Living the Passion Series (part 1): The Modern Warrior; Health & Wellness with Martial Arts with Darwin and Francine Douglas

Photographer: Whiney Bararnolo - CTRL Industries

Black belt Brazilian jui jitsu coach and competitor Harley Chappell and his son Brandyn

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Two Indigenous couples share their journey at a place were health and wellness intersect with martial arts. Darwin and Francine Douglas are the owners of Four Directions Martial Arts Academy while Harley and Rachel Chappell own Pacific Top Team gym. Indigenous culture and history, anti-bullying, anti-violence, health and fitness, self-care, self-defense and leadership are housed in Four Directions Martial Arts Academy’s curriculum. The martial arts classes are offered to the public, School Districts and provide outreach programs for Indigenous communities.

According to Harley living life with martial arts brings obvious physical benefits but there are also mental, emotional and spiritual aspects to this type of training. With martial arts you are committing your life to a path of continual progress and improvement. Chappell believes one of the most beneficial rewards to martial arts is its ability to teach emotional regulation and problem solving…even under extreme stress. Over the years both couples have witnessed the improved well being for children, youth and adults. Please join us and hear their stories of healing, growth and strengthening on the red path with martial arts.

Session Video


Photographer: Francine Douglas

Professional mixed martial artist(mma) Darwin Douglas teaching a youth leadership class

Talking Points

  • What did your lives look like before you entered martial arts? What does it look like now?
  • What does the modern warrior look like?
  • How has martial arts affected you emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually?
  • How can First People use martial arts to address today’s challenges?
  • How have you used martial arts to support community strengthening and resiliency?
  • What impacts have you seen martial arts have on its youth?

Meet the Presenters:

Photograher: Whitney Bararnolo - CTRL Industries

Harley Chappell

Harley and Rachael Chappell

Harley Chappell ( Xwopokton) is from the Semiahmoo Nation while his wife Rachael Chappell from Chehalis Nation. They have four children ages 1, 6, 9 and 16 years old and live on Skowkale Nation’s unceded traditional territory. The whole family trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  Rachael works hard behind the scenes running Pacific Top Team while Harley is in the foreground instructing for the family run business.

With 10 years of experience in BJJ Harley competes in BJJ at an international level, referees and instructs.  The multiple time  PanAmerican competitor, Seattle open medalist and Canadian BJJ Final medalist at black and brown belt levels, works as youth mentor with Fraser Valley Aboriginal Child and Youth Services. During his free time he actively races on the war canoe circuit within Coast Salish Territory.

Pacific Top Team

Tel: 604-846-7575


Location: #7-7355 Vedder Road Chilliwack, British Columbia


Darwin and Francine DouglasMMA Youth 2 copy

Four Directions Martial Arts offers martial arts classes to the public, School Districts and outreach programs in First Nation communities. The outreach programs focus on Aboriginal culture and history, anti-bullying, anti-violence, health and fitness, self-care, self-defense and leadership.

Darwin, Stó:lō, from the Cheam First Nation, is a professional mixed martial artist who grew up with boxing. His ten year training experience with mixed martial arts, cultural knowledge and community leadership transfers into the classroom were he engages with their outreach programs, students and the general public. Darwin has worked to protect the cultural knowledge and resources within his traditional territory for over 22 years. This experience, along with his certificate in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria, has also been the backbone of his work in the business world. Francine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and anthropology from the University of British Columbia. Stó:lō from Sts’alis and Tsimpshian from Metlakatla, Francine has a profound respect for her First Nation culture and traditions.

Together the couple manage their four businesses:

1) Cheam Trading Post, where they offer wild salmon, local wild-harvested foods and indigenous handcrafted artwork;

2) Cheam Fishing Village were guests can camp and fish on the beautiful Fraser River;

3) War Path MMA sports venue

4) Four Directions Martial Arts Academy




Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.