Elite BJJ practitioners from around the world are preparing to test their grappling skills.

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2015 and World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup will take place April 20-25 in this United Arab Emirates city of 2 million people. Celebrating its seventh year, the competition, organized by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, will be free for spectators to attend. Spectators and athletes alike will enjoy an enhanced fan experience that includes an opening ceremony, sponsor-funded activities, family-oriented events, interactive booths and a raffle. “Through six years of hard work, this competition has grown a phenomenal amount, positioning Abu Dhabi at the center of the sport as the global capital of jiu-jitsu,” said H.E. Abdulmunem Al Hashemi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Federation. “The legacy of the event is already being felt locally and around the world, and we are immensely happy to be finalizing preparations for the 2015 installment.”


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One of the goals of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is to nurture the next generation of enthusiasts. To that end, the World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup will run from April 20-22. “This year is set to be an even bigger celebration of jiu-jitsu with a larger focus on the upcoming generation through the three-day World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup,” Al Hashemi said. “These young fighters have the honor of opening the competition and warming up the mats ahead of the arrival of the biggest names in the sport for the three-day adult championship.”

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In the adult division, local fighters hailing from across the UAE will face challengers from Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, the United States and other countries. In 2014 an estimated 2,100 grapplers from 70 nations participated. In past years, UFC competitors such as B.J. Penn, Demian Maia and Urijah Faber have attended. Since its introduction in the 1990s, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has become extremely popular in the UAE. It’s now taught to more than 40,000 schoolchildren in 100 government-run schools and is regarded as the national sport. “Jiu-jitsu teaches all of the most positive aspects of sport requiring great mental strength [and] discipline while also encouraging respect,” Al Hashemi said. “These important core values are matched by the need for increased levels of fitness and health with the body and mind being worked in equal measures.”

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Among the sponsors and partners for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2015 and World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup are the International Petroleum Investment Company, the UAE Armed Forces, Etihad Airways, Premier Motors and Land Rover, the Abu Dhabi Police, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the Al Futtaim Group, Dolphin Energy Limited, Emirates Global Aluminum, Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. (Photos courtesy of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation)

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