Kid’s Martial Arts – Mentors Needed


Many of you have commented on the positive ways I interact with your kids – Thank you for your feedback and kind words. Let me explain in a little more detail my approach and why I feel it’s so effective. For me it comes down to two approaches – Coaching vs Mentoring. Let me explain the difference …

Coaching and Mentoring are not the same thing. My experiences support the conclusion that mentoring is a power free, two-way mutually beneficial learning situation where the mentor provides advice, shares knowledge, and experiences, and teaches using a low pressure, self-discovery approach. 

Teaching using ‘learning’ versus ‘teacher to student’ model and, being willing to not just question for self-discovery but also freely sharing their own experiences and skills with the partners. The mentor is both a source of information/knowledge and a Socratic questioner. If I am a coach my concern is your performance and enrolling your support in the vision/direction. A coach has a set agenda to reinforce or change skills and behaviors. Mentors, on the other hand are facilitators and teachers allowing the partners to discover their own direction. 

Students with good mentors would say things like this…”They let me struggle so I could learn.”

A good mentor….”Never provided solutions—always asking questions to surface a student own thinking and let them find solutions.”

Are public schools cannot adopt this approach. There are simply too many kids in each class and teachers are pressed for time under school board curriculum formats. What I provide for the kids as a mentor is something I believe our kids will need a lot more of in the future. That is to be self-driven and self-learning. 

At FightClub the kid’s martial arts program is on a journey through Systema with me as the guide.  Ask yourself – what kid doesn’t like to go on journey? 🙂

toronto systema training

Systema Toronto – Battle Gymnastics

I like to think of the movements we use in Systema as a kind of ‘Battle Gymnastics’ to honour it’s martial heritage. Learning to move your body in space with smooth, speed and power has so many benefits to your life, not just fighting. Personally, I really love to move with that kind of “silent power”.

If you’re looking to burn fat or bulk up, sure, you’ll build muscle and lose body fat practicing Systema, but these are not their primary goals; much like the warrior physique is merely a by-product, not the intent, of fighting efficacy. The appearance is not the destination; just a part of the journey.

I’ve often alluded during class to the difference between “show muscle” and “go muscle”.

If you want to look like a statue, that’s fine; but take care that you don’t become one. Train to developed the fire to desire moving with power, rather than merely appearing powerful. Power means nothing without the ability to navigate unknown and surprise obstacles and resistance with ease and imagination.

Movement or moving seems easy but don’t make the big mistake of rushing!  Be fully compliant to incremental progression. Short cuts are plentiful but lead down the wrong path. We cannot make the progress shorter, but we can make it much longer, with significantly more severe consequences.

I cannot help you shorten the journey. No one can. But I can help you not lengthen the journey. I can help you lessen the severity of the consequences through Systema Toronto training at FightClub.

I call to the mature warrior within you, to awaken! Come and train to find your movement and your power!

toronto systema training

Systema Training – Embark on a Journey to Improve Your Health

I spent so much time working on myself both internally and externally even as I’ve turned 50! When I train its not uncommon that people literally stopping and asking me questions on what I was doing. I explained and gave them advice and guidance to explore Systema principles and health practices. The overall impressions from strangers is very positive.

I know many of you may have friends that are working out at home or at local gyms. Talk to them to come and give FightClub a try. Most of them are tired of the same old training routines they are doing. They are stuck in the cycle that is giving them limited returns. As most of you know I can change this for them.

Everyday people embark on a journey to improve their health, but too often these people are unable to accomplish what they set out to do.  But Why? Lack of coaching guidance, no clear training goals, and an outdated approach to physical training are just some of the reasons many are set up to fail before they even begin.

At FightClub we take care of all this…you will get healthy, set goals, and learn how to protect yourself, and have fun. I can guarantee it!

If you have a friend that you think would benefit from what I do bring them along. Help them also find the benefits of Systema training at FightClub.


toronto systema training

Youth Martial Arts Lessons Helps deal with the Worst Nightmares

Our Worst Nightmares Happen in Classrooms

There’s a reason why, even as adults, many of our worst nightmares continue to be set in classrooms or feature us naked and unprepared for exams: School is where a wide range of fears meet, mingle and multiply. No matter what age, all kids can use a gentle check-in from their parents about any anxieties they may be feeling.

“You want the child starting the year off in a confident manner”

Some Symptoms …

The hallmark of anxiety is avoidance of the thing that is scaring us; for kids, that means they simply won’t want to go to school. The most common way this manifest itself physically is a stomach ache, It’s not fake, either; it’s a real physiological response. “It starts the night before or the morning of as the stressor approaches. And if the child doesn’t go to school, the stomach ache goes away.”

Little ones …

To ease your kids’ fears, experts suggest mapping out the routine, even walking the route to school a few times. Some teachers will have had open doors this week, but even if you missed that chance, visiting the school grounds can still be soothing.

If you’ve been the parent or seem to be more attached with your four-year-old , it may be clear that she is going to melt down as you try to peel her off you; send your spouse or an older sibling to walk to school with the child.

I says kids are never too young to learn simple deep-breathing techniques to calm themselves down – This is what I teach in the Youth Martial Arts lessons at FightClub.

Older kids

You thought you were in the clear once your kids made it out of kindergarten alive? Transitions to a new school – especially giant high schools for Grade 9 – can be tough for other reasons, including fears around failure, bullying and hazing.

The anxiety of being at the bottom of the food chain can be paralyzing, It’s not uncommon to speak to teens who have not visited their lockers for six months because they have forgotten the combination. ”They say, ‘I don’t know who to ask.’ They’re afraid to look stupid.”

They are also in perhaps the toughest stage of human development, don’t forget. It’s an adolescent’s job to reject his parents. But he, too, may beg to stay home one day, paralyzed by anxiety. You can help them best by not pointing out this disconnect.

“Listening is the most important skill for these older kids. You may think you know exactly what is bothering them, but you might be way off base”

And once the lines of communication are open, resist the urge to share your own anxieties about high school. This is not the time to talk about drugs or sex.

Rule No. 1

Don’t let them skip school. “Parents have to be firm”. Consider going to school the best way to conquer the fears. “Every day you do it, it becomes easier.” Routine is critical for children of all ages. In this case, experts say, the goal is to make what was once scary totally boring.

What about you?

Don’t forget that your face is the ultimate mirror, Listen to your child’s concerns, of course, but “don’t be all weepy and sad yourself. I suggest telling your own stories about school jitters – complete, of course, with a happy ending.

toronto systema training

Youth Martial Arts – Back to School 2019

Here we go again, another school year has begun. I’ve got a great curriculum planned for the kids this September till December.

The world is so much more complex than when I was in school and I’m sure you feel the same as I do. Our youth must develop and use the skill of creativity more and more as the world progresses towards a new age. This is why I put such a big emphasis on this during the Systema training at FightClub.

In a global world, creativity is essential. Through the use of creative thinking, youth learn to be innovative and flexible in a world in which they will act as leaders and influencers.

Individuals first need to understand creativity. Creativity can be defined as the ability to think beyond the traditional into the imagined; it also involves viewing things through a new light. Creativity looks for a deeper meaning that leads to deeper solutions, looking at everyday things, events or the world as a whole as if new combinations of ideas would lead to something more profound in understanding and finding solutions to problems.

By having the kids at FightClub learn how to be creative with breathing, moving, various exercises, working with different partners/ages/genders, walking and talking with each other, and so much more I try to cultivate lots creativity.

Creativity is usually associated with the arts (martial arts), but when elevated to “creative thinking” it can apply to world problems, such as global warming and interaction between countries, world economics, world politics or world understanding. When thinking globally, being able to understand the “big picture” is only part of what is considered creative thinking. Understanding the “big picture” and being able to influence the outcome of problems, issues or topics of concern is the more realistic use of the creative process.

All this might sound a lot for kids to comprehend (and it very well might be), but I would rather them hear it early, hear it often and pick up even 20% of it rather than waiting till they are older.

Kids are so clever these days and I love to challenge them! Something I feel our schools don’t do enough of… Feel free to share this with parents you know and care about. Tell them to bring their kids for a few free lessons so they can see how important and vital the lessons taught in the Youth Martial Arts program at FightClub.

toronto systema training
systema blog systema video archery podcast



Subscribe to FC Club Newsletter

toronto systema training