Do Only the Strong Last? BJJ and Judo Tips for Adults

brazilian jiu jitsu bjj and judo martial arts classes by rodrigo resende in spruce grove edmonton stony plain and st albert alberta

imageAmong the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo community, the expression “Only the strong last” is popular and is in fact, very true. It’s to no surprise that the retention rates of new adult students are low in many BJJ and Judo schools, compared to other martial arts.

But these statistics should be way different: these two arts are factories specialized in building stronger and more confident people, and not to separate the strong from the weak.

A solid foundation program, both thought up and closely supervised by a qualified Professor or Sensei, will do wonders to build the student progressively, without overwhelming situations that a beginner can’t handle yet but challenging enough to keeping it real and motivating. That’s how that student will eventually become the strong one who will last.

imageIf I had to define, in a few words, common adjectives and phases of a successful Jiu Jitsu journey by rank, this is what it would look like:

  • White belt – Patient and faithful
  • Green belt – Explorer
  • Blue belt – The first milestone of perseverance
  • Purple belt – No turning back
  • Brown belt – Resilient
  • Black belt – A new beginning

You don’t have to be strong to start; you have to start to be strong. Enjoy your journey! Osssss

Professor Rodrigo Resende

December 2015’s Candidates for Belt Promotion

brazilian jiu jitsu bjj and judo martial arts classes by rodrigo resende in spruce grove edmonton stony plain and st albert alberta


Our next biannual belt promotion will happen on December 4th, Friday starting at 6:30 pm for the kids and 7:00 pm for the adults.

Family and friends are invited to support and celebrate this important achievement to all of us.

The students indicated for promotion must have a current membership and should keep at least 80% of attendance until the day of the graduation. The deadline for registration is November 27th. Our kids should also bring back the school and parents survey filled and signed by a teacher or a parent. CONGRATULATIONS!!


Teryn Mitchell
Carter Robertson
Kalyx Davis
Dylan Hinkel
Aiden Letourneau
Camara Javorsky


Nathan Howdle
Amie Corke
Armaan Khaira
Abhinaan Khaira
Benedict Borres
Nathan Lapak
Carter Kelly

Isaac Brown
Joshua Lundin

Daniel Brue

Anthony Matthew


Braden Vandrasco

Austin Vandrasco

Ricardo (Elite)
Kelsey Degraaf

Chad (Elite)

Tyler Tunstell


John Harris
Shaylynn Schibar
Wilhelm Buller
Finn Borradaile

Daniella Gron
Angeline Ratcliffe
Ashleigh Grammer


Leif Pougnet

Anthony Szoke
Vincent Zieminek

Tyler HIll
Cory Brown
Alex Pekez


5 Secrets to Performing Your Best in Judo and BJJ Competitions


As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand that competition is a different skill set then your ability to submit or throw people in the gym. I have seen very skilled fighters, tough as nails catching everyone in the gym, but not able to pass the first round in local competitions. I’ve also witnessed guys not so noticeable in the gym grow into giants in competitions. For some people it comes naturally and for others it requires an enormous amount of effort, but with some guidance and perseverance you can get there.
Among my teammates back when I was competing, we had a saying to explain another common fact, the unexplainable success or lack of success in a tournament. You did everything right but still could not perform your best that day, or it went the other way in which you upset the expected winners of the category by performing exceptionally well. If we had a great day, everything flows, the reactions are sharp and you feel confident; naturally, the result would be very positive and we would say we had the “star” that day. But the alignment of all things needed on the day that matters had to do with something beyond preparation. Considering we were as ready as we could be in all aspects, on the day of the tournament you either feel it or you don’t.

I was having a conversation about that same topic with Ezequiel Paraguassu (recognized worldwide for the Ezekiel choke), two of my former coaches at the Brazilian junior Judo national team, and both his teammates in his 2 Olympic Games participations, are great examples. The Olympic champion in Barcelona ’92, Rogerio Sampaio lost all his preview competitions in the season and wasn’t the expected athlete to win the category, but on that same day the “star” was with him and he performed his best, winning the Olympic Games. While Sergio Pessoa, in the same category a Olympic cycle before in Seoul ’88, following the season he defeated all the athletes that were in the podium of ’88 Olympic Games, but could not perform that day.
So knowing that, let’s prepare and control what we can control and hope for the best. Remember that your opponents are also feeling the same stress, so it’s all fair game.

1. Training Your Best

You can’t lie to yourself. Do your best. Training for that day has a huge influence in your confidence and that will naturally help manage your nerves. Preparing for a Judo or Jiu Jitsu competition is not simply a matter of joining a 6 week camp like in MMA. You’re not preparing for one but for many, maybe five or six fighters, and if you’re doing the open division, possibly even 10 different athletes – each one with a different skill set.

2. Deal with the Early Anxiety

Try to postpone the anxiety moments as much as you can by doing relaxing and distracting activities outside of your training routine, not related to Judo or Jiu Jitsu, in the last couple days before the competition. There will be times where you can’t think of anything else other then the competition. In these cases try to mentally walk through a perfect day: imagine yourself applying that perfect technique or imposing your game as you have practiced, imagine yourself on the first place of the podium, etc. After that, try again to distract yourself with other things. Keep repeating that process as needed, and it will help control some of the tension. The stress tires you out as it unconsciously sends messages to your body to prepare for war, tensing up all the muscles and making you feel like you had a hard day of competition before it even starts.


3. Prepare for a Good Day

As I mentioned, there are things that can happen that are out of our control, but let’s do the things we can control well, and hope for the best. Have good and healthy meals according to the phase you are on pre-competition, and make sure to prepare your bars, supplements and water for in-between fights.

4. Good Warm Ups

I always found that, one of the most important parts of pre-competition is to break some sweat right before to help manage the anxiety. Also at that moment I would always prepare mentally for war. I made sure always to walk in to the competition area expecting the toughest battle, that way nothing that happened in there could break my will. It’s easier mentally to find out in the middle of the match that it is easier than you expected, rather than face a very hard battle unexpectedly.

5. Repeat!

Just like any other skill, the more you do it, the better you will get. Competition is no different, and you won’t improve at it by waiting to get better to do it again. You have to do it again and again to get better.

Keep in mind that every athlete is different, and this was my routine and it worked well for me, I’m sure other athletes do it other ways and you will adapt your way here and there as you go.
Good luck!! Osssss!
Professor Rodrigo Resende


How BJJ & Judo Competition is the Ideal Tool for Self-Improvement


In a conversation with one of my students, I noticed that the topic of competition as a tool for self improvement should be discussed more often within my school, and furthermore in the Judo and Jiu Jitsu community.

This student is a talented fighter, a lion in the school and clearly a native competitor, but he had recently avoided competitions. One day I questioned him about it, trying to understand what was preventing him from competing. He mentioned that the pre-competition stress was the reason for it, and he would urinate at least 5 times in the morning of the competition day. He was concerned of losing control of it while on the mats fighting. In my opinion, that is a reasonable concern when you don’t know what to expect.

The conversation continued, and I asked him if he aimed to be a black belt one day, and if so, if he would like to teach. He said that it was in his plans and he was hoping to accomplish it one day. So in my view, overcoming this situation is very important for him, and I’m not talking about become a champion.

In my school, competition is not mandatory, but we strongly encourage them to. A tournament serves us far beyond medal chasing. For example, it’s the closest you can get to a real threat on the streets. You can simulate a scenario to practice your self-defence skills, but you can not anticipate the adrenaline rush, and that’s the factor that will impair you from using your skills in a street attack or a competition match. Being exposed to that is your best chance to learn how to deal with it.

How do you help your student when he tells you that he would like to compete? When he asks for tips to perform better or to deal with his nerves and butterflies before his matches, how do you respond if you haven’t faced and overcome that yourself? How are you going to teach with confidence a self-defence technique if you haven’t had the chance to perform it under the stress of real competition, or have never felt that adrenaline rush?

It is possible that you will end up like many who don’t believe in competition and only teach self defence, giving students a false sense of security. Or in some cases, falling in a cookie-cutter franchise, teaching through videos and repeating someone’s else’s lessons.

It’s important to remember that Jiu Jitsu and Judo are two practical arts. While the application of your technical knowledge in sparring is very important, there are many other aspects to focus on, including your form, knowledge of the curriculum and system, self-defence or kata for Judo, self-conduct, and more. And all of these have to be taken in consideration when evaluating a student for the next rank. So take all the opportunity to prepare yourself as it comes, and one day you will be a ready and confident Professor and martial artist.

Professor Rodrigo Resende


12 Reasons to Enroll Your Child into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Judo


Choosing the right martial arts discipline for your child can be a challenge. From Karate to Judo, Taekwondo to Kickboxing, the number of options can bring out a variety of questions: “Will my child be safe?”, “Will he/she be able to use it?”, “What can my child learn from it?”. We may be biased, but we’ve come up with 12 exceptionally good reasons why your child should consider the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo.


1. BJJ promotes confidence

One of the most important factors to a child’s upbringing is their confidence. BJJ caters to all types of people, regardless of shape or size, athletic or not. We’ve seen many children arrive shy or not very social, and thanks to hard work and the positive reinforcement, have walked away mentally stronger and outgoing than before.


2. BJJ teaches discipline

As your child learns the techniques which each of our trusted instructors teach on a daily basis, he or she will find the discipline it takes to learn martial arts the correct way. There are of course many types of martial arts, but BJJ/Judo has the history and application to put your child’s focus in the right direction.


3. BJJ promotes respect for others

Hours of parring with other children and learning from our instructors reinforces a strong message: Respect others. It’s one of the most important characteristics that every BJJ/Judo student will learn, and you will find that your child will walk away with not only the respect for his or her peers in the academy, but will also carry this into their daily lives.


4. Children can absorb everything they see and listen to fast

As you may know, learning at a young age is absolutely essential. It’s natural for a child to pick things up fast, so why not bring them on when they’re at their best?


5. Your child will make lots of friends

At the Rodrigo Resende Academy, your child will create amazing relationships with our training instructors and fellow students. We see it happen over and over again: joining the club will allow your child to feel like they’re part of our family. Our bright students are a cultured group of children that are friendly and eager to learn more.


6. We create a positive atmosphere

Hundreds of children and adults have stepped into the club and walked away with a smile on their face. We make sure that everything we teach is catered to our student’s capabilities. This keeps everyone happy and productive, which in turn, creates a positive environment for people to learn. Try our free one week trial if you’d like to experience it for yourself!




7. Teach them a form of self-defense

Of course, BJJ and Judo promotes the art of self-defense, and with that, your child will understand the difference between being the aggressor and the defender. All of our students and instructors are aware that aggressive acts such as bullying and picking fights are wrong, and teaching BJJ and Judo should only be utilized for the purpose of self-defense. Help your child understand the difference with the right martial arts discipline.


8. Your child will learn plenty of life lessons

Every area discussed in this article can be applied to a child’s real life. Many aspects of BJJ and Judo, such as socializing, discipline, right vs. wrong, and peer respect, can be introduced in their daily lives – whether at school, at home, or with classmates. Our goal is not only to teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo, but to also help teach your child the confidence, the discipline, and the respect for themselves and for others.


9. BJJ and Judo can be applied to real life scenarios

Flashy moves and board breaking looks fun, but unless you plan to have your child break school property or become the next big martial arts movie star, you may want to choose a martial arts discipline that can be applied to real life scenarios. As we’ve mentioned above with self-defense, your child will grow up learning how to defend him or herself when the situation presents itself.


10. It promotes a healthy lifestyle

There are many physical benefits to learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo. We ensure that every student takes care of their body as much as their mind. Plus it’ll get your child off their computer or their iPhone, right?


11. Improves mental clarity

Yes, it’s possible to improve on your child’s mental mind state with BJJ and Judo. The clarity comes from discipline and respect. BJJ believes in the idea of “Never give up”, and with that, requires a strong sense of mental focus that your child will learn.


12. Your child will grow as an individual

As stated above, a positive atmosphere creates a powerful culture of learning. Inside this culture, he or she will learn to grow in a positive environment that promotes discipline, confidence, and respect. With these newly discovered tools, your child will find a new path to growing as an individual and may allow him to make greater choices in your child’s future.


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