Our Story

As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, Derek Bindner was fascinated with Bruce Lee’s powerful and graceful martial arts moves, and his ability to protect, and express himself, sincerely. Intrigued, Derek would emulate these moves since the age of 10, and eventually start his first martial arts classes in karate as a young teenager.

Fast forward to 1997, while Derek was working as an executive and close protection specialist, he was employed to lead a team of operatives in the Niagara region, during a national labour dispute. Derek came to be known as the guy that you could count on, to “have your back”, as he worked efficiently, without incidence. Eventually, Derek’s fellow bodyguards came to him for extra private training, after work hours. In the same year, in a performance review, Derek was commended on restoring peace during many violent altercations in the field. During this review, he was questioned about his methods of navigating verbal and physical aggression, with such control. Derek explained to them that he trained in the martial arts of Aikido and Jiu-jitsu. It was the lessons from these two martial arts that gave him the mental, physical and emotional confidence, and skills to deal with undesirable people in high stress situations. After the performance review was conducted, Derek was invited to consider instructing all other operatives in defensive and control tactics. It was then that Derek was hired to instruct his fellow operatives in Aikido and Jiu-jitsu tactics.

On July 5, 1997, Derek started his own part time defensive tactics training academy, named Tactical Defense Solutions (TDS), and created Aiki-jitsu Tactics, for law enforcement.

Demand grew quickly for this type of training, so on December 12th, 1999, Derek decided to jump in with both feet, and started the planning for opening a full time, professional academy. This dream was realized on August 1st, 2000, at 205 Oxford Street, in London, Ontario. Group classes were offered to the general public in Aikido, kickboxing, Jiu-jitsu, self-protection, Yoga, and T’ai Chi.

Since then, the name TDS has included the names Aikido Network, and Reliance Jiu-jitsu, and in 2018, the name was changed to Bindner Academy. The school has grown tremendously over 23 years, offering local, national, and international seminars, courses, and presentations, including ongoing classes in Aiki-jitsu Fusion, Universal Movement, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Warriorfit (leadership fitness coaching).

In February of 2017, after instructing a weekend of seminars to members of the Montreal Police Service, and teaching his Aiki-jitsu Tactics program for 20 years, Derek retired from teaching in the law enforcement community, to further develop his Aiki-jitsu Fusion program for civilians. In November, 2019, The Aiki-jitsu Fusion program was launched, and Bindner Academy began teaching this style to children, teens, and adults of all ages.

When Covid-19 hit in March 2020, Bindner Academy switched to online classes, and has a commitment to operating in a safe environment during, and after the crisis. Bindner Academy will continue to offer classes both online, and in-person when it is safe, and the timing is right.

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