Last month, in line with the Kingdom’s efforts, the Legendary Heroes gym club in Jeddah announced that it was organizing the first women’s jiu-jitsu and kickboxing tournament in the country, with the participation of more than 40 contestants. This week, the first-of-its-kind event opened to a large audience and to immeasurable excitement, and featured a number of amateur games held under the auspices of the General Sports Authority, as reported by Arab News.
Some of the tournaments winners include: in the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi clinched the winner title, Ma’wiya Zahed came in second, and Hanan Saber third; in the kickboxing lightweight division, Alzhra’ Al-Qorshi was awarded first place and Mourouj Al-Amoudi second; and in the jiu-jitsu middleweight division, Hounouf Sanari was the winner and Lyann Hadrami runner-up.
image via Arabnews
Speaking to the news site, Jumana Yusuf, executive director of the tournament’s organizing committee, expressed her happiness at the success of the event, which was designed to help spread martial arts culture and discipline amongst women in Saudi Arabia. She also said that the second goal of the event has been “to lead by example in organizing and managing women’s martial arts tournaments so that all women’s clubs can organize such activities professionally and smoothly.”
In an earlier article by Arab News, Captain Mohammed Abbas, founder of Legendary Heroes, explained that the tournament paves the way for women to participate in self-defense sports such as jiu-jitsu, MMA, Kowat Al-Rami (“force of throw“), Muay Thai, and kickboxing, saying, “As part of the extensive efforts exerted to enable women in the field of martial arts, we have established the Legendary Heroes female branch to enable them to learn various types of martial arts and understand their tactics.”
This milestone achievement was made possible in part by the Kingdom’s increased focus on encouraging and supporting the increased participation of women in sports. From last year’s appointment of Prince Reema Bint Bandar as head the Saudi Federation for Community Sports (SFCS), the first woman in the Kingdom to take on such an important role, to creating an entire sports ecosystem for women, from athletes, to female ushers, and security guards, Saudi Arabia has been working diligently on improving women’s inclusiveness in sports. Earlier this year, for instance, Saudi Arabian female athletes celebrated a landmark victory at the 2018 Arab Women Sports Tournament, walking away with five medals – four bronzes and one silver.