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Derek Bindner, Owner, Founder and Head Instructor

Derek Bindner is the founder and head instructor of Bindner Academy and Fusion Jiu-jitsu. He is a multiple blackbelt martial artist, movement enthusiast, mental toughness & leadership coach, mentor and trainer. Many of his teachings come from his own evaluated life experiences as a former executive & close protection professional, doorperson, and multiple school owner. Though successful in competition, Derek's sole focus is sharing Jiu-Jitsu as a vehicle for developing human potential. He believes that the most fulfilling life is one spent mastering the self, adding value, and serving others, and that the more sincerely one approaches their training, the more probable it's benefits will extend off the mats into their daily life. Derek 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 Training & Teaching Experience and History:

  • Goju Ryu Karate, 1982-1987

  • H.S. Wrestling 1984-1986

  • Tae Kwon Do (ITF), 1987-1992

  • Seikido, 1987-1992

  • Kickboxing, 1989-1991

  • Yoshinkan Aikido, 1992-2023

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 1994-present

  • Goshin Jiu-Jitsu, 1997-present

  • Kodokan Judo, 2006-2007

  • Defensive Tactics Instructor (LPI/AJT), 1997-2017

  • Mental Toughness Coach (UMA foundations), 2017

  • Executive Leadership Coach (TEN), 2018-2020


Derek is passionate about how Jiu-Jitsu training has a deep impact on the lives of those he, and his team serves. An internationally known and respected teacher, Sensei Derek Bindner has been invited as a guest instructor and/or has taught in Japan, Ireland, Singapore, USA, and throughout Canada. As lead instructor, assisted by a talented staff of instructors, he teaches regularly at the Bindner Academy headquarters in London, Ontario, Canada.



Every Bindner Academy instructor must complete leadership coaching and training to be certified to teach.


Teresa MacDonald

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 Goshin Ju-Jitsu, and in 2005, received her black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido. She teaches children at the headquarters dojo and continues to train in private lessons herself. Her hobbies include origami (Japanese paper-folding), reading, and fitness walks.


Kipp Eaton

Kipp started  Karate in 1982 ( Wado Kai ), after a devastating car accident that left many challenges, starting with simply learning to walk. He trained and competed until the mid 90’s, while also wrestling in high school amongst other sports. In the late 90’s Kipp moved to London and began training in kickboxing. After trying different training facilities and martial arts over the last several years, he found the Bindner Academy in 2018 with his daughter and both have been committed to their training and growth ever since. Cycling and adventure sports are just a few other passions outside of martial arts.

Blair Bravender

Blair started his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training at Bindner Academy in 2009, and earned his black belt in 2024. He was drawn to BJJ 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, he has become an enthusiastic advocate for the sport.






Mike Popovici

Mike began his Jiu-jitsu journey at BJA in 2019, and helps out teaching the Little Samurai program (for ages 6 and 7). Currently a proud blue belt since April 2023, Mike brings his dedication to teaching kids and fostering an environment where learning is as enjoyable as it is educational. Mike's approach extends beyond technique; it's about shaping confident individuals. Through BJJ, his aim to impart not just self-defense skills but also life skills. Each lesson is a step towards empowerment and resilience. Mike is thrilled to be part of the Bindner Jiu-Jitsu Academy community.


Sempai Annie

Annie started her martial arts journey at Bindner Academy in 2015 with Aikido and Jiu-jitsu, and assists in the kids and teen classes. Annie loves witnessing as the kids and young students progress in their techniques and grow into their greatness through Jiu-jitsu training.


Let Our Passion Inspire You!

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