|"By reaching Black Belt level, one had, in fact, completed only the necessary requirements to embark upon a relentless journey without distance that would ultimately result in self-mastery." — Jigoru Kano, Judo founder
"I would rather have one person demonstrate sportsmanship than have 50 people preach about it" — Knute Rockne, University of Notre Dame coach
Chief Instructor/Coach Ken Benson
Ken Benson began karate study in 1973 under Sensei Kenzo Dozono. The majority of his study has been Shotokan-style karate with Kancho (Director) Takemasa Okuyama, but he has also received instruction from Mixed Martial Arts Coach Shah Franco, and trained in Tae Kwon-Do and Kali. Certified through Sport Canada's National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), he is the fourth karate teacher in Canada to have attained NCCP Level 4, or Olympic/International level.
In 2011, Mr. Benson became the first karate coach in Canada to be given Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) status by Coaches of Canada. This is recognized by Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Mr. Benson served as a director, representing karate, on the Canadian Olympic Committee in 2008.
His martial art résumé includes:
• 7th Dan Black Belt, IKA Canada
• ChPC (Chartered Professional Coach)
• NCCP Level 4
• member, Karate Canada NCCP Committee
• Certified NCCP Facilitator, Karate Canada
• Certified NCCP Evaluator, Karate Canada
• Coach, Ontario Provincial Team, 2014-19
He has coached at:
• Ontario Summer Games 2014, 2016
• Karate Canada National Championships 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
• Karate Ontario Grand Prix 1990 to 2016
• Ontario Karate Federation Selection Tournaments 2017 to present
• Independent tournaments, including 10 Kubota Cups, and 6 Iwata Cups
• Karate Canada Coach Developer of the Year, 2017
• Mentor Coach, Changing the Game Program, Coaching Association of Ontario, 2017, 2018
• contributing writer, NCCP Karate Competition Development Manual, 2013
• contributing writer/producer, "Ultimate Karate", book by Takemasa Okuyama, 1997
• presenter, Sport Karate Symposium, Karate Ontario, 2008
• achieved Dan level (black belt) in Kobudo (weapons) and Taekwondo (ITF)
• certified TRX Trainer
• certified Trainer, Kettlebells, Resistance Bands/Tubing
Mr. Benson has taken part in over 1,200 hours of workshops, seminars, and webinars (he keeps track) on topics including different martial arts, sport science, long term athletic development (LTAD), and any other subject that will enrich his karate program.
He has delivered karate and self-defence programs in both the public and private school sectors. He has also developed curriculum and taught self-defence as part of secondary school physical education.
A Toronto Beaches resident for over 30 years, he has participated in community activities, including as a volunteer and charity fundraiser. By day, he is a commercial photographer.