JEDDAH: Jiu-jitsu professionals from around the world are heading to Abu Dhabi for a world championship, among them a group of Saudi siblings bidding for glory.
The Al-Radadi brothers will be flying the flag for the sport and the Kingdom, while also hoping to make their mark on the martial art.
Sultan, Abdel Aziz, Ahmed, Naif and Emad, who are aged between three and 15, will be competing in the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival through to the Youth Championship on the mats.
They were introduced to the sport by their father, Mamdouh, who picked it up at a private club in Jeddah.
The siblings already have gold medals under their belt from previous events and are heading to Abu Dhabi, eager to show that jiu-jitsu has a bright future.
“Jiu-jitsu will change the course of children’s lives and will enable them to cope with the challenges they will face in their future. As life is full of challenges, jiu-jitsu helps kids to gain self-confidence, discipline, respect, tolerance and hard work,” Mamdouh Al-Radadi said. “I encourage parents to enrol their children in a jiu-jitsu class to recognize the beauty of this sport. Coaches also have a responsibility in boosting the awareness of jiu-jitsu among children and encouraging them to practice it. The sport has a great future in Saudi Arabia and has the potential to replace football in Saudi schools’ sport curriculum.”
The Al-Radadis will be joined by athletes from other emerging countries in jiu-jitsu, including Jordan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Angola and more.
“The participation of the five siblings among other Saudi athletes at the ADWPJJC 2019 is a clear indication of the growth of the sport in this region and around the world, while highlighting the importance of this championship,” said Mohammed Hussein Al Marzooqi, director of marketing and finance at the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
“It is extremely encouraging to see such interest in the sport, which will have a positive impact on society in countries and help create the next generation of jiu-jitsu heroes. We look forward to welcoming all of the athletes.”
The world championship has reached full capacity for participants and registration is now closed.
The event is being held at Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi from April 20 under the patronage of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.