Abu Dhabi: The AJP Tour Asia Continental Pro championship, organised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP), got off to a colourful start at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena, Zayed Sports City, today with the UAE taking home the most medals. The heated mat fights between participants from prominent academies and the boisterous spectators in the stands made the championship’s first day exceptional.
Today’s competitions, which saw grapplers fighting hard in Teens, Youth and Master’s divisions, ended in Commando Group taking first place, Palms Sports - Team 777 taking second place and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club taking third place. In terms of country rankings, Colombia and Brazil took second and third places respectively.
Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union and Senior Vice President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, felicitated the winners at a ceremony held following the competitions. “The championship’s remarkable success reflects the joint efforts of the UAEJJF and AJP which have attracted hundreds of jiu-jitsu professionals from more than 50 nations to the UAE capital and produced an excellent competition atmosphere. Events like these strengthen the Abu Dhabi’s status as the world’s jiu-jitsu capital,” said Youssef Al Batran, Board Member of the UAEJJF.
Tareq Al Bahri, General Manager at AJP said: “The AJP Tour Asia Continental Pro is crucial to several players’ professional careers because of the volume of points it provides and the impact it has on their annual rankings. Additionally, the competition offers a chance to be ready for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.”
The athletes from Brazilian academies took out brilliant performances. Among them was Jorge Pereira, the black belt holder from the Brazilian JSBJJ Academy, who competed in the 77 kg Master’s category and scooped gold. “We hold the AJP championships in great regard since they help us advance our careers and raise our rankings. I have been constantly participating in AJP tournaments all over the world. I came to Abu Dhabi from Brazil not only to compete for medals but also to prepare for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship,” he said.
In turn, Ayaz Suleymanov, a black belt from Renzo Gracie Azerbaijan, who won gold in Master’s (94KG) category said: “I signed up for this event as part of our rigorous training for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Today’s competitions were a remarkable experience. The Asia Continental Pro in Abu Dhabi gave us a memorable learning experience that will help us advance our skills.”
The UAE girls stood out in the tournament’s elite field of competitors from the region and around the globe. Mariam Al Ali, a blue belt from Palms Sports - Team 777, managed to win the Youth Women’s 48kg category. “Today’s competitions offered us a great chance to develop and perfect our skills as we go up against some of the best international players from different international clubs and academies. It significantly contributed to the development of our technical and physical skills.”