UAE targets 10 Ju-Jitsu medals at Ashgabat 2017
The UAE has revealed an ambitious target of 10 Ju-Jitsu medals from the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games taking place in September.
The UAE Ju-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) is currently preparing a squad of 20 athletes, including six women, to undertake the challenge of reaping at least 10 medals from what is considered as one of the most demanding martial arts disciplines on the programme.
With the UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC) likely to send representation to compete in up to 11 sports, the highest expectations will be placed on the Ju-Jitsu squad who will warm up for Ashgabat by competing at the 2nd Asian Ju-jitsu Championships to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam this month.
“We are committed in setting out goals before the squad. The Asian Championships in Vietnam will be the first real test for our athletes before they proceed to Ashgabat,” said Yousuf Al Beloushi, Technical Director at UAE JJF.
“At the Asian Beach Games (held in Danang, Vietnam in September-October 2016) the Ju-Jitsu team returned with nine medals. I don’t see any reason why we should be lowering our ambitions. If they have the capacity to win nine medals, then the target has to be higher each time.”
With the squad made up primarily of students, they have taken advantage of the long summer break to train in Brazil where they are undergoing top-level conditioning guided by leading masters from the South American Ju-Jitsu powerhouse.
With such a young team, it is no wonder that officials are planning long term and, in particular, if the sport becomes a part of a future Olympic programme.
“We have a vision for this group of athletes that we have been preparing, and that vision is the 2024 Olympic Games when the Ju-Jitsu squad will be the single largest medal winner for the country,” said Al Beloushi.
In addition to physical and technical training, the UAEJJF also pays a lot of attention to the mental demands of modern-day sport.
“We have regular mental sessions for the athletes. But in the final week before the team departs for Turkmenistan, we will have a specialist full-time mental coach with the athletes to erase any sort of doubts these youngsters may be harbouring. This is modern sport and we need to keep up with the times,” added Al Beloushi.
“Honestly, it may be a confidence-building platform for the six girls, bit from the boys we will accept nothing short of medals, and I mean gold medals. We have provided them with the best facilities and the rewards need to come starting from the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan.”
Ju-Jitsu has seven medal events at Ashgabat 2017 and the competitions will be held over three days on 16 September and 18 and 19 September at the Martial Arts Arena.