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UAEJJF to host jiu-jitsu championship on Saturday
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 07 - 2020

The UAE's premier jiu-jitsu clubs will renew their rivalry at the Jiu-Jitsu Camp Championship, organised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) — the governing body for the sport in the Emirates, which will see more than 130 players take to the mats on Saturday (July 18) at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Players who are part of the UAEJJF's summer training camp in progress at the Armed Forces Club and Hotel in Abu Dhabi, will be participating in the open belt tournament across different weight classes in three categories — cadets (under-16 years), aspirants (under-18 years), and adults.
Fighters from Al Ain, Baniyas, Al Jazira, Al Wahda, and Al Dhafra jiu-jitsu clubs will be seen in action at the tournament. The UAEJJF in partnership with International Vision Investment Group (IVI) is currently hosting a summer training camp that began on July 5 and will conclude on July 25. A second camp has been scheduled to begin on Aug. 2 till Aug. 22.
Mubarak Al Menhali, technical director of the UAEJJF, said that the Jiu-Jitsu Camp Championship was another step in the federation's commitment to provide the UAE's players with high-quality competitions and ensure their well-rounded development.
"We have seen players work extremely hard in the summer camp and this tournament is a chance for them to test all their learnings in a competitive environment. With more than 130 players in the fray, the tournament will provide players with valuable insights and allow them the chance to ease into a competitive mindset after a long break."
Ramon Lemos, the head coach of the UAE jiu-jitsu national team, has been overseeing training sessions in the summer camp and said that the tournament would help players raise their game as they look to catch the eye of the national team's technical staff.
"We have a great bunch of players in the summer camp who have worked very hard over the past two weeks and are really looking forward to doing well on the mats. Competitions like these are great for building confidence in players, regardless of the experience they possess.
"Also, the technical staff will be keeping a close eye on the performances in this tournament as we look to prepare for the resumption of domestic and international competitions over the coming months."
The camp, which has attracted 130 participants, including UAE national team members and eager amateurs, is also serving as final preparation for many of UAE's leading fighters ahead of the much-anticipated Vice President's Cup on July 25.
Seven of the country's leading coaches, such as the national team's strength and conditioning expert and physiotherapist are overseeing the camp, where trainees are undergoing six hours of daily training, split between the mat, the gym, and recovery protocols in the swimming pool. More than 50 fighters from Al Wahda and Al Jazira jiu-jitsu clubs are also part of the training camp.
The camp is being conducted in strict adherence with local and federal health protocols, with all attendees tested for COVID-19 at the beginning of the camp.
Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Qama, supervisor of the jiu-jitsu program at Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu club, said that the strict health and safety protocols instituted by the UAEJJF were a key reason behind the club's decision to send 21 fighters to the summer camp.
"The training camp allows our fighters to maintain their physical fitness and bring in technical refinements under the gaze of some of the top jiu-jitsu coaches in the UAE in a secure environment where their health and safety is of the utmost priority," said Al-Qama.
Ahmed Al-Junaibi, administrator of Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club's academy, said that the club had enrolled 30 fighters into the camp to sharpen their technical skills.
"The timing of this training camp is perfect since our fighters will be competing in the final round of the Vice President's Cup on July 25 and this is the chance for them to spar against quality opponents.
"We have full confidence in the UAEJJF's ability to provide a healthy and safe training environment and aid our fighters in their developmental journey," he said.
Eduardo Bellumioni, the Brazilian head coach of Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club is part of the coaching team at the camp and admitted the experience of training fighters at varying levels of development had been enjoyable.
"We have a great mix of boys here, some of them are already fighting for the national team, some are just starting out. As part of this camp, we are bringing the focus back on strengthening the basics of jiu-jitsu, just breaking down techniques, and building a solid base for all athletes.
"This has helped the experienced athletes to examine their game and identify areas of improvement, while for the beginners it is the right induction to this glorious sport," he said. — SG

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