Jiu-jitsu has many students of all ages across the UAE Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: The Sharjah Self-Defence (SSD) Sports Club has decided to set up a specialised wing to train jiu-jitsu athletes to meet the rising need among local enthusiasts.

Joined by Khalid Ebrahim Al Nakhi, member of the board of directors of SSD, Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Chairman of SSD Sports Club made this announcement during the second of the webinar series being held under the ‘Sharjah International Forum for Martial Arts’, held under the auspices of Sharjah Sports Council, late on Thursday.

“Today, we have jiu-jitsu among the most popular self-defence sports and there is a huge demand from athletes based in the UAE,” Al Owais said.

“In the UAE, jiu-jitsu has a huge following and it is popular among all ages. With the right leadership, we’ve got a few world champions as well and it is our duty to push this sport forward for the betterment of society. jiu-jitsu is such a refined form of sport that it is hard to ignore the finer elements of self-discipline and control.”

Al Owais said the UAE Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Federation with Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi from the board of directors, has been actively supporting this cause so that the sport can gain further momentum in the UAE. “We need to do all we can to support our leaders especially in a cause like this where the future of our youngsters is at stake,” Al Owais said.

UAE national jiu-jitsu team coach Ebrahim Al Hosani
UAE national jiu-jitsu team coach Ebrahim Al Hosani Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE’s national coach Ebrahim Al Hosni, who moderated the webinar, stressed on the mental aspects of jiu-jitsu in helping build an entire new generation. “We have had a successful experience of promoting this sport at the grassroots level for the past few years all over the UAE. Sharjah has a need to join this stream in preparing and building players who will be capable of making the UAE proud in the future,” the coach said.

“According to me, jiu-jitsu is a great teacher, provided we have some great students as well. This sport builds up character and gives people discipline and a never-give-up attitude that is so needed in any aspect of life these days.”

Some of the prominent fighters from fellow Arab States, including Saudi Arabia’s Ahmad Saud, Abdul Karim Al Rashid from Jordan, Bahrain’s Mohammad Abu Idris and Kuwait’s Aqeel Yousuf Abu Sakhr participated in the webinar.

Mohammad Abu Idris
Mohammad Abu Idris Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Idris called on promising players to stay positive so that they can adopt a training system that suits every circumstance. “Knowing a sport in theory is one thing, and putting your entire self in its pursuit is another. We need to grow this sort of passion for our sport,” he said.

Abu Sakhr urged players to step outside their comfort zones and remain connected to their development as top-class athletes. “This time may not be the best to do sport, but that shouldn’t push us into a situation where we pay less attention to training. If we do so, then we will be caught out unprepared for the challenges ahead,” he said.

“Everyone needs to stay focused and vigilant to what lies ahead. This is for ourselves and to take our sport into the future with a confident note.”

Aqeel Yousuf Abu Sakhr
Aqeel Yousuf Abu Sakhr Image Credit: Supplied

Jordan’s national team member Al Rashid spoke on dealing with injuries during training sessions. “Don’t push your body if there is an injury. It is a better option to carefully monitor the injury than get back into training and then stand to lose more time later in case the injury recurs,” he said.

Ahmad Saud
Ahmad Saud Image Credit: Supplied

Saudi athlete Saud related how he has worked out a more flexible training scheduled during these times of the pandemic. “The virus is a worldwide challenge and it has imposed a new sort of system on all of us,” he said. “But if we want to be good then there cannot be any sort of excuse to avoid training or compromise on the training aspect. All the hard work and sacrifices put in now will bear fruit in the future.”