Faisal Al Ketbi showcases a range of jiu-jitsu moves and general fitness exercises in ‘Stay Safe and Stay Fit at Home’ campaign videos.
Gyms and sports facilities are closed across the length and breadth of the UAE and sporting fixtures are postponed as the country’s leadership urges people to exercise social distancing during the extraordinary COVID-19 global outbreak.
However, that isn’t stopping members of one sporting community from pursuing its quest for progress and development.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), the governing body for the sport in the Emirates, ranks continued development, loyalty and self-confidence as key values of jiu-jitsu, with mental and physical strength amongst its many benefits.
And, while the UAE’s leading athletes are adhering to government guidelines to stay at home, they aren’t letting the ongoing situation affect their training too much, swapping the gym for the living room in a bid to stay in tip-top shape when the season resumes.
The UAEJJF and its leading athletes have launched a campaign urging the people of the UAE to join them to ‘Stay Safe and Stay Fit at Home’, with a series of fitness videos featuring the country’s top-ranked jiu-jitsu athlete Faisal Al Ketbi.
In the videos, which can be viewed on the UAEJJF social media channels @UAEJJF, Ketbi showcases a range of jiu-jitsu moves and general fitness exercises. The campaign is urging the UAE public to share their versions of Ketbi’s workouts using the hashtag #UAEJJFChallenge and tagging @UAEJJF.
“We are encouraging people to act responsibly and keep fit at home,” says Ketbi. “Join us in promoting positivity and awareness by sharing your videos and your progress.”
Ketbi’s team-mates, Omar Al Fadhli, a four-time world champion, Asian Games 2018 Silver medallist Mahra Al Hinaai, and 2019 under-18 World Champion Hazza Al Qubaisi, have shared their tips on how to stay in the fitness game during this time.
Now is the time to pull out that notebook, put down a plan, stick it on the wall, follow it to reach your goals, says Hinaai.
“Training alone can require a lot of motivation. Begin with a 20-minute workout with the goal for the first week being uninterrupted movement for that time. Slowly challenge your body and mind to push for longer periods,” she adds.
“A 45-minute-high-intensity session that has you do a lot of different movements will often work wonders in avoiding monotony and ensuring that you get in some work every day.”
No gym, no equipment, no problem! Fadhli says that he often feels the freshest when he’s just completed a circuit of simple bodyweight exercises:
“This is the time to hit your personal bests on push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. You don’t need anyone to help you out. It’s just you against your body, and I have found that these basic exercises can really work wonders when you challenge yourself. Give yourself a target – at the end of the week, I am going to do 30 push-ups in one set, and slowly work towards that. The way our bodies react is fantastic, give it a try,” he urges.
With fighters having a little more time on their hands, now is the time to enhance knowledge of a chosen sport and also pick up some useful tips. Qubaisi says that reading articles and books about jiu-jitsu really helps him relax while enhancing his technical know-how. “Jiu-Jitsu is as much a mental game as it is a physical game,” he says.
“Your mind needs to be sharp and you need to analyse quickly what your opponent is doing. Reading about jiu-jitsu, whether it is the story of a renowned fighter, information on different fighting styles, or something on improving your technique, is a great way to condition your mind.
“Consuming more information on sport, processing it, and ultimately applying it on the mat or field of play will make you a better fighter and one who has multiple plans for every opponent.”
“Though my body isn’t on the mat right now, my mind is!” says Fadhli. “I have been watching a lot of videos about jiu-jitsu, the evolution of the sport, the stories of all the wonderful people that make up the sport are teaching some important lessons. All of these will really help me once I am back on the mat.”
Once done watching videos, star in one! Join the #UAEJJFChallenge and post at-home workouts using the hashtag #UAEJJF. The pubic is urged to follow Omar, Mahra, and Hazza’s suggestions, put together their own workout to inspire others!
“As a federation we devote a large part of our activities towards building bridges of cooperation with all segments of society, government entities and the private sector.
“As part of our social responsibility we encourage interaction on social issues to promote excellence, hard work and sportsmanship. The current situation is an ideal for us to give back and continue fostering unity while observing safe social distancing,” said Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, General Secretary of the UAEJJF.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) in alignment with the guidance of the wise and visionary leadership of the UAE towards limiting the spread of the Novel Corona virus, Covid-19, has directed staff to work remotely.
The UAEJJF has ensured that staff members have been provided with the appropriate technological tools to ensure smooth functioning of their daily tasks.
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