Black Belt Principles

Modesty – Courtesy – Integrity – Self Control – Perseverance – Indomitable Spirit

Our Motto

We don’t give up we TEAM UP!

Our Vision

Empowering Lives Through the Martial Arts

Our Mission

Building a better community, one Black Belt at a time.

What We Offer

Whether you’re 3 or 73 (or anywhere in between), looking for fitness, fun, self discipline or self-defence, we have a spot for you at  DeSantos Premier Martial Arts. With two convenient locations, we know you’ll find a place with us where you can belong.

Check one of the schedules below to find your class.

Class Schedule for 210 Main Street Class Schedule for 603 Gerrard Street East

Our Team

All instructors at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts are students of Kwan Jan Nim Veronica DeSantos. They have trained in her system and must complete an extensive leadership training course before leading classes. Our lead instructors have been members of our school from 6 to 18 years and are trained in C.P.R. Our instructors carry forth the same energetic magnetism that Kwan Jan Nim De Santos possesses and they strive to help each student obtain their goals. Seeing students accomplish things they once thought were impossible is the most rewarding aspect of their job. They are caring, motivating and show integrity in everything they do. If we were to sum up our instructors in one word it would be ENTHUSIASM!

Veronica De Santos

Veronica De Santos

Veronica DeSantos is also known as Kwan Jan Nim, a Korean term meaning ‘master of one’s house’.  Born in Prospect, East Bank Demerrara, Guyana, she moved to Canada when she was 16 years old.  Working at a successful bank job, she was also studying martial arts and traveling across North America competing in martial arts tournaments. What she really wanted to do though, was teach martial arts.  She started out teaching martial arts out of a community centre.  In 1988 she wanted to open her very own martial arts studio. Unable to find the money to do so in any other way, she took her own next month’s rent and used it to travel to Boston. There she competed in a martial arts tournament, where only a win as Grand Champion would earn her the $5000 prize that would allow her a plane ticket back to Toronto with enough money to pay her rent and open the school.  Less than one month later, DeSantos Martial Arts opened its doors.

Did you know? 

  • From 1982–1990, she was ranked Canada’s #1 female fighter.
  • In 1994, she represented Canada at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • In 1999, Kwan Jan Nim De Santos was the first woman to be inducted in the North American Martial Arts Hall Of Fame.
  • In 2016 she was inducted into the Canadian Black Belt Hall Of Fame.

“A woman does not practice martial arts so that she can FIGHT like a man.  She does so in order to be free to be a WOMAN.”

Tuan Tran

Tuan Tran

Tuan (or Mr. Tran) started with DeSantos in 1987 when the school first opened at Queen Alexander and received his First Degree Black Belt at the age of 15. Through the years Tuan has competed in many tournaments nationally and around the world. He won a bronze medal at the 1994 CISM games and represented Canada at the Tae Kwon Do Championships. One of his highlights was being able to accompany Kwan Jan Nim as her coach when she was representing Guyana at the Greek Olympic Trials. Tuan is now a 4th Degree Black Belt and while his chosen profession is as a Real Estate Sales Representative, he considers his time with DeSantos the most influential in forming who he has become.

“No Blames, No Games, Just Solutions”

Antoinette Moulton

Antoinette Moulton

Antoinette Moulton, better known as Ma’am Toni, has been with DeSantos Premier Martial Arts for 14 years.  A single mother with 3 children, she came to Kwan Jan Nim in 2002, at a time in her life when things were very difficult.  Not only did she find a place for her children to be active and learn to defend themselves, she found an outlet for herself that turned into a great love for the martial arts.  She began teaching at DeSantos when she was an orange belt.  In 2004, Antoinette received her first degree black belt and when DeSantos joined Premier Martial Arts, she became the Program Director at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts.  She currently holds a fourth degree black belt, and is the new face of DeSantos Premier Martial Arts at our second location at Broadview and Gerrard.

Did you know?

“Empowering lives through the martial arts is what drives me as I find this concept allows me to start the healing and transformation of each person that walks in the door.”

Katrina Mintis

Katrina Mintis

Katrina Mintis is the bright smile at the front desk of DeSantos Premier Martial Arts and has been since March 1989.  In July of 1988, she moved to Toronto from Nova Scotia.  At first, she would answer the phones after school, but as time went on she became more involved in the business.  Together with Kwan Jan Nim, she would travel to Rochester and Syracuse to be trained in the EFC system of Martial Arts School Management.  She helped to pioneer EFC coming to Canada.  From 1990-1991 she returned to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University for business.  In 1993 she began full time at DeSantos Martial Arts.

If you’re ever looking for the answer to a question, chances are, Ma’am Katrina has it!

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Katrina’s hobby is writing – she is secretly working on a novel and enjoys writing poetry as well
  • She is a huge fan of hockey – Leafs fan all the way!!
  • Ma’am Katrina loves Karaoke!!
  • She worked as a bank teller for one year and then did bookkeeping for one year but her heart was always at DeSantos.
  • Ma’am Katrina is on the path to Black Belt…her journey is just taking a lot longer than most people, but is still proceeding slowly.

“Accept the challenges so you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”  -George S. Patton

Catherine Schroh

Catherine Schroh

Catherine Schroh, or Ma’am Cathy, has been training at DeSantos Martial Arts since June of 2008.  What started out as martial arts for just her children turned out to be a whole family affair fairly quickly.  Together with her eldest daughter and husband, Catherine received her 1st degree Black Belt from Kwan Jan Nim in 2011.  Her youngest daughter joined the Black Belt family in 2013, while the rest of the family achieved 2nd degree at the same time.

While training for Black Belt, Catherine expressed an interest in teaching and so began her new life as Ma’am Cathy, teaching classes in September of 2011. She has attended numerous training camps at Premier Martial Arts in Tennessee and received many certifications (Krav Maga, Cage Fitness, Cross Kick).  She teaches all types of classes, kids to adults, as well as our new Cross Kick program.  In January of 2015, Catherine became Program Director at our 210 Main Street location.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Cathy graduated from Queen’s University in Engineering Chemistry.
  • Ma’am Cathy was co-owner of The Kindergarden in the Beach, a drop in centre for moms and kids that also offered day care and camps.
  • Ma’am Cathy has been a Sparks, Brownie and Guide leader, and is currently a Pathfinder leader with Girl Guides of Canada in the Beach.

I want to inspire people.  I want someone to look at me and say “Because of you I didn’t give up.”

Samantha Louise Pagdagdagan

Samantha Louise Pagdagdagan

Ma’am Sam has officially been with DeSantos Premier Martial Arts since August of 2010, helping Katrina at the front desk. She has known many students from here for many years, though, as she used to come watch classes way back in the day. Sam joined the DeSantos team when her nephews signed up for classes after they had expressed an interest in trying something new.

 Did you know?

  • Ma’am Sam works as an editor when she’s not at DeSantos, specifically in Young Adult Fiction
  • She is a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Ma’am Sam is a pop culture aficionado, a collector of useless facts and trivia
  • She learned her alphabet backwards and can still recite it backwards to this day (ask her one day!)

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.” — JRR Tolkien

Natalie Bamford

Natalie Bamford

Natalie Bamford, best known as Ma’am Natalie, started martial arts in the fall of 1998 — she has spent over 15 years at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts. She received her first degree black belt from Kwan Jan Nim on Oct 18, 2002, her second on Nov 28, 2004, and her third on June 3, 2012. Natalie started helping in classes shortly before her first degree black belt at age 11.  She has been captain of the demo team and a lead instructor. She has recently completed her Honours Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry at University of Toronto. (She was in her third year when she decided to go for her third degree black belt.)  She is working on a PhD program at the University of Toronto in Biochemistry. It’s a research based program and the lab she belongs to is situated in The Hospital for SickKids.  She recently was awarded the Vanier Scholarship for her PhD work and is ranked in the top 20 in Canada.

Did you know?

  • Both of Ma’am Natalie’s sisters have their black belts from DeSantos Premier Martial Arts. Her older sister, Alix, joined Desantos with her and got her first degree in the same cycle. Her little sister, Anna, started training soon after this and got her second degree in 2009.
  • Natalie played Ultimate frisbee in high school and became the captain of the team in grade 12. She also played on the U of T team, Torontula, for one season.
  • During her training for her 3rd degree black belt, she took up running seriously, and recently ran her first half marathon.
Sean Ingram

Sean Ingram

Sean Ingram, better known as Sir Sean, or Evil Sean, has been training at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts for over 10 years, and has been teaching for about 6. He received his first degree Black Belt in the fall of 2007.  (And his second and third in 2010 and 2013.) Before training at DeSantos Sean had trained in aikido, tae kwan do, tai chi and wing chun for about 4 years in Montreal when he was in university.

Outside of DeSantos Sir Sean has a lot of different interests, and is a geek in many ways – martial arts geek, sci/fi geek, comic book geek, mma watching geek, and even a political geek. He has had some spectacular failures in his life, but has a great family, all of whom train at DeSantos.

Did you know?

  • Sir Sean is the Chair of the Soldiers Tower Committee at U of T, which is the body that organizes the annual Remembrance Day services at the university.
  • He is from Montreal
  • His first job out of university was working for the Public Affairs section of the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC

“Don’t be disappointed by the results you don’t get from the work you didn’t do.”

Jean-Luc Lacombe

Jean-Luc Lacombe

Although he started his martial arts training at another school, Jean-Luc switched over to DMAS in early 2005 when he was ten years old (as a red belt at the time). At his first class at DeSantos, he was welcomed openly by Sir Tran, Kwan Jan Nim and the kids who would eventually become his first degree teammates.

He received his First Degree Black Belt in 2006, his Second Degree in 2008 and his Third Degree 2011.  Jean-Luc started helping on the floor as early as 2006. When he would arrive early for classes, Ma’am Lorri always had him help her and even lead parts of the class. He eventually began to “SWAT” classes (there was no leadership team at the time). He became a full instructor  in 2009.

Did you know?

  • Jean-Luc has walked to Niagara Falls twice!!
  • He was the Leadership Rep on Student Council in his Grade 12 year at Neil McNeil, and was a Big Brother Leader/Coordinator and Peer Tutor at Neil McNeil.
  • Jean-Luc’s sister is a 2nd Degree Black Belt and is married to Sir Jay who is a 3rd degree.  Other black belts in his family include his cousin Trevor Lacombe.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius 

Attiphah Moulton

Attiphah Moulton

Ma’am Attiphah has been training at DeSantos Martial Arts since she was 5 years old.  She earned her first degree black belt in 2009, her second degree in 2011, and her third degree black belt in 2014.  She has been helping to teach classes for many years and has been a full instructor since 2013.  Ma’am Attiphah has travelled all over the world competing in martial arts and has won many gold medals.  She was co-captain of the DeSantos Demo Team from 2013-2015.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Attiphah is studying law enforcement at Centennial College.
  • Ma’am Attiphah led the Malvern Collegiate Cheerleading team for 2 years.
  • Ma’am Attiphah travelled to Serbia in 2010 to represent Canada at the WAKO World Championship.
Seamus Ingram

Seamus Ingram

Seamus Ingram, or Sir Seamus,  has been training at Desantos Premier Martial Arts since he was four years old in the fall of 2002. He received his first black belt in 2006.  (And his second degree and third degrees in 2008 and 2012.) As for teaching, formally, Seamus began in the fall of 2012. However, he has been helping out at the school in many ways for several years since he got his first degree black belt, before there really was a leadership team. Seamus is always around to help with the many events that go on at the school, including gradings and summer camps, and leading special bokken seminars.  Seamus is a grade 12 student at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, enrolled in the math and science and technology (MaST) program. He often attributes his strong work ethic and solid academic performance to his martial arts. Also, he likes playing music and has been playing both trombone and guitar since grade 5. Though he doesn’t plan in pursuing it as a profession, it is something he enjoys tremendously, and plans to practice for years to come.

Did you know?

  • Seamus received his first black belt when he was eight years old.
  • He has performed in every single black belt spectacular since his first degree.
  • His entire family does martial arts at Desantos – and they are all black belts.
Jenna Robinson

Jenna Robinson

Ma’am Jenna started taking classes at DeSantos Martial Arts at age 7 together with her sister Haley.  She was introduced to DeSantos by a White Belt Buddy Bash.  Ma’am Jenna received her 1st degree Black Belt in 2009 and her 2nd degree in 2012.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Jenna is working on her BSc at Ryerson University.
  • She has become good friends with her mentor, Sir Sean.
  • Ma’am Jenna claims she “almost died” walking to Niagara Falls in 2015

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Shanna Wallace

Shanna Wallace

Ma’am Shay has been with DeSantos Premier Martial Arts since 2001.  She earned her first degree black belt in 2007 and second in 2011.  Originally her mother wanted her to be able to defend herself and her pops would make sure that she went to class 3-4 times a week. Her first instructors were Sir Waugh, who is now an officer with Toronto Police, and Sir Tran who is part owner of our Broadview location.

When she earned her red belt and went through pre-testing – KJN spoke with her and wanted her to wait another year so that she would be more prepared. She is glad that she took KJN’s advice because it wasn’t until then that she was starting to train because she really wanted to.

Ma’am Shay started out swatting and helping out in classes and all through high school and college she ranked up to being one of the lead instructors. DMAS is her second home. Her nephew CJ also earned his brown belt and her niece went to yellow belt when she was younger.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Shay has travelled and been to over 20 countries and cities all before her 20’s such as all over Europe from Holland to Spain when she was 10
  • Ma’am Shay loves poetry and writing free hand
  • She is in the process of studying for her brokerage license to sell insurance
  • She volunteers at an adult literacy program
  • Ma’am Shay runs a winter coat drive with her niece every year
  • She wanted to be a singer since she was little


Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Ma’am Kim has been training at DeSantos since 2011. She earned her 1st degree black belt in 2014. She wanted to join martial arts because as a little girl it was something she always wanted to do and she had a bit of a rough childhood. She wanted to learn self defense to protect herself.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Kim is a registered early childhood educator.
  • Ma’am Kim used to model for a few places.
  • When she was in high school she took Hawaiian dancing classes.
  • She also loves to play the ukulele.
Aly’ah Moulton

Aly’ah Moulton

Ma’am Aly’ah started taking classes at DeSantos Martial Arts at the tender age of 2 1/2, when her big sister started.  She has the distinction of being one of the youngest black belts at DeSantos, earning her black belt when she was 8 1/2 in 2009.  She earned her second degree black belt in 2011.  Aly’ah has been part of the demo team since 2007 and her specialty is double nunchuks.  Ma’am Aly’ah officially became an instructor in 2015.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Aly’ah is part of the Malvern Cheerleading team.


Kaelan Horn

Kaelan Horn

Ma’am Kaelan started taking martial arts lessons at DeSantos when she was 6.  She earned her first degree black belt in 2010 and her second degree in 2012.  She has been on the demo team since 2008 and is the current co-captain of the demo team.  Ma’am Kaelan has been teaching classes since 2014.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Kaelan also dances with For the Love of It.
  • Kaelan introduced her dad, sister and cousin to DeSantos Martial Arts.


Marisol Goulet

Marisol Goulet

Ma’am Marisol started training at DeSantos Premier Martial arts in 2003.  She was looking for a place where she could learn cool moves and compete and win trophies.  She competed for a number of years together with her dad, Sir JP, and the two of them won lots of medals.  She earned her first degree black belt with her dad in 2008, her second degree in 2011 (her mom and sister both received their black belts at the same time).  Marisol earned her third degree black belt in 2015.  She was a member of the demo team for many years and has been teaching since 2014.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Marisol also teaches at the KaZa Family Centre and Karate Kids.
  • She has walked to Niagara Falls twice!
  • Ma’am Marisol is very talented artist.
Sophie Tkachenko

Sophie Tkachenko

Ma’am Sophie started training at DeSantos with her brother Aidan way back in 2004.  They earned their first degree black belt together in 2009.  After taking a break, Sophie came back to DeSantos and earned her second degree black belt in 2014.  Along the way she decided that she would like to teach martial arts and she has never looked back.  Ma’am Sophie has been teaching at the 603 Gerrard St location since it opened in January 2015, and is well loved by all of her students.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Sophie walked to Niagara Falls in 2015.
  • Ma’am Sophie is a talented artist and has been awarded a scholarship to Carleton University!


Emily Huynh

Emily Huynh

Ma’am Emily began at DeSantos in 1997. She earned her first degree black belt in 2007. She wanted to start Tae Kwon do because she wanted to be like a power ranger.

Did you know?

  • Ma’am Emily also teaches: skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and tennis as well.
  • She won 2 OCAA Gold Medals in Rugby.
  • Ma’am Emily used to teach Ma’am Marisol back in the good old days.



DeSantos Premier Martial Arts is committed to Building a better community one Black Belt at a time.  We are constantly hosting events for our students and community or that enable our students to give back to the greater community.  Check below for our upcoming events.




DeSantos Martial Arts programs are a wonderful way for the whole family to get fit, have fun, and learn martial arts and self defense in a friendly, positive environment.

But don’t take our word for it.

Here’s what our students have to say about us:


Definitely 5 Stars…you won’t find a more qualified instructor or nicer person than Veronica DeSantos. If you live in the area and or have ever thought you would like to learn or just want a good work out. You are never to old…this is the place, and there are suitable times throughout the day for everyone.

Randy Bailey

My son is very excited about going to your classes. He is typically a more academic type but you have peaked his interest in physical fitness. Thanks!

Ben Ferguson

My daughter and I train here and we love it. It’s quickly begun to feel like a second home for both of us. Thank you!

Kathleen Kraft

Made a difference for my son, he enjoys the challenge and friendship he makes. Teachers there are great and helpful.

Monica Viapiana

Sebastian was so thrilled (as were we) with the grading day! We are thinking of doing an extra day of the week.

Carolyn Morris

Rob and I just want to say how incredible Saturday’s grading was. Of course we are always proud of our Paige but the incredible energy in that room and the feeling of family as we watched all the kids, and adults too, accomplish such wonderful things no matter how hard it was. We left with huge smiles on our faces and a warmth in our hearts.

Thank you for making our children feel so empowered!

Rob and Cindy De Chiara

I’m so happy I enrolled my son in Karate.  He’s much more focused and disciplined than ever.

Ian Justin

My children’s confidence has skyrocketed since they started taking martial arts.

Anita Sarda

The instructors at DeSantos Martial Arts are incredible!  They’re so patient and enthusiastic.  I can’t believe the changes I’ve seen in my daughter.

Randah McKinnie

Great place for everyone and very friendly

Jennifer Riley

DeSantos Martial Arts is a martial arts community that focuses on the development of the whole individual encouraging children and adults alike to embark on continual self-improvement and to strive for excellence. My children have tried numerous extra curricular activities and this one has been the one they love most. (more…)

Stephanie Hz

Our daughter is thriving and we are so happy to have found this place!

Kristi Mathers McHenry

Excellent place for kids and families

Abdessamad Rfifi

Inclusive, helpful atmosphere, great for beginners like myself…
A diverse spectrum of ages, genders, cultural backgrounds…
Add to that some very skilled, very knowledgeable students and instructors…
An incredibly open and friendly master…
You seriously can’t go wrong if you choose to train at DeSantos.

Pete O’Hearn

If you are looking for a place that your child can grow as a person, understand their potential and learn invaluable life skills as it relates to confidence and learning to deal with the challenges of bullying, look no further than DeSantos Martial Arts. The added bonus is that they can also learn to be an exceptional Martial Artist. (more…)

Tom Horn

Without judgment of age, race or gender the DeSantos Martial Arts family will inspire, motivate, push you to new limits and give you the guidance to becoming a healthier you.

Cathy Somerville


kjn6aWhy Martial Arts?

Martial Arts offers a complete balance of life skills for everyone from ages 3 and up. It can be as competitive or non-competitive as you want it. You set your own goals and work towards achieving them at your own pace and time. 

For children it helps to increase their confidence and self-control so they are better able to deal with issues they face on a day to day basis; peer pressure, bullies, making good choices, etc.

For adults it helps to relief stress, offers a full mind, body and spirit workout and teaches valuable self-defense techniques.

It’s a great way to keep fit and active and is great cross training for any other sport or activity you or your child may be involved in.

Will my child become more aggressive or violent?

No. Martial Arts teaches respect and self-control. For an already hyper or aggressive child it helps to channel their energy into something positive and teaches them different ways to control their emotions. For a shy child, it helps to increase their self-confidence and turn their shyness into self-assurance.

How does martial arts improve self-confidence?

At DeSantos Premier Martial Arts we incorporate a reward and recognition program with our students. As you learn the curriculum you are rewarded with tips on your belt. We set goal dates for belt promotions that we help you work towards. There is lots of positive feedback from instructors and our goal is to see our students succeed. When students receive this positive encouragement and see how well they are progressing, it makes them feel good about themselves and this transpires into other areas of their life.

How does martial arts teach self-control?

Our philosophy teaches students how to be respectful and also how to control their emotions. We teach students different skills to use when someone has upset them or made them angry. Martial arts is about inner peace and respect for one another. By teaching you how to breathe properly, having the courage to walk away, or telling people you are too angry to talk are just a few of the ways we help student gain self-control. 

Why do I have to commit to two days a week?

In order to obtain the full benefits our course offers, students would need to attend classes at least twice a week as we divide our curriculum in two parts: basic techniques and applications. If you are only coming once a week you are missing out on half the curriculum.

What’s the difference between Tae Kwon Do and Karate?

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean art form and Karate is Japanese. As far as the techniques that are taught, it’s not so much the styles, but the schools you go to. There are very few traditional schools that teach traditional martial arts. A lot of schools offer a blend of styles and to find one that’s right for you, depends on what you are looking for. Martial Arts is based on self-defense, so whatever school you attend you will learn basic self-defense techniques. To choose the best school for you or your child should depend on the philosophy they teach and whether or not it coincides with what you are looking for.

Some of the things you should look for are: Do they offer a trial program, can you watch classes, do they have separate children classes, how do the instructors interact with the students, do they offer a monthly payment plan.

It’s all about your comfort level and if you feel your needs are going to be met.

What do the belts mean?

The belts show your level of progression through the art you are studying. White is for beginners and there are generally 10 belts before you achieve your Black Belt. In our school we have special belt systems we use for our Tiny Champs and Little Champs that are different than the regular belts. The ultimate goal for martial artists is to achieve a Black Belt and all the belts in between help the student feel they are progressing and helps to keep them motivated. The colours darken as you move higher through the ranks to make you feel as though you are that much closer to the coveted Black Belt.

Contact Us

DeSantos Premier Martial Arts has two locations to serve you!


210 Main Street
(at Gerrard Street)
Toronto, Ontario
M4E 2W1
Phone: (416) 699-5078
Class Schedule for 210 Main Street
603 Gerrard Street East
(at Broadview Avenue)
Toronto, Ontario
M4M 3M5
Phone: (416) 465-9696
Class Schedule for 603 Gerrard Street East

Which location?



Phone number