HEAD BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU & JUDO INSTRUCTOR
Andell started his Martial Arts journey at the age of 7 with his father in his native Trinidad and Tobago. He continued his training under the instruction of Master Francis Hospidalis and Sensei Garfield Christian, where he studied Classical Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Karate. In 2000, Andell received his black belt under Master Hospidalis. Since then he has had two Martial Arts clubs in Trinidad as well as the University of Manitoba. In 2006 Andell started his training in Aikikai Aikido under Sensei Ben Lim (5th Dan) and received his Aikido Black Belt from K. Igarashi Sensei (7th Dan Aikikai).
In 2007 Andell began his training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Gracie Barra Calgary where he trained under Professor Josh Russell and received his blue belt from Professor Russell in 2012. Andell received his purple belt under Gracie Barra Professor Clifton Baker in April 2014 and his Brown Belt in October 2015. In October 2018 Andell received is BJJ Black Belt from Professor Tom DeBlass. Andell is the first international Black Belt under Professor Tom DeBlass, and currently trains and teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the guidance of Professor Tom DeBlass.
Certifications: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt, First Aid & CPR
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Renzo Gracie > Ricardo Almeida > Tom DeBlass > Andell Alexander
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU INSTRUCTOR
Clifton started martial arts at an early age. Like many martial artists he started with karate and achieved his 1st degree Black Belt before he turned his focus towards other styles. For the past 10+ years Clifton has been dedicated to learning Brazilian Jiu jitsu. Clifton earned his black belt while studying under Josh Russell of Gracie Barra Calgary. Clifton currently holds the rank of 1st degree black belt which he received from Professor Tom DeBlass. While studying Jiu Jitsu Clifton also set his focus on graduating university with a degree in teaching. He now blends both his understanding of teaching and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as he teaches future martial artists of all ages and abilities.
Certifications: First Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt, First Aid & CPR
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Josh Russell > Clifton Baker
PROGRAM DIRECTOR & WOMAN’S BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU INSTRUCTOR
Coach Zenab (also known as Coach Z!) has been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2013 and is an active competitor. She received her Purple Belt from Professor Tom DeBlass in October 2018. Since she began training BJJ she has progressed faster than usual due to her natural athletic ability. Her favourite and most effective move is the well known Triangle Choke and when combined with the Armbar she keeps her opponents on the defensive. Coach Zenab’s goal is to pass on her knowledge of BJJ to other women so that they too, can reap the amazing benefits of this Martial Art. Whenever possible Coach Zee finds time to compete at a tournament level and has two 1st place finishes in the Alberta Provincial Championships.
Certifications: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple belt, First Aid & CPR
ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR AND GENERAL MANAGER
HEAD KIDS BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU INSTRUCTOR
Jack started Training during his 1st year at the University of Toronto in 2012. Since then, Jack has trained and competed across Canada, spending time in BC, Ontario and Alberta. Jack is a devoted student of the art and spends much of his spare time analyzing high level competition footage from events all over the world. Jack’s passion for BJJ led him to co-found the University of Toronto Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club (Now the University of Toronto Grappling club) before graduating from U of T in 2016. Being a smaller grappler, Jack often competes in weight classes above his own, with occasional forays into the open weight division. Jack’s competitive achievements include a Silver Medal in the 2018 CBJJF Alberta Provincial Open, a gold medal in the 2014 IBJJF Toronto Open, a Bronze Medal at the 2013 Roots BJJ Challenge in Vancouver and a bronze medal at the Revolution MMA BJJ Tournament in Coquitlam in 2013.
KIDS BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU & KICKBOXING INSTRUCTOR
Nick started training BJJ in November 2018 to rebuild himself physically and mentally, citing as it something he was missing in his life. By becoming a practitioner in the sport Nick transformed his body, sharpened his mind and gained a passion for teaching it as well. Studying under his fellow coaches and professors before him, Nick studied and developed certain aspects of teaching BJJ since late 2019 and became an assistant instructor in September 2021. His goal on the mats is to learn to his greatest potential and to help others unveil their true potential. When he isn’t on the mats, Nick has a wide array of other interests such as drawing, chess, video games, manga, and various sports such as hockey, football, and mixed martial arts.
Certifications: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple belt, First Aid & CPR
KICKBOXING & BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU INSTRUCTOR
Coach Avery is a dedicated martial artist who began training at the age of 12. However before beginning his formal training Avery already had a love for martial arts drawing inspiration from action stars like Jackie Chan. Living in a small town he did not have access to any training facilities until one day a Karate school popped up down the street and he immediately jumped on the opportunity to learn. Once in highschool Avery then joined the highschool wrestling team and while working towards attaining his 1st degree black belt in Karate he also trained and competed heavily in wrestling. At the age of 16 he had a clear realization that martial arts would be his life and decided to forge a path towards becoming a well rounded martial arts instructor. Upon graduating he moved away from his hometown and transitioned into other martial arts including Taekwondo & Capoeira until finally finding Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai in 2018. Along the way he learned from many different mentors, trained and instructed at 3 different Academies while traveling across provinces from Ontario, eventually settling here in Calgary with Affinity Academy in the summer of 2022. Now Avery teaches amazing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu classes with us to our kids and adults. He provides outstanding instruction for his rank and continues to learn and improve every day both as a practitioner and a teacher.
ASSISTANT KIDS INSTRUCTOR