Gi Abu Dhabi World Pro kicks off today

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As the fighters trickled into Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to compete for the Gi World Pro, the presence of two distinct groups was noted.

The first group preferred to hole up in the hotel, without getting out and about at all. They would go from the training center (within the grounds of the hotel) to the restaurant and from the restaurant to the bedroom. “I didn’t comer here for tourism,” said Tarsis Humphreys. “I’ll leave sightseeing till after the event,” stated Rafael Mendes.

Now the second opted to venture out and get to know a bit of the Arab Emirates. “Man, I’ve been training for twenty-five years; one training session the night before a competition isn’t going to change anything,” explained another fighter. And yet another remarked: “It’s risky business training the day before a competition, you could get a last-minute injury. . . . Spending too much time at the hotel can cause an athlete a lot of tension and mental pressure, so I prefer getting out and relaxing – it does the psychology good. . .”

If you were to compete at the World Pro, dear reader, which of the two lines of thinking would you take? Register your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

The United Arab Emirates does indeed offer visitors some interesting attractions. One good example is Ferrari World, where the world’s fastest roller coaster is located. The mosques (like the ones below) also caught this reporter’s attention.

Abu Dhabi mosque / Photo: Raphael Nogueira

Some of the competitors rented cars and headed to Dubai, about an hour and a half’s ride from Abu Dhabi over a straight track cutting across the desert.

The world's tallest building is located in Dubai. Photo: Raphael Nogueira.

Today, Thursday, April 14, the World Pro Gi competition begins. We’ll finally get to find out who made the right decision: total concentration or moderate distraction? Stay tuned to, we’ll bring you the highlights of what transpires throughout the day.

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