Between 2008 and 2016, Alliance Jiu Jitsu seemed unstoppable, winning each edition of the Mundials during that period of time by a large margin.
This year, a new champion team was crowned, Atos. Founded the same year that Alliance began their reign, 2008, Atos has climbed the ranks in the jiu-jitsu world, assembling a team of champions.
I had an opportunity to chat with one of Atos’ founders, Andre Galvao, about what it took to become world champions, his feelings on finally accomplishing the highest accolade that a team can reach, and the future of his team.
Galvao’s answer when asked how he feels about his title is what one would expect from a hard-nosed, hardworking leader.
I’m really happy. I know it was a lot of work. I’m feeling really happy. I knew we were very close. The team was super strong this year. I was expecting that. We all had that feeling. Winning again is gonna be a lot of hard work again. We know that’s not gonna be easy. Atos is growing daily. Atos still not too big, but we are growing in the right direction. We got 6-7 world titles total only from my gym and we got lots of silver and third place as well.
New #Akashio @maedabrand Kimono 🔥 #WorldChamp 🥇Pic By @lisalisapics
Along with housing some of the top black belts in the world, Atos has some amazing killers at the lower belt levels.
There is a lot of talent here. We have the new brown belts (purple belt world champions): Kaynan Duarte, Jonnatas Gracie, they are really good. I have a new purple belt light feather Demian Balderrama, he is winning everything and he is great. Also I have a really good and new purple belt Conner deAngelis. We have “Bisnaga” João Mendes – super tough and very talented. New black belts now Rolando Samson and Pablo Montovani. They are on point. There’s a lot of great fighters here. Also we have some kids and juveniles that are doing amazing and they will be great fighters.
Amazingly, Galvao himself picked up yet another IBJJF Mundial gold medal, making him one of the longest standing successful adult male black belts, and as of this year a five-time World champion. I was interested in learning who his toughest training partners are that keep him sharp and winning.
We have a lot of tough guys here. I have Lucas Barbosa, black Belt Medium Heavy. Amazing fighter. He is definitely one of the toughest training partners that I have here. Also black belts such as Keenan Cornelius, Andris Brunovskis, Michael Liera JR, all my students push me really hard. They are great training partners. Some of my blue belts push me hard too though lol! I’m blessed with a lot of great students.
🇺🇸"Experience only teaches the teachable" || 🇧🇷"Experiência apenas ensina o ensinável" || #5x #WorldChampion #Jiujitsu…
During this year’s edition of the Mundials, a legendary competitor, Romulo Barral accepted injury in hopes that he would be able to get a referee’s decision. I was interested to learn what Andre, who is also legendary competitor, thought about this incident.
I think only Romulo knows what was happening inside his mind. He was ready to win and did not give up at all. He gave his best and he thought he could win the fight by decision. He is a champion… During our fights we make choices always thinking about the victory. So that was his choice. I hope he recover fast and come back stronger.
As with any major tournament in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world, there were many examples of controversy at the IBJJF World Championship this year. I was curious about Galvao’s thoughts on the controversy, and what if anything he would change about the main organization of the sport’s often embattled rule set.
Refs always make mistakes. It happens sometimes, about politics I don’t really know about that. I just think that the ref needs to be neutral and always judge a fight with justice and be 100% honest. Maybe take the advantage out of the books. Or maybe only advantages for deep submissions. I don’t know…it’s hard. But definitely I think the advantage doesn’t help at all.
In closing, Professor Andre Galvao had this to say to our readers and to the jiu-jitsu community:
Just would like to motivate everyone and say: DON’T GIVE UP. Keep the good work and do your best. Also we have a new online training system at our website that you guys will love. You can train everyday from us at atosjiujitsuhq.com
Andre had the following shout-outs and thank you’s:
I just would like to thank my wife for everything she does for all us. She is amazing!!! My daughter for being so kind, my students and friends. Also thank you to all the fans all over the world. Thank you so much!!! Shout out to my sponsors Maeda Brand Kimonos, Haleo Supplements, Choke Republic. And lastly I would like to thank God for the special moment and all things that I’ve gone through in life.