Director and Head Instructor
"Fighting is not a game to a martial artist; you don't play life in the same way you play a sport. The most important lessons we learn are realized without applause."
Born in Toronto, Ontario as a first generation Canadian, Sensei Bassels brings to the study of the martial arts a comprehensive skill set derived from both instruction and practical life experience. His instruction complements a Western lifestyle with the classical Eastern philosophies of martial arts that come to Canada from the classical disciplines of Chinese Wushu and Chuan-Fa, Japanese Budo, Jutsu and Do, Indian Araveda and Yuddha-vidya, and Arnis, Kali, and Pinoy alchemy from the Philippines; it is as a proud Canadian that he both studies and passes on his knowledge.
Sensei Bassels teaches age-appropriate life strategies and lessons to children and youth that incorporate methods of mental and emotional conditioning along with the physical benefits of study. His approach to the study of martial arts blends real life experience with commonsense in a strong fundamental curriculum. He teaches children and youth what they need, not what's in fashion or popular.
Giving out black belts is not his goal, good solid lessons that students will use throughout life is.
"I grew up in a single parent home with two younger sisters. We lived on the ground floor of an apartment building in an Ontario project neighborhood. My mother used to say, 'there are those that will try to buy your integrity and others that will manipulate it away from you; often for nothing other than a piece of dyed cotton, a name affiliation, or a badge of some sort. There is only so many times you can give it until there is nothing left, and no amount of money or popularity will ever replace it; it is something a person can only give to themselves'. There is a big difference between 'fight tough' and 'life tough.' My first dojo was the neighborhood I grew up in, and my first martial arts teacher was my parent".
His initial experience with the martial arts began at about ten years old in judo at a local Y.M.C.A. Throughout his childhood he explored instruction in karate, boxing, and wrestling, mostly through various youth and mentor programs in his neighborhood. He presently holds a 4th degree black belt in GoJu Karate, a 4th degree in Kobudo, a Laoshi (Instructor Level IV) in the internal energy arts of Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong and Ba Gua Chan, with Classical Martial Arts Canada, and a Dalawa Lakan (2nd degreeblack belt) in the Filipino Martial Art of Arnis with the International Modern Arnis Federation (IMAF) of the Philippines.
He has also received instruction from many teachers of varying styles--from BaGua at the Purple Cloud temple in Wudang, the Southern Shaolin in Quanzhou, the Northern Shaolin of Dengfeng, the White Crane system in Fuzhou, and various Arnis systems in the Philippines, among others. Complementing the instruction he has received is a growing list of research trips to various energy spots and historically relevant locations spanning well over a million miles of travel, both in Asia and outside of the traditional Orient.
He has been teaching the martial arts professionally since 2003, beginning in St Catharines, Ontario, and later in Mississauga in 2005. He is the head instructor of the Yume Da Po school in Mississauga, both Dai Ichi and Dai Ni schools.
He instructs all beginners from 4-7 yr old, 8-12 year old, and youth ages 13 -18. Sensei Bassels is also a visual artist, who uses his paintings and drawings to extend the beauty and wisdom of the martial arts beyond the generic understanding of it as a sport or competitive modality. Some of his work can be seen hung in the school where he teaches.
"The way is in training."
Everyone comes into the world knowing how to fight. Martial arts is about learning to not be oppressed by it.