President of both the Asian Jiu Jitsu Union (JJU) and the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) Abdulmunam Al Hashmi met with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach during his visit to the Gulf region and discussed the development programme and the popularity of the sport.
Al Hashmi met the IOC president on the sideline of a meeting in Kuwait with the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), headed by president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, which was attended by several international sports officials.
The meeting was hosted by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which Sheikh Ahmad also heads. And, while Jiu Jitsu does not yet figure in the Olympic Games, it is expected that with ongoing efforts headed by Al Hashmi it could be added to the Games, particularly because of the sport’s rapid growth and impact.
“Jiu Jitsu to be included in the Olympic Games is a long way off but at least we were able to discuss the work we are doing to broaden the horizons of the sport with the members of the IOC and ANOC,” Al Hashmi said on his return from Kuwait.
“There are various norms to be fulfilled even before Jiu Jitsu is considered an Olympic sport.
“It requires a considerable amount of work but we have drawn up wide ranging plans to achieve our objectives.
“We have to work a lot to broaden the base of the game around the world with the help of the Jiu Jitsu International Federation (JJIF),” Al Hashmi said.
The AJJU and UAE JJF president added: “We will build a family atmosphere on the solid foundations that we have already established.”
Al Hashmi emphasised the support and backing of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“Sheikh Mohammed has taken an active role to promote the sport worldwide, and particularly in the UAE where there are more than 35,000 practicing the martial art,” he said.
Jiu Jitsu is on the World Games roster and the launch of the AJJU in January is expected to give a fillip to the JJIF’s efforts to get the sport included in the Olympics.