A win at the 2015 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships and an eighth birthday, all in two weeks, has left Oliver Silvestro grinning.
The Year 2 student at St Ambrose Catholic Primary Concord West competed at the event, held in Ontario, California on August 8. Oliver, a Jiu Jitsu orange belt, placed first in the 32 kilogram division at the three day international tournament.
“It was really hard,’’ he said. “I beat the other person in the grand final by two advantages, which is when you make a move and it almost works, but doesn’t.”
Oliver trained for the competition with his head coach, Anthony Peroush, a former student of St Ambrose. He also practices with his dad who is a blue belt, though it seems his younger sister won’t be joining the family Jiu Jitsu ranks. “She’s a ballerina,” Oliver said.
After the tournament, the Silvestro family travelled around Los Angeles, going to Hollywood and Disneyland. On the Walk of Fame, Oliver found the names of other martial arts greats Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Oliver said the highlight of the trip was seeing famous Jiu Jitsi fighters Eddie Bravo, the Mendes brothers and Anderson Silva.
“The trip was pretty good,” said Oliver, who has practiced Jiu Jitsu for three years. “It was fun.”
The World Championships weren’t Oliver’s first taste of victory. He has won the NSW State Championships twice and the National Championships once before. He will defend his title at the 2015 Aus Cup National Championships in Adelaide on August 22.