Andre Galvão

Inside BJJ
Congrats on the Atos team success taking Third Place at the 2011 Worlds. The Mendes brothers, Ary Farias, and Gilbert Durinho had great performances. How do you feel about the growth and progress of the team as well as the team’s performance at the 2011 Worlds

Andre Galvão
I feel really good about the results. They deserve it because the train very hard every day Monday through Saturday. They follow everything Ramon Lemos and I teach. Ramon lives in Brazil and he teaches the guys over there. We keep in touch all the time. We talk about training and what needs to be fixed and adjusted always trying to improve positions. All of our guys are amazing and have great talent. If you have talent but you don’t work hard, you can’t win. Our team’s phrase is, “Hard work can beat talent.” Everybody works very hard. We have talent and hard work.

Gilbert Durinho is an amazing guy. He’s very humble. He knows Jiu-Jitsu very well. His style is entertaining and people love to watch him. He moves constantly and he’s very fast.

Ramon and I had a project with Durinho since he was a brown belt. We watched his fights and thought he can be a little Jacare.

We knew if he could develop good Judo and a fast guard pass that he would be one of the best in the world. His time has come and he’s a champion. He’s doing great.

Rafael is also very good. He had a great fight against Tanquino. Tanquino is an amazing fighter and great guy, too. He beat a lot of good names in the Worlds. He even beat Rafael in Abu Dhabi. At Worlds, Rafael fought a good fight. Rafael took his back and Tanquino ran to the outside and the fight was restarted in the middle with both standing. Rafael still managed to win. The kind of training we did for World’s was to submit everyone. We tell our fighters, “Don’t let the referee decide your result. You need to make the result for your fight. Score the points and get the submission. Don’t let anybody choose your result.”

Ary Farias just received his black belt and he already beat Bruno Malficine at the Europeans. At Worlds, he split the podium with Guillermo. He’s a great talent and has awesome Jiu-Jitsu. In the future, you’re going to see crazy Jiu-Jitsu from him. When we show new positions, he already has worked out two or three positions ahead. He’s very exciting.

Guillermo is a lightweight but his Jiu-Jitsu is like a heavyweight. His pressure is very heavy. He likes to pass guard and that’s good for his division. Everyone likes to play guard but he’s comfortable on top. He likes to break the grips and control his opponent’s hips. He knows how to score points and is very strategic. He’s a two time champion at black belt.

Our girls did very well, too. Cris Cyborg won at purple belt. She trained with us for a few months and did great. Also my wife, Angelica Galvão, did well. She stopped training for five years and came back. It was her first tournament at purple belt and she won.

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We have Ronaldo Candido, too. He’s a big talent. In less than a month, he won the Brazilian Nationals and World’s at brown belt. He’ll be with us for a couple more months helping.

The team has a lot of talent. The secret of Atos is that we train hard and drill relentlessly. We always put new variations into our game. After every class, we discuss the positions and details and talk about if what we’re doing works. We hope next year to be in first place with the team points at Worlds.

Inside BJJ
Rodolfo Vieira had an outstanding performance at the 2011 Worlds winning his division as well as Absolute. Is there anyone else who stood out to you?

Claudio Calasans

Andre Galvão
The toughest fight Rodolfo had was against Claudio Calasans. Everyone is going to know that kid in the future. He’s working hard and he’s a great athlete. He understands Jiu-Jitsu. He learns fast. He fought a close fight against Rodoflo and lost by advantages. Claudio is a black belt in Judo and he’s the number one wrester in Brazil. After Rodolfo, he’s the toughest guy in the Worlds. He hurt his shoulder and he couldn’t fight the middle weight division. If he could fight, he probably would be the champ. Of course, he had Marcelo Garcia in his division but Calasans is ready for a fight with anybody.

Inside BJJ
Romulo Barral and Sergio Moraes fought in the finals at medium heavy. They spent quite a bit of time in 50/50 and there was some criticism overall of fighters stalling and inconsistent scoring. Samuel Braga vs. Guillermo Mendes ended in controversy as well. What can be done to make the tournament matches better and with less controversy?

Andre Galvão
I think the referees are afraid to give points.

They have three referees and it seems like they don’t have confidence to stand up and award points. They’re waiting for the other referee to standup and give points first.

The referees need more training. When the fights stall, the referee warns “LUTE” too late. If a guy has 50/50 guard for nine minutes and thirty seconds and then with thirty seconds left the ref says “LUTE”, that’s too late.

There’s one referee who disappeared for five years in the IBJFF and he came back and I see him making a lot of mistakes. I can tell because I’ve done the rules course with Alvaro Mansour. Our team works a lot on the rules. The IBJJF should operate more like Abu Dhabi where the refs must attend training every month. The referees have too many friendships with fighters on other teams. We need referees who don’t have so many connections to other teams.

Inside BJJ
Recently, Cobrinha mentioned the rules should be changed to encourage the athletes to fight. A lot of athletes are saying the same thing but is anyone listening?

Andre Galvão
We had a meeting on Friday during the World’s with Alvaro Mansur, officials from the IBJJF, and several black belts and we discussed the rules. The IBJJF said in 2012 the rules will be different. The problem is they don’t want to change the rules too fast too soon. It could be confusing to everyone. Step by step the rules are changing to make Jiu-Jitsu more dynamic.

I gave my opinion that we should give a point for submission attempts. If someone tries footlock, armbar, or triangle, award a point. It encourages the athletes to attempt more submissions. Advantages should be accumulative and equal points as well. With accumulative advantages, every so many advantages would equal a point. Of course, there are details that have to be worked out but I think these type of changes encourage action.

If someone passes guard and just holds his opponent like a wrestler for the whole time, that’s stalling. We need a more dynamic game. Ten minute matches are too long. The black belt matches should be six or seven minutes maximum. It would make the matches more exciting.

I always try to get the submission in my fights. I believe in that philosophy.

That’s Cobrinha’s mind, too. We come from the same tree. We trained together.  The rules right now favor the staller. A lot of athletes just think about themselves and not about Jiu-Jitsu. Cobrinha and I are thinking about Jiu-JItsu as a whole and not just ourselves.

Inside BJJ
Are you saying the IBJFF is listening and making changes?

Andre Galvão
Yes, they are listening. They want to make changes slowly.

Inside BJJ
It’s very frustrating for athletes who travel from very far away to end up losing due to a scoring controversy. At the 2011 Worlds, there was a match where a brown belt won but the points were awarded to the other fighter and the wrong guy won.

Andre Galvão
I saw that. It was a mistake because the yellow/green belt should always go to the fighter in the blue gi. One guy had a blue gi and the other guy had a black gi. Neither athlete had the yellow/green belt and the advantages went to the wrong athlete. The real winner was very disappointed.

Inside BJJ
How important is competition to BJJ? Can someone achieve a black belt without competing regularly?

Andre Galvão
Our school is not just about competition. We are teaching many who just want to train Jiu-Jitsu. Tournaments help you get better though. The competition mindset will make you want to train. If you’re training just for stress relief and exercise, for sure it will benefit you. If you have a goal to win a tournament, you’re going to be better after the tournament whether or not you win. You’re going to be training more and with focus. It’s good for a school to focus on tournaments but of course we have people who don’t want to compete. We still give goals to our people who don’t compete because everyone wants to get better. Nobody wants to come in and tap to everybody. We’re trying to build champions in life. We use Jiu-Jitsu as an example of how to live your life.

Inside BJJ
You recently published your book “Drill to Win” that addresses an aspect of BJJ that gets overlooked. What inspired you to put this book together? Also, how important is drilling to BJJ?

Andre Galvão
I was inspired to put the book together because that’s what I did to become a champion. Since, I was a white belt I learned this from my instructor. He made me drill a lot. If you work hard, you can always beat talent. For me, drilling is very important because you teach your body to move naturally into these positions. You can’t think too much when you’re fighting. You just have to do. You get that from drilling. If you watch Judoka, wrestlers, boxers and Muay Thai fighters train, they all drill. Many jiu-jitsu guys are lazy, they do five reps on each side and then they’re done. Judokas will do one hundred reps on each side. Wrestlers train for hours. Boxers hit the bags all day. When you drill, your body gets conditioned to naturally get into the proper positions. If you’re only sparring, you’re going to stick to what you like. If you always focus on what you already know, you’ll only make small increases in your performance. If you drill positions you don’t know or are weak in, you’re going to make bigger gains. Drilling helps you learn and you need to have three or four variations from each position. Jiu-Jitsu is a game of human chess and drilling helps us get better at it.

Inside BJJ
How do you split the time between drilling and sparring?

Andre Galvão
For sure you need to spar. For sparring you can go at 100% only two or three weeks before the tournament because in that time you’re not going to really learn new techniques. Otherwise, you should split your training 50/50 or 60/40 with drilling and sparring.

Inside BJJ
How do you prepare for a Jiu-Jitsu tournament? What is your mindset? How many weeks out do you start working.

Andre Galvão
Two weeks before the tournament I start thinking about the tournament and my matches. One week before the tournament, I train light and stretch. The final two days, I don’t do anything. I always think good thoughts about the tournament. I think about myself in different positions and how I will escape and win the fight. Thinking like this allows me to experience the anxiety of competing in small steps each day and by the time the tournament comes, I don’t feel nerves. I like to watch videos of my opponents and how they compete. I work on new techniques to surprise my opponents.

Inside BJJ
How far out do you start to prepare?

Andre Galvão
I always stay ready to fight. To focus on a tournament, eight or nine weeks is good.

Inside BJJ
How is that different than an MMA fight?

Andre Galvão
The time period is the same. You need about nine weeks for your diet and weight and everything.

I think MMA preparation is a little easier than Jiu-Jitsu because you can focus on one guy and learn about him every day. Jiu-Jitsu is different. You might have six guys you have to fight against in the same day and you can’t lose.

It’s hard to prepare. In MMA, you can get hurt though so that’s a factor as well.

Inside BJJ
How is Tereré right now? He was in Europe for a while and he went back home and is maybe having some trouble?

Andre Galvão
I was talking to him on Facebook and he said he has a plan to come to the United States. He’s working on a book, too. I hope he can come here and show his work so everyone can learn more about him. He’s with his family right now in Brazil working hard. He was in Europe working hard. He really wanted to fight Worlds this year but he had a problem with his visa. When he gets his visa, he’ll be here. I want to see him working. I want people to recognize him. Everyone should know who Tereré is. He’s an amazing guy and I hope to see him on the mats teaching. If he can fight, I’d be really really happy. We’ll see, you know.

Inside BJJ
His influence on your Jiu-Jitsu and Cobrinha and others is very great. Do you think he’s recognized as much as he should be.

Andre Galvão
I think it’s hard because some guys trained with him and learned a lot with him but they don’t talk about him. They just forget. Inside they know. Tereré worked with a lot of the top competition guys. Myself, Cobrinha, Lucas Lepri, the Mendes brothers, Michael Langhi, Durinho, Sergio Moraes, all of us learned from him and we recognize that. We need to talk about him more. It’s hard because he stopped for a while and had some problems. Right now, people are starting to talk about him more because he came back. He needs to work now and show everybody what he has to offer. He’s an amazing fighter, athletic and smooth.

Fernando "Tereré" Augusto

Inside BJJ
What is next for you?

Andre Galvão
I will be in ADCC in September, 2011 in England. I have an MMA fight August 5th in Tachi Palace against Jorge Lopez. I also have a fight July 16th in New York. There’s a big prize for the open class and I’ll be there. Rafael Mendes and I will be there and we’re coming to win.

This weekend I’ll fight against Carlos Diego. It’s a Christian event, “Fight for Faith”. I’ll fight a super fight and I’ll give my testimony and I hope God can use me there to help.

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I have several seminars lined up as well.

July 9, 2011 – Broken Arrow, OK.
August 13, 2011 – Flint, MI.
October 15, 2011 -  Martinsville, IN.

I’ll be doing seminars in England as well.

Also, I want to thank my sponsors, Storm Kimonos, all of my students, and Atos Jiu-JItsu. Thanks to Vinac Consorcios and all my sponsors in Brazil. Thanks to my Lord Jesus Christ for strength and a good mind. Thanks to my fans. If you’d like to get a hold of me, go to my website www.GalvãoJiujitsu.com and twitter @GalvãoJiuJitsu and Facebook.

2 Responses to “Andre Galvão”

  1. rowdy says:

    did i meet you i sd?

    great interview!

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