There is no truer journey in the land of martial arts than jiu-jitsu. It’s about discipline, development and truly keeping an open mind. Jiu-jitsu is an art form.

New Zealand’s Kate Da Silva, over many years, has found out exactly what a journey the art form can be, and it’s certainly something that makes up a big part of her life. It’s how she met her husband. It’s how she managed to forge out a reputation as one of the country’s best professional fighters, and it’s something that turned her life around.

Da Silva (top) (

Da Silva (top) (

Although mixed martial arts is where her heart lies from a competition standpoint, Da Silva has dedicated close to a decade of her life to training in jiu-jitsu. With her husband, who is also her coach, by her side, she has been able to progress to a level that no other female in New Zealand has reached: she was awarded her black belt in October 2013.

“It was awesome,” Da Silva admitted to The MMA Corner. “I’ve been working hard for almost 10 years now. Our master came from Brazil, and he got to award it to me. I’m very active in competing, not just in jiu-jitsu but in MMA as well.

“I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the help of my husband. We live together, train together—we do everything together [laughs]. He really has been amazing, and he changed my life. I am so thankful for everything that he has done for me. He has put everything into me developing as a competitor.”

After compiling an impressive six-fight winning streak, Da Silva suffered her first professional loss at the hands of fellow countrywoman Faith Van Duin in the Storm Damage women’s eliminator. Losing for the first time can be a difficult concept to overcome, but Da Silva was able to bounce back in a big way and join the winner’s circle once again in her very next fight.

“It was great. Especially after my loss, it was just great to get a win behind me now,” she admitted. “I’ve trained so hard since just after Christmas. It was pretty hard. It was my first-ever loss. It wasn’t just the loss, it was who it was to, which was even tougher. I think it made me come back stronger. I really impressed everyone [in the last fight]. My stand-up has gotten a lot better. I’ve just been working really hard on it. I did a couple of Muay Thai fights last year as well. It was really good experience because I wanted to get more confident in my stand-up. I just wanna keep more active—it’s only gonna do me good with my game.”

In her last bout, Da Silva once again found herself in the familiar situation of having to compete more than once in the same night. After her three-fight effort for Storm Damage in August 2013, Da Silva bounced back from her first professional loss in a big way by taking to the Princesses of Pain Round-Robin tournament.

Da Silva (

Da Silva (

“At first, it was supposed to be an eight-woman [tournament], but some of the girls pulled out,” Da Silva explained. “Then it got changed to a four-woman, and then Dawn [Chalmers], who won the novice belt last year, she got injured and had to pull out, so then we were told that we’d just do a round robin. So, we all fought each other.”

Da Silva now has another title in her sights. She makes her debut on Australia’s longest-running mixed martial arts event, XFC Australia, on June 14 at XFC 21 to face Integrated MMA’s Jessy Jess for the promotion’s first women’s belt. The two will square off at bantamweight. It’s a chance for Da Silva to once again add to her growing collection of championship belts.

“I’ve been watching Jessy’s game and I’m really excited to fight her,” she said. “I’ve fought a lot of strikers, so it will be really awesome to fight someone who’s just more well rounded. And I think she’s good on the ground as well. I think it’ll be a real good match, and I’m definitely looking to make a statement.”

Martial arts is a journey. It’s one where the destination hasn’t quite yet been decided for Da Silva. With every chance that she gets, she looks to impress on the world stage. June 14 is yet another stop on Da Silva’s quest. The plan is for her to gain another belt, and just like her dedication in jiu-jitsu, you can bet that she isn’t going to let anything stop her from getting it.

Kate would like to thank her sponsors: NZMMA.TV, R Moon Builders and RK Nutrition. She would also like to thank Brothers at Arms MMA and her husband, Roney Da Silva. Follow Da Silva on Twitter: @Katejiujitseira

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.