What’s the Difference Between BJJ and Karate?


 BJJ Karate 
 Focus Grappling  Striking
 Origin  Brazil (via Japan)  Ryukyu Kingdom (now Japan)
 Founder  Carlos & Helio Gracie (via Mitsuyo Maeda)  Gichin Funakoshi
 Influenced by  Judo (or Kano Jujitsu)  Chinese martial arts
 Fight Techniques  Choke-holds, takedowns, and joint locks  Punches, kicks, knees and elbow strikes
 Fight Positions  Advancing position, ground fighting, and submitting an opponent  Stand-up fighting and distance stances
 Popular Choice for  Both children and adults, men and women
 Physical Fitness Total body workout, improved cardiovascular health, improved reflexes, strength and conditioning
 Philosophy  Self improvement, self-esteem, discipline, confidence, respect, focus

Karate is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in the world. With an average of 50 to 100 million practitioners worldwide, it’s the mainstream choice for those interested in beginning their path to learning a martial art. However in recent years, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has edged forward as the “new kid on the block”, more recently popularized by the the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) and their legendary mixed martial arts fighters becoming household names. Compared to many of the fight techniques such as Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Judo – whose roots traced back to the 17th and 18th century – BJJ is one of a handful of fight sports to have birthed in the 1900’s. Karate, in comparison, originates from the late 17th century and has evolved over the past few centuries, having reached a height in popularity in the 1960’s from mainstream cinema.

So, what’s the difference between Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The two martial arts are very different in fighting style. Karate is focused on striking, while BJJ is focused on grappling. Karate involves stand-up fighting and distance stances, while BJJ includes advancing positions, ground fighting, and opponent submission. In the most simple sense: BJJ begins where Karate ends.

Both sports originate in Japan, although at different time periods. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu takes most of its roots from Judo or Kano Jujitsu when Judo master Mitsuyo Maeda travelled to Brazil to teach Carlos and Helio Gracie, who then went on to develop Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Karate, on the other hand was influenced by Chinese martial arts during the culture exchanges between China and Japan.

Mobility, body control, and physical fitness can be explored in both fields of practice. In Karate, you can expect to learn proper techniques to punches, kicks, knees, and elbow striking as you aim to put your opponent down on the mat. This is one of the key differences, as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu utilizes takedowns and submission tactics such as choke-holds, sweeps, and joint-locks to bring your opponent from their standing on their feet to “tapping out”.

Both sports are a popular choice for children and adults of all ages. Self-improvement can be found in many areas of BJJ: from self-esteem, discipline, confidence, respect, and body awareness. Karate offers a similar return on your investment. There is a tendency for women to join BJJ in part of learning self-defence, as the use of body control allows a typically smaller person to overtake a larger opponent through the use of leverage and body resistance. Karate offers a good opportunity to practice self-defence, although strength and power become more of a necessity.

Like most decisions in life, choosing the right martial art for yourself or your family requires proper research. Take the time to learn about the clubs in the area, and ensure you will be learning from an experienced, authentic, and educated master. It’s like bringing your child to the doctor: would you bring them to a poorly rated doctor that is 5 minutes away, or to a highly rated doctor that is 15 minutes away?

After you have decided on a reputable martial arts club, look for a trial offer so that you can decide if that BJJ or Karate is right for you or your children. Dedication is an important attribute for learning.

Your journey to self improvement begins today!


THRIVE After School Program


The Rodrigo Resende Academy is happy to present the THRIVE After School Program. Registrations for Fall 2017 starting now!

The THRIVE After School Program provides your children with a safe, fun learning environment to develop physical, mental, and social skills to prepare them for life. Our trained staff not only lead the kids through martial arts and a variety of physical activities, but also help mentor them to be their best. We provide time and support for homework or extra learning initiatives, as well as some free play time in our rec room to build social skills with their
peers. There is no other program like THRIVE!

We are parents just like you and we want what is best for our children. We expect those who coach or care for our kids to do so with kindness, respect, patience, leadership, positivity, character, and integrity.

THRIVE is lead by:

Rodrigo Resende – Owner and Director

  • 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
  • 4th degree Judo black belt
  • 25 years of practice and 13 years of teaching experience
  • NCCP Level 2
  • 10 years in Canada developing high level competitors, self defense programs for law enforcement, civilians and anti-bullying programs for kids

Natasha Rychlik – Program Manager

  • FITKIDS coach Certifications include:
  • AFLCA certified fitness leader
  • ACE sports conditioning
  • ACE youth fitness
  • EverActive KIDS
  • NCCP fundamental movement skills
  • Training for Warriors Level 1

The Rodrigo Resende Academy is hosting a THRIVE Open House on Saturday December 10th from 11am until 1pm (469 South Ave). Meet Rodrigo, Natasha and the staff, ask your questions, and learn more about how martial arts and social activities can benefit a child’s growth.

A Message From The Program Manager

Hi! Thanks for your interest in THRIVE! I am a proud Mom as well as a certified fitness leader, specialized in children and youth. I’m very excited to work with Rodrigo Resende Academy managing THRIVE after school program. THRIVE is a fantastic opportunity for families as I believe the practice of martial arts combined with functional fitness training is a winning combination for a lifetime of quality movement and self discipline. I hope that my knowledge and experience in coaching, business management and youth fitness will help ensure that THRIVE offers families an ideal solution to their after school scheduling needs.

Natasha, THRIVE



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Holiday Gift Card Promotion: Get a Free Gi After Sign Up on a One Month Membership! (New Students)


The Rodrigo Resende Academy is happy to present the ultimate holiday gift for those looking to improve their fitness, well-being, and learn martial arts in the new year!

With the purchase of a gift card, the recipient will receive a free Gi (valued at $354) upon their first month sign up at the academy. Gift cards can be purchased for $169, saving your friends and family 50% off their Gi purchase. For more information, please call us at: (780) 960-1102 or visit us at the academy: 469 South Ave in Spruce Grove.

Offer is valid from November 1 and December 23, 2016 and is limited to new students, kids and adult classes.

December 2016’s Candidates for Belt Promotion


Belt promotion is set on December 3rd, Saturday! Family and friends are invited to support and celebrate this important achievement for all of us.

The students indicated for promotion should keep at least 80% of attendance until the day of the graduation. The deadline for registration is Friday, November 25th. Our kids should also bring back the school and parents survey, filled and signed by a teacher or a parent. Please deliver your forms to Cherrie.

The Belt Promotion Ceremony will be followed by a Potluck Get Together. Kindly bring any dish that you would like to share.




Ford Robinson
Jake Barbeau
Landon Henderson
Beckett Welch
Tejas Binette
Logan Laight
Anthony D’Andreamatteo
Hunter Gignac
Victoria Howdle
Damon Carter
Sophia Hirschfield
Reid Jabush
Parker Baird
Brogan Ratcliffe


Caleb Vogel
Zane Deering

Logan Boucher
Eli Boucher
Annabella Vogel
Jonah Binette
Draven Cole
Aiden Letourneau
Alex Bremner
Nicholas Coutu
Jarek Stelmach
Maisie Robinson
Julian Southworth
Logan Woudstra

Benedict Borres

Angeline Ratcliffe
Amie Corke

Isaac Brown
Nathan Lapak
Carter Kelly
Joshua Lundin
Reese Edmonds

Daniel Brue
Emily Brozny

Anthony Matthews


Alan Swanson
Terry Stelmach
Rhad Brown
Andrew Ratcliffe
Sam Lin

Alexander Pekez
Cory Brown
Christina Cetnarski
Timothy Benner

Moses Kim
Paul King
Russell Timmerman


Nataya Nelson
Darius Nelson
Nehemiah Shessel
Carter Robertson
Zoe Bernath
Romair dela Cruz
Mia Bernath
Kai Bernath
Teryn Mitchell

Wilhelm Buller
John Harris
Yasmin Brown

Daniella Gron
Angeline Ratcliffe

Owen Kennedy
Ethan Kennedy

Logan Kennedy


Timothy Benner
Christina Cetnarski
Shaylyn Schibar
Adrien Prince

Tyler Cubrillo

Vincent Manzano

Tyler Hill
Cory Brown