Jiu-Jitsu World #12 - Tokyo Heat

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Jiu-Jitsu World

Number 12 - 2018



Jiu-Jitsu World

Number 12 - 2018



Jiu-Jitsu Jiu-JitsuWorld World

BE Y O N D T H E D U N E S A N D A L L I M A G I N AT I O N y o u d i s c o v e r a n A r a b i a n t r e a s u re with glistening pools, nestled in the golden sands. This hidden palace invites you t o c o u n t l e s s a d v e n t u re s , e n d l e s s re l a x a t i o n a n d u n f o rg e t t a b l e i n d u l g e n c e . But what to do first? I t d o e s n ’ t re a l l y m a t t e r when you have it all a t y o u r f i n g e rt i p s .

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara #InAbuDhabi

visitabudhabi.ae Number01 12--2017 2018 Number



Jiu-Jitsu World

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Jiu-Jitsu World #12


Forces of Nature Black belts raise the temperature in the opening event of the 2018/2018 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam to claim their spot among the best in the world



Tales of Champions, Hearts of Gold

Battle of details

Para-athletes, masters and young talents give their best to reach the top of their divisions at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo

Vitor Shaolin and Daisuke Shiraki put on a great show for the crowd on the return of the Abu Dhabi Legends series in Tokyo


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2018 Asian Games

Dream Come True


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His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi


Full throttle to success


Following God’s will

Get Social

Happiness in Tokyo

Know your way to the top

Understanding the UAEJJF athletes ranking

Around the Globe Join the Global Movement

My Grand Slam

Success on the ground, triumph on the top

The Titans are Coming

The King of Mats series returns to settle who’s going to have the chance to challenge champion Alexander Trans for the heavyweight belt

UAE News & Opinion

Lifestyle Tips The mind workout


Travel and Roll Travel around the world in Los Angeles

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The Chairman of the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation, His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi shares his views on the groundbreaking work that is being done by the Federation to incentive the sport in the country and around the world. Following the vision and intelligent leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAEJJF is working tirelessly for a greater future for Jiu-Jitsu.

Hard work always brings the best results The 2018/2019 season could not have begun on a more positive note. The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo, held on July 29, in Japan, surpassed all expectations. The registrations had to be closed early due to full capacity. This was another proof of how strong Jiu-Jitsu is in the region and how positive are the results of the consistent work done by UAEJJF officials to bring the best events to our community of athletes and fans. We now look forward to the second installment of the 2018/2019 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour. The city of Los Angeles will be the next host of the greatest Jiu-Jitsu tour in the world. We expect nothing but the best event possible in LA. As the season continues it will also include events in the Regional, National Pro, International Pro series and the newly launched King of Mats events. We trust that we will see the best competitors of every nation on the mats giving their best to be crowned champions. The UAEJJF will continue to work relentlessly to make it possible for our sport to keep growing and changing the lives of people all over the world. In this new season, we wish all Jiu-Jitsu competitors and fans the best of luck on the mats and trust once again that there will be some incredible moments — the likes of which only Jiu-Jitsu can deliver. We once again would like to express our gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, for his continuous support of Jiu-Jitsu. His Highness has always been a source of inspiration for us and we are fortunate to have him on our side. For every single Jiu-Jitsu player in the UAE, the ultimate honor has always been meeting His Highness after winning a local, intercontinental or international championship. After the 2018 ADWPJJC, once again, His Highness welcomed the champions at the presidential palace to commend them on their excellence.

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Chairman: H.E. Abdulmunam Al Hashemi CEO: Fahad Al Shamsi Executive Manager: Rodrigo Valerio Editor in Chief: Ivan Trindade Editor: Ane Nunes Designer: Henrique Diniz Editorial Production: Gentle Art Media Advertising Director: Ane Nunes Newsroom: news@jiujitsuworldmag.com Advertise with us: marketing@jiujitsuworldmag.com Customer Care: info@jiujitsuworldmag.com

Jiu-Jitsu World Magazine - Head Office: Capital Tower, 17th Floor 33rd St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates PO BOX 110004

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T he

2018/2019 season could not have had a better beginning. The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo was an event to remember, on July, 29. With full capacity reached more than a week before the final registration deadline, it proved that Jiu-Jitsu is strong than ever in Japan and that the Tour has become the event athletes look for the whole year. Men and women of all ages and skill levels gave their best on the mats to deliver the highest level of technique possible. Para-Athltetes, as always, gave a strong demonstration on how to overcome life’s hurdles and become a champion no matter what. The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo is the main attraction on the pages of Jiu-Jitsu Word #12. Here you’ll find the complete coverage of all the action, from white belt to black belt, from juvenile to the Legends supematch between Vitor Shaolin and Daisuke Shiraki. With every new issue, we work hard to bring the most complete report on all the activity going on all over the world. This month’s issue is no different. We travel from China to Brazil with stops in Indonesia and Japan. We feature events small and big as every one of them plays a important role in the development of our beloved sport. As we reach the second year of publication, Jiu-Jitsu World keeps improving itself to offer more and more quality content. In this issue, we introduce the collaboration of black belt champion and fitness and well-being expert Sophia McDermott Drysdale. She debuts with an article on the benefits of meditation for Jiu-Jitsu athletes. Expect much more from Sophia, as she lends her knowledge for the benefit of our readers. On another first, the series “My Grand Slam” will feature the off-mat experiences of our heroes as they travel the world to compete in each stop of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour. We begin with a group of brave competitors that after a full day of competition found the strength to conquer Japan’s highest mount. We continue to look ahead and get you ready for what is coming. The next stop of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour will be in Los Angeles, California, on September 22. This issue offers you a guide on how to spend your time in the city and also brings you an article on the heavyweight King of Mats event to get you ready for the action on September 23. Once again, we sincerely hope to have fulfilled your expectations. Enjoy Jiu-Jitsu World #12 and stay on the mats. We wish you a pleasant read and hope to see you back here for the next one.

Photo by Ane Nunes Artwork by Henrique Diniz

Ivan Trindade

Editor in Chief


Jiu-Jitsu World

Full throttle to success

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2018 ASIAN GAMES The devoted and hardworking team that made the first appearance of Jiu-Jitsu at the Asian Games possible

Dream Come True

Scan here for the complete results.

Jiu-Jitsu has a glorious debut at the 2018 Asian Games with hundreds of athletes from all over the continent giving their best on the mats

Words: Ivan Trindade | Images: Ane Nunes

After years of dedication and hard work, the day finally came for the Jiu-Jitsu community disembark at the big stage. On August 24, 2018, the sport made its debut at the 18th edition of the Asian Games, the second largest multi-sport event in the world. With eight weigh classes, being six for men and two for women, the competition ran smoothly throughout the three days of matches at the Jakarta Convention Center, in the heart of the games. Before all the action, the Ju-Jitsu Asian Union held two meetings to welcome the officials and the teams. On August 22, all of those working at the Jiu-Jitsu competitions got together at the Sultan Hotel for a final briefing on all the proceedings. The General Secretary of the Ju-Jitsu Asian Union, Mr. Fahad Ali AL Shamsi, opened the event with kind words of encouragement: “We would like to thank the Olympic Council of Asia for bringing Jiu-Jitsu to the Asian Games. Thank you for the Ju-Jitsu International Federation for making it possible�. On August 23, now at the Jakarta Convention Center, coaches of each nation taking part in the Jiu-Jitsu competition gathered with officials for a final technical meeting. They were informed of how the brackets were drawn and how the competition would run for the next three days. The next three days were glorious and a true milestone for the sport. Jiu-Jitsu was finally a part of the Olympic movement. In the next pages you will relive the thrills that went down in Jakarta at the 2018 Asian Games.


On August 22, all the officials involved in the Jiu-Jitsu competition at the Asian Games met for a final tuning of the proceedings.

On August 23, the technical meeting brought together representatives of all nations involved for the final adjustments in the format of the competition.

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After all the effort, listening your country’s anthem is a moment every athlete waits for in their career The venue was ready to go one day before the event, giving Jiu-Jitsu the stage it deserved for the occasion.

The medals arrived at each podium ceremony with the proper treatment for such an important occasion

South Korea’s Kira Sung displayed a lot of skills to climb to the top of the -62kg division and secure another gold medal for her country.

Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Nortayev had no easy path to the gold medal in the -62kg division, but made it anyway.

In an all-UAE gold medal match, Hamad Nawad confirmed his condition as number 1 in the -56kg division. Number 12 - 2018

The Asian Games Mascots paid a visit to the Jiu-Jitsu Arena to entertain the crowd.

The UAE secured it’s second gold medal with the very talented Faisal Al Ketbi, who cruised to the top of the podium with a powerful game.

Cambodia’s Jessa Khan was a step above the competition in her rise to the gold medal in the -49kg division.

Another talent from Kazakhstan, Ruslan Israilov battled fiercely to conquer the gold medal in the -77kg division.

The gold medal is the ultimate reward for all the sacrifices an athlete makes

Jordan’s Haidar Al Rasheed fought his way to a glorious campaign that ended with the gold medal in the -85kg division.

Kyrgyzstan’s Torokan Bagynbai had to fight to the very last second of a very tough bracket to take the gold medal home in the -69kg division.



The newest talent coming out of Brazil talks about her humble beginnings in Rio de Janeiro and reveals her plans for a future as great as her talent and dedication to the sport

Words: Ivan Trindade | Images: Ane Nunes


Gabrieli Pessanha is yet another shooting star of talent coming out of Brazil. The Rio de Janeiro native has been making a lot of damage on competitions in the lower belts, catching the attention of both fans and the media. In Tokyo, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam she competed against black belt opponents and could not have done better. In this exclusive interview, Gabi talks about her beginning in Jiu-Jitsu, her strengths as a competitor and her plans for the future. Time to found out how a champion is made. Jiu-Jitsu World: You came under the spotlight for having great success in the lower belts in major competitions. Please, tell us a little about how you started out in Jiu-Jitsu and how you decided to make a career out of it. GABRIELI PESSANHA: Istarted training in 2011 at the community I live in, which is called City of God, in Rio de Janeiro west side. There is a social project called Lutadores de Cristo (Fighters of Christ) and one day they called the kids that used to hang out at a soccer field by the church to train. My friend

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Lucas ran to my house and called me to go train with him. At first I didn’t want to, but he managed to convince me to go watch. I really didn’t like it, but one day the Professor invited me to have a try and I never stopped training since. The first time I thought about Jiu-Jitsu as a career was when my Professor told me about this kid named Lucas Vale, who had won the plane ticket to compete in the USA. At that time, I was only 13 and I thought it would be impossible to go fight outside Brazil. When I heard about Lucas I knew that was what I wanted to do. Travel the world competing in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments. Who are the biggest influences in your career so far and what were the most important lessons they taught you so far? My biggest influences are my family, my Professor and my training partners. They are the ones who give all the support both in good and bad times. They are the ones to tell me not to give up. I know I would never be able to make it without their support. They are the ones that teach me to be happy and face any kind of obstacle.


What are the three most important characteristics you have as a person that help you be successful as an athlete on the mats? I have no doubt that the three most important things I carry with me are the trust I have in God, the support I have from those around me and the amount of training I put in to achieve my goals. Most of all, I try to always be happy when training or competing. It’s vital to love what you do otherwise you’ll not be able to succeed. You should become a black belt in the near future after great success in the lower belts. What are your expectations for this new chapter in your career? I have always trained focusing on becoming a black belt, traveling the world and knowing other parts of the world. Fortunately, it all happened so fast and at 17 years of age I am able to do all those things. So, what I expect is to continue in this same path. I know a lot of things will happen. I know I will grow more mature and hopefully improve my Jiu-Jitsu. I hope to continue to plant the seeds for a better future. I have complete trust in God and I know He has only good things saved for all of us in the future.


You recently won the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo with an awesome performance competing against black belt athletes. What is for you the importance of winning a tournament like this one? It was a struggle against myself at first. I was really in doubt whether I was ready or not for such a challenge. Thank God, it all worked out great and I was able to win the title. Also, I had a great experience spending so much time in Japan training at Infight. I got to meet and train with so many different people and learn a lot. Now I want to go back in time and live it again. The UAEJJF circuit stands out against others for awarding athletes with significant money prizes. For you, what is the importance for athletes to have their efforts rewarded monetarily? The first UAEJJF event I competed in was in 2016, as a blue belt and I won $400, which helped me cover costs of future travels to compete. With the prize from Japan I got the chance to go compete in Los Angeles and so on. I want to compete all Grand Slams. I have never got such big prizes from any other federations. It really helps me a lot. It’s great for athletes to see their efforts rewarded. I hope I can win it again in Los Angeles.

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Happiness in Tokyo Champions or not, the athletes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo enjoyed their stay in Japan and shared their stories on social media Images: Instagram

For the fourth year in a row, the Jiu-Jitsu community gathered in Japan’s capital to compete at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour. The 2018/2019 season opener was a huge success with the registration closing before the deadline due to full capacity being reached. One in Tokyo, our heroes fought hard, some won some didn’t, but they all walked out of the Ota Ward Gymnasium felling happy for being able to do what they love. They shared their experiences on and off the mats and we have gathered a taste for you. Next stop, LA. Hope to see you there.


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UAEJJF Athlete’s Ranking

Know your way to the top Understanding the UAEJJF athletes ranking Words: Rodrigo Valério, Ivan Trindade | Image: Ane Nunes


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The New UAEJJF World Ranking Format Based on rules of the Olympic Charter, the Qualification System aims to ensure that the principles of universality, performance, country, representation and gender equity, remain the focus for the UAEJJF participation. In addition, a number of other technical principles and rules have been established to provide a basis for the development of the UAEJJF Qualification System. The ranking is the most fair way of awarding the effort and the talent of each athlete that signs up to one of the UAEJJF tournaments throughout the year. It is also a great incentive for more and more athletes to take part in as many events as they can. The next pages will explain how the ranking works and the new changes. Have a good read, put on your gi and go out there to add points right away.

How does the ranking work and what are the main changes?

The raking period will be in general for 24 months. The Seven (7) best results during next season (12 months’ period) will count + one extra (8th) result from the Continental Pro + the result of Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship, starting from 1st May 2018. The points for each individual tournament will expire as follows: • From May 1st, 2018 to April 30th, 2019 the points will count 100%. • After May 1st, 2019 the points will be reduced to 50%. • After May 1st, 2020 the points will be reduced to 0 and not count anymore. The dividing line is the first week of May 2019. Example: If tournament is held in first week of May 2018, the points are reduced to half on the first week on May 2019 and expired in the first week of May 2020.

How to add points in the ranking?

You add points in the ranking by at least participating in one of the events of the UAEJJF calendar (the current calendar started on May 1, 2018 and ends on April 30, 2019). There are six kinds of events in terms of how many points you’ll get: 1 - ADWPJJC – 6 stars; 2 - Abu Dhabi Grand Slam – 5 stars; 3 - Continental Pro – 5 stars; 4 - National Pro – 4 stars; 5 - International Pro – 3 stars; 6 - Regional Tournament – 2 stars. Here are the number of points athletes will earn on each event depending on their performance.

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Here are a few examples of how to count an athlete’s points.

How many rankings are there?

The UAEJJF has divided the ranking in several categories. You can say that the two most important are male adult black belt and female adult brown/black belt. Each belt has its own ranking starting with white belts. You also have a ranking in the male master division, an academy ranking, continental and country rankings. There are also No-Gi rankings. For what else is the ranking used for by the UAEJJF? The Federation will use the ranking to decide your position on the bracket of the ADWPJJC. It will also use the ranking to invite athletes to compete in the ADWPJJC. In addition the ranking will be used to select fighters for the new Abu Dhabi King of Mats through Continental Ranking and Grand Slam Placements. What are the prizes for ranking leaders? After all the effort, it is natural that ranking leaders at the end of the season receive proper rewards. The tables bellow show the main prizes for both the Gi and No-Gi rankings. The male adult Gi black belt division alone will award US$40,000, while the female Gi brown/black belt division will award US$18,000. That’s the same amount reserved for the male adult brown belt ranking leaders and the master 1 male black belt division.


What else do you need to know about the ranking? Yes. There are a few details you need to know about the ranking. If you are alone in a division, you won’t earn points in the ranking. If you change belts during the season, you lose the points from the previous belt. The same happens if you change age divisions during the calendar. Due to the academies ranking, the UAEJJF will not change an athlete’s team during the same season. Another features to be implemented are that athletes will get points for not only placements, but also for each matches won. For example, athletes can get a certain point for a gold medal, but will also earn extra points for each win. So if athletes win a really large bracket that could lead award more points than smaller brackets. On top on that athletes will be awarded even extra points for different type of wins, for example winning by advantage or by submissions. Are there any more novelties in the ranking for the 2018-2019 season? In case of equality of total RANK points, the higher ranking will be decided by: 1. The highest sum of the current points from World Pro. 2. The highest sum of the current points from all Grand Slams. 3. The highest sum of the current points from all Continental Pro, followed by National Pro, International Pro and Regional Championships. 4. The highest current points from one single event, then, if needed, the second highest, and so on. 5. If the competitors are still equal the decision will be taken by the number of matches done by the fighter through the season, followed by the fastest submission(s) or who made more points during the matches in case of World Pro Qualification. Scan here for more info

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Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo


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s raise the lt e b k c la B opening e h t in e r n temperatu 018 seaso 2 / 8 1 0 2 e event of th rand Slam G i b a h D of the Abu mong the a t o p s ir e to claim th world e h t in t s e b

Words: Ivan Trindade | Images: Ane Nunes, Ivan Trindade

The 2018/2019 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour kicked off on July 29, in Tokyo, Japan, with a full day of thrills for Jiu-Jitsu fans all over the world. The adult black belt division, as usual, carried serious weight with both local talent and international stars flying in to compete for their chance of winning hefty money prizes. The action inside the Ota Ward Gymnasium was just like the weather of summer in Japan. It was hot all the way through and all athletes gave their best to reach the top of their divisions. As a typhoon rained down on the city, our heroes rained all kinds of high level techniques on the mats for the awe of the crowd both on the stands and also watching live at home on TV or online. In the next pages you’ll go through all the action once again with the best images and the outcome of every match. Number 10 - 2018


Adult Male Black Belt

56 kg Fast Track to Gold

The bracket had three men in it, but Brazil’s Alex Lira did not show up so it became an All-Japan affair. It was a very close affair, as the match that decided the gold medal was decided by one advantage. In a single match between two acountrymen, Nobuhiro Sawada beat Massaki Todokoro 1-0 on advantages and took the gold medal home. Podium 1st – Nobuhiro Sawada 2nd – Massaki Todokoro


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Tokyo Idol Two matches was what it took for Tomoyuki Hashimoto to become a Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo champion. In his first match, Hashimoto finished his fellow countrymen Yuto Hirao to reach the final match. His opponent would be Brazil’s João Gabriel Batista, who beat Kazuya Kawashima 6-2 and Jun Sakamoto 2-0 on advantages. The gold medal match kicked off with Hashimoto locking a triangle on Gabriel, who fought bravely and eventually escaped. Nevertheless, the advantage for the triangle was the edge Hashimoto needed to win the gold medal.

62 kg

Podium 1st – Tomoyuki Hashimoto 2nd – João Gabriel Batista 3rd – Kazuya Kawashima


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Opportunity Taken When the favorite Paulo Miyao did not show up to compete, the path to the gold medal became wide open. The champion was decided in one single match between Australia’s Lee Ting and Brazil’s Marcio Medeiros. Ting went on the attack and secured a 8-0 lead that granted him the gold medal


69 kg

1st – Lee Ting 2nd – Marcio Medeiros

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77 kg No Shortcuts to Glory

Diego Ramalho had a long way to the title. The Brazilian flew from California to compete in the most crowded bracket of the black belt division. In four matches, he first beat South Korea’s Inseong Jang 2-0, then repeated the score against Canadian Jacob Mackenzie to meet and finish Japan’s Yuji Okamoto in the semifinal. The gold medal match was a close affair, with Ramalho and Kleber Koike fighting to the very end. A narrow 1-0 lead on advantages allowed Ramalho to take the title home. Podium 1st – Diego Ramalho 2nd – Kleber Koike 3rd – Jacob Mackenzie

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Starting with the Right Foot American DJ Jackson is planning on competing in all five legs of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour in the 2018/2019 season. The first step could not have gone better. The black belt fought three times in Tokyo, first finishing Japan’s Takagi Shota with an armbar and then also getting the tap against Alan Fidelis. In the final, Jackson worked his top game to outscore Great Britain’s Bradley Hill with a takedown and a guard pass to build a 5-0 lead.


85 kg

1st – DJ Jackson 2nd – Bradley Hill 3rd – Thomas Mietz


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94 kg On the Right Track

Brazil’s Rudson Mateus was another champion to enter the mat three times in Tokyo. He debuted against Germany’s Nicolas Penzer, beat by a 9-2 final score. Then he finished Anton Minenko with a armbar from the 50/50 guard and met up with Arya Esfandmaz in the final. The Brazilian black belt imposed his game on Arya to build a 9-0 lead and take the gold medal home. Podium 1st – Rudson Matheus 2nd – Ayra Esfandmaz 3rd – Anton Minenko


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Back to Back to Gold

110 kg

Guttemberg Pereira was the favorite for the gold medal in the heaviest division and he made sure to confirm his condition. In two matches, Pereira was able to dominate the mat and finish Wanderson Amakawa twice to claim the title. The armlock was the weapon of choice both times for Pereira.

Podium 1st – Guttemberg Pereira 2nd – Wanderson Amakawa

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Female Brown/Black Belt

New season, same champion

49 kg

Mayssa Caldas came, fought, finished both her opponents and took the gold medal home. The Brazilian caught Japan’s Iori Echigo and Aya Matsumoto with her trademark bow and arrow choke to claim her first gold medal of the season. She remains unbeatable in her weight class in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour.

Podium 1st – Mayssa Caldas 2nd – Aya Matsumoto 3rd – Iori Echigo


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Who can beat Amal Another reigning ADWPJJC champion, now a black belt, Amal Amjahid kept no prisoners in Tokyo. In two matches, she first finished South Korea’s Eummi Lee with a lapel choke from side control and then caught Livia Gluchowska with a foot lock to continue to reign supreme in the division. Podium

55 kg

1st – Amal Amjahid 2nd – Livia Gluchowska 3rd – Eunmi Lee

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First the Gold, then the Mount

62 kg

In one match, Larissa Paes beat Natalia Zumba 5-2 to take the gold medal home. The Brazilian celebrated her title in Tokyo with a 10-hour hike up Mount Fuji the day after the competition.

Podium 1st – Larissa Paes 2nd – Natália Zumba


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Battle to the Finish Samantha Cook and Claudia were the favorites to be in the final and both made it there. Do Val beat Meagan Evans 2-0 and Priscilla Cerqueira by decision to reach the gold medal match. Cook caught Caroline Marciano with a choke from the back. In the final, after a very close match, the referees decided in favor of Cook following a 0-0 tie on points.

70 kg

Podium 1st – Samantha Cook 2nd – Claudia Do Val 3rd – Priscila Cerqueira

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Rising Star

90 kg

Gabrieli Pessanha is another upcoming talent that deserves attention. In two matches in Tokyo, she paved her way to the gold medal with imposing performances. She first beat Jessica Andrade 17-2 and then outscored Shantelle Thompson 14-0.

Podium 1st – Gabrieli Pessanha 2nd – Jessica Andrade 3rd – Shantelle Thompson


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Point by Point The two biggest Jiu-Jitsu teams in Japan fought head to head for the lead after each match. Every result of every athlete meant a step closer to the top of the podium. In the end, Axis JiuJitsu finished first, followed by Infight Japan. Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club, from the UAE, completed the podium. Podium 1st – Axis Jiu-Jitsu 2nd – Infight Japan 3rd – Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club

Scan here for the complete results.

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Battle of details Vitor Shaolin and Daisuke Shiraki put on a great show for the crowd on the return of the Abu Dhabi Legends series in Tokyo Words: Ivan Trindade | Images: Ane Nunes

Before the match, it was undeniable that Vitor Shaolin was a more well known name within the Jiu-Jitsu community than Japanese black belt Daisuke Shiraki. A two-time Legends champion, having finished both Daniel Moraes and Kenny Florian in his first two appearances, Shaolin was perceived as the favorite in the match. Well, once the action began, the story went a little off the script people had drawn in their minds. Daisuke Shiraki showed from the very first second that he meant business and went after a guard pass that left Shaolin visibly surprised. The Japanese black belt started out in full speed to quickly reach Shaolin’s half guard and score an advantage. Shaolin used all his experience to put the breaks on Shiraki and slow the match down to a more comfortable pace. The Brazilian eventually found the strength to attack a cross choke from the closed guard to score an advantage and secure the win by one penalty. The crowd was pleased with the show put by both fighters. As the referee raised Shaolin’s arm to mark his third win in three Legends matches, the crowd applauded both warriors for the display of drive and technique.


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Using a lot of speed, Shiraki went after the guard pass in the beginning of the match

The Japanese black belt put Shaolin in deep trouble as he almost reached the pass

Shaolin used all his skills to stop Shiraki’s drive

Shiraki reached the deep half guard and was awarded an advantage for his efforts


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Little by little, Shaolin worked his way back to the closed guard

The match was fought to very last second and both fighters gave all they had

Shaolin went on attack mode with chokes from the closed guard that had Shiraki in trouble

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Shiraki was not done yet and he kept putting pressure on Shaolin’s guard

The amount of effort was clear on the expressions of both fighters

The Japanese was wise to defend Shaolin’s attack but could not avoid having an advantage scored against him



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Tales of Champions, Hearts of Gold Para-athletes, masters and young talents give their best to reach the top of their divisions at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo

Words: Ivan Trindade | Images: Ane Nunes

As much as the adult black belt division always attracts the most attention from the crowd, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam always offers a lot more than that to the crowd both on the stands and at home


watching on TV or online. The ADGS Tokyo was no exception, as the color belts from white to brown belt and also the masters division and the para-Jitsu featured high level action and lots of drama. In the masters 1 black belt division, both local talents and international stars climbed all the way to the top of their

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brackets to claim the gold medal and the coveted money prizes offered to medalists. The color belts saw a lot of upcoming talents show the crowd that they are ready for bigger challenges and they fought with almost the same level of skills and efforts as seasoned black belts.

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At last but definitely not least, the para-athletes proved once again that no hurdle is high enough for those who have fierce hearts and the passion for the sport few possess. In the following pages, you will relive the thrills that swept Tokyo on the weekend of July 28-29.


Japan’s Yamada Yoshihiro was the ruler of the master 1 black belt 62kg division. He beat Ezaki Hisashi 6-0 in the final to take the gold medal home

Daisuke Nakamura was another Japanese gold medalist. He edged Marcelino de Freitas in the master 1 black belt 69kg division final by a narrow 1-0 lead on advantages


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Brazil’s Bruno Amorin left no stone unturned in the master 1 black belt 77kg division. In the big final, he beat Suto Rogério 1-0 on advantages to claim the title

The crowd cheered and celebrated the effort of each athlete

The women’s division was also a hotspot for talent and thrills in Tokyo

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The purple belts fought each match to the very last second 67

Sergio Rios awed the crowd in the Ota Gymnasium. He beat Pedro JordĂŁo 2-0 in the final to win the master 1 black belt 85kg division

Anderson Takahashi made all the way in the master 1 black belt 94kg division. In the gold medal match, he beat Dean Liebenberg by referees decision after a 6-6 tie on points


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No matter what obstacle life presented the para-athletes, they always had the answer for it.

New talents popped out on almost every match in Tokyo.

Every para-Jiu-Jitsu match was a hard fought match

The para-Jiu-Jitsu was another highlight of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo

No matter what the outcome, there were no losers on the mats of Tokyo

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Goiania June 23-24, 2018

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Goiania International Pro The Jiu-Jitsu community in Brazil travelled to the capital of the state of Goias on the weekend of June 23-24. For two full days, some of the best competitors in the country gave their best on the mats to reach the top of their divisions. Athletes of all ages and also the always inspiring para-athletes awed the crowd with top level technique and infinite drive on each match. In the black belt division, champions were: Female brown/ black – 90kg – Thayna Sousa; Male Black belt – 62kg – Levy Ferreira; 69kg – Mateus Garcia; 77kg – Bernardo Dib; 85kg – Vitor Corte; 94kg – Caue Rodrigues; 110kg – Marcus Ruiz. In the teams competition, results were: 1st – Gracie Barra 3765pts; 2nd – Atrium BJJ 2170pts; 3rd – 975pts.


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Gramado July 7-8, 2018

Gramado International Pro July is the height of winter time in the southern part of Brazil. Temperatures get below zero often and it’s not uncommon to see some snowfall in certain areas. Nevertheless, Gramado was flaming hot on the weekend of July 7-8 with the Gramado International Pro. The event gathered hundreds of Jiu-Jitsu athletes and also para-athletes of all ages. They all showed a lot of drive to fight their hearts out in search of the coveted gold medals in each division. In the black belt division, champions were: Male – 62kg – Jorge Nakamura; 69kg – Jean Adamy; 77kg – Yago Spindola; 85kg – Alexandre Vieira; 110kg – Diogo Nascimento; Female Brown/ Black – 62kg – Thaisy Buchebaum; 70kg – Maira Batista; 90kg – Caroline De Lazzer. In the teams competition, results were: 1st – Sul Jiu-Jitsu 1948pts; Ja Jiu-Jitsu 1345pts; 3rd – Mestre Julio Secco 740pts

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Aracaju July 21-22, 2018

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Aracaju International Pro The beautiful city of Aracaju, capital of the state of Sergipe, in the northeastern coast of Brazil is a treat to the eyes of those lucky enough to visit it. On July 21-22, hundreds of Jiu-Jitsu competitors gathered in the city to test their skills and fight for the highest step on the podium. The crowd on the stands saw another proof of why Brazil is such a hotspot for Jiu-Jitsu talents. Athletes of all ages and skill levels took their bodies to the ultimate limit in search of glory. In the black belt division, champions were: Male - 62kg – Jorge Nakamura; 69kg – Marcelo Arcieri; 77kg – Romario Teodoro; 85kg – Alisson Santos; 94kg – Matheus Felix; 110kg – Rodrigo Pereira. Female – 62kg – Alliny Santos; 70kg – Joana Santana. In the teams division, results were: 1st – GF Team 3155pts; 2nd - Fit Combat 960pts; 3rd – Zenith 625pts.


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Taiyuan August 25, 2018

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Taiyuan International Pro The UAEJJF international circuit of events is always expanding according to the goal of taking Jiu-Jitsu to as many people as possible. In the 2018/2019 season, China was added as yet another country to host an event. The Taiyuan International Pro took place August 25 and gathered hundreds of athletes of all ages that did their best on the mats to win their divisions and add valuable points in the athletes’ ranking. In the black belt division, champions were: Male Open 77kg – Luis Fernando Vieira; Open 110kg – Thyago Garatina; Open Master 1 77kg – Ayres Dias Neto; Open Master 1 110kg – Guilherme Araujo. In the teams competition, results were: 1st – Checkmat International 1010pts; 2nd – Garuda Mongolia 780pts; 3rd – Atos 666pts.


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Success on the ground, triumph on the top The story of how a group of Jiu-Jitsu athletes ruled the mats and conquered the highest point in Japan


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Words: Will Karakawa | Images: Ane Nunes, Will Karakawa

My name is Will Karakawa, but everyone knows me as Will. I am a Jiu-Jitsu black belt born in Brazil, but I live in Japan for 20 years now. I can honestly say that among all Jiu-Jitsu events I took part in, the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo was the most special. I can even say it was unforgettable. I had the pleasure of coordinating the matches for the para-Jiu-Jitsu divisions. The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo registered a record number of para-athletes, which made me very happy and touched. It was one of the highest points in the daily struggle to make para-Jiu-Jitsu more popular in Japan. We had athletes from three different continents and for the first time we were able to have a division exclusive for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Despite a few mishaps, we were able to put on an event that was close to perfect in my opinion. After the success at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo, came the time to conquer the highest point in Japan, the mighty Mount Fuji and its majestic 3776 meters. It was the setting for a group of friends consisting of athletes that had just competed at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo. It all started with a Whats App group of Brazilian athletes residing in the United Arab Emirates that wanted to compete in Tokyo. I was added to the group to be a kind of local guide, once most of then had never been to Japan before. That’s when the idea of trekking up Mount Fuji came up. For a whole month we planned the adventure and on the morning of July 30 we met in Tokyo and set out to conquer the Mount. After a quick meal, we drove to Yamanashi and a few hours later we were at the starting point of the Yoshida route. There, we waited a few hours to get used to the altitude. Our group consisted of myself, my son Kenzo

Karakawa, Samuel Araujo, Gabriele Araujo, Fabio Bondesan and ADGS Tokyo black belt champion Larissa Paes. We started the hike at 6pm on a constant and easy pace. We stopped a few times to rest. As the altitude increased, so did the hunger and the effort to keep on walking. The lack of oxygen also played a role in making the task harder to complete. Our main incentive was the clock, as we had the goal of reaching the summit before sunset in the next morning. Our deadline was 4:22AM. After 10 hours of hike, we reached the summit at exactly 4:20AM as the sun was beginning to appear in the horizon. It almost seems like I am lying, but that was exactly what happened. It was harder than we imagined, but our group had a lot of drive to reach the top and we all made it. After a well deserved resting period and also some great photo ops, we started the hike down. In another three hours, we made all the way down. It was also very tiring, but we couldn’t care less as we were so happy to have conquered the Mount Fuji. On our way down we crossed paths with other groups still on their way up and we noticed how silent and focused they were in contrast with the chatty and happy group we were going downhill. Our group had the right mix of people and we created an incredible synergy among us. Nevertheless, if you ask me if I would do it again, I would say it’s not likely. I sign off by wishing all readers to take advantage of the opportunities that appear to then. Go after your dreams and don;t be afraid of facing the challenges life throws at then on and off the mats. Oss.



the TITANS ARE COMING The King of Mats series returns to settle who’s going to have the chance to challenge champion Alexander Trans for the heavyweight belt The ground at the Los Angeles Convention Center will literally shake on September 23. Ten of the best heavyweight black belts in the world will step on the mat to compete for a chance to take home one of Jiu-Jitsu’s most prestigious titles: Abu Dhabi King of Mats. Gearing up for the historic day in LA, we put together this guide on what to expect and who are the warriors that will battle for the chance to compete against champion Alexander Trans for the belt.


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Adam Wardzinski 27 years old



Abu Dhabi Grand Slam London Champion (2016)

The Polish from Checkmat team is responsible for some of the most thrilling matches of recent times. His battles against Xande Ribeiro and Felipe Pena became instant classics for the level of Jiu-Jitsu displayed and the heart Wardzinski puts on ever second of his matches. It should not be different in Los Angeles. Once again, his butterfly guard will put opponents in deep trouble. Does Wardzinski have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

Alexandro Ceconi 36 years old


Ceconi Team 1X ADWPJJC Champion (2010)

Ceconi brings a lot of experience to the table. With many years of activity on the mats competing against all kinds of opponents, the black belt under Rillion Gracie gets scared at nothing. His powerful top game will do a lot of damage on the mats for sure. Cecconi is well worth a bet for the title. Does Alex have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

Jackson Sousa 28 years old



From Rio to the world, Jackson Sousa has put his skills to prove against opponents of all shapes and sizes in more than a decade of competition career. He brings his refined Jiu-Jitsu to the mats in Los Angeles and will pose as a great threat to any adversary he’s matched against. Jackson’s guard passing game is his strongest weapon.

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Erberth Santos

Gabriel Arges

24 years old


25 years old

EsquadrĂŁo de Jiu-Jitsu Brasileiro 2X ADWPJJC champion (2016/2018)

Showman Erberth is back to once again awe the crowds with his skillful game and also with his unpredictable behavior. One of the most exciting competitors of his generations, Erberth leaves a mark wherever he goes. In Los Angeles, it should not be different. Santos is a safe bet for going far in the competition using his creative and well rounded game. Does Santos have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?


Gracie Barra

2x ADWPJJC Champion (2016/2017)

Arges is up for an immense challenge. Usually a competitor in the 77kg division, the black belt under Romulo Barral will go for it against much heavier opponents. Just like his Professor Barral, Arges is known for a highly technical guard game that leave opponents always uncomfortable and prone to make mistakes. Does Arges have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

Gerard Labinski 24 years old


NS Brotherhood


Guttemberg Pereira 25 years old

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio Champion (2017)


Another young gun sure to make some noise in Los Angeles. The Polish has been training in Brazil with Leandro Lo and his crew of assassins for quite some time now, so we all know what to expect when Gerard steps on the mat. Labisnki is another giant who likes to play guard and his sweeps and attacks from the bottom are notorious. Opponents do not have a moment of peace when competing against him. Does Labinski have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo Champion (2018)

GF Team

Another Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo champion who’s ready to go. Guttemberg Pereira comes from the factory of champions called GF Team and his style has a lot to do with the beasts he used to train with in Brazil, like Rodolfo Vieira for instance. Despite the young age, Pereira has a extensive winning record in competitions. No opponent is safe against his very well rounded game. Does Pereira have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

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Ricardo Evangelista 32 years old


GF Team / Commando Group 1X ADWPJJC champion (2016)

Another competition powerhouse, Evangelista is the kind of opponent athletes try to avoid. Strong, highly skilled and with tons of experience, Ricardo creates serious trouble to anyone in front of him on the mats. Despite his size, Evangelista likes to play on the bottom and his closed guard attacks are known for being lethal. Does Evangelista have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

Rudson Mateus 23 years old


Caio Terra Association Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo Champion (2018)

Coming out of a recent victorious campaign in Japan, Rudson Mateus is on fire to secure his place among the big men of Jiu-Jitsu. The young talent promoted to black belt by the great Caio Terra carries the signature brainy style of his Professor allied with a lot of power and focus. In Los Angeles, opponents should be worried about Rudson’s setups for armbar attacks, his speciality. Does Rudson have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

Tanner Rice 25 years old


Rice Brothers

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Los Angeles Champion (2015)

The American in the bracket could not have been better picked. Rice is one of the most competent and tenacious competitors out there. His matches are never boring and he’s known for his relentless efforts to seek the finish. A black belt under Rubens Charles Cobrinha, Tanner will surely use his virtuous open guard attacks to put every single opponent in trouble. Does Rice have what it takes to be a King of the Mat?

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The mind workout Meditate to condition your mind just like your body

Sophia McDermott (Drysdale) is an BJJ athlete and coach, personal trainer and mother of two. Sophia is certified with National Academy of Sports Medicine, NASM CPT (USA) and specializes in functional training for athletes as well as nutrition. She runs seminars and camps about BJJ, nutrition and healthy lifestyle. Sophia is the first Australian female BJJ black belt. World Champion, 2 x no Gi World Champion, 4 x Pan Am Champion. Sophia also competes in Figure shows and holds the distinction of being the Overall Unlimited Figure winner for 2015 for NPC. For more information on Sophia visit: www.sophiaFIT.com. 90

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As athletes we spend hours every week training and conditioning our bodies so that we can be stronger, faster and more powerful or to have the endurance to deal with long training sessions or long matches in competition. But one of the most highly underestimated factors about being a conditioned athlete is the role our minds play. A strong, focused mind can help improve our athletic performance in a few ways. A trained mind has the ability to focus more effectively and absorb more information while learning in class. A trained mind can keep focused during competition and is more likely to stay strong when we feel we are being pushed to our limits. Competing is more mental than physical. Mental toughness, determination and desire to win are all attributes of the mind - not the body that gives those winning competitors that cutting edge advantage over their opponents. That is why it is so important that our minds are trained and conditioned just like our bodies so that we can perform at the highest optimal level. However, aside from being an athlete, the other aspect of focusing on our minds in a positive and proactive way is to improve our overall mental state and our lives on a more holistic level. With the hectic pace we live our lives, many people feel stressed and overworked. It feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done which makes us feel stress and tired. The constant stress can make us unhappy, frustrated and full of anxiety which can be detrimental to our health.

Benefits of meditation Meditation can help us as athletes to improve our athletic performance as well as calm the mind to help to reduce stress. Deep, calm and purposeful breathing has been shows to relax our bodies by slowing down our central nervous systems (which are usually hyper charged from all the stimuli), which reduces stress. Meditation has been shown to repair the central nervous system just like a good, deep night’s sleep. Reduced stress also means lowered cortisol levels and lower blood pressure. By concentrating on your breathing — observing each inhalation and exhalation — and without consideration to other thoughts, allows for the calming of the mind. When a “stray” thought arises be quick to recognize it and then turn your attention back to your breathing. Meditation is hard work and it takes a lot of practice to get better, just like training the body. The more we do it, the easier it becomes to stay focused. Progress can be measured by how long a single thought can be focused upon without straying. The benefits of finding time to meditate even only for 15 minutes a day are astounding for both the body and the mind. Meditation can assist in feeling peaceful, happy and healthy and can train the mind to stay focused, resilient and strong as athletes.

How to meditate Meditation is an extremely effective method of training the mind. It calms the mind while becoming more focused. Our brain operates on various different frequencies depending what state we are in. When we are awake, our brains are usually operating in beta waves and while sleeping they are in the low frequency delta waves. While we meditate our brains are in a state of predominantly alpha waves and also in theta waves. Studies have shown that these alpha and theta brain wave states achieved during meditation make a person more relaxed but also very aware and alert. Meditation allows us to to clear our mind by eliminating all the mental chatter, the unnecessary worry and the stress, and to reach a state of stillness and deep peace. There are many different methods of meditation but the simplest way to reach this peaceful state is to focus entirely on the body and the breathing in the present moment which is known as Mindful Meditation or Focused Attention. Our breathing is one of the only things that is autonomous that we can actually control. Start by finding a comfortable place or sit or lie down without being distracted. Close your eyes and inhale slowly for a count of 6-8 and exhale slowly for a count of 6-8. Keep breathing, focusing on only your breath and trying to relax every part of your body.

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UAE National Team excels at the 2018 Asian Games

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu National Team had an amazing showing at the 2018 Asian Games, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 24-26. The team walked out of the event with no less than 9 medals (2 Gold; 5 Silver; 2 bronze). The results represented more than 50% of all the medals won by the country in the overall games. Here’s how each medal was conquered.


56kg - The gold medal match put two Emiratis

to battle for the top position on the podium. Hamad Nawad and Khalid Alblooshi outperformed their competition to meet in the final. A foot lock granted Nawad the gold medal.


49kg - The UAE secured two medals in this division. Omar Al Fahidi conquered the silver medal while Said Al Mazrquei made it to one of the two bronze medal matches and beat Lebanon’s Daniel Hilal 2-0 to secure the medal. The final match alone was a fierce battle against Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Nortayev. The six-minute match was fought inch by inch as both fighters did not want to give the other the space to score. Nortayev was able to almost take Omar’s back in the very end to score the winning second advantage that set the score on a 2-1.


69kg - Talib Al Kirbi had a great run to the gold medal match. He beat Saudi Arabia’s Abdulmalik Al Murdhi 1-0 on advantages in the eightfinals. Then he beat Kyrgzystan’s Zhakhshylyk Uranov 2-0 in the quarterfinals to meet Kazakhstan’s Nartay Kazherov in the semifinals and win with a 2-1 lead on advantages. In the final, Al Kirbi fought the hardest against Kyrgyzstan’s Torokan Bagynbai but could not reverse the 0-2 score on points, settling for the silver medal.


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77kg - Mohamed Al Qubaisi was another talent from the UAE to secure a medal in Jakarta. He made his way to the division quarterfinals to be narrowly outscored by Kyrgyzstan’s Nursultan Alymkulov. In the fight for the bronze medal, Al Qubaisi beat Mongolia’s Munkh Tumurtogoo 4-0 and finally Mongolia’s Erkhbayar Batkhuyag by advantages in the bronze medal match to secure a spot on the podium.


85kg - Khalfan Balhol had a brilliant campaign in a very tough bracket. He started out finishing Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Saud with a leg lock in the eightfinals, then went on to outscore Iran’s Abdughafur Abdulloev 11-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal, Khalfan Balhol beat Kyrgzystan’s Murtazali Murtalaziev 2-0 but injured his left foot, which prevented him from competing in the final against Jordan’s Haidar Al Rasheed.


94kg - Faisal Al Ketbi made all the way to the top of the podium with an outstanding performance. The final match was a close war against Jordan’s Zaid Sami. The result came only through referees decision after a 0-0 tie. The refs voted unanimously in favor of Faisal. Before that, Al Ketbi beat South Korea’s Myengse Hwang 2-0 on advantages in the semifinal, finished Muhamad Noor, from Indonesia, with a wrist lock in the quarterfinals and beat Bahrain’s Mohamed Ghareeb 3-0 with a guard pass in the eight finals


49kg - Marha Al Hinai was another Emirati talent to reach the gold medal match. She beat Bayarmaa Munkhgerel from Mongolia on advantages in the quarterfinals and then Vietnam’s Thi Minh 14-0 in the semifinal. The final was a tough match against Cambodia’s Jessa Khan. After getting caught in a triangle, Marha fought the hard as she could but eventually tapped to an armlock. The silver medal was nevertheless displayed with proud on the podium. Number 12 - 2018



The Climb to the Top begins in Tokyo and ends in Abu Dhabi

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s 2018-2019 season starts with a bang in Tokyo, as the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam’s first of 5 events kicks off the race to the top of the UAEJJF rankings. The first of the AD Grand Slam circuit is always a measuring stick of what’s to come during the season, as Jiu-Jitsu fans all over the world watch to see who’s in for the race to the top this season. Let’s look at some of the highlights of the season-opening event: European stars continue where they left off. Amal Amjahid and Samantha Cook continued the European invasion of Jiu-Jitsu podiums all over the world by winning the 55kg and 70kg Female Brown/Black Belt divisions, respectively. Amal won her bracket rather easily with 2 wins and 2 submissions, one of which was a thing of beauty in the final match against Australian Livia Gluchowska. Amal had zero grips on her opponent then transitioned into a 2-on-1 grip on Gluchowska’s arm for the submission win. Both women have a chance at history deeming they dedicate themselves to the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Circuit as either of the women could be the 1stnon-Brazilian to be ranked number 1 at the end of the season. Nonetheless, it won’t be easy for either woman as current champion, Larissa Paes, also won gold and the 200 points in Tokyo – a sign that she won’t be letting go of her title as easy as previous champions. Home-field advantage counts in the UAEJJF. Nobuhiro Sawada and Tomoyuki Hashimoto were the biggest winners for the crowd respectively winning the 56kg and 62kg Male Black Belt divisions. The triumphs of Sawada and Tomoyuki highlighted the hosts’ dominance: 123 medals overall, including 42 gold. One of the main goals of the UAEJJF is taking a piece of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and planting it in capitals and cities all over the world, helping competitors from around the globe realize their dreams and aspirations on the grandest stage. 94

Mohammed Al Hosani Jiu-Jitsu Analyst/Commentator

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu local competition scene widens. When it comes to the UAE representatives for this event, the unprecedented participation of Al Dhafra Club stood out the most in a sign of the continuous development and progression of the sport across regions outside of Abu Dhabi. Al Dhafra gained 2 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals but more importantly, Al Dhafra won valuable points that will come in-handy by the end of the season. Truly, it will be tough to challenge current champions Al Wahda, former 2-time champions Al Jazeera (who finished 3rdoverall and 1st over UAE Academies in Tokyo) and Al Ain, but the added competition will add suspense to the season. High Quality Matches on display for millions of viewers. Given the exposure of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam events all over the world, Jiu-Jitsu fans witnessed some high-level competition on the main mat. The following matches (available via online streaming) are worth watching: Marcelino De Freitas vs. Hirokuni Ito, Dean Liebenberg vs. Anderson Takahashi and Joao Gabriel Batista vs. Tomoyuki Hashimoto. As is the case every season, the UAEJJF promises break-out performances from rising stars of the sport. If Tokyo was any indication of greater things to come, we could see rising stars like Gabrieli Pessanha and Amal Amjahid vying for the top spot by April. Los Angeles is the next stop in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam circuit, and it is expected to be a tougher competition for all as the stars of the game are expected to compete in both the Grand Slam and the accompanying “King of Mats” competition the next day, which for the first time ever will be held outside of the UAE after its successful inaugural event in Abu Dhabi which saw a couple of surprise winners. I look forward to seeing you all in Los Angeles!

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Travel and Roll

Travel around the world in Los Angeles Enjoy the many cultures that make the patchwork of the host city for the second leg of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour


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Words: Ivan Trindade | Images: Ane Nunes

As the 2018/2019 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour lands in Los Angeles on September 22, athletes from all over the world will gather in the city to compete. Whenever they are not on the mats, they will be able to enjoy one of the most diverse cities in the world. LA is truly a melting pot of cultures that offer sights, sounds and tastes for everyone. Here are five neighborhoods that will take you around the world without leaving Lala Land.

Little Ethiopia With Miracle Mile and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art five minutes away, culture encloses you from every angle in Little Ethiopia’s part of Los Angeles. Like many of the other ethnic enclaves mentioned, Little Ethiopia was established to recognize the large number of residents and businesses from a certain

ethnicity concentrated in one area. In 2004, South Fairfax became Little Ethiopia, and the neighborhood has been growing ever since. Though not as large as some of the other neighborhoods mentioned, this block of restaurants and businesses is a gateway to Ethiopia and its delicious food, clothes, and antiques.

Historic Filipinotown Nestled between Silverlake and Echo Park, is the only designated community for Filipino culture and heritage outside of the Philippines. Currently, Filipinotown hosts two annual festivals: the Historic Filipinotown Festival in August, and the Filipinotown Christmas Festival. Historic Filipinotown is the home of the earliest Catholic Church built in the United States, the St. Columbian Filipino Church, and the only monument to Filipino American soldiers of the Second World War. Number 12 - 2018


Little Armenia Known for its outstanding food scene and hip clubs and bars. When Korean immigrants started moving into the older buildings in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles in the 1960s, the neighborhood became a place where many Koreans lived and worked. Now, venues like the super-popular California Donuts boast long lines for special treats – gourmet panda-shaped donuts and ‘Chewbacca’ maple bars. Karaoke, speakeasies, nightclubs, and cool cafes sit in strip malls alongside older Korean markets and restaurants. ‘Ktown’– as it is lovingly called – thrives on the combination of traditional establishments with modern and whimsical spaces. Whichever you prefer, one thing is for sure: you won’t go hungry in this food-rich neighborhood.


Known for its outstanding food scene and hip clubs and bars. When Korean immigrants started moving into the older buildings in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles in the 1960s, the neighborhood became a place where many Koreans lived and worked. Now, venues like the super-popular California Donuts boast long lines for special treats – gourmet panda-shaped donuts and ‘Chewbacca’ maple bars. Karaoke, speakeasies, nightclubs, and cool cafes sit in strip malls alongside older Korean markets and restaurants. ‘Ktown’– as it is lovingly called – thrives on the combination of traditional establishments with modern and whimsical spaces. Whichever you prefer, one thing is for sure: you won’t go hungry in this food-rich neighborhood.

Olvera Street Olvera Street was built in the 1900s as a romanticized tribute to the Mexican heritage of Los Angeles. Though it remains a quaint nod to the Mexico of yesterday, you can find authentic Mexican souvenirs and food in any one of the little shops lining the street. Grab a churro at Mr. Churro and explore Avila Adobe, the oldest residence in Los Angeles. During holidays like Day of the Dead and Mexican Independence Day, the main plaza fills with vendors, artists, performers, and tourists.


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