Gabriel Silva talks about experience at ADCC and projects: “I will return to the grappling stage this year”

Orange-belt, multiple times Gi champion, won the bronze medal after a great campaign at the ADCC Open in Atlantic City

Gabriel Silva accumulated three victories in his ADCC debut. Image: @guicy.flicks

Gabriel Silva’s first experience in grappling, multi-champion orange-belt in the gi, gave the athlete the real feeling of leaving his comfort zone. However, the athlete’s handling of this debut, with a mind accustomed to competitive pressures, was the best possible. A adept of fighting in the gi who never hid his preference, Gabriel Silva was rewarded with a pleasant discovery when he participated in the ADCC Open, an event promoted in Atlantic City on February 10th: his skill is not restricted to Jiu-Jitsu in the gi and there is a place for grappling in his game.

“This was my first No Gi tournament and surprisingly I feel like I performed as well as I would’ve done in the gi. I was able to move the same, work through similar positions, and get the same techniques I commonly do. Only problem for me was the different grips which is where I would most need work. I mostly need to get used to the new grips. Besides that I feel that my performance was great and on the mat I had a good experience.”, he says.

Gabriel Silva proved to be a versatile grappling fighter

In an interview with VF Comunica, with the memory of images of his fights still fresh, there were 4 fights until third place on the podium, Gabriel said that the biggest difference in the game was due to having spent more time on top, leaving the tactics of guard in the background. Already accustomed to a methodology that makes him explore every part of the fighting style, in training in the Gi, Gabriel felt that in grappling versatility is an even more important need.

“⁠I think the biggest difference in my performance was the less time on bottom. Most noticeable in the gi is my game from guard; my game on bottom. Looking back to my matches, the majority of the time was spent on top or standing. It didn’t stop me at all because I’m still very good at passing guard, working from side control, and that sort of thing from the top. I also took the back a few times in my last match which is very unusual for me. But I still say the big difference is not playing my preferred game.”, he analyzes the step-by-step process of working at the ADCC.

Gabriel Silva and Vicente Júnior after the athlete’s grappling debut. Image: @gabrielsilvabjj

Another new aspect of the ADCC experience concerns contact with athletes trained in wrestling. According to Gabriel Silva, paying attention to the rules, for one’s own benefit during the fight, is an intelligent resource and very well adopted by wrestlers.

“⁠I think they are just playing by the rules. If they are up and time is left, just stall. I’ve done this before in matches, I was up by a few points with less than a minute left and I just held on so I didn’t lose points and I could win the match. It’s smart if you do it with the right time left and in the right way. If you literally stall you’ll get penalties. If you move around a bit you’re technically not. I still say it’s something you’d have to use when you need it.”, he comments, drawing a parallel with his experience in the Gi.

According to Gabriel, the referees’ care was admirable

Regarding the organization of the ADCC, Gabriel highlights the care taken by the referees with young athletes. According to what he witnessed at the event, he admired the way in which the athletes’ safety is seen as a priority, with intervention when faced with a dangerous position or a tight submission, which could result in an injury. Gabriel’s focus remains on the main Gi tournaments and his desire to fight grappling again will not conflict with his preparation in the gym.

“My biggest focus remains the gi and all of the biggest gi tournaments I can win. But now I additionally want to win a grappling tournament this year following this loss in Atlantic City. It’ll probably be at another ADCC Open if they come back to the east coast but until then, my plans for the gi remain the same. I will return to the grappling stage this year, so stay tuned.”, he reveals, expanding his field of activity in search of more achievements.

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Written by Emmanuela Oliveira

Emmanuela Oliveira é faixa-marrom de Jiu-Jitsu e formada em Comunicação Social. Dentro do tatame, aprendeu que é possível conjugar Jiu-Jitsu, escrita e o gosto pelas artes visuais em um só pacote.

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