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Jiu Jitsu makes a push for Olympics.

Abu Dhabi: Jiu JItsu does not yet figure in the Olympic Games but all that may change, judging by the rapid growth and impact the sport has created.

Abdulmunam Al Hashmi, president of both the Asian Jiu Jitsu Union and the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation, discussed the development programme and the popularity of the sport with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach during his visit in the region.

Al Hashmi met the IOC president on the sidelines of a meeting with the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), headed by its President Shaikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, who also heads the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). "It's a long way off for Jiu Jitsu to be included in the Olympic Games 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). We will build a family atmosphere on solid foundations we have already established."

Al Hashmi emphasized the support and backing of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. "Shaikh Mohammed has taken an active role to promote the sport worldwide, and particularly in the UAE where there are more than 35,000 practising the martial art," he said.

Jiu Jitsu is on the World Games roster and the launch of the Asian Jiu Jitsu Union is expected to give a fillip to the Jiu Jitsu International Federation's efforts to get the sport included in the Olympics.

The UAE have taken the lead in developing and promoting the sport around the world by organising international competitions, the highlight of which is the World Professional Championship in Abu Dhabi from April 15-19.

Jiu Jitsu is on the World Games roster and the establishment of the Asian union in January is expected to give more leverage to JJIF's efforts to get the sport included in the Olympics.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 7, 2014
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