Meet Farah Al-Zahrani, a 21-year old female Saudi Arabian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter. Thought you’d never hear these words together in one sentence? She is the first female Saudi Arabian BJJ fighter and she doesn’t plan on being the last! Al-Zahrani, who currently lives in Jordan, came upon this sport by accident while training for other sports in the gym. She fell in love with the sport, and a year and a half later, she participated in the Abu Dhabi World Jiu Jitsu Championship, where she placed fourth in the World BJJ Championships in Abu Dhabi in her weight and in the open division, and then continued on to Lisbon, Portugal, for the European Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship.
To the untrained eye, it looks like two people rolling around on the floor grappling with each other; kind of like two siblings fighting for the remote. It’s actually called Jiu Jitsu which originates from the Japanese “ju jutsu” or “gentle/supple/yielding art”. This sport has been adopted and transformed by many countries such as Brazil, calling it Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ for short.
In her interview with Fair Observer, Al-Zahrani said that “this sport has made her a more patient person and it teaches a form of self-control due to the extensive training required.” Even though she faces many barriers due to her being a female of Saudi nationality, Farah continues to push forward with this aspiration. Sometime in the near future, she hopes to open up a training center in Saudia Arabia to provide other females with the opportunity to fight the submissive nature of their society. Her new sponsor ‘NA3M’ (New Arab Media) hopes to support her on her BJJ journey that is breaking all types of social barriers.
This BJJ white belt keeps moving forward to achieve her dreams. Farah Al-Zahrani is a voice for many women and girls of the Arab society and she is not intimidated. Farah and many other females have been given the opportunity to learn that they have what it takes to be the person they want to become. You go girls!