That we can go to the farthest-reaching extremes of the planet to teach Jiu-Jitsu, we all know. From Alaska to Australia, from the Middle East to the islands of the Pacific, it’s not easy to find a place where our Jiu-Jitsu has not landed and set up shop, turning up hundreds or even thousands of supporters.
The question is: does Jiu-Jitsu take us or do we take Jiu-Jitsu?
Oftentimes we are taken by the premise that Jiu-Jitsu opens the doors to the world and we end up getting to know unusual places by either teaching or competing. In most cases, we believe it is Jiu-Jitsu that takes us. But what if we start toying with the notion that we take Jiu-Jitsu with us?
Last week we witnessed it. When the Abu Dhabi Board of Education promoted its regional interscholastic Jiu-Jitsu tournaments (in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and West Zone), we could see how important it is to spread Jiu-Jitsu. After a few months, having taken the gentle art to West Zone, the most inhospitable region of Abu Dhabi, we witnessed how this sport can be an integrating factor. The schools here, for the most, are about 100km from each other. The students are mostly the children of Arab expatriates (not locals), ie 22 different nationalities. One of these schools is on an island teachers only have access to by airplane, others are in the middle of the desert.
However, the dedication of the school community, and government supporting Jiu-Jitsu by taking it seriously, can only yield very positive results. As shown in the video below: