ACCEL Entrepreneur Finds Success in the Martial Arts

Derek Chan is a Toronto entrepreneur and founder and head instructor of Ko Fung Martial Arts studio, where he teaches Wing Chun, an ancient martial arts / kung fu system that focuses on close quarter striking as well as grappling.

He’s been studying martial arts diligently since the age of 8, so it seems almost natural he’d get into this line of work.

Many people are becoming aware of the fitness benefits of martial arts, even more so now that mixed martial arts has spiked in popularity thanks to the UFC, eclipsing boxing as the pre-eminent fighting sport. It’s high-intensity, strength-building, reflex-improving and demanding when it comes to cardio. It also demands discipline.

But it’s more than that.

Chan emphasizes a holistic approach, which focuses not just on getting the forms and stances correct, but also on mindfulness, nutrition and focus. It’s really about as he puts it, “reconditioning one’s mindset,” described on his studio’s website as “developing an individual’s sense of self, confidence and a physical and mental well-being.”

Chan launched Ko Fung (which means “highest potential”), while competing in local competitions, and after graduating York University.

However he credits his Centennial College ACCEL  entrepreneur-mentors for fine-tuning his East York Toronto business and putting him on the right track.

Chan says Centennial College’s mentors like Earnest F. Rutherford, helped him focus on value propositions when acquiring customers. It’s something Chan has taken to heart as he’s grown his business.

“Being an entrepreneur is fun,” says Chan. “It gets you travelling and meeting people…Each client is like a new project.”

If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, Centennial’s ACCEL program has been developed to incubate and accelerate small businesses. Participation in the program is limited to highly qualified, self-motivated candidates. For more, please visit How to Apply.


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