Our Team

Head Instructor: Derek Bindner, 6th Dan

Derek Bindner is the founder, CEO, and head instructor of Bindner Academy. 

Derek Bindner is a multiple blackbelt martial artist, movement coach, mentor and trainer. Many of his teachings come from his life experiences as a former executive and close protection specialist, a 12 year veteran doorperson, and a lifetime martial arts and movement practitioner, competitor, instructor, and 23 year multiple academy owner. Derek started his training in 1986, and has taught in Japan, and the United States, and continues to teach here at home, in Canada. He has a way of making people feel at ease, and clearly conveys profound perspectives in every class, seminar, and presentation that he leads.

Derek’s latest projects include organizing, and up-dating academy programs to stay current and relevant, and writing a book on human performance. He is passionate about how integrating ancient warrior wisdom, martial arts, movement, and modern psychology make a deep impact on the live’s of those he, and his team serves.

Derek resides in the London area with his wife and two children, and enjoys practicing yoga, playing music and spending time with his family.

  • Black Belt – Creator of Aiki-jitsu Fusion
  • Black Belt – Yoshinkan Aikido
  • Black Belt – Goshin-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu
  • Black Belt – ITF Tae Kwon Do
  • Brown Belt – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Brown Belt – Goju Ryu Karate
  • Bronze Medalist – Kickboxing (1991)
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor (LPI, 1997-1999)
  • Mental Toughness Coach (UMA Foundations, 2017)
  • Kokoro Yoga practitioner (since 2015)

An internationally known and respected teacher, Derek Bindner is a frequent guest instructor at training seminars throughout Ontario, Quebec and San Diego, California.  As lead instructor, assisted by a talented staff of instructors, he teaches regularly at the Bindner Academy headquarters in London, Ontario.

Besides teaching regular on-going weekly classes, Derek coaches one-on-one, and gives interactive presentations, workshops and seminars to organizations and teams on human performance. Derek is host of the “Mindset Minute” video, a daily message from the martial arts that is applicable to everyone.

He thinks of his work as play. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, he is supercharged by helping others win in life.

Black Belt Instructors


Sempai Dr. David Vollick, 3rd Dan

David has been studying Aikido and Jiu-jitsu under Sensei Bindner since 2005, and Aiki-jitsu since 2019. David holds a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. He is semi-retired and teaches at Western University, and helps a colleague conduct psychological/vocational assessments, both on a part-time bases. His hobbies include research, reading, playing tennis and hockey, jogging, weight lifting, and archery.

Sempai Christopher Clattenburg, 3rd Dan

Christopher has been studying Aikido since 2001, and Aiki-jitsu since 2019, and holds a B.A. from Ryerson University,  and a B.Ed. from York University. He currently teaches aikido at the Bindner Academy headquarters in Hyde Park.


Sempai Teresa MacDonald, 2nd Dan

Sempai Teresa (B.A, Western University) successfully completed a Women’s Self-Defense course at the Bindner Academy in 2001. This achievement provided the motivation to begin private and group training in Jiu-jitsu and Aikido. In 2003, Teresa earned her green belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and in 2005, received her Black Belt in Yoshinkan Aikido. She teaches adults and children at headquarters dojo and since 2019, continues to train in Aiki-jitsu. Her hobbies include origami (Japanese paper-folding), reading, and fitness walks.


Sempai, Dr. Marty Bezaire, 1st Dan

Marty has been studying martial arts since 1994, and Aikido and Jiu-jitsu under Sensei Bindner since 2010, and Aiki-jitsu since 2019. He has previously worked as a kinesiologist and personal trainer. Currently he works as a local physician, trained at Western University, who has a split practice in family medicine as well as in community emergency medicine. He has a passion for trying and sharing new foods, enjoys hiking, music, and sharing his interests with his family and friends.


Sempai John Suderman, 1st Dan

John started his Aikido journey in 2013, and Aiki-jitsu training in 2019. He initially began his lessons in the family class with his two sons. John currently helps in the kids class were he enjoys seeing the kids progress and reach new levels of focus and confidence.  John’s other activities include drawing, meditation and metal art.




Sensei, Dr. Denis Gris, 1st Dan

Denis started studying Aikido under sensei Bindner in 2003, and moved to Sherbrooke in 2014 for work, and holds classes for children and adults.

Assistant Instructors


Sempai Mike Lozon, 1st Kyu

Mike has been studying Aikido since 2014 under sensei Bindner, and is an assistant instructor in the childrens classes, at the headquarters academy.



Sempai Nichola Thompson, 4th Kyu

Nichola began her Aikido journey with sensei Bindner in 2015, and assists with the kids kids program.


Jiu-Jitsu Instructors


Coach Tyler Crawford, Black Belt, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Tyler’s involvement in combative sports started many (yes, MANY) years ago in freestyle wrestling. Through his involvement in wrestling he learned the importance of hard training and focus as determinants of success. His first experience in traditional martial arts was in Judo, followed soon after by Karate in which he earned his black belt. Tyler was drawn to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a self-defense method that allows the practitioner to neutralize physical threats without seriously injuring the attacker, and for the ability to train and practice at nearly-full intensity. After training and successfully competing in Jiu-Jitsu for several years (earning multiple gold and silver medals), he has become an enthusiastic advocate for the sport. Coach Tyler is very interested in helping people develop to their full potential in Jiu-Jitsu. His goal is to see others find a love for this great sport and discipline, just as he has.

Derek Bindner, Black belt, Goshin Ryu Jiu-jitsu, Brown belt candidate, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Derek started training in martial arts in 1986, with wrestling and karate, Aikido in 1987, and Jiu-Jitsu in 1994. In the summer of 2005, Derek earned his blue belt from professor Dan Moroney, (Canada’s 1st BJJ blackbelt), of the Royler Gracie/David Adiv Network, and brought BJJ to the London area.  In the fall of 2007, Derek had the distinct honour of opening the first official Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in the London and Middlesex region. He continues to train under the Dragan Konjevic, of the Alliance BJJ Team in Kitchener, Waterloo.




Office Administrator

Teresa MacDonald

Teresa is our first impressions, and administration person that holds the academy together. She registers, directs and fits all of our new students with uniforms when they start their training.



Instructors, Coaches and Mentors to Derek Bindner

Technical Aikido Advisor

Aikido Yoshinkan 8th Dan, the head instructor of the Mugen Juku Dojo in Kyoto, Japan, and technical advisor of the Seishukan dojo in London, Ontario Canada.

Payet Shihan has the unique distinction of being uchi-deshi (live-in apprentice) directly under the guidance of Shioda Sensei longer than any other Westerner. He was appointed staff instructor at the Yoshinkan Honbu dojo (world headquarters in Tokyo) and during that time he designed the Foreign Instructor course in 1991. Shihan Payet is the author of “Uchidechi – Walking with the Master”, and co-translator, with Sensei Christopher Johnston, of two books by Kancho Gozo Shioda, including Aikido Shugyo, the autobiography of Kancho Gozo Shioda, and Aikido Jinsei, harmony in conflict.

Technical Jiu-jitsu Advisor

Dragan Konjevic, 3rd degree black belt.

Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor of Dragan Alliance, Dragan started in the mid 90s, however before that he trained any other martial arts he could get his hands on such as; kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, Judo and Sambo. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been his passion since 1996, where he has been the official representative for many years of Alliance BJJ Team. This allowed him to learn from some of the best grapplers on the planet such as; Marcelo Garcia, Charles Rubens Cobrina, and Fabio Gurgel as well as many others. 


Human Performance Coach/Advisor

Mark Divine, SEALfit and Unbeatable Mind Coach

Mark Divine is an expert in human performance as it is displayed in mental toughness, leadership and physical readiness. His work is based on an integral warrior-leader model that he developed and tested on over a thousand special operations candidates worldwide. The integrated training, which involves physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and spiritual training, has resulted in over a 90% success rate for the Spec Ops candidates. It is now taught to executives and corporate teams, tops sports teams, top athletes, professionals, first responders and warriors from all walks of life.


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