Andre Galvao has often used his wrestling skills to win matches and hasn’t been seen pulling guard often in recent years, preferring to land a takedown to start the match instead. It may come as something of a surprise to learn then that the founder and head coach of ATOS didn’t actually start learning how to wrestle properly until he came to America as an adult. Of course, Galvao wasn’t exactly entirely new to the standing phase of grappling as he actually started his martial arts training in Judo as a child.
It wasn’t long however before Galvao made the switch to BJJ to join his older brother, training in Brazil for the entirety of his teenage years. He’s been training with some of the most talented grapplers available since his youth though, moving to train with Fernando Terere at the age of 16. It was during these years as he moved through the colored belt rankings that Galvao really established himself as an elite competitor by winning the IBJJF World Championships three years in a row before being awarded his black belt in 2005. He continued the phenomenal run by then winning the tournament at black belt during his debut year.
It wasn’t until 2008 that Andre Galvao moved to San Diego to found ATOS HQ and it was shortly after that at the age of 26 that he found his wrestling coach Fred Leavy to really develop his takedown skills. He recently uploaded the below video to the official YouTube channel of ATOS, where he sat down with Leavy in order to talk about how any BJJ competitor can improve their wrestling success and use it to go further in Jiu-Jitsu too. Any advice that Galvao can give is going to be something worth listening to, especially when you consider the sheer number of elite black belts that he’s managed to produce in over a decade of running ATOS.