A file picture of UAE Jiu-Jitsu team undergoing closed door training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Nasser Al Tamimi, General Secretary of the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), has hailed the role played by clubs and institutions in popularising the sport all over the country and the region.

Speaking to Gulf News following a series of webinars conducted by the Sharjah Self-Defence (SSD) Sports Club, Al Tamimi felt that events such as the webinars is the right sort of assistance and support needed for the popularity of a sport like Jiu Jitsu.

The SSD Sports Club, headed by Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Owais, also decided to set up a specialised wing to train Jiu Jitsu athletes and meet the rising need among local enthusiasts for the sport.

“It is always important that enthusiasts get the right idea of a sport from people who are involved in the sport at the grassroots levels,” Al Tamimi said.

“Among the biggest challenges in any sport is the mental and psychological issues. Most sportsmen have been locked in and thus without training over a long period of time. It was important to keep the athletes occupied with some sort of activity during these pandemic times, and the webinars have assisted us in promoting our sport further,” he added.

The SSD Sports Club has reached the midway of a webinar series being organised under the ‘Sharjah International Forum for Martial Arts’, under the auspices of the Sharjah Sports Council. The two webinars held so far dealt on discussions on karate and jiu jitsu, while another two on taekwondo and judo are yet to be held during the course of the week.

“Having any sort of activity, however small, can only help us in more ways than one. And this series of webinars that are being organised will go a long way is assisting our work at the federation,” Al Tamimi noted.

“At the same time, it is a productive feature for our athletes as it will help them to possibly stay away from various fears they may have. Self-defence is a contact sport and the mental aspect of our sport is equally important,” he added.

The official further dwelled on the actual physical benefits of sport in countering the coronavirus. “These days, everyone is concerned about one’s immune system and immunity. And this is one more area that a self-defence sport can help people benefit,” he said.

“Following a sport, any sport, can help people not just in tackling their opponents, but also help in their fight against the virus,” Al Tamimi added.