I first saw Andre compete live at the 2008 Mundials. What I remember is him break dancing on some guys back, which is now one of the most talked about videos on youtube. Ever since this experience I knew there was something different about Galvao’s game. I could see he was pushing the Gentle Art to another level, no one moved like him but everyone wanted to. Ever since that experience I became a huge Andre Galvao fan and it’s an understatement to say I was extremely excited when I heard he was putting a book together. When I saw that it was a drilling book, I knew it would be like no other book out there. “Drill to Win” is the name of the book and Andre breaks down a 12-month drill cycle to improve every aspect of your game from standing to the ground. Many of the drills in the book, work on your balance, movement and transitions. These fundamental movements are the key to Galvao’s game and as spectators it’s what makes it so fun to watch.

The beginning of the book gives a really nice bio of Andre, how he started training, his trials and tribulations. It also talks about his relationship with Terere his instructor, who pushed him to the next level and taught Andre many of the drills in this book. It’s a very interesting introduction to the book and really sets the pace, engaging you to delve more into the book.

The book is broken up into 12 months. Each week is broken up into 5 days, assuming that you will train 5 days a week.  Each day there are a series of drills that work on a specific part of your bjj game. Month 1 addresses your diet and month 12 is a “final exam”, so there are really 10 months of physical technique displayed in the book. This book is about 300 pages, but don’t try and read it all at once. It’s an instructional and should be taken in doses.  Many of the drills are movement based and repetitious. These repetitions get your brain working and body building muscle memory. There are both solo drills and partner drills displayed throughout the book. Not all these drills are for beginners though, there are some advanced movements and balance based drills that require a Swiss ball. These balance drills will take many sessions to master, it’s not something you will be able to do in one session.

Although Andre breaks down the book into 12 months, I do not personally follow the weekly program he lays out. I earmarked the drills that really appealed to me based on my athletic ability and body type. I also ear marked the drills I though would be good for the level my students were at. I have been testing out the drills in my bjj classes for about a month now and can already see great improvement in my students transitional games and feel a huge difference in my game as well. For an added bonus, Andre also delves into competition preparation as well as his nutrition plan.

This book is not for a "green" beginner. The sequencing photographs are really nice but you still need to know the fundamental positions and movements of jiu-jitsu to fully understand how many of the drills work. I think that this book is great for higher-level blue belts, purple and brown belts. Andre puts such a fresh spin on jiu-jitsu, I even think black belts can learn much from this book.

For $25 dollars you get an incredible drills book packed with great content, and really get inside the mind of one of bjj’s greatest competitors. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to push his or her bjj game to the next level. Look out for Andre in a future issue of BJJWEEKLY.

Pete Roberts