Al Ketbi On World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup: ‘It Will Be A Very Special Edition’
One of the top jiu-jitsu stars in the MENA region is looking to continue his dominance within the sport, even if all major sports are at a halt.
Faisal Al Ketbi, a four-time Jiu-Jitsu World Championship gold medalist, has been preparing for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Already a gold, blue and brown belt winner in the World Pro, Al Ketbi is looking to advance towards gold and black. Originally scheduled for April, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will now be taking place in November due to the coronavirus.
Despite the circumstances, Al Ketbi is ready to give fans a sense of normalcy.
“Under the present situation when every sporting activity around the world is at a standstill, it is like music to the ears to hear jiu-jitsu’s biggest event is going to take place. It will be a very special edition,” Al Ketbi stated to The National.
“It will be a very special gathering of the international jiu-jitsu community after the catastrophe of Covid-19. We are still not sure when this situation will improve, but we are hopeful it will be behind us soon.”
The Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi has been around since 2009. More than 5,000 fighters (2019 had smaller numbers than normal) from more than 100 countries compete for a grand prize. With a fund of over $2.5 million, Al Ketbi is as determined as ever.
At age ten, Al Ketbi decided to immerse himself into combat sports. That resulted in his desire to compete, from wrestling to jiu-Jitsu, specifically BJJ. With gym limitations due to the coronavirus, Al Ketbi has been training alone and has been away from his normal routine. That doesn’t appear to stop him, however, as he trains as best as he can.
“I can only do my best and keep trying like every year,” Al Ketbi went on to say. “I have been going through my fitness programme. I have been doing it twice a day and now it’s just once a day because of Ramadan.”
During this time, Al Ketbi is doing his part to make sure his community is safe. Representing the UAE, Al Ketbi has been volunteering as a section leader, assisting medical staff a few hours every day.
The values of jiu-jitsu have brought him to this point, and he hopes to continue to help as well as be a true family man.
“Our main task is to protect everyone living in the UAE and make it a safe place for them,” Al Ketbi said. “Of course I miss my family very much but when I’m at home, I spend as much time as possible with my wife and kids.”