Since 2015, Rio de Janeiro has been one of the greatest stages for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour. Now, the Marvellous City will be with us yet again, this time to kick off the 2023-2024 season of the AJP World Tour. From June 9th to 11th, athletes from all over the world will be welcomed at the Arena Carioca to show their prowess and technique in one of the most well-coordinated federations of the sport.
In each of its editions, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio has hosted duels that remain in the memories of the entire community. One such battle was the legendary battle between Felipe Pena and Xande Ribeiro in 2016, which saw both Brazilians step onto the mats for the final round of the 94kg division. Xande started ahead in the advantages, but a last-second sweep allowed Pena to turn the tables and become the champion in a match that would be talked about for years to come. In 2022, the tournament brought outstanding performances from AJP top-tiered athletes, such as Lucas Protasio, Jansen Gomes, Leonardo Mario, and Yatan Bueno, further adding to the already rich annals of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
But while the event’s history grows with each edition, the city itself is also a major part of why the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio is such a successful tournament. It is no secret that Rio de Janeiro, with its beautiful vistas and tropical climate, is the birthplace of Jiu-Jitsu as we know it. Famous landmarks, such as the Carlson Gracie statue or the legendary Tijuca Tênis Clube, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the influence that BJJ has had on the culture of the locals. Simply put, it’s where it all began. But that bond goes even further, with all the best and most traditional gyms still being housed in the city. This allows athletes from all over the world to reach Rio’s paradisiac shores and learn from professors that have trained and taught for decades, giving them precious insight into the sport as a whole and even into specific positions and techniques. If you’re aiming to test your skills at the highest level, Rio de Janeiro is the place to be.