FOUNDERS

 

Seekers and teachers of consciousness on the path of Self mastery studying the way of liberation and realization through meditation. As the yogis and skywalkers before them, the Persistence Academy was built for local and international communities to help share in the responsibility and accountability as exemplars to future generations.

 
 

 

ALEXANDER
"ALX"
PETROGIANI

A master of yoga and teacher of consciousness, Alx holds two black belts in both Nerkin Ouj and Arnis/ Balintawak, while having also completed his E-RYT 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher certifications across Canada and India under the Yoga Alliance. Alx has studied and taught extensively with various masters and traditions over the past twelve years, gifting him the unique ability to gift others the resources for experiencing their own source. He specializes in many traditional forms including: Mindfulness, Meditation, Hatha, Jnana, Yin, Akhanda, and Classical Kundalini for both seekers, teachers, and professionals. He considers movement and mindfulness to be the most natural forms of medicine for mental health and wellness.

A veteran world traveller, Alx has helped support various organization around the globe, ultimately leading him to found his own registered Canadian charity organization Persistence Karma Projects International Relief alongside Urvil James Villaruel and Helen Handspiker. He is currently enrolled in the University of Toronto for Mental Health Studies in hopes to further bridge the gap between mystic and scholar; allowing the mainstream to experience the true essence of yoga as meditation.

URVIL JAMES
"BJ"
VILLARUEL

Earning his first black belt in Canada and second black belt in the Philippines, Urvil James has studied a variety of different martial arts styles beyond the two that he is recognized in and across multiple different countries, including Hong Kong, Peru, Vietnam and Thailand — from which, he has explored Karate, Capoeira, Sikaran, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Krav Maga and Tai Chi. However, despite this diverse plethora of martial arts stylings, Urvil James has always maintained a strong emphasis on applying the most practical and spiritual components in all styles that he has studied.

In 2016, Urvil James completed his Life Cosmic RYT 200 hour yoga teacher certification and embarked on a 5-month journey around the world in search of different martial arts styles and greater spiritual understanding. With techniques learned internationally, guided by intuition and grounded through empiricism, Urvil James has compiled a unique teaching and practice of presence to complement each passing moment; the Yoga Of Waking Life. He is currently undergoing his Life Cosmic RYT 500 hour yoga teacher certification at the Persistence Academy.

ADRIAN
“SMILEY”
SANCHEZ

Former lead instructor of the Energy Martial Arts Academy in Toronto, Canada, Adrian has been a devout student of the martial arts and spirituality for many years; learning to transform his discipline from a lifestyle into a livelihood. First introduced to the path of yoga through Martial Arts, now a double-black belt, Adrian has developed into a master student; exemplifying the alchemy of his heart in all that he teaches.

Co-founder of Canada Martial Art, an organization aimed at unifying the martial arts bodies across Canada and introducing them into the school system starting with Ontario, Adrian’s primary passion is spreading both the teachings and lessons of the martial arts to both the young and the old; uniquely adapting each lesson and adhering to the learning styles of both private and group classes. Having completed his police foundations certification, Adrian chose to pursue a path in Martial Arts rather than law enforcement. As such, he brings the tactical, alongside the practical, to every lesson that he teaches. He is currently undergoing his Life Cosmic RYT 200 hour yoga teacher certification at the Persistence Academy.

Energy: sattva
arnis style: cheat

Energy: rajas
Arnis style: thief

Energy: tamas
arnis style: liar


2 0 1 2 — 200-HOUR YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATE
HATHA YOGA
GAYATRI POAPST

2 0 1 3 — BLACK BELT / CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
NERKIN OUJ
GRANDMASTER SAKI & GRANDMASTER NEVASARTIAN
— thai yoga massage level 1
thai yoga
devin johnstone

2 0 1 4 — 300-HOUR YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATE
akhanda YOGA
YOGRISHI VISHVKETU
— Yoga therapy workshop
yoga therapy
doug kellar

2 0 1 5 — parkour tricking seminar
parkour tricking
dan laboni

2 0 1 6 — 001 BLACK BELT / CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
ARNIS DE MANO / BALINTAWAK
URvil james villaruel
under the guidance of master jose "pempe" repiedad

2 0 1 7  BLACK BELT 1st degree
NERKIN OUJ
GRANDMASTER SAKI & GRANDMASTER NEVASARTIAN
— 10-Week wim hof method online program
wim hof method
wim hof
— IDO PORTAL CORSET METHOD WORKSHOP
CORSET METHOD
John sapinoso
— 2-hour lily pagle seminar
brazilian jiu jitsu
lily pagle
— 2-hour PriIt Mihkelson seminar
brazilian jiu jitsu
PriIt Mihkelson
— gracie university online program (in-progress)
gracie combatives
ryron & rener Gracie


2 0 1 2 — Bachelor of commerce (Honours)
Marketing
university of ontario institute of technology

2 0 1 3 — Black Belt / Certified Instructor
Nerkin Ouj
Grandmaster Saki & Grandmaster Nevasartian

2 0 1 4 — 8-hour gracie jiu-jitsu seminar
gracie jiu-jitsu
rener gracie & Brian Ortega

2 0 1 5 — 6-hour machida martial arts seminar
machida martial arts
lyoto machida
— cc & PR graduate certificate (honours)
Corporate communications / public relations
Centennial college

2 0 1 6 — 200-HOUR YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATE
hatha yoga
ALEXANDER PETROGIANI
— 024 BLACK BELT / CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
ARNIS DE MANO / BALINTAWAK
MASTER JOSE "PEMPE" REPIEDAD
— Muay thai fundamentals
muay thai
kru thitithan

2 0 1 7 — 10-Week wim hof method online program
wim hof method
wim hof
— 2-hour lily pagle seminar
brazilian jiu jitsu
lily pagle
— 4-hour PriIt Mihkelson seminar
brazilian jiu jitsu
PriIt Mihkelson
— gracie university online program (in-progress)
gracie combatives
ryron & rener Gracie
— 300-HOUR YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATE (In-progress)
hatha yoga
ALEXANDER PETROGIANI


 
 

2 0 1 1 — police foundations diploma
police foundations
seneca college

2 0 1 3 — BLACK BELT / CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
NERKIN OUJ
GRANDMASTER SAKI & GRANDMASTER NEVASARTIAN

2 0 1 4 — 8-hour gracie jiu-jitsu seminar
gracie jiu-jitsu
rener gracie

2 0 1 5 —6-hour machida martial arts seminar
machida martial arts
lyoto machida

2 0 1 7 — IDO PORTAL CORSET METHOD WORKSHOP
CORSET METHOD
John sapinoso
— 2-hour PriIt Mihkelson seminar
brazilian jiu jitsu
PriIt Mihkelson
— 002 BLACK BELT / CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
ARNIS DE MANO / BALINTAWAK
URvil james villaruel
under the guidance of master jose "pempe" repiedad
— 200-HOUR YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATE (In-progress)
hatha yoga
ALEXANDER PETROGIANI