Studying karate with Sensei DeMarco over the past 15+ years has been life changing. Not only have I learned to defend myself, I became more self confident and disciplined. I am a better person today physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually because of my martial training.
-S. Feit -Livingston
My son started karate with Sensei Darren when he was 4 and by the time he was 8 earned his blue belt. The discipline and skills that our son has acquired through his training with Sensei Darren has lent itself to success in other sports like lacrosse, football, baseball, golf and skateboarding as well as school. We truly believe that his early training with Darren improved his focus, agility, stamina, quick-thinking and most importantly, confidence. We are more than thrilled with the results. Thanks, Darren!
-Sara Z. -Florham Park
Darren taught my daughters for many years before we moved to Georgia, and taught me in the adult classes as well. His blend of humor, discipline and firm but gentle leadership was the perfect combination for the children’s classes. But most impressive was the fact that he could also change gears and take a room full of adults through a complicated, multi-level class all by himself. I highly recommend Darren as an instructor, a mentor and a friend.
-Mike D. -Atlanta, GA (formerly of Chatham, NJ)
Darren is an experienced martial arts instructor who brings a holistic and sensible approach to training for both adults and youth.
-Fred Pieretti -Madison
I met Sensei Darren 17 years ago. I was seven years old and Darren was assistant teaching my first Isshin-Kempo karate class — an afternoon activity that ended up sticking with me all through elementary school, high school, the SATSs, college applications, four years at Harvard University, and now the terrifying start of my post-college career. It wouldn’t even take a whole hand to count how many people have been present for every major landmark in my life, and even less to count how many of the people on that hand I would consider healthy role models. Since the first grade, Isshin Kempo has been a home away from home, and Sensei Darren has been at the core of this martial family, showing me what it means to be a centered, thoughtful, and compassionate human being and proving why that is something to aspire to. I’ve been a conscious witness to the physical skills my years of training have afforded me, but I’m far more grateful to these unspoken lessons — lessons I often don’t even realize I’ve absorbed until I feel their anchoring weight hold me steady through times of instability. There have been several times over the past 17 years that life circumstances have taken me away from martial arts for extended periods of time. Yet, no matter how long I’m gone, I know my martial home will be just where I left it and Darren will be the first one to greet me at the door — most likely with a giant mug of tea.
-Hayley Levitt -Chatham
Darren has been a great Sensei for our son as he has progressed over the last 7 years. He really knows how to work with students to get the best out of them. After years of Darren’s guidance and instruction, our son just earned his Junior Black Belt. During group classes and weekly private lessons, Darren helped to fine tune our son’s form and strength in both sparring and performing his Katas. Darren emphasizes bettering oneself, not just learning routines. We all saw a vast improvement over the years and especially during the last few months, as our son trained for his exciting achievement.
-Juli & Rich P. -Millburn
I have only been learning karate for a few weeks and I have found a new enjoyment in my life doing so. The environment of the school has been nothing but friendly and helpful. I feel welcomed into this world of martial arts by the students and instructor alike. I particularly enjoy the way Sensei Darren teaches karate. Every class so far has been fun and physically rewarding. While focusing on the physical training components he also instills philosophies, psychology and overall mental training on how to not only deal with conflict, but to also avoid it. Overall, I greatly enjoy his classes and wish to further my knowledge in karate to a much higher level in his school.
-Andreas Katsoudas -Denville
I first came to the dojo in the fall of 2004. I found the dojo to be a very friendly and welcoming place that was also a safe place to be, where everyone could be themselves. The study of the martial arts can be very centering and grounding, and can offer an outlet to stress. I have not been active, but I am looking forward to coming back this fall, and I can’t wait to introduce my three year old to the martial arts next year!
-Andrea Shuttleworth Wittke