Rafael Haubert run-Team Nogueira Dubai offers training in all martial arts, including Judo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai.
Amir Naqvi , Sports Editor
One of the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in UAE, Rafael Haubert, celebrated a decade of success in the country this month.
A renowned instructor and esteemed mentor, Haubert, holder of a 4th degree black belt under the legendary Ze Mario Sperry, arrived in the UAE in 2009 and three years later, he launched Team Nogueira Dubai – a prestigious international academy that trains its members in the highest standards of martial arts and boasts names like Anderson Silva, and numerous other big names, on its roster.
A two-time World Champion and European Champion, and a long-time friend of the Nogueira twins, Rodrigo and Rogerio, the founders of Team Nogueira, Haubert have managed to attract an A-list of trainees at his elite academy in Dubai, including members of UAE royal families and some of the country’s top jiu-jitsu stars.
In his ten years in UAE, Haubert has mentored many, including Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qassimi, Khaled Ibrahim Mubarak and Saif Al Nakhi, who became World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Champion in 2016. UAE’s national champion Shamis Rashid Al Shamsi, is also under the tutelage of Haubert.
Team Nogueira Dubai offers training in all martial arts, including Judo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, boxing, Muay Thai, and boasts 700 members.
Haubert’s arrival to the UAE shores dates back to 2009, straight after he organized the first European trial in Spain, for the first World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi.
He also served as the member and referee of the First World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in May 2009.
Later, his reputation earned him an invitation from Abu Dhabi Educational Council to serve as a coach on the biggest kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu project in the world, which included teaching and introducing the sport to over 300 kids in a model school in Abu Dhabi.
Haubert hogged the limelight in 2009 after becoming champion at the Emirates Asian Super Cup.
The Brazilian’s first venture into teaching Jiu-Jitsu started with Sheikh Tariq in Abu Dhabi.
The partnership between him and Sheikh Tariq is still going on actively. Haubert served as a guide to Sheikh Tariq since he graduated from white belt to earn a black belt,
In February 2010, Haubert opened the first center specializing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Dubai.
“We are proud and happy with where we have reached; it shows the quality of our training program and reflects the work that started ten years ago when the center was established.
Under Haubert’s guidance, Sheikh Tariq won the European Championship, bagged silver in 2014 at the World Masters, gold at Grand Slam in 2017 organized by UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation in England. Sheikh Tariq also won silver in the Worlds No-Gi in 2014. A significant milestone came when he introduced the Nogueira brothers to Sheikh Tariq and which resulted in the opening of Team Nogueira in Dubai (September 2013).
Hailing His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Haubert credited them for the rise of Jiu-Jitsu in the UAE.
“Under the wise leadership of Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Tahnoon, the Jiu-Jitsu spread across the UAE and the region, said Haubert.
Apart from running the famed Team Nogueira Club, Haubert also played a role in every single competition organized under the UAEJJF, while helping and supporting the implementation of the sport in the country.
Haubert also created an Amateur MMA event called “Future Champions.”
It will be the first event organized outside the gym and in partnership with the Dubai Muscle Show (DIFC).
Twenty-five thousand people are expected to visit for the three-day event to be held from Dec 5-7. The event will host amateur competitors from various countries around the world.
“I am happy and proud to celebrate the ten years of my journey and team in the UAE.
“I believe that I am one of the founders of the Jiu-Jitsu standards in the UAE; I have been a model for the community, which included helping families, children, and adults to achieve their goals concerning their health and sport,” Haubert signed off.
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