Jiu-Jitsu Master João Silva Hosts International Competition

João Silva is now part of the Sportamix team, and recently held the 2019 Sports Jui-Jitsu International Federation competition in Long Beach with Sportamix as a major sponsor. His family studio is instrumental in keeping the sport popular, and he has a profile on Sportamix.

Silva is the president of the SJJIF which is Brazilian Jui-Jitsu. The competition also included the SJJIF World Deaf Jiu-Jitsu Championship, with many talented deaf athletes from around the world.

As Silva explains, “One of the most important part of the art of jiu-jitsu is tapping, and that is simply something that you do with your hand or foot to get any or when you’ve had enough.”

In the past events also held at the Long Beach arena, the international competition has attracted more than 8,000 fans people have come to see “some of the best grappling on the planet,” according to Silva. The competitors are vying for about $67,000 in cash prizes.

The competition not only includes world championships for black belts, but also the Adapted Jiu-Jitsu World Championships for younger competitors, and inclusive competitions such as the Para Jiu-Jitsu tournament for athletes with physical disabilities and impairments. There is also a competition for athletes with intellectual and cognitive disabilities and impairments. 

For more information of all the competitions go to www.sjjif.org.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a growing popular sport that is practiced and recognized worldwide. The mission of the SJJIF is to unify and organize existing Sport Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Jiu-Jitsu national and territorial federations that share the vision of reaching Olympic greatness while preserving the unique history, culture, philosophy and lineage of this sport. 

Professor Silva says he believes “That together, the SJJIF with its National Federations and members, will continue to develop the growing network of like minded members who envision greater opportunities for the athletes and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as we believe that our athletes deserve an equal right to Olympic greatness.”

Brazil topped the country rankings with a stunning total of 11 gold medals and three silvers. The UAE and the UK tied second overall with two silver. Norway came third with one gold.

It wasn’t until June 1973 that jiu-jitsu was finally recognized as a sport in Brazil, and later that year they organized a national tournament for it to become a competitive sport.

In June 2011, Silva and a team of international masters hosted the first international event and set down easier rules. Now there are sanctioned federations in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

Born in 1982 in Rio de Janeiro, Silva started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at age 3 with his father and master Aloisio Silva. At that time there were not many kids doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and there were no tournaments for kids in Jiu-Jitsu so Joao started training Judo as well. 

By age 5, the young Joao was competing in Judo tournaments.  At age 7 Joao competed in his first Jiu-Jitsu competition and from then on he would compete in as many tournaments as he could.  Ironically, but important, is the fact that although Joao had began training at a very young age and was very knowledgeable in Jiu-Jitsu, competing was never an easy thing. 

 The young Joao would become very nervous at tournaments due to the pressure he felt for being the professor’s son.  But even at a young age Joao was never a quitter, and with as much bravery as he could muster he would always tell his father that he wanted to compete and so Aloisio would sign him up.   

At 17, Silva moved with his father and family to pursue the opportunity of starting and developing a team in the United States. They began a local karate academy in Lawndale in Southern California. At this time Joao was a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a black belt in Judo and his students were quickly becoming champions as they started winning local tournaments.  

Brian Sebastian of Sportamix (right) interviews some of the winners.

Joao Silva continued to thrive as a competitor and has become the world champion multiple times.

“One of the most important things to know is to be safe and don’t get hurt,” Silva says. “Because if you get injured, you won’t be able to come back and practice. You don’t want to get hurt.”

Silva adds, “Also, an important aspect is to keep respect, not only for your teachers and elders, but also for the higher belts. You can always learn from them.”