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Professor Andre Galvao: Why Online BJJ Training is Important

Train Smarter. Study More. That’s the motto of the online jiu-jitsu training platform started in 2016 by multiple-time World and ADCC champion Andre Galvao. Since then, the Atos Online Academy has quickly become one of the most comprehensive BJJ video databases in the market today, with 24/7 access to thousands of videos of classes taught at Atos Headquarters, sparring, pro tips, seminars and more.

But why subscribe to an online jiu-jitsu training website? We caught up with the founder of the Atos Online Academy to answer just that.

Q: So Professor, why did you decide to launch an online BJJ training platform?

My goal is to help people – anybody, not just my own students – learn jiu-jitsu smarter and faster. There’s only so much you can do in class, so the Atos Online Academy was designed to give people access to high-level training videos, so they can drill them or study them on their own time.

Q: Why do you think studying online training is important for BJJ students?

It’s important because it helps you to become better, faster, by giving you unlimited access to techniques, concepts and details from each position or situation. Not only that, but because it’s a video, you can start and stop it when you want, make notes, and watch certain details over and over again. So, it really helps you to memorize everything at your own pace. Unfortunately, you can’t do that during the regular classes!

Q: How should a student be using Atos Online?

First, you need to be consistent with your regular training schedule and attending classes. The time you spend at your academy is very important, and can’t be replaced by online training. Because you can feel, test and “taste” the techniques you’re learning in class, and also during live sparring or specific sparring sessions. Remember: online jiu-jitsu training is a supplement to your regular training.

Secondly, if you are a beginner at jiu-jitsu, you should be watching basic/fundamental techniques 60-70% of your studying time, then 10-20% on advanced techniques, and 10-20% on sparring videos. Yes, watching sparring videos really helps you also, because you’re able to see how the techniques connect together and work live. For the more advanced students (such as purple to black), you should be spending 60-70% of your time on advanced techniques, 10% on the fundamentals, and 20-30% of the time watching sparring sessions. I think it’s important to continue watching basic and fundamental techniques because it helps remind you, not only for when you are training, but also for when you are teaching or helping a beginner learn. And also, don’t forget that there are always new details that we can learn every time we study a technique, even if we think we already know it.

Q: What five things do you think every lower belt should master? Why?

The most important thing for lower belts is to understand first how to survive when you’re in a bad situation. This is because in the beginning, you will always be stuck in some bad situations because of your lack of knowledge of BJJ. So, I suggest you to understand how to defend, survive, and escape from 1) closed guard, 2) side control, 3) mount and 4) the back take. You should also be drilling the attacks from those positions, because that will also help you understand how to properly defend. Aside from those positions, for sure you will need some understanding of how to maintain a strong base and how to have a solid stance when you are on your feet. These are the things that our Foundation White Belt Curriculum focuses on.

Q: What five things do you think every brown belt/black belt should master? Why?

For one, I think all brown and black belts must have at least two strong submissions each from guard, side control, mount and back. Of course, the more variations you have on how to finish your opponent, the better! Also, you must understand how to apply your weight properly when you are in one of those positions (guard, side control, mount and back).

Secondly, a brown or black belt must be precise in how they fight. For example, once you gain a strong position – such side control, back or mount – it must be the end of the fight, you must be moving toward a submission. You can’t go back… you must always move forward, gaining and solidifying your win, position by position. It is all about on not having “holes” in your game.

Third, we all have different body types, and that is part of what makes our game different from each other. I believe all techniques in BJJ work pretty well, for anyone, if you take the time to master it. But you must also know and discover the game that will fit the best for your body. Personally, I like to be a well-rounded fighter, because that way I can be comfortable in any position/situation during the fight, but for other people, they are really successful using certain positions and techniques most of the time. You have to figure out what works best for you.

Fourth, in order to have great attacks, you must know and understand the defenses to those attacks. That way, you will always be ready to respond to your opponent’s reactions. The goal is to always be two or three, or even four, steps ahead of your opponent. This may seem difficult, but as soon as you begin to understand the fight in this way, you will quickly develop the skills to do this.

And fifth, remember your details. Jiu-jitsu is all about the details. One small detail can change the feeling of the position, can change its effectiveness. And that’s what makes jiu-jitsu super fun! There’s always going to be details to discover and master. It is like discovering gems from each of the different techniques and positions (especially in the beginning of your jiu-jitsu journey).

Q: What do you foresee as the future of learning BJJ?

I believe that this, online jiu-jitsu training, IS the future of learning BJJ. Nowadays you can learn jiu-jitsu from anyone, everywhere. I think that will just continue. I also believe people will soon have personal access to coaches thousands of miles from where they live, and be able to learn from them without leaving their own home. The future is now! 🙂

Q: What are your plans/goals for Atos Online?

We are always trying to build strong relationships with all of our online students, making sure they are learning properly. We try to make sure we understand the students’ needs, how they learn, what’s working for them, and then making changes to the site or our curriculums based on that. We have a team that is working to improve the site every single day. We want to generate the absolute best experience for all of our students.