Andre Galvao is one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu competitors out there. He has literally done everything you can in the sport of Jiu Jitsu.
Winning every major BJJ championship multiple times and becoming an accomplished Jiu Jitsu coach. Even creating his own Jiu Jitsu affiliation that has schools across the world.
In this article, we take a look at the backstory of Andre Galvao and how he became one of the all time greats. Detailing his incredible journey to becoming a Jiu Jitsu GOAT.
Galvao's Start in Martial Arts
Galvao was born in Sao Paulo, but grew up in the Vale da Paraiba region in Brazil. Andre or “Dico” as his family and friends called first started taking Judo when he was young.
His first Judo instructor was Calasans Camargo, the father of ADCC champion Claudio Calasans. Camargo saw that Galvao had a gift and gave him his very first Gi.
After training Judo, Andre joined his brother who was already training in Jiu Jitsu under Luis Carlos “Careca” Dargmar. Within just two years, Dargmar saw the potential for greatness within Dico.
He felt that Andre needed to be in a more competitive academy and encouraged him to train with Fernando Terere. A multiple time world BJJ champion and guard passing innovator.
Andre Galvao Becomes A Top BJJ Competitor
Under the training of Terere, Andre became one of the best teen BJJ competitors of the era. As a purple belt, Galvao went undefeated and never lost once in any competition he entered.
He was the first purple belt ever to win the IBJJF grand slam. That included Brazilian nationals, Pans, and the world championship.
His unbelievable streak that went for months would result in Terre promoting Galvao to brown belt. He would continue to impress at brown belt and would only lose one time at this rank.
Andre Galvao Promoted To Black Belt
Andre was supposed to be promoted to black belt in late 2004, but personal issues with Terrere delayed his graduation.
Galvao’s other instructor Eduardo Telles would take Andre back to his hometown to visit his first instructor Dargmar. There he would promote Galvao in front of his original instructor and friends.
This would mark the start of his dominant reign as a competitor at black belt.
Galvao Becomes A World Champion
After receiving his black belt, Galvao transitioned to training out of Brasa Clube de Jiu-Jitsu. There he would begin training to compete at the black belt level.
He would not just compete in the major tournaments, but every single competition near him. This is how he felt he would improve his skill by staying active and not stop competing.
In 2005, he won his fourth world championship and first world title at black belt. Andre would miss gold the next two years at worlds, but would earn his 5th world title in 2008. This time getting his first double gold as a black belt also winning the absolute division.
Galvao Stint In MMA
With multiple BJJ world championships under his belt, Andre tried MMA. From 2008-2010, Galvao competed in 7 pro fights and went 5-2. Most notably fighting for Dream in Japan and then Strike force for his last three fights.
Galvao Establishes Atos BJJ
In between finishing his MMA career and preparing for BJJ competitions, Andre would move to San Diego. This is where he and his wife Angelica would establish their own BJJ school and affiliation - Atos BJJ. It was here where Andre would begin growing his school and getting ready for his next competition.
Andre Galvao Returns To BJJ
After competing in MMA for a few years, Galvao went back to competing in Jiu Jitsu. This time he would face a different challenge.
He competed at his second ADCC event in 2011. Andre earned a silver medal in 2009, but 2011 was by far his best performance.
Galvao would run through his competition going a perfect 8-0. Winning both the 88 Kg and absolute divisions. With these wins, Andre had now won every major championship in Jiu Jitsu.
Andre Galvao's Last Run As A Competitor
Andre would continue competing until 2019. In that time, he added much more hardware to his collection. Winning three more world championships and also two more Pan championships.
He would also compete in a number of super fights including 4 ADCC superfights. All of which he won to retain his ADCC title.
The last of these super fights was a win against previous absolute champion Felipe Pena. After that win, Galvao announced that he was retiring from competition to focus on his BJJ school.
Andre Galvao is one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Jiu Jitsu. He holds numerous records in the sport that may stand for years.
Although Andre said he is retired from competition, you never really know with him. There has been talk of him coming back to face Gordon Ryan and also said he’s planning a comeback in MMA.
It seems like one of the greatest of all time may not be done after all. Don’t be surprised to see Galvao back on the mats or cage competing again!