JT: Today we’re down at Don Warrener’s Martial Arts Academy to learn about building self confidence and learning self defence- boy I hope I don’t get hurt! Let’s go!

We’re inside the dojo at Don Warrener’s Martial Arts Academy, I’m here with David Turkoski the sensei and owner of the dojo. Tell me a little bit about the facility.

DT: We’ve been here in Brantford the past 25 years, we have over 600 students actively training, and they range in age from 4 right up until 70 years old.

JT: So you mentioned you’ve been in the community a long time, I know you’ were at a different location but you’re really a staple of Brantford here.

DT: We have been! We were on Dunsdon for 15 years and prior to that we were on Colborne St for about 5 years; altogether I’ve been in charge going on 26 years now.

JT: Wow, it’s incredible to have that much experience at a fitness facility.  My son, we just got him into training at 5 years old- I think one of the things that surprised me is that you have programs all the way from 4 years old up until senior citizens. Tell us about that. 

DT:The nice thing about the martial arts is anybody can train and benefit from it. When I go train in Japan it’s not uncommon to see someone who’s 80 years old still doing karate. So it’s a hobby you can take at 4 and train all your life with.

JT: The thing that surprised me is that I’m experienced with the little kids going around here but you’ve got some hardcore blackbelt training and competition going on here too.

DT: Absolutely- this year in 2016 we’re hosting the world karate championships in Hamilton so many of our black belts are getting ready to compete, and many of our cue belts and junior belts as well.

JT: My son has been training, he’s been learning a lot of agility and self defence as well. Does this stuff really work?

DT: Absolutely! Everything we teach the kids works up to their level. Keep in mind when they’re young the first thing we want to teach them is caution and confidence so they learn how to avoid trouble.

JT: Say he gets into trouble, let’s bring him in here and maybe he can do a few moves on me.

DT: Ok, sounds good!

JT: That’s an incredible amount of information we got! I really recommend it- we’ve had our son here for a few months and he’s thriving in the environment. So come on down, check out the dojo and sign your kids up, and if you’re an adult they’ve got some great specials on, too. Thanks for the interview!