In 2011, Andre Galvao set out for a chance to win an ADCC title. Through struggles via immigration issues, minimal resources and other barriers, he was able to not only get to the UK but he won the whole event.
Read up on Galvao’s own words as to what he went through to become the 2011 ADCC champion:
It is already past but it’s good to remember this day. God gave me those titles and I really thank Him for that. Of course I worked hard for it. But He gave me power and health and energy to be every single day on the mat working hard. Also God got a lot of people like my wife, students, friends and family to help me reach my dream. My school was so little, I had to train, answer the phone calls, teach the kids, help the adults, talk with people, clean the gym and set up the waivers for the visitors, and train hard, I said: hard. I was doing it every single day. My academy had no wall protections, the mat space was so little, and only one bathroom. I thank my first students so much for the help, also Bruno Frazatto, Davi Ramos, Denilson Bischiliari and Ronaldo Candido. They were the only ones from Brazil with me in that journey. I really was training without knowing if I would be there because I was in my greencard process and I didn’t have my travel permission with me, but in about 3 weeks before the ADCC 2011 I got it. The U.S. immigration government sent me that. Thanks God!!! And not just that, also I got deported from UK in 2009. They didn’t let me get in and sent me back to Brazil at that time. I remember sometimes during the sessions I was training so hard and sweating so much but inside my mind I was thinking: “Why am I doing all this? They will never let me in there again or maybe I can’t even go there” but I believe God just didn’t let me stop and I just canceled those thoughts in my mind and kept going almost crying. When I was in the plane ready to arrive in UK I just thought: “OMG I will be kicked out of this place again, what am I doing here” but no. As soon as I got there I had a kind of hard time to get in but they got me in for just 4 days permission and the day back home was my birthday September 29th. I can’t forget it ever. So as soon as I got my bags I said: “I wanna fight so hard now. I wanna win it.” Then I got back home with 2 trophies and the award of best fighter and best fight (vs. Palhares). My students were all waiting for me in a big party inside our academy. I just cried and gave thanks to My Lord! If you don’t believe God exist, I do!!! I don’t need to say anything. This is the resume of my 2011 ADCC championship. “When you are loyal , God is Loyal and whatever I do I will do for Him. Because He is my power and my strength” I know I may never have a moment like that again. This is just one of my great experiences with Jesus. Rm 11:36