Jiu-jitsu is making a return to action in Abu Dhabi
UAE's Jiu-jitsu fighters will look to fine-tune their preparations with a summer camp ahead of the much-anticipated Vice President’s Cup to be held on July 25. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Abu Dhabi: UAE jiu-jitsu fighters will get the chance to learn from the country’s top athletes and leading coaches at a summer training camp organised by International Vision Investments (IVI) under the supervision of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF).

Held at the Armed Forces Club and Hotel in Abu Dhabi, the camp has attracted 130 participants, including UAE national team members and eager amateurs. This camp will also be serving as final preparation for many of the UAE’s leading fighters ahead of the much-anticipated Vice President’s Cup to be held on July 25.

Several of the country’s leading coaches 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 Ebrahim Al Qama, supervisor of the jiu-jitsu programme 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,” Al Qama said.

Ahmad 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 noted.

Eduardo Bellumioni, the Brazilian head coach of Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club is part of the coaching team 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.

Mubarak Al Menhali, the technical director of the UAEJJF, said that the camp is a great way to get youngsters interested in the sport. “The camp has been full of excitement and energy. Everyone is excited to get the chance to get back on the mat and spar with fighters after an enforced break. Our coaching staff have carefully chalked out a training plan that gives sufficient attention to mat training and physical conditioning since the latter is a great way to instill the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in our trainees,” he said.