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, leadership coach, mentor and trainer. Many of his teachings come from his own life experiences as a lifetime martial arts practitioner, competitor, instructor, and 23 year multiple school 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 physical fitness and movement, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

  • Black Belt – Fusion Jiu-jitsu (Creator)
  • Black Belt – Goshin-Ryu Jiu-jitsu (6th Dan)
  • Black Belt – Yoshinkan Aikido (5th Dan)
  • Black Stripe – Tae Kwon Do (ITF)
  • Brown Belt – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (candidate)
  • Brown Belt – Goju Ryu Karate
  • Bronze Medalist – Kickboxing (S.W.O., 1991)
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor (LPI, 1997-1999)
  • Mental Toughness Coach (UMA, 2017)

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. 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 Jiu-jitsu since 2019, and holds a B.A. from Ryerson University,  and a B.Ed. from York University. He currently teaches 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 Fusion Jiu-Jitsu, and in 2005, received her black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido. She teaches adults and children at the headquarters dojo and continues to train herself. 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. 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 Jiu-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.

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.



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.

Sensei Derek Bindner, 6th Dan Black belt, Fusion Jiu-jitsu

Sensei Derek Bindner started training in martial arts in 1986, with wrestling and karate, and moved to Taekwondo and Aikido in 1987, and Jiu-Jitsu in 1994. Derek had the distinct honour of founding the first Fusion Jiu-jitsu school in the London and Middlesex region in 1999, and the opening the first official Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in the fall of 2007.


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.

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