• From the International Space Station, Sultan Al Neyadi converses and congratulates the UAE national team for winning the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship title for a fourth straight year

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, the governing body for the sports in the UAE, organised an interactive video conference with Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi on Wednesday. During the session, he shared his remarkable experience of practicing jiu-jitsu in space and how the sport has benefited him during his journey. Al Neyadi recently made history by becoming the first astronaut to practice jiu-jitsu at the International Space Station.

The exclusive event was inaugurated by His Excellency Brigadier General Mohammed bin Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Board Member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation. Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the UAE, along with several strategic partners of the UAEJJF, were also present at the event.

During the occasion, Al Neyadi engaged in a captivating conversation with the UAE National Team. He congratulated the team for winning the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship title for the fourth consecutive year. The championship took place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, last week, where the team performed outstandingly, securing a total of 14 impressive medals: eight gold, four silver, and two bronze.

Al Neyadi emphasised that these medals are a testament to the true mettle of the heroes who take immense pride and have a strong sense of belonging to their beloved country and its leadership. He commended their relentless efforts in upholding the nation’s flag with honour and excellence on every international stage.

His Excellency Brigadier General Mohammed bin Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Board Member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: “With his remarkable achievements, Sultan has exemplified the values of dedication and perseverance, and he proudly raised the UAE flag high among the stars.

“Sultan’s journey and his dedication to practicing Jiu-Jitsu in space reflects the indomitable spirit of the UAE culture and embodies the relentless pursuit of excellence, the courage to venture into uncharted territories, and the belief that no challenge is insurmountable” he said.

Al Dhaheri added: “Today, we have this unique opportunity to engage with Sultan, not just as an astronaut but as a fellow Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast. Let us embrace this moment to learn from his experiences, draw inspiration from his journey, and strive together to devote our commitment to contributing to the consolidation of our country’s global leadership in various fields.”

In response to attendee questions, Al Neyadi shared his insights on how his jiu-jitsu experience has helped during his mission. “Practising jiu-jitsu in the unique environment of space has been an extraordinary experience,” he said, live from the International Space Station.

“I would like to express my gratitude to our wise leadership, which firmly believes in the value of investing in the development of our people. They understand that the true wealth of our homeland lies in the growth and empowerment of its citizens. This serves as the cornerstone of our journey towards achieving an advanced position among nations.”

In turn, Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, praised the achievements of Al Neyadi, stressing that he represents a great example for the sons and daughters of the country, and a source of inspiration for talents whose dreams and aspirations know no limits. He noted his pride and honour to be surrounded by the stars of the national team – world Jiu-Jitsu champions – and in communication with a national hero who has embraced space and the dreams of all Emiratis.

Shamma Al Kalbani, the star of the national jiu-jitsu team and the 63kg world champion, said she was very happy to speak with Al Neyadi and interact with him in an open dialogue that brought joy to her and all her teammates. She added they can all learn from his determination, courage, and sacrifice.

“I wanted to appreciate the efforts of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation in organising and hosting such initiatives,” she said. “This video call came at the right time to motivate and encourage us to provide our best in the upcoming championships.”