Deivid Dias and the power of communication to take off as a Jiu-Jitsu teacher

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Our GMI in the United States, Deivid Dias has excelled in the roles of athlete and content creator on social networks.

The brown belt of the GFTeam DC team, based in the US capital of Washington, plays an important role in the training of several students on his team and promotes his work through digital platforms. Deivid believes in the power of verbal and non-verbal communication to connect with audiences effectively and achieve goals.

In a chat with, Deivid explained why he started investing in a career as a digital influencer, talked about the teacher’s need to know how to communicate with students, and shared his next goals in Jiu-Jitsu.

GRACIEMAG: What are the biggest challenges of teaching Jiu-Jitsu abroad?

DEIVID DIAS: The biggest challenges are communication and adaptation. But I mean communication as a whole, not just the words and the English language. We Brazilians have a hard time teaching a good class in Portuguese. Many of us do not study and teach in the way that we were taught. And Professor Albert Mehrabian concluded in his study that words account for only 7% of communication. Tone of voice (38%) and body language (55%) play a much more important role than the voice itself. So communication is essential to give a good class. In the United States, it is essential to be a good teacher and to know English. It is not enough to be a good teacher and not know English or vice versa. The two walk side by side. As for adaptation, the teacher may have difficulty getting out of the comfort zone even if they speak the local language and teach a good class. It is very difficult for anyone to be able to open new doors and adapt. There are several factors that influence: the weather, food and even the jiu jitsu workouts themselves, which are different from your home gym. It is crucial that one comes with an open mind. It’s complicated, but possible to succeed abroad.

How long have you lived in the United States? And what do you miss most about Brazil?

I have lived in the United States for 16 years, I am married to an American and I have two little American children. And what I miss the most are Brazilians. There is no such thing as the Brazilian people. We are very warm, united, close and that doesn’t exist much here. Customs are also needed: walking in flip-flops on barefoot on the street, or without a shirt on. Here this is not seeing so often. I also miss my family and great friends, the locals spots and the food. You will never find rice and beans as well made as in Brazil.

You produce a lot of content on social media and share the roles of athlete and digital influencer. What motivated you to start recording position videos?

True, I’ve been producing a lot of content and it was my students who motivated me to start posting positions on social media. I sent the videos separately in the group. We already had a lot of content and people started encouraging me because other people could also benefit from the techniques. So we started posting and the public embraced it. Today my Instagram is crazy busy in a good way. It is important to note that Instagram is my second source of income. It’s the future. Teachers and athletes who are slow to migrate to social networks will lose space over time. The future will be more and more digital. Jiu-Jitsu is already well digitized and the trend wont stop growing. It needs to be structured. The future of Jiu-Jitsu will be wonderful.

You have been winning lots of championships. What has been your biggest victory so far?

Thank God my athletes and I have been standing out in the competitive scene. I come from three consecutive major titles. I’ve won the American Nationals, the AJP Grand Slam, and I’ve recently won the Pan Ams in Orlando, FL. My main objective is the Masters Worlds, which I finished third last year and I’m looking to win this year. I would like to highlight the performance of my students. At the Pan, we got a two gold medals, four silver and four bronzes. We helped our academy GF Team bring home the youth and master trophies.

What is your game’s strongest point?

The point of my game is the grip. I always try to frustrate opponents with the grip strength. My game starts from a gorilla footprint. I realize, I feel, that my opponents have a hard time breaking my grip and I take advantage of this moment of distraction to capitalize on a blow and come out with the victory.

What are the values behind your team, GFTeam DC?

Our value is to add discipline and confidence to help our community members improve physically and mentally through Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense practices. We achieve this by providing a friendly, professional Jiu-Jitsu experience and top-notch personal training that challenges our students mentally and physically, all carried out in a safe and clean environment. Our main goal is to encourage everyone to make healthy exercise habits part of our lives.

What are your next goals in Jiu-Jitsu?

I have several goals and dreams ahead of me in Jiu-Jitsu. My first is to become a grandmaster, not just a black belt. An example on and off the mat for my students and athletes from other teams. I would like to have some academies, train world champions at black belt. I want to be a digital reference for the younger generation and for people who came from Baixada Fluminense, just like me, who am from São João de Meriti. Sometimes we think we won’t make it, we have that popular “mutt syndrome”. My mission is to show that it is possible to be a big winner in life or even bigger than our idols, with hard work, love and consistency.

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