I knew I had within me. I was determined to achieve the best results, and this drove me to increase my training, and never give up on my goals. And thanks to the support of our Sheikhs – especially His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed – in 2009, I was very proud to be able to win the first Jiu Jitsu medal for the UAE.”

The Abu Dhabi Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is considered the largest event on the Jiu-Jitsu calendar worldwide – and this year, the championship is marked by unprecedented participation both locally and internationally across the male and female categories. This is in addition to the record number of participants in the Para Jiu-Jitsu category dedicated to people of determination, a testament to the tremendous effort by both the Government of the UAE and the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation to provide a platform for these athletes to compete on an international level.

The 13-day tournament will offer winners the opportunity to take home the largest prizes in the history of the championship, with $1 million in prize money up for grabs, as well as a brand-new Range Rover Evoque.

Among the top participating international athletes this year are Adolfo Correia, Ruben Lemos – the top ranked players in Africa; Youngam Noh and Joao Carlos Kuraoka – the champions of Asia; Krzysztof Flak and Adam Wardzinski from Europe, Matthew Leighton and Jonathan Satava from North America; Lachlan Giles and Ben Hodgkinson from Oceania; and Igor Silva and Jose Lima from South America.

On a local level, the championship will see the participation of Faisal AlKetbi, Talib Saleh, Obaid Al Kaabi, Ahmed Alketbi, Zayed Obaid AlKaabi, Musabbeh Al Kateri, Abdulla Aljneibi, Omar Al Mesmari, Mohamed Alamri, Hamdan Ahmed Alblooshi, Sultan Al Ali, Mariam Al Ameri, and Zahra Al Hashmi. In the Para Jiu-Jitsu category, Khalifa Mohammed will be among the athletes of note.

A number of clubs from the UAE will also be participating, including Al Wahda Club Jiu Jitsu Academy (#5 globally), Al Ain Jiu Jitsu Club (#8 globally), and Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club (#9 globally).

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Interior as a Government Partner; official media partner Abu Dhabi Sports Channels; strategic partner Palm Sports; Lifestyle Developer Emaar; Exclusive Automobile Partner Premier Motors of Al Tayers Motors - Land Rover as the; Diamond Partner Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; Content Partner Sky News Arabia; Energy Partner ADNOC; Gold partners, Department of Tourism & Culture, Al Massaood, Emirates Global Aluminium; Dolphin Energy, Cavallo (Louzan fashion) and Aafaq; Supporting Partners Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK); along with Silver Partners Tawazun Economic Council, Senaat General Holding Corporation, Al Khajja Holding Group and United Al Saqr group.

Those interested in signing up for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship can do so online before the 10 of April on 

Follow the latest news and updates on players on the Abu Dhabi Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship app UAEJJF, now available on iOS and Android.

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