Grappling in Greektown

5 martial arts studios on the Danforth

Lindsay Ulrich

The Danforth is no stranger to martial arts training, and those who have trained before know that learning a martial art offers many benefits, both physical and psychological.  By studying a martial art, you’re not only better prepared to use self-defence, but physically you’ll experience better flexibility, strength, improved cardiovascular fitness and reflexes.  Mentally, martial arts develop discipline, patience, and confidence, improves your mindset and can elevate your overall mood.  Try out one of these martial arts studios in the Danforth area:

1) Eagle Hapkido Academy, 781 Danforth Avenue

Classes are taught by Grandmaster Hwang, and specialize in the art of Hapkido, an art form that is comprised of both hard and soft techniques.  The school teaches punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, ground fighting, pressure point attacks, joint locks as well as chi for internal power and healing.  They are focused on a holistic approach to the martial art by teaching through both practice and analysis of technique.   Classes run from 6-9pm and visitors are welcome to drop by and watch a class at any time.

2) Japan Martial Arts Centre, 146 Danforth Ave.

Under chief instructor Kancho Okuyama, this centre specializes in karate, kickboxing, and special weapons training.  This centre has been in the community for over 32 years and offers classes in the early mornings, afternoons, evenings, and on weekends.

3) Fight Club, 401 Donlands Ave.

Fight Club teaches a Russian martial art called Systema. It is a hand-to-hand military-style teaching approach dedicated to practical, modern self-defence. Their website highlights the value of overall physical fitness, the increase in confidence, and stress reduction that their regular attendees experience.  Their beginner classes range in size from 8 to 15 participants and they charge $20 for two introductory classes.

4)  Dragonz Martial Artz, 1998 Danforth Ave.

Opened in 2001, this all ages studio believes that “dedicated students of martial arts display character and integrity in their dealings with others.”  They offer classes six days a week, all of which focus on physical fitness, self defence, and life skills.  Because they believe that families play a crucial role in students’ development, many events are open to family members, friends and guests.

5)  Danforth Wing Chun, 745 Danforth Avenue East

Only available for adults, Wing Chun classes are based on a collection of fighting principles and methods such as stick hands training. Wing Chun strives to develop attacks that are “fast, furious, and continuous.”  Classes are open to all levels of experience and are subdivided by six levels, ranging from empty-handed combat to weapons skills training. Currently classes are only offered on Wednesdays and Sundays, and they have a free trial class.

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