UAE  - Marcio Lucas from the Palms Sports Academy is just one of many youngsters who are hoping to showcase their skills at the AJP Tour Asia Continental Jiu-Jitsu Championship which kicked off at Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai on Friday.

The 17-year-old Brazilian who is based in Abu Dhabi said he has completed his preparations and is determined to finish on the podium this weekend when he competes in the 60kg category.

“I want to make a memorable impact this weekend,” he said.

“If I manage to do that. I will secure a podium and the points that come with it. That is my goal.”

The prestigious tournament, which brings together hundreds of talented Jiu-Jitsu practitioners from various academies across a range of categories, runs until Sunday, September 10.

It is organised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) in partnership with Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP).

The opening day’s action featured youth competitions with amateur and masters’ events scheduled for Saturday. Sunday’s final day will pit professional Jiu-Jitsu practitioners against each other representing the event’s highlight.

Youssef Abdullah Al Batran, UAEJJF Board Member, emphasised the significance of the championship as it precedes the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship which will take place in two months.

“This event serves as a perfect platform for athletes to assess their skills, refine their techniques, and work on their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “Furthermore, it brings together a roster of professional champions who will also participate in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in November. The AJP’s forward-thinking approach in allocating competitions for young and emerging players aligns with the Federation's strategy to nurture the next generation of champions,” Al Batran added.

“This approach not only facilitates talent discovery but also supports talent development, contributing to the growth of jiu-jitsu in the UAE, particularly those aged 4-13.”

Rodrigo Valerio, Operations Manager at AJP, expressed his excitement about the record-breaking participation levels and the presence of international stars who have travelled to compete in these prestigious matches.

He stressed the tournament's significance as it contributes to the annual ranking of the players endorsed by the AJP.

“The winners in each category will receive 1,400 rating points, which further enhances their chances of winning the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Award,” added Valerio. “This can’t be underestimated in terms of importance.”

Mahmoud El Sayed, Director of the Jiu-Jitsu Academy at Al Wahda Club, meanwhile reaffirmed the club's commitment to strong participation in AJP tournaments.

“These tournaments offer invaluable opportunities for players to gain experience and face elite competitors from around the world,” he said, adding that Al Wahda Club will be represented by 15 players aged 18 and above, all of whom will also compete at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in November.

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