Championships organizers and contestants declare sport of Jiu-Jitsu can serve as a bridge to cultural diversity and reflect UAE values of tolerance
With less than a month to go until the world’s leading male, female and Para Jiu-Jitsu athletes descend on the UAE capital for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2019, a dream championship for athletes around the world, a contingent of Emirati and international contenders have revealed how this year’s multi-category event will underline the country’s growing status as a global hub for tolerance.
Commenting on how Jiu-Jitsu aligns with the UAE’s vision as a tolerant nation welcoming people of all races, beliefs and abilities, His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Sayed Mohamed Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-jitsu Federation, President of Ju-Jitsu Asian Union and Senior Vice President of Ju-Jitsu International Federation, UAEJJF revealed: “At the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, we want our sport to be an ideal reflection of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who announced 2019 the Year of Tolerance.”
“Jiu-jitsu may be a physical and competitive sport, but it teaches players important values such as respect, discipline, fairness, equality and unity – many of the same principles of the Year of Tolerance,” added Al Hashemi.
“Part of our objective is to establish the UAE as a tolerant and hospitable home for all nationalities and cultures. We are thankful for the unlimited support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Force, and we are emphasising his vision that sport is not only about being competitive, winning titles and facing challenges, it boosts communication and self-discipline, cultivates skills and enhances morals and ethics.”
Al Dhaheri: The role of ADWPJJC and its harmony with the vision of the UAE’s great leadership
His Excellency Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and Acting Executive Director of Education Affairs Sector, added: “The 11th edition of the Championship will focus specifically on the values of Jiu-Jitsu and the harmony of its values with the spirit of tolerance in the UAE.
“The UAE has developed a modern infrastructure to host world-class sport events and, with the guidance and support of our country’s leadership, we have developed a broad base of Jiu-Jitsu players of all ages that exceeds enrolment in any other sport. The sport of Jiu-Jitsu is helping to develop the personality of Emiratis and preparing a generation to be capable of taking responsibility across all areas of society.”
Open to all nationalities from the UAE, the region and across the globe, the week-long championship – the final event of the UAEJJF World Ranking Series for the sports season 2018 – 2019 – will feature the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival & Para Jiu-Jitsu Competitions on 20 April, the Abu Dhabi World Youth Championship on 21 and 22 April, the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship on 23 April, and the professional competitions for blue to black belt from 24 to 26 April.
Alhanaei: sports play a leading role for the UAE in bringing together different cultures
Hamed Alhanaei, a professional Jiu-Jitsu athlete from the UAE who will be competing in the blue belt category at ADWPJJC 2019, believes the UAE’s focus on tolerance makes it a global leader in bringing nations, faiths and cultures together.
“When I greet my opponent on the mat, I respect and accept him. Sport teaches tolerance, but even more so in the case of Jiu-Jitsu. As an athlete, tolerance is defined by accepting our challengers from different countries. As the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship brings athletes from all corners of the world to Abu Dhabi, I would like to rename this year’s event the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship for Tolerance,” said Alhanaei.
Brazilian black belt Erberth Santos is looking forward to returning to the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, the home of the sport and helping to spread the values of tolerance.
“When I come to Abu Dhabi, I feel like I’m home, because they treat us like family, that’s what tolerance means to me,” said the World No.9 in ranking.
Al Housani: Tolerance is a lifestyle that elevates the personality of individuals
Asma Al Housani, an Emirati Jiu-Jitsu professional athlete who will be competing in the blue belt category at ADWPJJC 2019, added: “Tolerance is accepting and understanding others’ mistakes and responding in a good way. As a Jiu-Jitsu athlete, I present tolerance after each fight by not holding any grudge against my opponent, win or lose.”
“With numerous athletes coming from abroad, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will give local athletes the chance to learn more about other cultures and values through a shared passion: Jiu-Jitsu. Our sport provides this bridge, but is our rulers, their vision in general, and the Year of Tolerance initiative that provides us with the strength to walk across it in a new way,” added Al Housani.
Reem, Abdulla: Jiu-Jitsu is dominated by an atmosphere of love and tolerance
For Reem, Abdulla, an Emirati Jiu-Jitsuathlete, believes athletes must display tolerance whatever the outcome of their match.
“Jiu-jitsu is based on tolerance as the sport brings athletes from different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures to the mat. For me, ADWPJJC is a great example, bringing everyone together under one umbrella,” said Abdulla.
“Athletes should always be tolerant regardless of the outcome. When you win or lose, you must be humble in victory and be tolerant to the opponent. This is done by not mocking the opponent. Moreover, if I get offended, I won’t conduct a similar reaction.”
“Always after the end of the game, athletes must shake hands and be tolerant whatever the outcome is. It is a sport ultimately and the player is measured by his ethics first,” she added.
The ADWPJJC 2019 takes place would the persistent support of the key sponsors: Abu Dhabi Media (Official Media Partner); Palms Sports (Strategic Partner); Emaar Properties (Lifestyle Developer); Premier Motors Land Rover (Official Automotive Partner); Abu Dhabi Sports (Official Sports Channel); Sky News Arabia (Content Partner); And Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) (Diamond Partner); ADNOC (Energy Partner); United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior (Government Partner); SEHA (Healthcare Partner); Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) (Supporting Partners); ADIB (Diamond Partner); Department of Culture & Tourism, Dolphin Energy, Aafaq, Al Masaood, Emirates Global Aluminium, ADASI (Gold Partners); United Al Saqr Group (Silver Partner); Al Ittihad (Official Newspaper); The National (English Newspaper Partner); Sport 360 (Sport Newspaper Partner).
The ADWPJJC 2019 will take place from 20-26 April at the Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi.