Andre Galvao's Drill to Win

Review by Lockflow contributor Don Bluedorn.

Click here to order Drill to Win.

We’ve been doing a lot of drills in BJJ class lately, seamlessly moving from the warm-up into a series of line and partner drills. I’ve notice a real improvement in my core strength, my cardio, and my basic muscle memory. Some of the drills are well known and would be familiar to anyone who’s spent much time around BJJ. A number of them are new to me, however, and are taken from Andre Galvao’s excellent new book, Drill to Win.

Galvao is a multiple Pan American and Mundials champion, and his book reflects his wealth of training experience. The book basically is organized as a 12-month training schedule, with solo and partner drills to be followed over the course of each week. Some of this organization will be familiar to readers of Gracie Magazine, which uses a similar format to highlight training suggestions from interviewees. Drill to Win takes this basic approach a step further by presenting a 12-month program designed to take the student from concepts such as conditioning and balance, through basic techniques (including takedowns), into more advanced territory such as Spider Guard and combinations.

I admit that I’m intrigued by the 12-month program, and I wonder about its effect on someone diligent enough to follow it from start to finish. However, I don’t think that it would fit well with my training program (and those of many others) and I tend to view it as an organizational concept that the authors employed to systematically present their material.

I think that the real (and considerable) strength of Drill to Win is the wide range of drills presented. There are drills for almost every imaginable concept and scenario. By my count, there are detailed descriptions of almost 250 different drills, accompanied by preliminary commentary and Frequently Asked Questions. The time series photos are outstanding, and the text is crisp and clear. Readers should have no problem understanding how to correctly perform the drills and what areas they are intended to address, and there is a wide ranging menu of drills from which to select.

I think that Drill to Win starts to fill a large gap in the existing BJJ literature, and I commend the authors for doing so. We are blessed with a wide array of excellent “how to” BJJ technique manuals, largely filling the vacuum that existed only 15 years ago. In my experience, though, Drill to Win is one of the first BJJ books that assumes a basic level of proficiency, and is designed to help the intermediate or advanced BJJ practitioner take their game to the next level. I hope that Drill to Win enjoys the commercial success that it so richly deserves, and that it in turn sparks other authors to pursue similar projects.


PoopSauce's picture

Even if you dont follow the whole twelve month plan this book is an amazing book of drills.


Fist Choke's picture

Great book of drills. There is a utube clip of Osvaldo Alves/Fredson out there showing some and likely where Galvao got many

The Striking Viking's picture

I’m not big on buying all the books and dvds that come out for MMA and BJJ but this one really caught my eye so I bought. Will be here in a couple of days. I’m going actually try and do everything in the book in the way that it is laid out for me, other than the deit part they talked about because I’m good there. I figure why not? If it is what Galvao does then I should probably follow suit. Even if its just a training routine that he and another group of high level BJJ black belts developed then I’m all for it.

Afrorican13's picture

I bought a copy of the book and have been using some of the drills on my current time away from the gym. I am not following the 12 month plan simply do to the fact that some of the drills require 1-2 partners and I don't have any. I will say that I feel that the drills are keeping the movements fresh in my mind and that was the purpose of my purchase. I can not wait to get to work some of the partner drills when I get home.

Experience is something you gain shortly after you need it.

Marshal D. Carper's picture

I will throw in my 2 cents:

-I definitely enjoy this book, and I have been using it enhance my training sessions, picking and choosing the drills that I want to work on.
-The horizontal layout was really weird at first, and hard to get used to. As soon as I got used to it, they switched back to a traditional layout and then back to the horizontal layout. It was very confusing.
-Some of the drills are a bit too crazy.


JFree's picture

I've found this book really helpful for keeping training fresh. Most of the drills are actually pretty fun to do, one of my friends has a copy of the book and since it's actually a somewhat pricey book we've found that it works well to buy one copy between a few people and split the cost, then just make sure to bring the book when we train together. I'd definitely be willing to pay full price for this book if I had to though.


CombatChaz's picture

would you guys recommend this book for a no-gi or MMA guy too?

JFree's picture

There's a decent number of drills in the book that are gi-specific, although if I remember correctly most of them can be adapted to no-gi. I feel like the majority of the best drills in the book are more concerned with how to move your body on the ground with fluidity, and in my opinion helpful for grappling regardless of the status of your clothing. With that being said I only grapple without a gi maybe once a week, so I might be biased here.


bcwcmw's picture

most (maybe all) drills translate well, i only do no-gi and i found this book pretty cool but im very biased with the victory belt books as they always kick so much butt..... on that same note jujitsu university is all gi and i got a ton of great stuff i use out of it.

"To know, yet to think that one does not know is the best... Not to know, yet to think one knows will put one in difficulty."- LAO TZU

bcwcmw's picture

^^^ but on that same note everythng changes when you can punch someone in the face

"To know, yet to think that one does not know is the best... Not to know, yet to think one knows will put one in difficulty."- LAO TZU

Marshal D. Carper's picture

Many of the exercise drills rely on gi grips, but that's only one chapter. Most of the movement drills do not rely on grips.