Joachim Thumfart feels it is essential for the JJIF to offer more opportunity for Para athletes ©JJIF

Ju-jitsu International Federation (JJIF) director general Joachim Thumfart has iterated the importance of Para athletes in the sport prior to this year's World Combat Games.

The Games are set to take place in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh from October 20 to 30 and will feature Para classifications for the first time.

"For us it is important that we give the same opportunities and prioritise equality and inclusivity because we have an amazing Para community," Thumfart told insidethegames.

"Many of them even compete with non-disabled athletes, it is not unusual that we have an amputee or someone with other disabilities go into normal competition.

"This is the philosophy of ju-jitsu – give the weaker a tool to defend themselves against a physically stronger person.

"I think for us it is important to be an authentic martial art when we go back to our origins of the protection of the weaker and that is why we are very keen on having it included."

Para ju-jitsu is set to appear in a multi-sport event for the first time at this month's World Combat Games ©USPJJ
Para ju-jitsu is set to appear in a multi-sport event for the first time at this month's World Combat Games ©USPJJ

The World Combat Games in Saudi Arabia is set to be the third edition of the event, after Beijing 2010 and Saint Petersburg 2013.

Ju-jitsu is one of six sports to include Para categories at the upcoming Games alongside aikido, muaythai, arm wrestling, sambo, and savate.

"We are becoming more inclusive," Thumfart.  

"We are going to have four Para ju-jitsu categories with pretty different classifications.

"We were looking in the community at which were the strongest categories.

"We have one male category for blind people, we have amputees, we have a women's category with mainly amputees.

"We are very happy to get this managed because again we are completely aware that the community of Para athletes training is huge.

"It is our challenge to get them together and make them a part of the Paralympic Movement or the official events, so we are going to include Para ju-jitsu in the World Combat Games 2025.

"This is brand new for us, it is a challenge as well.

"We see it in the organising side as well with support personnel and so on, it's different."