The sport of Jiu-Jitsu is based upon two main pillars:

  • belt.svg Activating the mind and body to be able to use the energy of the opponent and use it for your benefit as much as possible.
  • belt.svg Reliance on defenseless combat, which contributes to rising fitness levels.


Ancient India is considered the birthplace of jiu-jitsu with Buddhist monks adopting the sport to help balance and strength, and negate the advantage provided by weapons prevalent at the time. The growth of the sport progressed to Japan and China where it attracted attention and a growing number of practitioners Jiu-Jitsu at its core maintains its non-violent identity with jiu-jitsu meaning ‘gentle art’ in Japanese. In addition to its many physical benefits, jiu-jitsu focusses on other core values like loyalty, fairness, humility, self-confidence, and respect. In 1915 jiu-jitsu started to earn widespread recognition, when moving to Brazil, Japanese jiu-jitsu practitioner Mitsuyo Maeda hosted exhibitions, which ultimately planted the roots for jiu-jitsu in the Americas, beginning by training the local community in the sport. One of Maeda’s eager students was Carlos Gracie, who opened his own academy in 1925, kickstarting a greater spread of the sport, passing down the art of jiu-jitsu to his children and future generations, with the family name eventually becoming synonymous with jiu-jitsu in Brazil and the sport of jiu-jitsu steadily has come to be an important component in the lifestyles of the Brazilians.


In the UAE His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the spiritual father of the sport and deserves credit for the sport’s rapid rise. In 1995, while studying in San Diego in the US, His Highness gained an interest in jiu-jitsu being one of the core foundations of the increasingly popular mixed martial arts scene, HH Sheikh Tahnoon joined the Gracie Barra Academy to gain insight into and understand the basics of the sport and its guiding principles. HH Sheikh Tahnoon also became the first person from the UAE and the greater Arab world to earn a black belt in the sport. Following his return to the UAE in 1997, HH Sheikh Tahnoon was determined to popularize the sport in the Emirates, placing great value on the significant mental, physical, and social benefits that the sport propagated. Jiu-jitsu in the UAE received a major boost when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, a committed supporter, designated it the national sport of the UAE, aligning jiu-jitsu with Abu Dhabi’s goal to foster a health-conscious society thanks to the sport’s many mental, physical, and societal benefits. Courtesy of this strong support enjoyed by the sport of jiu-jitsu domestically, the UAE has become an important destination on the global jiu-jitsu map and is one of the most influential countries in the course of the development of the sport globally. Abu Dhabi has gradually become known internationally as the home of jiu-jitsu, being home to the headquarters of both the Asian and the international federations of the sport.



Physical Benefits

  • belt.svg Improves flexibility, balance, and physical strength
  • belt.svg Helps maintain an appropriate weight
  • belt.svg Improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system
  • belt.svg Strengthens the immune system
  • belt.svg Improves quality of sleep

Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • belt.svg Promotes self-confidence and courage
  • belt.svg Improves attention span, concentration, and reflexes
  • belt.svg Reduces stress levels and improves general mood

Social Benefits

  • belt.svg Promotes development of qualities like wisdom and humility
  • belt.svg Establishes cooperative values and fosters team spirit
  • belt.svg Stimulates positive thinking and encourages practitioner to keep an open mind
  • belt.svg Encourages practitioner to increase knowledge of different cultures and civilizations