There was a time in recent history when everyone simply just wanted to get rich. In the age of social media, however, getting fit has become a more urgent achievement to aspire to. But hey, who's complaining? Staying in good shape and consuming a balanced healthy diet is a known catalyst to increased happiness and improved quality of life. To that end, people work out more, make healthier choices, and venture into new athletic communities that are rapidly expanding in Egypt and around the world.

On the 1st of May, El Sawy Culture Wheel hosted an event celebrating the first anniversary of Egypt's top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu martial arts school, Anubis Jiu Jitsu, a school that teaches the fighting techniques of the ancient Brazilian combat sport, which shares some of its origins with the martial art of Judo. We were flown in by a Redbull wings team to the celebratory event, which also witnessed Egypt's most professional ever Jiu Jitsu competition to date. The contest was a fierce battle of resilience, focus, and some kick-ass knock downs, with Anubis Jiu Jitsu member Hussien Shoukry eventually snatching the first place title. "I started getting into Jiu Jitsu last September, mainly to keep myself in shape and improve my lifestyle after I was done with my masters," says Shoukry, who's a former Judo player, which he thinks helped him catch up to mastering the art of Jiu Jitsu at a rapid pace. "Jiu Jitsu's community is expanding at a fast pace in Egypt and there're several places in Cairo now teaching Jiu Jitsu, indicating a bright future for the game in Egypt. I'm proud of Anubis Jiu Jitsu and the people in this community have become like a second family to me".

One year ago, the pioneering Anubis Jiu Jitsu was off to a humble start with just 7 members, three of which were the founders, Mohamed Omar, Ahmed Maged, and Omar Gharieb who launched it after their former trainer Karim Shah, the first person to ever introduce the martial art in Egypt, moved abroad in 2015. "The story of Jiu-Jitsu began in Egypt around 5 or 6 years ago with trainer Karim Shah. We have since grown and learnt a lot. at Anubis Jiu Jitsu, we have 70-80 members who come to training on daily basis, which is quite an achievement for a new sport in Egypt," says co-founder Ahmed Maged. 

Over the past 12 months, the martial arts school focused on bettering fighting techniques and raising their players' performance to international levels, which they have. In fact, Anubis Jiu Jitsu club member Ibrahim Ra'fat recently arrived from the UAE after reaching the quarter finals of the prestigious Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship 2017, and is gearing up to head to many international championships this year, along with other players. " I couldn't be more proud to see our community grow larger, closer and more on par with international Jiu-Jitsu standards," says Ra'faat.

(Winner: Hussein Shoukry)

Half way through the adrenaline-maxed-out competition, another Redbull wings team landed at El Sawy Culture Wheel to refuel the players and the audience with a much needed energy boost, after which the competition heated up to paramount levels, before a final clash so fierce it got everyone jumping up and down in cheering mania. Egypt's first Anubis Jiu-Jitsu Trophy was awarded to the winner Hussein Abdel-Latif by ex-Culture Minister and owner of El Sawy Culture Wheel Mohamed Abdel Moneim El-Sawy, who expressed his enthusiasm about hosting such a competition and optimism about the future of youth sports in Egypt.

(Dr Abdel Moneim El-Sawy moments before crowning Anibus Jiu-Jitsu's trophy)

Photos by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions
Photography by Kareem Ghazaly

*The content of this article is sponsored.