All the pieces are in place for the action to begin on the mats at the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup in Abu Dhabi.
Gathered at the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, hundreds of athletes are counting the hours before they step into the contest area at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.
In spite of the anxiousness, the beasts from the adult division will have to hold their horses a little longer, as the young bucks are bestowed with the honor of kicking off WPJJ 2012.
With all the emirates’ public schools sending their prides, the champions of the future will have the whole of Thursday, April 12, all to themselves.
This Friday the 13th, though, the elder competitors, from white to black belt, will have their moment.
All the finalists of the different age, weight and belt groups will converge in the competition area on a single day: Saturday the 14th.
This Thursday the 11th the official weigh-ins were held.
From between 10 am and 5 pm all the athletes fulfilled their duty of stepping onto the scale to make weight.
Nobody was less lean than they were meant to be, and now they have nearly two days to recover their energy.
At the hotel, awaiting match day, the athletes make the most of the free time to roll away the long hours spent in transit away.
JIU-JITSU WITHOUT FRONTIERS IN ABU DHABI
The lengthy trip and high cost of getting to the United Arab Emirates makes it so some have to travel alone, bringing about some odd situations on the pre-competition training spaces.
Members of different teams, sometimes rivals, roll together in a brotherly atmosphere.
To give you an idea, Lucas Lepri of team Alliance was caught training with Gracie Barra’s Roberto Tussa; Mackenzie Dern of Gracie Humaitá rolled with Lloyd Irvin’s JT Torres.
Take a peek at the pre-competition WPJJC 2012 action in the following photo gallery, and don’t forget to stop by and “like” the Gracie Magazine page on Facebook, to better accompany all the goings on in Abu Dhabi.
Photos: Ivan Trindade