HE ABDULMONEM AL HASHEMI, CHAIRMAN OF UAEJJF - ABU DHABI CONTINUES TO UNDERLINE ITS POSITION AS REGION’S SPORT CAPITAL AND GLOBAL HOME OF JIU-JITSU
As the governing body for jiu-jitsu in Emirates, we have worked diligently during these extraordinary times to ensure our athletes, and the sport, continue to develop. Working closely with the UAE government and federal health authorities, we have taken the lead in the region to restarting live, competitive sport in adherence to health and safety protocols.
In May we hosted a closed training camp for 60 of athletes from the UAE national team, which included two tournaments – the Refresher Tournament and the Champions Challenge. This was a great way for the athletes to continue their development and return to competitive action, while giving the technical team the ideal opportunity to assess skill levels, ahead of a return to international competition later in the year.
We were the first sporting body in the Middle East to restart activity following the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the tremendous support of H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and UAEJJF board members.
This truly underlines Abu Dhabi’s position as the global home of jiu-jitsu. Abu Dhabi has also cemented its standing as the region’s combat sports capital, and we are honoured to play a part in that.
Keep up the great work in training, support each other and the wider jiu-jitsu community and the sport will stronger than ever.
SUMMERTIME THE PERFECT TIME FOR TRAINING CAMP RETURN
Following the resounding success of the May training camp, we will supervise two more closed camps, organised by International Vision Investment Group (IVI), for male and female athletes, in July and August. The first training camp will run from 5-25 July, while the second is slated to be held from 2-22 August in Abu Dhabi.
For more details, click here
AL KETBI: MENTAL STRENGTH GIVES FIGHTERS THE EDGE
Physical strength and flexibility are vitally important in jiu-jitsu but add mental fortitude to the list of attributes and you have a formidable fighter. That is the message from two of our most decorated athletes, Faisal Al Ketbi and Noor Al Harmoodi:
“Mental strength plays a key part in ensuring that a fighter stays focused on the mat, has the ability to analyse all possible options, and then make the best choice,” says Faisal, a four-time world champion.
Blue belt holder and 2019 Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship silver medallist in the 70 kg category, Noor Al Harmoodi adds: “Your mindset can really make a big difference and if you step on to the mat having visualized the prize at the end of the journey, you end up pushing yourself in those 50-50 moments that ultimately make the difference.”
Tip of the week – Visualisation, picture yourself on the mat with an opponent
“Visualising each of your bouts, against different opponents, using different techniques, is something that really helps me before a tournament. I try to visualise moments where I might be in trouble on the mat, where the opponent is in an advantageous position, and try to recreate the pressure and the discomfort that comes with it. If you have recreated and practiced your reactions in both good and bad situations, your mind is powerful enough to help you make the right choice when it really matters on the mat.” – Noor Al Harmoodi
‘FROM THE MAT TO MATHS - JIU-JITSU HELPED MY KIDS WITH THEIR E-LEARNING’
As students around the world continue to adapt to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is inevitable that minds may wander, and tasks are missed.
However, sport, especially jiu-jitsu, can help maintain focus when it comes to e-learning. The many benefits of jiu-jitsu include concentration, determination, self-discipline, and time management.
Khalid Al-Awlaki, director of the jiu-jitsu wing, Baniyas Club, said: “My children were motivated and focussed during their e-learning sessions, and also had the discipline to follow a schedule that was different because of their experience with the sport of jiu-jitsu which imbibes in young athletes the value of time management, dedication, and teaches youngster to focus on the task at hand,” he said.
OSS Volunteer Programme Aids Frontline Workers in Fight Against COVID-19
The UAEJJF's OSS Volunteer Programme has played a major role in the UAE's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 67 volunteers from the team assisting frontline workers during the National Sterilisation Campaign in Abu Dhabi's Mussafah area. The volunteers collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), Abu Dhabi Police, and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in the ongoing effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As part of the campaign, OSS volunteers organised access for residents to COVID-19 testing tents and provided support to the different governmental entities engaged in the testing drive. Amira Al Muharrami, director of the OSS Volunteer Programme, said that the team had performed admirably in cooperating seamlessly with multiple agencies to make the campaign a success.
"We would like to thank the UAEJJF for its constant support during this initiative and we are proud that we could once again demonstrate that people of the Emirates possess the ability to swiftly come together to serve the nation and lend a hand in the noble work that the government is doing to battle this extraordinary crisis," she said.
Mira Al Rashidi
Four-time gold medallist at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Mira Al Rashidi is one of the UAE’s most promising female fighters. The 18-year-old, Al Ain native, who enjoys horse riding in her spare time, is now preparing to make a few more additions to her trophy cabinet once the competitive season resumes in the UAE.
Mayed Al Shehi
Hailing from Ras Al Khaimah, Mayed is a hugely talented fighter who has already served promise of his potential by claiming gold in the 55 kg category at the Al Ain International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship in October 2019. The 17-year-old recently moved up a category, fighting in the 60 kg class, and showed that a break had had no effect on his skills, claiming the top prize at the recent Refresher Jiu-Jitsu Tournament.
Maha Al Hinaai
Just 20, Maha is already one of the UAE’s star performers on the international circuit, as evidenced by her silver medal show at the 2019 Asian Championship in Kazakhstan. Maha lives in Al Ain with her family and is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in finance. Maha represents Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club in domestic competitions.
DID YOU KNOW – 5 FACTS ABOUT JIU-JITSU
- Jiu-Jitsu traces its origins back to India
- Jiu-Jitsu means 'gentle art' in Japanese
- Jiu-Jitsu in its contemporary avatar was introduced by Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant to Brazil
- At its core, Jiu-Jitsu focusses on helping individuals take down physically bigger opponents through the correct usage of skill and technique rather than pure strength.
- Jiu-Jitsu is considered one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world
AROUND THE CLUBS
Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club Dominates 2019-2020 season
Having clinched the 2020 edition of the President's Cup in both the seniors and youth category, Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club is in no mood to surrender its status as one of the UAE's most successful clubs on the domestic circuit. While the senior side, spearheaded by the iconic Faisal Al Ketbi, has been a force across the Emirates, the youngsters are also holding their own as evidenced by a raft of strong performances in the juniors category. In the Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship held for players under the age of 18, Baniyas bagged 29 medals, including 10 golds over the three-day tournament. There was yet more joy for Baniyas with the club being awarded 'best academy' for the 2019-2020 season. Khaled Al Awlaqi, director of the jiu-jitsu wing, Baniyas Club, said that the club's investment in the right coaching staff and the creation of a motivational environment was the reason behind the club's success across age groups.