Deborah Toth has been training in Goju Ryu Karate Do since 1981. She began studying in Hamilton, Ontario with Sensei Don Warrener. His teacher was O'Sensei Richard Kim, Hanshi of Sacramento, California, the head of the Zen Bei Butoku Kai. In 1987 Deborah continued her training directly under the guidance of O'Sensei Kim in Karate, Tai Chi and traditional Kobudo and received her Fourth Degree Black Belt from O'Sensei in 2000 . In 1994, she began additional studies with the notable Goju Ryu Master, Teruo Chinen, Kyoshi and she continued with Master Chinen after O'Sensei Kim's passing in 2001. Master Chinen awarded Deborah Fourth Degree Black Belt in traditional Okianwan Goju Ryu, Jundokan, in April 2008. She has also studied with notable Masters of Goju Ryu such as Master Peter Urban, Sensei Mario Higaonna, Sensei Meitetsu Yagi, and other internationally known Masters such as Patrick McCarthy.

In 1992, Deborah became the Owner, Director and Chief Instructor of The Martial Arts Center, a full-time school located at 5064 Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls. She offers Beginner and Advanced Adult Classes in Goju Ryu Karate and specialized children's Karate Programs starting at age four and including teens. Fitness Kickboxing classes are also popular at her school. She also offers a weekly class in Tai Chi.

Deborah is also recognized as an extraordinary Self Defense instructor and teaches regularly throughout Niagara.

Deborah has always been active as a volunteer in her local community. In 1979 she was the founder of the Parent Teacher Association at Queen Mary Elementary School in Hamilton. At that time she also served as a Board Member for 4 years with the Hamilton Y.W.C.A. After moving to the Niagara Region, she founded The Niagara Regional International Women's Day Committee in 1990. This organization met monthly to plan and implement the annual regional event called The Niagara Region International Women's Day Festival to commemorate International Women's Day. In 2001, Deborah retired from this committee after 11 years of service. Deborah served as a Director on the Board of Niagara Victim Crisis Support Services during 1999 and 2000. Niagara Victim Crisis Support Services works closely with Emergency Personnel in Niagara, i.e. Police, Fire and Ambulance services, to provide support services, at the site, to victims of crime or accident. At The Martial Arts Center, she began a Martial Arts Scholarship Fundraising Volunteer Committee in 1993 which still meets on a monthly basis. Members of this group raise funds to sponsor children that could not otherwise afford a Martial Arts Education. Training in Martial Arts helps children to improve their self-esteem, confidence and general outlook in life, resulting in better performance at school, home and in the community. In December 2001, Deborah became a member of The Rotary Club of Niagara Falls which meets weekly. This is the local chapter of Rotary International, the world's oldest and largest Service Club that focuses on helping children both locally and around the world. 2003 to 2006, Deborah filled the position of Secretary and Communications Director of her club. She also serves on The Strike Out Violence Bowling Fundraising Committee which is a joint effort of the local women's shelter, Women's Place of South Niagara, and The Niagara Regional Police. Deborah also works with another regional anti-violence initiative. In 2004 Women's Place and Niagara Regional Police met to discuss a “Made-in-Niagara education and prevention plan” to address the issue of Family Violence in our community. Thus began the idea of “It's Everybody's Business”, a Regional Task Force Against Family Violence with representation from Government, Health, Education, Legal/Justice, Media and Business and Labour. The Task Force members work within their specific sectors to increase awareness about family violence and its impact in the workplace. Deborah serves on the Business Sector Committee of the Task Force.

In 1993, Deborah received the Rosalind Blauer Award from Brock University for her "activities that illuminate, research and bring attention to, or that improve, the position of women in contemporary society." In May 2003, Deborah became the recipient of the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International. In September 2007 she received the Annual Strike Out Violence Exceptional Committee Award in recognition of her dedication to the Strike Out Violence Committee and Women's Place of South Niagara Inc.

In 2004, Sensei Deborah Toth was chosen as Martial Arts Instructor of the Year for the entire Region of Niagara. The Niagara Region consists of twelve municipalities, including the cities of Welland, Port Colborne, Grimsby, St. Catharines, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls. She was very surprised and grateful to be chosen. In her own words, "The Niagara Region has a thriving martial arts community with many different martial arts and many experienced and deserving martial arts instructors. To be chosen the First Martial Arts Instructor of the Year is a tremendous honour. Thank you Niagara."

Her school, The Martial Arts Center, continues to receive the Reader's Choice Favourite Martial Arts School Award. It has won first place ten times in the last twelve years.


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