Testimonials

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Jacquelyn Guilford, PhD, Sonoma State University
Tony has visited my Freshman Interest Group (FIG) class at Sonoma State University for the past few years.  Has talked to my students about risks to personal safety that are present on campus and in the surrounding Rohnert Park community.  He engaged the students in conversation about his personal experiences as well as theirs, opening their eyes to the need to be aware and prepared for unexpected circumstances.  He then led the class in performing simple, effective responses to use if they found themselves in an unsafe situation.  Tony had a great presence with the students, many of which originally did not plan on participating, but were drawn into the activities under Tony’s guidance.  I believe that the personal safety skills that Tony taught to my students are very important and should be taught to all incoming freshman. ​

Kaitlyn Tinder, Human Resources, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

Diane Novak, North Bay Association of Realtors
Tony is a very engaging speaker and a highly capable instructor… and a really nice guy who genuinely cares about people being safe and feeling safe.

Raquel Kilmartin, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety
“I apologize for the delay in sharing with you my appreciation for your contribution to the success of the City of Rohnert Park’s National Night Out.  It was great to have so many different organizations in the county come share their knowledge and information to the community.  Together we made this a one stop shop!  We hope you can join us next year!!  Thank you!!”

Glory Kennemer O’Rooney
“I loved that I learned so much. It was interesting to learn the crimes of opportunity facts and the things I can do to avoid being assaulted. I was very nervous about the actual practicing of the self defense techniques. I gained self confidence and found that I COULD defend myself and had fun. My experience was completely empowering! I would take the course again. Thanx Tony!”

Megan Gallagher
“Very helpful tips and not just the same things you always hear about self-defense (like using your keys, poking eyes, etc.) It was all very informative and useful! Thank You!”

Michael DiGiacinto
“It was fun and informatuve. I liked the hands on training. Omar, Josh, and Johnny made the situations real. It was awesome. ”

Samantha de Roque
“I enjoyed the practice and thought it was a good combination of lecture and hands-on practice.”

Phitsamay DiGiacinto
“I liked the hands on training. I like that the moves you showed were everyday movements. I feel confident in defending myself much more now. The skills you taught were great. Confidence is important when someone is trying to do harm to you.”

Heather-Ann Young
“Great balance between hands-on and lecture. Also, the guys you had helping are very effective and helpful. I appreciated their help and feedback. If you ever need a Yelp review or any written review – will do. :)”

Casey Rodgers
“We are lifelong friends. When my brother and I introduced him to Aikido, we never imagined martial arts would become the focus of his life. At least not at first. I quickly realized he was serious when he and I started our own practice sessions that involved a lot of, well, get on the mat and fight, let see what techniques we can pull off. Those were always fun, and a lot of good lessons were learned. Many times painfully. A few years ago I had the opportunity to watch him teach a seminar, it was the first time I had ever seen him teach, and I was impressed with how good of an instructor he had become. His book will be a great addition to any serious martial artist library. Congratulations Tony!”

Michelle Martin
“I appreciate, especially, the non-intimidating environment & interaction. Thank You. I realize it’s a true need in our community, & a blessing you are here to fill it.”

Monica Moora
What did you like about the course?
“The talking about the mindset when being under attack, and demonstrations of easy simple maneuvers to get free”

Sharon Bricker-Ferris
What did you like about the course?
“Learning the rules of self defense & how to react if you know the person. Learning the queues and signals to avoid someone, how to not be a victim, some basics on how to hold your body”

Bill Conde
“Over the past 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to study under some great and not-so-great instructors, in a fairly broad range of martial art styles. Sensei Tony is definitely in the ‘great’ category.  Sensei Tony embodies the full range of aspects required to fully study martial arts. Not only does he exhibit superb physical skills, but his background knowledge of the origins, specifics and ideals of the martial arts is impressive.  His commitment to the community is legend, and his commitment to his students is excellent.  I heartily recommend Sensei Tony to anyone wanting to really get a ‘full immersion’ into martial arts.”

Amanda Mantynen
“Easy to pick up. Friendly environment. Clear instruction. Concepts flow well together.”

Alexa Chipman
“Going into detail of the why behind techniques is helpful. It has made me a more friendly person when in uncomfortable situations, rather than being simply worried.”

Leandra Neely
“I appreciated the time Tony took to answer questions during the lessons and how he would immediately implement them into the lesson for everyone to learn. Learned a tremendous amount and had a fun time as well.”

Cody Dawson
“Great topics for defending oneself from attack. Enjoyed the recaps of previous concepts. Safe environment.”

Karla Huffman,
Affinity Lending, on my talk at the NORBAR (North Bay Association of Realtors) meeting.
“I wanted to personally Thank You for giving that talk this morning and sharing some experiences. Especially since I know firsthand how a little information can save someone’s life, it did mine and that is a fact.  And I learned just from taking my kids to karate/self defense classes and sitting and watching them. Our phone has been ringing a lot this morning, even Realtors signing up their wives. It so important and so necessary.
Thank You for all you do to help keep us all safe.
Thanks Again,
Karla Huffman, Affinity Lending

Sami Lange,
Second Degree Black Belt, Tae Kwon Do
“I have attended Martial Arts Academy in Rohnert Park since February of 2013. I have had the opportunity to train at over five schools across the country through my nine years of training in the martial arts. Martial Arts Academy is by far my favorite school and our Sensei Tony Johnson is an incredibly skilled and thoughtful instructor. As an educator I can appreciate the varied approaches to his teaching style, and it is clear he reaches each student were they are and helps them improve and create a community. I have taken kickboxing and kung fu classes as well as private lessons and they have been of an exceptional value to me. The classes have provided stress relief, an outlet for pregnancy fitness and an opportunity to make friends and become a part of wonderful community.”

Pauline Meehan
“Just knowing Tony for a year, he has been extremely professional and passionate about his work. He is a wonderful teacher and really cares for his students, which is rare these days. Tony is extremely accommodating and willing to work with your schedule to make sure your needs are met. I would definitely recommend Tony in Kickboxing and Self Defense. He goes above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable, but still getting you butt in shape!!”

Janet Henker
“I have taken several self defense classes from Sensei Tony. He is an excellent instructor who works well with all skill levels to teach practical skills for keeping yourself & your loved ones safe. I highly recommend this class.”

Melissa Welch,
Panhellenic Executive Board, SSU
“Sensei Tony taught a very informative, fun self-defense class for over 300 sorority women at Panhellenic’s 3rd Annual Women’s Wellness Retreat. Numerous women came up to me and told me how great they thought his class was and how they want to continue to learn more about self defense and martial arts. Tony is not only a great teacher, but a kind individual who wants to spread the importance of self-defense among college women.”

Anonymous comments on feedback forms
“I liked the handout for notes and the stories to illustrate the points.”
“I liked how hands on it was, & that you answered all of my questions!”
“I liked being able to learn simple techniques to help save my life.”
“I liked learning the basics of how to escape basic situations & apply them to many many other events.”