Master Florin Fratean started training in martial arts in 1977, launching himself into a multi-decade career marked by work with iconic teachers, including Gen. Choi Hong Hi, the founder of Taekwon-Do. Fratean doesn't keep his accumulated wisdom and expertise to himself, though. Rather, he teaches a range of martial art disciplines, including Taekwon-Do, Muay Tahi/kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu jitsu, and MMA, to students of all ages in his 5,000-square-foot martial arts studio devoted to boosting health, self-confidence, and the ability to fend off attacks from wooden boards. For kids, he and his team supplement self-defense classes with crafts, monitored homework time, and games during an after-school program, which provides free rides from school by a licensed bus driver. They also offer CrossFit BootCamps, which blend techniques from a swath of martial art forms with movements from traditional fitness and body shaping regimens for an effective and well-rounded approach to exercise.
Aiming to stimulate and foster a healthy mind, body, and spirit, the instructors at Zen Martial Arts and Fitness Centre lead groups during a huge variety of classes for all ages and skill levels. Among the styles of martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stands out—the proven self-defense system teaches
smaller, weaker opponents to fend off
larger assailants using locks and holds rather than strikes and strongly worded body language. Kids 4–6 find a place to expend energy while they learn martial-arts techniques, focus, and the coolest phrases from The Karate Kid during Little Samurai
classes which blend chito ryu karate instruction with gymnastics and yoga.
A renowned competitive fighter in the world of sport karate in the 1980s, Steve Anderson stays active in the modern martial-arts community by leading self-defense classes for children and adults with a team of experienced instructors. Kids as young as 3 years old begin their long journey toward wearing black belts and regular belts in the Little Dragons class, soon progressing to the Little Ninjas level and, finally, the youth karate program that aims to build their mind, body, and spirit. Students 14 and older can fine-tune their bodies and skills in several versions of kick-boxing classes, from the fast-paced cardio class to sessions at bags, where fighters learn to defend themselves in the case of a couch-cushion uprising.
In personally licensing and graduating more than 1,000 black belts, Hanshi John Therien has been honoured with an elite rank of his own. As hanshi, or leader of leaders, he guides students and fellow instructors through a practical self-defense program that incorporates fighting styles including judo, karate, boxing, and pressure-point tactics. Professional Kickboxing Association champion of the world Jean-Yves Theriault also lends his expertise to students. Theriault teaches kickboxing classes that focus on staying in shape and gaining control of techniques that can effectively disable assailants and aggressive heavy-bags. As students learn the practical safety techniques, they also glean values that can be applied to everyday life, such as discipline and self-confidence.
The instructors at Patenaude Martial Arts embody fang shen do, or "way of survival" with several types of classes: kung fu, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and self-defense. These experts combine Eastern philosophies to teach the finer points of martial arts in classes for men and women. For self-defense, the also bring in kids or the full family. In all of these classes, the training doesn't focus entirely on fighting. The classes also teach things applicable to all areas of life, both inside and outside class, such as confidence, self control, and how to wear a belt with impeccable style.
At Brown’s Martial Arts, Sensei Geoff and his team guide pupils as they ascend to new belts in traditional karate classes, but they encourage would-be martial artists to engage with the sport much younger. That’s why they lead Little Dragons classes, an intro to karate for ages 3 to 5. Instead of new belts, kids earn colourful stripes to affix to their belt each time they master a new skill. For a full-grown student seeking an extra dose of fitness in their practice, the instructors tout ThaiBox Fit and cardio fitness.