Our History




Years of discipline and daily practice lead Karate Kids co-founder Robert Tallack to win two gold medals at the 2001 World Karate Championships. Upon his return to Canada, Shihan (Master Instructor) Tallack was congratulated by the Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, and was acknowledged in many local newspaper articles and TV spots for his achievements.

Robert had the good fortune as a young boy to spend a number of years living in Japan with his family, studying with the world's leading Masters of Martial Arts. During that time, Robert also attended Japanese elementary school and experienced the daily inclusion of traditional Martial Arts in the Japanese education system.



The benefits of studying Traditional Martial Arts carried over into Robert’s life. It gave him the focus, concentration, discipline, and work ethic to become a World Champion in Karate, and he now currently holds a 5th degree black belt. These traits also led him to enjoy successes in many other areas of his life. He realized that his valuable knowledge and experience would benefit many children, and as such he wanted a way to reach as many children as possible. Together with his father, Hanshi Kenneth Tallack (8th Dan), they operated Tallack Martial Arts, a successful Dojo in Kingston, Ontario; however, Robert wanted to reach more children in their formative years than he could possible teach at his Martial Arts Centre.

With the realization that a great number of families do not have the time to take their children to an additional evening activity and the reality that the cost of professional Martial Arts schools often falls outside the budgets of many families, Robert came up with the idea for the KARATE KIDS PROGRAM!

The solution was to send Black Belt instructors to children during the day at their elementary school! Most instructors were free to teach extra classes during the lunch hour and by not having to support the cost of a larger building (Dojo) to accommodate a greater number of students, he was able to offer the program at a much lower monthly fee.

This new program solved the problems of time and money for thousands of families and opened up the opportunity to participate in Martial Arts for an unlimited number of children!

The results have been spectacular!

The Karate Kids program started in 2001, with Robert teaching at 3 local schools in Kingston, with a total of 50 students. In 2005, Shannon Smith joined Robert as a partner to expand the program into other cities across the Greater Toronto Area.

In 2007, Shannon Smith became the sole owner of Karate Kids Canada and focused on expanding the program in more schools around the GTA.  Since then the program has run in over 150 elementary schools in the Greater Toronto Area, servicing over 3,500 enthusiastic students each year and over 40,000 students to date!!

Our mission remains the same: To motivate and excite students to be involved in martial arts and physical fitness all while helping them develop the highest levels of confidence and respect.

If you are interested in bringing Karate Kids Canada to your child's school, please refer your school today!