TOKYO, 22nd October, 2016 (WAM) — A 22-member UAE contingent will take to the mat along with 447 athletes from 30 countries in the jiu-jitsu championship series, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour 2016-17, in Tokyo, Japan, after an exceptionally successful two-day event in Los Angeles, USA, last September.

Some of the world’s finest jiu-jitsu players will compete for glory at Tokyo’s state-of-the-art venue, Big Turtle Fukaya, Saitama, on 23rd October.

The UAE athletes won 19 medals on the Los Angeles tour last month, according to the UAE Jiu-jitsu Federation, UAEJJF, the event organisers and official authority for jiu-jitsu in the UAE.

UAEJJF Chairman Abdulmunam Al Hashemi spoke by phone with Yousef Al Batran, UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation Board Member, to enquire about the preparations being made by the UAE team ahead of the championship.

The UAEJJF announced this edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour would be held in five international host cities around the world: Los Angeles (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and London (UK).

The host cities were chosen for their relevance and brand equity in the sport, based on a careful study that considered the geographical factor, demand for the sport in those countries and how they rank amongst the most competitive jiu-jitsu markets of the world. Japan is the birthplace of this martial art form, while Brazil has been attributed with taking it to the next level, as a sport.

London and Los Angeles are also premier centres for jiu-jitsu, while Abu Dhabi has been recognised as the new international capital of jiu-jitsu in recent years. The tournament will conclude in Abu Dhabi, UAE, at the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship event in 2017.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour is open to all nationalities, belt levels and ages. The medallists will be listed in the world jiu-jitsu rankings, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top athletes in each division. Top-ranked competitors will receive large prizes at the end of the season, based on the UAEJJF World Ranking.

Organisers said they seek to advance sports and transform the UAE into a world leader in jiu-jitsu and sports in general.

The UAEJJF’s vision is to be the leading symbol of jiu-jitsu in the world through the tour, aiming to provide a competitive environment to achieve sporting excellence at the local and global levels. The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour is the ideal championship for athletes who aspire to achieve professional status and an official world ranking.