Our Teaching Philosophy
Our student-centered learning approach includes the following philosophies:
1. Powerful instruction empowers young learners.
2. Curiosity is the spark that should drive instruction.
3. Diversity and cultural inclusion help develop good global citizens.
Peaceful Warrior™ Martial Arts Program
The study of martial arts is a fun way for children to achieve fitness, focus, and internal motivation. In addition, the martial arts teach self-discipline and socialization skills. These skills carry over into school, helping improve behavior and often grades.
Our after-school program occurs during the academic school year across both the fall and spring semesters. All K-12 schools within Maricopa County that service Native youth are eligible for program services. Summer programs are also available!
IEF’s instructors hold a minimum credential of Shodan (first-degree black belt) and are Safe Sport Certified™, and have obtained a Level One IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card in Arizona. In addition, IEF maintains comprehensive liability coverage that meets Arizona requirements for programs conducted in K-12 facilities.
Professional Athlete, Experienced Educator, descendant of Navajo and Mexican heritage
Christian Stienstra holds a second-degree black belt in Wado Karate under the Wado International Karate-Do Federation (WIKF).Christian began his journey to professional Karate at a young age. In 2009, at 8 years of age, he entered the sport of Karate under the guidance of Sensei Ray Hughes (a sixth-degree black belt) and Sensei Tyler Warren (a third-degree black belt) in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In 2011, Christian competed in his first Karate competition, the US Open, and achieved a silver medal at 10 years of age. His love for Karate competition was born. Christian continued to compete in the advanced division for six more years. Then, in 2017, he graduated to the Elite Division and earned his spot on the Junior US National Team at age 16. But his excitement was short-lived. Later that season, Christian suffered from physical exhaustion and subsequently sustained two severe concussions. It looked as if his Karate career had ended. Over the next six months, he was in and out of hospitals. Doctors told him that he would never be able to return to competitive Karate. But, instead of giving up, Christian focused his energy on his physical and mental recovery.
Christian returned to Karate in 2019, earning a silver medal at the US Open. That same year, he won a gold medal at the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) Championships and earned a spot on the ISKF National Team. In 2020, Christian continued training through the COVID pandemic while teaching his students through hybrid and online formats.
In 2021 competitions resumed, and Christian competed against Gold Medalist Olympian Brian Irr, winning a silver medal at the Texas High Caliber Tournament. Christian has since reclaimed his spot on the Junior National team as an alternate and is working on fighting his way back to the Senior National Team in 2022.
Patience and perseverance in the face of adversity turned Christian into the champion athlete he is today. He is determined to return stronger and make 2022 his best year ever!
Peaceful Warrior™ Martial Arts Schedule
IEF’s Karate programs offers the same instruction received at premier Karate studios across the valley but without the added burden of traveling, equipment costs, and high tuition fees for parents.
IEF’s Karate after-school programs will occur during the academic school year across both the fall and spring semesters. Weekend programs are available all 12 months and summer programs begin in June and last 8 weeks. Karate Training Camps are available all year round and last 2-3 days.
After School Programs
Maricopa County, Arizona
On-Site or Central Phoenix
Saturday & Sunday
Maricopa County, Arizona
Karate Training Camps
2-3 Day Clinics
Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Oklahoma