CELEBRATING 30 YEARS!

It’s our 30th Anniversary!

We’ve been empowering lives in our community since 1988

Summer Day Camps

Beginners welcome · No experience required!

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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 in Toronto’s east end, we know you’ll find a place with us where you can belong.

Check one of the timetables below to find your class.

210 MAIN ST. summer class schedule (current)
210 MAIN ST. September–June class schedule
603 GERRARD ST. E. summer class schedule (current)
603 GERRARD ST. E. September–June class schedule

 

Our Team

All instructors at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts are students of Kwan Jan Nim Veronica De Santos. They have trained in her system and must complete extensive leadership training courses before leading classes. Our lead instructors have been members of our school from 6 to 18 years and are trained in CPR. Our instructors are caring, motivating, and show integrity in everything they do, and feel deeply invested in the success and empowerment of our students.

Veronica De Santos
Tuan Tran
Antoinette Moulton
Katrina Mintis
Catherine Schroh
Sean Ingram
Jean-Luc Lacombe
Attiphah Moulton
Shanna Wallace
Kimberly Wagner
Aly’ah Moulton
Marisol Goulet
Tommy Gesell
Henry Brown
Cindy Ly
Morgan Longley
Christina Singh
Marc Lostracco
Maya Boyd
Veronica De Santos

Veronica De Santos

Veronica De Santos 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. She started teaching martial arts out of a community centre, but in 1988 she wanted to open her very own martial arts studio. Unable to find the money to do so, 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 $5,000 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.

  • From 1982–1990 she was ranked Canada’s #1 female fighter.
  • Kwan Jan Nim holds a seventh-degree Black Belt.
  • 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

Sir Tuan (or Mr. Tran) started with DeSantos in 1987 when the school first opened, and he 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 fourth-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, also known as Sa Ba Nim (or Ma’am Toni), has been with DeSantos Premier Martial Arts since 2002 and is the face of our second location at Broadview and Gerrard. A single mother with three children, she came to Kwan Jan Nim 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 is training to earn her fifth-degree Black Belt in 2019!

“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

Currently on leave, Katrina Mintis has been the bright smile at the front desk of DeSantos Premier Martial Arts since 1989! In July of 1988, she moved to Toronto from Nova Scotia. At first she would answer the phones at DeSantos 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 and helped to pioneer EFC coming to Canada. From 1990–1991 she returned to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University for business. In 1993, she started working full-time at DeSantos.

  • 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 Premier Martial Arts since June of 2008. What started out as a martial arts program for just her children turned out to be a whole family affair fairly quickly. Together with her eldest daughter and husband, Catherine received her first-degree Black Belt from Kwan Jan Nim in 2011. Her youngest child joined the Black Belt family in 2013, while the rest of the family achieved second-degree at the same time. Ma’am Cathy earned her third-degree Black Belt in 2018.

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).

  • Ma’am Cathy graduated from Queen’s University in Engineering Chemistry.
  • Ma’am Cathy was co-owner of The Kindergarten 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.”

Sean Ingram

Sean Ingram

Sean Ingram, better known as Sir Sean or Evil Sean, has been training at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts for over ten years, and has been teaching for about six. 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 kwon do, tai chi and wing chun for about four 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.

  • 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 DPMA 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, his third-degree 2011 and his fourth-degree in 2018. 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 with “SWAT” classes (there was no leadership team at the time). He became a full instructor in 2009.

  • Jean-Luc has walked from Toronto to Niagara Falls twice!
  • He was the Leadership Representative 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 second-degree Black Belt and is married to Sir Jay who is a third-degree Black Belt. 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 Premier Martial Arts since she was five-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 helped 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.

  • Ma’am Attiphah is studying law enforcement at Centennial College.
  • Ma’am Attiphah led the Malvern Collegiate Cheerleading team for two years.
  • Ma’am Attiphah travelled to Serbia in 2010 to represent Canada at the WAKO World Championship.
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-degree 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 the Toronto Police Service, and Sir Tuan, who is part owner of our Broadview location.

When she earned her red belt and went through pre-testing, Kwan Jan Nim spoke with her and wanted her to wait another year so that she would be more prepared. She is glad that she took the advice because it wasn’t until then that she was starting to train because she really wanted to. Now, DPMA is her second home. Her nephew CJ also earned his Brown Belt and her niece went to Yellow Belt when she was younger.

  • Ma’am Shay loves travel and explored over twenty countries and cities before her twenties.
  • 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 first-degree Black Belt in 2014. She wanted to learn martial arts because as a little girl it was something she always thought of trying and she had a bit of a rough childhood. She wanted to learn self-defence to protect herself.

  • 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 2½ when her big sister Attiphah started. She has the distinction of being one of the youngest Black Belts at DeSantos, earning it when she was 8½ 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.

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

 

Marisol Goulet

Marisol Goulet

Ma’am Marisol started training at DPMA 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 J.P., 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.

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

Tommy Gesell

Sir Tommy has been training at DeSantos since he was seven-years-old. He first began with the Karate Kids program led by Sa Ba Nim Toni at Duke of Connaught Public School. He received his first-degree Black Belt in 2011, second-degree in 2013, and his third-degree in 2018. He has been a member of the Demo Team since 2008. Sir Tommy has been helping out in classes for a few years before officially becoming an instructor in 2016.

  • Sir Tommy plays the saxophone and piano.
  • He has walked from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
  • He has starred in a music video as well as two commercials.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

Henry Brown

Henry Brown

Sir Henry has been training at Desantos Premier Martial Arts since 2009 and became a part of the DeSantos family via the Karate Kids program at Kew Beach Junior Public School. His first instructor was Sa Ba Nim Toni and they now teach together! He received his first-degree Black Belt in 2013, his second-degree in 2015, and his third-degree Black Belt in 2018. Sir Henry started volunteering in classes regularly when he was asked to help at the new Broadview location along with Sir Tommy. He just started instructing in September 2016.

  • Sir Henry has walked from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
  • He is currently at school in the IB-prep program at Monarch Park.
  • One of his mentors is Sir Aidan.

“When you feel like quitting, what you do next determines who you are.”

Cindy Ly

Cindy Ly

Ma’am Cindy has been training at DeSantos since 2010. She was introduced to the school through her classmate’s birthday party and begged her parents to let her join. After some persuading, she enrolled and is currently training towards her third-degree Black Belt. Ma’am Cindy earned her first-degree Black Belt in 2013, her second-degree in 2015, and her third-degree in 2018. She started volunteering as part of the leadership team and became an instructor in 2017.

  • Ma’am Cindy is enrolled in the IB program at Monarch Park CI
  • She skipped her orange belt
  • She loves food!
Morgan Longley

Morgan Longley

Ma’am Morgan started training at DeSantos in 2012 when she was ten years old after Sa Ba Nim Toni taught a Karate Kids program at her daycare and she saw potential in Morgan. Morgan went to watch the Black Belt Spectacular that year and decided that she would be up on that stage one day. She earned her first-degree Black Belt in 2016 and her second-degree Black Belt in 2018. Morgan joined the Leadership team in 2016 and is very proud to now be an instructor.

  • Morgan is very active in team sports and plays hockey, ball hockey, basketball, and rugby!
Christina Singh

Christina Singh

Currently on maternity leave, Ma’am Tina is usually seen behind the front desk at our Main Street location, but she plays a crucial role behind-the-scenes in keeping track of hundreds of students and keeping the school running smoothly. Hailing from Guyana like Kwan Jan Nim De Santos, she is also a student at DMPA.

Marc Lostracco

Marc Lostracco

Sir Marc first became a member of the DeSantos family when signing up his son for classes. Some of the other adult students encouraged him to join as well (“You’re already here, so why not?”) and Marc earned his first-degree Black Belt in 2015 and his second-degree Black Belt in 2018.

  • Marc was one of the six students in the first class at our Gerrard & Broadview location
  • He has worked with many top names in the music industry.
  • The annual portraits of Black Belt candidates and many of the photos in DPMA promo materials are taken by Sir Marc

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.”

Maya Boyd

Maya Boyd

Ma’am Maya is a member of the DeSantos Leadership Team and earned her first-degree Black Belt in 2016 and her second-degree Black Belt in 2018.

Events

One of our mottos is Building a Better Community One Black Belt at a Time.
We are constantly hosting events that enable our students to give back to the greater community.

 

FAQ

Why Martial Arts?

Kwan Jan Nim Veronica De Santos

The martial arts offer a complete balance of life skills for everyone from ages 3 and up. It can be as competitive or non-competitive as you want. 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, like peer pressure, bullies, and making good choices.

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

Will my child become more aggressive or violent?

No. The martial arts teach 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 stripes 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?

Students 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. The martial arts are based on self-defence, so whatever school you attend you will learn basic self-defence techniques. Choosing the best school for you or your child should depend on the philosophy they teach. It’s all about your comfort level and if you feel your needs are going to be met.

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

What do the belts mean?

The colour of the belts show your level of progression through the art you are studying. White is for beginners, and there are generally ten belts before you can achieve your Black Belt. In our school, we have special belt systems we use for our Tiny Champs (single-striped belts) and Little Champs (double-striped and half-colour belts) that are different than the regular belts.

The ultimate goal for a martial artist is to achieve a Black Belt, and all the belts in between help the student feel they are progressing and keeps them motivated. The colours darken as the student gets closer to their Black Belt goal.

Contact Us

 

210 Main Street
(at Gerrard Street) [map]
Toronto M4E 2W1
(416) 699-5078
210desantos@desantos.ca
TTC: 306/506 streetcars; 64/135 bus
(Main & Gerrard stop)
CLASS TIMETABLE:
210 Main Street summer class schedule (current)
210 Main Street September–June class schedule
603 Gerrard Street East
(at Broadview Avenue) [map]
Toronto M4M 3M5
(416) 465-9696
603desantos@desantos.ca
TTC: 304/504/505/506 streetcars
(Gerrard & Broadview stop)
CLASS TIMETABLE:
603 Gerrard Street East summer class schedule (current)
603 Gerrard Street East September–June class schedule

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