Lessons from a champ from white to black belt

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Vella, world champion in 2002 and 2009, against Cavaca, world champion in 2010, in photo by Regis Chen

The first championship Gabriel Vella was in was in 1996, as a white belt. Since then he’s amassed 76 medals, many of which came in IBJJF competitions, in all the belt groups. Vella has held his place at the top like few have. Proof is in his world titles, one 2002 and the other in 2009, seven years later. For that reason and more, the black belt is one of the features in GRACIEMAG #170, now in bookstores.

“The more we compete, the more it becomes part of our lives. Keeping active fills me with self-esteem. That mood irradiates to my team,” says the fighter, who just completed twelve years at the highest rank.

In the Face to Face section of this month’s GRACIEMAG, Vella clues us in on his famed “underwater training”, for building stamina, and he reminds us of the teachings of his master, Ryan Gracie.

“It was impressive how he could read an opponent, and his perseverance in going for victory was incredible. In training, I learned to have myself filmed in practice from him. That way I managed to correct a lot of things.”

To find out much more, rush to your nearest bookstore or get upcoming issues at home, at the best rate. Find out how to subscribe here.

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