Gabriel Silva: strong mentality and discipline to shine in Jiu-Jitsu

Gabriel Silva is a young Jiu-Jitsu star in the US. Photo: KH Visions

Gabriel Silva is currently having a great time on the mats and shows that his Jiu-Jitsu is constantly evolving. Gabriel is trained by his father, black belt Vicente Júnior, and already stands out not only for his talent, but also for his athlete’s mentality. The orange belt cultivates good habits and has a routine focused on technical and physical training. The American also values a healthy diet in order to present his best version at championships.

The proof that his efforts have paid off are his results in the main competitions. Gabriel has already won the Pan Kids, European Kids and American National championships. In recent weeks, he secured another highly coveted title. Gabriel shone at the Jiu-Jitsu Con and won the gold medal. Exemplary discipline coupled with dedication on and off the mats are the pillars that drive Gabriel’s development.

He is a fan of Cole Abate and is inspired by the black belt to achieve his goals. In an interview with VF Comunica, Gabriel Silva emphasized that the will to train and work hard must come from the athlete himself, just as Cole mentioned in one of his recent interviews, even if he is young.

“I think what Cole Abate said is 100% right. Just because someone is a kid doesn’t mean they can’t work hard and be dedicated to a task. Every kid, if they put their effort into it, can be really good at what they do. But with that being said, there is a difference between them wanting to be committed versus their parents wanting them to be committed. I know a few people who are good, but train only because their parents want them to. I think the people that can be the best are those that are dedicated because THEY want to achieve their goals. My parents never pressured me into doing Jiu-Jitsu competitively, they actually just wanted me to have fun as long as I liked it. I read a book called Way of the Warrior Kid which is written by Jocko Willink, someone I look up to. The book helped me be motivated and know that any kid can achieve their goals, anyone can. They just have to work hard. That book is one of the first things that helped me be dedicated to the sport because I liked it. That was one of the reasons I’m here right now”, explained Gabriel.

Vicente Junior is directly responsible for Gabriel’s growth as a Jiu-Jitsu athlete. Gabriel said that he sees his father as an inspiration and stressed that the fact that his father is his coach makes their relationship even closer.

“Working with my father is really helpful. In any free time we have, we can talk with each other as coach to student. I’m glad to have my dad teach me, he’s the reason I wanted to do Jiu-Jitsu. The person I look up to most on and off the mats being my professor is the best thing I could ask for. Something he says to me a lot to remember is that he won’t always be my coach but will always be my dad. For the sake of what happens when I win and lose, he tells me one thing I will never forget. Basically, he says that no matter if I win or lose, he’s still proud of me and that we will still have fun after the tournament. He says the same thing to everyone of the students he has that competes. It reminds me that I’m not disappointing him or anyone else if I lose, he will still be my coach and help me out”, shared the American.

Gabriel Silva took the gold at Jiu-Jitsu Con. Photo: IBJJF

Gabriel Silva is seen as a new jewel of Jiu-Jitsu in the United States. He loves to compete and feels hungry when he’s in action at championships. He recalled a specific situation that was decisive for him to remain focused on his goals.

“I think I improve everyday, some days I learn more than others. The time I won my first tournament is when I knew that I’ve made a huge improvement, I learned that I’m doing something right. Winning that tournament was one of the final pushes to keep going, and never give up. It helped me understand that now I just need to keep working hard and I’ll get where I want to be”, said the orange belt.

As well as being an outstanding athlete in his category, Gabriel carries the values of Jiu-Jitsu with him. He reinforced that many fighters focus only on the sporting side and don’t take into account the principles of the martial art.

“Jiu-Jitsu has taught me one key thing that everyone should know and remember: be respectful to everyone. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, and in martial arts we respect not only our teammates but our friends, opponents, and family. A lot of people don’t show respect to others, when they should be. Most people forget about respect, I think no one should” told Gabriel.

He took the opportunity to send a message to young people who have never trained Jiu-Jitsu.

I think that they should try it. Just like with everything, how do you know you like it if you haven’t tried it? No one has to do it competitively, but you should try a tournament as you train more. Jiu-Jitsu will help you make friends with your teammates, know how to defend yourself in situations where you might need it, and overall it will teach you to be respectful. Like I said, just try it and see how it goes”, concluded Gabriel.

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Written by Gabriel Almada

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