‘The Spider’ became ‘The Jaguar’ during a recent trip. | Photo: Luis Maximiano / Revista Trip
Anderson Silva is a master of many disciplines, including the standup art of muay Thai and the ground game of jiu-jitsu, but the UFC middleweight champion recently got an education in an entirely different style.
In a story which aired Sunday on long-running Brazilian TV show “Sports Spectacular,” Silva visited the Kamayura people, an indigenous tribe who live on the Upper Xingu River in the state of Mato Grosso. While there, “The Spider” got in a workout with the natives.
“The mind must always be like a parachute, always open to new experiences,” said Silva.
The new experience to which the champ refered was the huka-huka, a traditional wrestling style practiced by the tribes of the region. Before he could participate, though, Silva first heard the tales of the fighters and their ancient martial art.
“We get two and a half years in seclusion, preparing to be a fighter, just scraping the skin and applying the root,” explained one of the natives, stating that the tribes males begin their training at 13 years old.
After being painted by the natives in the manner of a jaguar, Anderson went into combat. In the duels under huka-huka rules, Silva “got left behind,” defeated twice in less than a minute. But for the third match, Silva asked to change rules. Showing why he’s considered the best fighter in the world, the Sao Paulo native taught the Kamayura jiu-jitsu techniques, but without using his deadly muay Thai.
“It’s different, the way they fight, the kind of technique they use,” enthused Silva. “They are very strong, and I really enjoyed the experience. Really cool.”