See the schedule for times for all of our workshops aimed at tweens and teens.
See the schedule for times for all of our workshops aimed at tweens and teens.
Check the schedule for times for our different workshops for Parents.
We at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts know that exercise is a great healer. With that in mind we offer a Body Break in each workshop session for you to blow off steam and have some fun. Check the schedule for timing.
We at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts have reached out to health professionals across a wide spectrum of issues. Scroll through our huge lineup of talented presenters and see what they have to offer for you and your family.
Healthy Kids Community Challenge, Danforth East-York
Forty-five communities across Ontario have been selected to participate in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC), which aims to unite communities with a common goal: promote children’s health and well-being through healthy eating, physical activity and healthy behaviours.
Danforth-East York is working on local initiatives and programming to provide better access to healthy choices in a way that work best for us and where we live.
Vania Tong, RD, CDE
Vania works as a Community Dietitian at South Riverdale Community Health Centre, specializing in diabetes and pediatric nutrition. Vania incorporates concepts of mindful eating during counselling sessions, aiming for all to have a positive relationship with food. She collaborates with clients to improve health, using motivational interviewing to help clients achieve their goals.
Garret works as a community engagement facilitator and trainer with the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) Danforth –East York. The HKCC unites communities with a common goal of promoting children and their families’ health through physical activity and healthy eating.
UNITY uses the arts to empower youth with the confidence and skills for success. UNITY engages youth 10 to 18 by implementing school and community programs helping youth positively express their stress and develop skills for success. UNITY empowers youth to make better choices as leaders, mentors and positive community role models leading to more productive citizens, safer schools, and healthier communities.
Antoinette Moulton, better known as Ma’am Toni, came to DeSantos Premier Martial Arts 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. She currently holds a fourth degree black belt, and is the face of DeSantos Premier Martial Arts at our second location at Broadview and Gerrard. Ma’am Toni also teaches Karate Kids and Sprouts, as well as Anti-Bullying seminars at local schools.
Vivek has been teaching Conscious Parenting concepts to families for over 10 years. He’s been practicing them for 20!
He is also on the admin team for one of the largest parenting groups on facebook with over 11,000 members. The group is called Gentle Parents Unite.
The ideas he shares have helped mend many broken relationships between parents and their kids and bring more peace and harmony to families. He cares deeply about empowering parents to develop more harmonious relationships with their kids using a simple and powerful parenting model based on:
Vivek shares his ideas on parenting and more at
Get REAL is a student-driven non-profit, founded at Western University in 2011. We run inclusivity workshops at the high school and middle school level, with a focus on eliminating LGBTQ discrimination and bullying!
We have spoken to over 25,000 students across Ontario and the East Coast, from grade 6 right up to teachers college. We believe friendliness, humour, and honest stories are the keys to a safe and stimulating environment. Because of this, we get rave reviews no matter where we go: small towns, big cities; public schools, private schools, and catholic schools – friendliness is universal.
Jill Hewlett is a internationally recognized speaker, trainer, wellness TV personality and author. Her impactful keynotes have engaged professionals ranging from Educators and Clinicians to Sales Leaders and Entrepreneurs. She inspires and educates audiences ranging from 10’s to 1,000’s at Conferences, Special Events and Corporate Training.
Licensed in the field of Educational Kinesiology and a Brain Gym® consultant of almost two decades, Jill has the skillful capacity to draw out the natural leadership in individuals and organizations to support them in reducing stress and achieving greater levels of efficiency, resiliency, productivity and success.
Tom is a Second Degree Black Belt at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts as well as an accredited Coach. In his role at TD Tom works with Wealth Advisors and others coaching them in business practice and how to manage the challenges associated with building a practice and delivering an extraordinary client experience. Tom has a passion for coaching and helping others and has volunteered his time within our community often. As part of his journey for his third degree Black Belt Tom has been running a Success for Teens Program with the DeSantos Leadership Team.
For the H.E.A.T. speakers bureau, youth are booked by other organizations for talks for a range of audiences. These talks highlight the challenges facing LGBTQ youth and their peers today, addressing what needs to change. Youth speakers gain experience on how to implement and support tangible initiatives to create safe, anti-oppressive and more welcoming environments for all youth. Speakers share their own personal experiences and knowledge of not only homophobia and transphobia but also of intersecting issues such as racism, ableism and other forms of oppression and discrimination.
There are currently around 30 active ‘graduated’ SOY H.E.A.T. youth and some of them have been around since the beginning! Youth speakers have given over 100 presentations to schools, colleges, employers and service-providers. They identify as queer and trans activists, ‘artivists’ and/or advocates, and many also volunteer, study or work in other roles that support the human rights initiatives and anti-oppressive practices within communities.
Sarah and Briar are a couple of teenagers who regularly dance the night away to Just Dance in Sarah’s basement. New moves, new songs and lots of laughs help them to forget their cares for a while.
Jonathan Boyko is a 3rd Degree Black Belt at DeSantos Premier Martial Arts who has been training since he was 6 years old. His particular passion for fitness led him to work in several gyms as well as teaching martial arts for DeSantos. His strong knowledge of technique and engaging personality blend to make him an excellent teacher.
You’ll find Scurvy Dave and his Pirate Crew — Jean-Luc, Kim and Natalie — to be experienced in all kinds of games, and excellent guides for adventures of all kinds. They are ready to teach new games, facilitate large group games, match you up with a small quiet challenge, or just talk about gaming with you.
White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.
Starting in 1991, we asked men to wear white ribbons as a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Since then the White Ribbon has spread to over 60 countries around the world.
We work to examine the root causes of gender-based violence and create a cultural shift that helps bring us to a future without violence.
Our vision is for a masculinity that embodies the best qualities of being human. We believe that men are part of the solution and part of a future that is safe and equitable for all people.
Through education, awareness-raising, outreach, technical assistance, capacity building, partnerships and creative campaigns, White Ribbon is helping create tools, strategies and models that challenge negative, outdated concepts of manhood and inspire men to understand and embrace the incredible potential they have to be a part of positive change.
“Punong Guro JB Ramos (Head Instructor) is the main instructor at Combat Science: Warrior Arts of Asia. Has been studying the martial arts for almost 20 years in Japanese and Korean martial arts, but, most specifically the Filipino Martial Arts under the tutelage of Grandmaster Laura Holmes since 2003. In addition to studying with world recognized Masters and Grandmasters in the Philippines, Punong Guro Ramos has successfully competed in several international events including advanced combat sport eskrima. Punong Guro Ramos finds teaching very rewarding and is eager to share knowledge of the FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) with students and encourages them to explore the many aspects offered by this complete martial art. With Punong Guro Ramos’ easy going, energetic and open teaching style, it allows students to learn at their own pace, while getting fit and having fun. Punong Guro Ramos regularly promotes the Filipino Martial Arts through demonstrations, workshops and Self-defense programs through an inclusive, community-based, and holistic approach. Asides from teaching, Punong Guro Ramos is also a certified Use-Of-Force and Self-defense instructor, writer, a student of traditional healing arts from the Philippines and a NWS (Nutrition Wellness Specialist).”
Michele Chai has been a community health promoter with Planned Parenthood Toronto since 2003. Michele facilitates workshops and trainings in community settings on sexual and reproductive health topics, including: healthy sexualities, building healthier relationships, and masculinities and health.
Bonnie is a retired ballet and contemporary dancer/performer, from Boston, Massachusetts.
She has been studying dance, movement and the body for over 35 years. In 2011 she became a certified Personal Trainer and has been teaching Zumba and Yoga since that time as well. Bonnie loves to help bring out the dancer in everyBODY.
Shyanne Spilchen is an entrepreneur. She has over 7 years experience working in the fitness industry specifically with youth; she has worked with numerous organizations running fitness and wellness programs for adults and children across the City of Toronto.
Sarvie Riahi is a Registered Social Worker and a Registered Psychotherapist. She has been working in the field of Social Work since 2004.
She is passionate about helping individuals who are struggling with body image issues and eating disorders, and supporting them through their journey to healing. Her passion is fuelled by her own past struggles with an eating disorder and her journey to being recovered. Her work inspires her to help individuals embark on their own path to a new beginning.
Sarvie has completed both her Bachelor and Masters of Social Work degrees at Ryerson University. While completing her graduate degree at Ryerson University, she finalized her thesis in the area of eating disorders and body image.
Rachel Weinstock, B.F.A & B.E.d., is an elementary school teacher, professional artist, public speaker, workshop facilitator & part real Rainbow Fairy. At a very young age, Rachel dreamed of being a magnetician. You know, someone who can feel the energy of things and use that power for good. Wherever she goes, children seem to flock to her. They inherently trust her, and she in turn empowers them to harness their best self. Rachel brings a spark to everything she touches and her healing approach to teaching weaves creativity, mentorship and self-esteem into a colourful and safe medicine for the soul. Rachel has developed an expressive arts program for kids across many cultures that has become the building blocks of her Playfully Creative approach.
She is a member of the Toronto District School Board and has taught thousands of children across the Greater Toronto Area.
Shauna Gray, MA, R-P, R-D/MT is an engaging and approachable Registered Psychotherapist and Expressive Arts Therapist. She effectively tailors her approach to each individual client by utilizing her many diverse modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Movement, Art and Play Therapy, Mood, Stress and Anxiety Management, Psychoeducation, Psychodynamic and Supportive Counselling, and Chronic Pain and Brain Injury Management.
She takes pride in providing a trusting, warm and supportive environment, where insightful, client-focused, and pragmatic therapy can benefit her child, teen and adult clients. Some of her specialties include anxious and depressed mood, parenting struggles, divorce, individual challenges, chronic pain, brain injury, and trauma.
Maria Christopoulos is a former teacher with 10 years experience in both the elementary and senior school settings. She received her Principal’s Qualifications from the OISE Institute at the University of Toronto. Maria is currently completing a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology with specialties using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in anxiety, depression, anger, stress, and bullying. She works with adolescents, young adults and adults in this capacity. Maria also conducts psycho educational assessments for adolescents and young adults looking to transition back into school or post-secondary studies. Maria has strived to help parents and children work to a common goal of success in both the academic and personal settings. Through a thorough understanding of adolescent and adult needs, Maria strives to provide an integrated approach to learning and emotional regulation that ensures successful integration or reintegration into the educational or work setting.
Charlie Page is founder and co-owner of Power4Teens which runs programs, camps and groups dedicated to teaching techniques on building a healthy mind, body and soul. She is a Life Coach, an International Toastmaster and is currently completing her requirements to become a Registered Psychotherapist.
Anita Sarda is a first degree black belt from DeSantos Martial Arts Studio. She is a mother of a 14 year old son and a 11 year old daughter. As a young child, Anita’s mother would apply Henna on her to help her learn about her Indian culture and roots and in turn teach Anita to nurture and grow her creative artistic abilities.
Sam has been an editor with OmniFic Publishing, Inc. for seven years. Specializing in working with first time authors, she has had the pleasure of being a part of many interesting projects in many different genres.
The mission of DeSantos Premier Martial Arts is to Empower Lives Through the Martial Arts. As a martial arts school with a background of giving back to our community, we interact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. We are interested in improving the whole health of our student body, specifically the tween/teen aged students, who are experiencing many issues outside of our area of expertise. Physical health, nutrition, mental health, exercise and mindfulness are all aspects of the whole picture of the health of our youth. Troubles like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, alchohol and drug abuse, stress, negative body image, etc., appear to be on the rise in our community. Most times parents are at a loss for how to help their families — they don’t know where to get help, or are afraid to reach out to others because of a stigma attached to what their family is going through. We want to help these teens and their families to find the help they need for life to get better.
Our goals for the Voices Youth Empowerment Symposium are: