While we are on the topic of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the Middle East, I cannot help but share another recent posting by Carlos Santos on his blog.
It appears that Pedro Galiza and his assistant Jonatas Gurgel, both black belts in BJJ, are the head instructors for the Jordanian Armed Forces and at a recent military exhibition, the King of Jordan, along with a large group of Jordanian soldiers, were presented with a jiu-jitsu exhibition. At its conclusion, the king himself presented blue belts in BJJ to 40 members of the Jordanian army who’ve been training jiu-jitsu for 5 hours a day over the last ten months.
His Majesty King Abdallah was very pleased and impressed with the accomplishment and dedication of the group which also held a 20 minute demonstration of the gentle art showcasing its effectivness in different conditions. Approximately 3000 army members attended the festival which was the headline news in all major TV channels and Newspapers.
I think that is a great story of the institutional acceptance of BJJ that will help the art spread quickly through the world. I also think that the folks who make Keiko gis should be pretty excited to be the exclusive suppliers of gis to the Jordanian army!