Brazilian Jiu Jitsu advocates the use of leverage and technique to defend oneself against a brute force attack.  Translated from the Japanese, jiu jitsu means “gentle art.”  The “gentle” part alludes to the philosophy of yielding to an opposing force, rather than meeting the force head-on.  The beauty of this martial art is its adaptability to various body types, regardless of an individual’s size or weight.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be trained for self-defence, sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition. Sparring (commonly referred to as ‘rolling’) and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance.  As students deepen their study of the art, gaining skill and confidence, they will be able to properly execute techniques against a resisting opponent.


Regarded as one of the top BJJ academies in the world, Nova União has busted into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) in the later years through fighters like Renan “Barão”, José Aldo, Jussier “Formiga” and many others. The team led by Wendell Alexander and André Pederneiras has been at the forefront of jiu jitsu and was regarded as one of the top 3 BJJ academies in the world at the turn of the millennium, with 2 team world titles by 2002. Since the shift to MMA, the dominance in the jiu jitsu world toned down, though Nova União is still considered to be one of the best academies in the game with very strong affiliated academies throughout the world such as Kimura in Natal (Brazil), Fernando Boi Team in Goiania (Brazil), Robson Moura Association (USA), Gustavo Dantas JJ Association (USA) and many others.

(credit, www.bjjheroes.com/featured/nova-uniao)


In 2007 our school formed as “Budokan Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” with our original head instructor Cesar Rezek Alves, a black belt under Nova União co-founder André Pederneiras.

In 2015, we renamed our school “Nova União Toronto” to properly align ourselves with Nova União Canada (headed by Wagnney Fabiano) and the Nova União organization that is headquartered in Brazil. Our current head instructors include Cesar Rezek Alves black belts Matt Kuris and Mani J., and Anderson Andrade who is a black belt under Victor Hugo Trigueiro, Bruno Novaes Veloso and Bruno Chacon; all of whom are black belts under Nova União co-founder Wendell Alexander.

In 2017 we added our unique identity to the greater Nova União flag, while maintaining the Toronto affiliation, and are now known as Grapple Lab BJJ.