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Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Paperback – August 10, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andre Galvao is a multiple time black belt world champion, submission wrestling champion and MMA fighter based out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Andre is currently fighting MMA for DREAM and Strikeforce while competing regularly in jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling.

Kevin Howell is a political science professor and author based out of Huntington Beach, California. He is a brown belt in both judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as an assistant instructor at the Vieira Bros' Fight Zone USA Academy in Signal Hill, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981504485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981504483
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book itself is mostly solid, with clear glossy photographs, a decent layout, and lots of drills. But it also has a couple problems.

The good:

The drills layout is logical. Follow the arrow and you get a series of pictures as the instructor moves through the drill. There's a text also describing what the instructor is doing. By comparing the two, it's easy to get a solid feel for each drill.

The book is divided into 12 months, with each month containing 4 weeks, and each week containing five days. Each day usually has 1 or 2 drills. Some will seem familiar to anyone who has been to a bjj class recently. I'm sure if you follow the drills in addition to your current training you will end up a better player.

The first few months focus on strength, conditioning and balance, the next few on basic movements, and then more advanced drills are introduced. It's a relatively logical sequence, with later drills building on earlier drills. Most everyone who makes it to a class will be familiar with a good portion of the drills in the first four months. Some heavier trainees might strain a bit on some drills, but that's why they need to do them. Comparatively, some lighter trainees might find some of the drills too easy. Overall, solid.

The bad:

The initial month has no drills, just a couple pages noting that diet is important and that you should work on that for a month. While diet might be important, it would have been better to mention that as part of the introduction or the first several chapters, and not cut into drill time. The final month is also under 2 pages, just noting that the trainee should review and work on weak spots. 10 months to better brazilian jiu jutsu.

10 months of drills could still be pretty solid.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a treasure trove of drills for improving your BJJ! The book is divided up into months, with each month and each week within it having a theme. This makes it easy to search through the contents for drills to work on your own weaknesses, or to follow the one year schedule as intended by the author. The drills cover topics such as:

1. General strength
2. Balance
3. Gymnastic ability
4. Breakfalls/Sprawls
5. Grips
6. Throws/Takedowns
7. Escapes
8. Guard passing
9. Top position control
10.Guard control/sweeps

Although there is a wealth of partner drills, there are also plenty of solo drills. This book superbly fills the gap left by so many BJJ instructional videos; namely making key movements second nature and erasing bad habits. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in becoming better at BJJ and highly recommend it to those who are studying on their own and don't have a school where (some) of these drills would be introduced.
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Format: Paperback
There have been dozens of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu manuals, many by legends of the sport, but Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu by Andre Galvao with Kevin Howell, is a unique and valuable addition to the canon.

Where most jiu jitsu manuals focus on presenting a dizzying array of techniques, Galvao's book focuses on practical drills that will help the diligent reader master the movements involved jiu jitsu and dramatically improve their competition game.

Galvao is a highly decorated grappler with multiple World Jiu-Jitsu Championships and IBJJF Pan American Championships as well as a third place prize from the ADCC World Championships.

In the introduction to the book Galvao describes his effort intensive approach to jiu jitsu and the way he, an athlete of limited natural gifts, outworked and surpassed many more talented training partners.

Howell is the co-author of Saulo Ribeiro's Jiu Jitsu University, which judging by its amazing sales on Amazon seems to have become THE standard jiu jitsu instructional book. Drill to Win is the perfect complement to Jiu Jitsu University with its plethora of drills for each stage of your jiu jitsu game.

Galvao and Howell cover diet, balance and strength drills, breakfalls, grip fighting drills, takedown drills (both wrestling and judo), guard pulling, basic escapes, guard passes, top position drills, two chapters worth of guard drills (including exotic positions like x-guard, spider guard and de la riva guard), and a great chapter on transitioning drills that will allow the diligent student to transform themselves into a very dangerous jiu jitsu player able to string together combination attacks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even after reading all the reviews, I couldn't quite figure out what the hell was in this book. What are these "drills" exactly? Some mentioned partner exercises, others said it was a bodybuilding book. Huh? So, for your benefit, here it is...

It's a conditioning book!

The exercises are meant to work the same muscles you'd use when grappling. So there are exercises that work on balance, strengthening core, adding speed, heightening reflexes, etc. In fact a bunch of the solo drills are ones you might recognize from class warm ups. The point in partner drills is similar in that you will acclimate to pushing and pulling weight as you go for certain moves, e.g. Omoplatas, arm bars, sweeps, etc.

The book would probably work great for instructors in particular who are looking to structure classes. For the individual, the solo drills in the book is all do-able from home, or during downtime before or after class. The partner drills pretty much requires a gym (i.e. mats) and a solid partner. All in all I think it's a good one to add to the library.

For more on the author, YouTube the show "Rolled Up." There's a whole episode on Andre Galvao. Also checkout his fight against Martin Suarez to see his dexterity in action.
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