Calgary Alberta, Canada is home to the infamous Andre Galvao's first Canadian affiliate academy, whose owner is also Galvao's first Canadian black belt, Tim Blanchard.
Tim's story began by the inevitable curiosity towards Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu caused by watching fights in the MMA. Sadly, there were no BJJ
academies where he grew up (Sudbury Ontario); so, when he moved to
Calgary in 2005, he immediately looked for a gym. After his first class,
he was hooked! He was always an admirer of Andre Galvao. So when he
decided to open up his own gym in 2010 (called MMA University), he
joined the ATOS team. Tim was aiming to spread martial arts in that area
and begin something completely different in his community. 6 months
after opening, he gained enough students to run his business full-time.
They currently have 350 students, holding classes in BJJ, Muay Thai, and
MMA. If anyone is around Tim's academy, be sure to check them out!
Reach them at www.mmau.ca.
Even though Tim is still recovering from an accumulation of injuries from the past few years, he was still able to do the Abu Dhabi World Pro and got silver in the Lightweight Brown Belt division this year.
On October 14, 2016, Galvao himself handed Tim his black belt. "It was totally unexpected... It feels really surreal every time I put my Gi on. Like a dream," Tim said. If it was a surprise for him, it wasn't for us! We knew it was only a matter of time that he was going to become the new black belt in town. Catch Tim this upcoming November as he will be fighting in the IBJJF NoGi Worlds tournament in the black belt Heavy Weight division!