Jerry Silva started martial arts training in 1977 at age 4. He was encouraged by his grandmother to learn self-defense at a young age. He has competed in national and international martial arts tournaments and continued his training after retiring from competition 2001. He earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and a graduate degree in Business Administration. He is an IWUF/PAF certified Wushu judge. Sifu Silva runs the National Martial Arts Academy in Aurora, Colorado, taking ownership in 2006 from Master Zhuang Hui. He gives credit to his Sifus: Peter Morales, Ming Liu “Qiu Ming,” Zhuang Hui, Jinheng Li, Bobby Czibok, and Robert Heckman.