Bahraini martial artist bags silver, making the country proud.

Ali Monfaradi, a Bahraini martial artist, has won a silver medal at the sixth edition of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship which took place in Bahrain from March 28 to 31.

Overwhelmed by his win, he took to Instagram, writing: “Not what we planned for, but it is nonetheless an enormous honour to carry our flag this high. Thank you Bahrain for the opportunity, trust and support. Thank you to my family for bringing me this far and thank you everyone for making me into the athlete I am today.

The fighter, born in 1993, was inspired by his uncle Reza Monfaradi, who was himself a jiu-jitsu athlete, and used to watch him and other family members train. At 12 years of age, he joined one of the first jiu-jitsu classes for children in Bahrain, and so began his journey into the art.

At the age of 17, just after finishing his high school exams, he skipped his graduation ceremony and flew to California to compete in the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation 2011 World Championship, his first international tournament, where he earned a bronze medal in the blue belt division.

After his impressive performance and win, he moved to Sao Paulo where he trained under the acclaimed martial artist Fabio Gurgel, a four-time world Jiu-Jitsu champion, at the Alliance Academy in Sao Paulo while pursuing further studies. He returned home to Bahrain in 2015 as a brown belt after almost five years in Brazil. In 2017 he became the 99th black belt promoted by Gurgel.

Ali is now the head coach and owner of Elements Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Tubli. The martial artist has won more than 150 medals for his competence in the sport.

Other Bahrainis also won medals at the recent Asian JiuJitsu Championship, including Ali’s brother Abdulla Seena Monfaradi, as well as Sughra Mubarak, Murtaz Shamkhalov, Gadzhi Gadzhiev, and Hasan Mahdi. ✤