The UAE’s best female jiu-jitsu competitors will return to the mats at Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena for the second rounds of the Mother of the Nation (MON) and Vice President’s jiu-jitsu leagues on March 26-27.
The MON Jiu-Jitsu League is the premier tournament for female fighters in the country, organized by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) — the governing authority for the sport in the Emirates — and will see fighters competing in three categories: Under-16, under-18, and adult.
The first round of the championship was held in January, and saw Al-Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club bagging top spot in the under-16 and adults categories, while Al-Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club took the honours in the under-18 division.
Al-Wahda enjoyed a strong start in the Vice President’s Jiu-Jitsu League as well, claiming the adult title in the first round, while Al-Ain took home the honors in the under-16 and under-18 divisions.
Wadima Al-Yafei, a regular in the UAE national jiu-jitsu team and winner of the gold in the 45-kilogram (kg) adult category in the first round, said that the second round of the tournament came at just the right time for athletes to get important mat time under their belts.
“With the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) fast approaching, the MON Jiu-Jitsu League’s second round comes at the perfect time for me to test my skills, understand how my preparation can improve, and also trial a few new techniques that I have been working on,” she said. “We have all been training hard but the lessons you pick up in a competitive scenario are invaluable. I am looking forward to competing on Friday and helping Al-Ain march up the standings.”
Meanwhile, Youssef Al-Batran, a UAEJJF board member, said that the Vice President’s Jiu-Jitsu League’s second round would allow athletes timely exposure and action in the lead up to the ADWPJJ, to be held from April 6-9.
“Our goal at the UAEJJF is to always provide our fighters with the best opportunities to improve themselves on and off the mat,” he said. “Through such high-quality domestic tournaments, our fighters can judge the level of their own preparations, make changes as required, and dive into what will be a very busy season in an optimistic and confident manner.
“The Vice President’s Jiu-Jitsu League’s format has been changed from three to five rounds in order to encourage closer competition and allow athletes significantly more time on the mat, and we are confident this increased competitive exposure will benefit our fighters on the big stage,” Al-Batran added.
Zayed Al-Katheeri, who competes in the 56 kg category and represents Al-Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club, said that he expects to see stiffer competition in the second round of the Vice President’s Jiu-Jitsu League with a global event around the corner.
“With the ADWPJJC just 10 days away, every fighter will be targeting the Vice President’s Jiu-Jitsu League as the place where they will get a final measure of their preparation,” he said. “That will in turn encourage a high standard of play on the mat which is beneficial for everyone. I am really looking forward to getting on to the mat, continuing my good form, and ensuring that I specifically practice a few new techniques in a competitive setting.”