A group of children performing in martial arts uniforms


Why martial arts?

Martial arts offer a rewarding balance of discipline, life skills, and fitness. 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. We have students as young as three at DeSantos. For adults it helps to relief stress, offers a full mind, body, and spirit workout, and teaches valuable, real-world self-defence techniques. Our dojang is a supportive and non-intimidating environment for people of all ages and abilities.

Will my child become more aggressive or violent?

No. A very important aspect of our program is self-control and showing respect. For an already hyperactive or aggressive child, it helps to channel and moderate their energy into something positive and teaches them different ways to control their emotions and their body. For a shy child, it helps to increase their self-confidence and turn their shyness into self-assurance. Please speak to us about any challenges your child may be experiencing and we can let you know how we can help.

How does our program improve self-confidence?

We incorporate a reward and recognition program with our students. As students advance in the curriculum, they are rewarded with stripes on their belt. We set goal dates for belt promotions that students can work toward. Our goal is to see our students succeed, and it is important to us that we provide positive feedback. When students receive 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 our program 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 accessing inner peace and showing respect for all humans. 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 at least two days a week?

We ask that students attend classes at least twice a week as we divide our curriculum in two parts: basic techniques and applications. Mondays and Tuesdays (A-days) focus on self-defence, sparring drills, and kickboxing, and Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (B-days) focus on poomsae (forms/patterns), kicking techniques, and weapons work. If a student is coming once a week, they are missing out on half the curriculum and it will take longer to advance in belt rank.

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

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean art form and Karate is Japanese. There are different styles and techniques from school-to-school within the same martial art. There are very few traditional schools that teach a strictly traditional martial art. Many schools offer a blend of styles and how that fits into your needs 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. We encourage you to come to one of our locations and observe classes, speak to fellow parents and students, and meet our instructors.

What do the belt colours mean?

A student's belt colour shows their level of progression through the art you are studying. All students begin at White Belt. As the student progresses, the belt colours darken as they advance. 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 at least their first-degree Black Belt, and all the belts in between white and black help the student understand their progression and it keeps them motivated. A student's first-degree Black Belt represents a new beginning, and it's an indication that a student has gained tools to begin a new journey toward mastery through the principles of modesty, courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance, and indomitable spirit.