• Toatoi

    A personal development and therapeutic art of de-escalation and restraint.

  • About

    Toatoi is a personal development and therapeutic art of de-escalation and restraint developed by Tim Tipene in New Zealand in 1994.

    A survivor of a violent and abusive childhood Tim broke the cycle through a combination of Martial Arts training, Psychotherapy and Personal Development. Tim consolidated his learning and experience to create Toatoi.

    Toatoi draws upon Maori warrior concepts and Eastern martial arts in a non-aggressive way designed to empower individuals and their families.

    The name Toatoi is a combination of two Maori words, Toa meaning brave, and Toi meaning art or way.


    'A warrior is one who can face the challenges of life.

    One who can be with their emotions and their vulnerabilities.

    One who is not afraid to address the past,

    and who can engage fully in life and in relationship.

    For me to overcome my abusive childhood and

    break the cycle of violence I had to be a Warrior.

    To heal may mean to cry a river.

    Only a warrior could do that.'

    - Tim Tipene

  • Warrior Kids

    The renowned Toatoi class for children

    offering self control and social Skills for ages 5 - 12

    Self Control - Social Skills - Self Regulation - Assertiveness Mindfulness - Emotional Awareness - Conflict Resolution Self Protection Skills - Fun

    The renowned child centered class where the focus is on personal development, Warrior Kids is a high impact, full on, non-stop adventure for children, involving games and challenges where students become champions of life.


    Warrior Kids is taught as a personal development and therapeutic art of de-escalation and restraint within a loving environment.


    Frustrated at the lack of support for children and young people Tim Tipene decided to do something about it. In 1994 at the age of 22, without any formal qualifications, funding or support, Tim created Warrior Kids to empower children.


    Warrior Kids has been provided to communities and schools for 25 years, taking referrals from community and government agencies, and changing the lives of thousands of children and their families.


    Warrior Kids is a unique and specialised class. To ensure quality class numbers are limited to just 10 students, so booking a space is essential.


    Warrior Kids is now being taught in communities and schools nationally and internationally. Look out for Warrior Kids near you.


    Watch the video below to hear what parents have to say about Warrior Kids.

  • Adults and Teens

    Weekly classes for personal development and for becoming a Toatoi Instructor.

    Support - Growth - Self Control - Self Regulation Assertiveness - Mindfulness - Emotional Awareness Conflict Resolution - Self Protection Skills - Fun

    A fun and engaging class for adults and teens in pursuit of self mastery. Personal development for students in a caring and safe environment, while also being challenged.


    In Toatoi there are times of sharing and reflection, times of practicing breathing and mindfulness exercises, times of exploring body work such as flexibility and agility exercises and times of play. Also within the therapeutic environment students learn life enhancing martial art skills. Toatoi is non-aggressive. Toatoi is winning without causing defeat.


    Progress in Toatoi is acknowledged through belt grades up to Black Belt 1st Dan and beyond.

    Become a Toatoi Instructor

    There is huge demand for Toatoi. Perhaps you are the one to bring Warrior Kids and/or Adult and Teen classes to your community and make a difference. Trainee instructors earn belt grades up to Black Belt Instructor 1st Dan and beyond. Start by getting the Toatoi resources such as the Manual Warrior Kids - Warrior training for children, or attend weekly classes or Instructor seminars.


    Request information below

  • Classes with Tim

    Due to an increasingly busy schedule lessons with

    Master Tim are now limited and open to a select few.


    To have the unique and exclusive opportunity to learn from Master Tim through Warrior Kids, or teen and adult Toatoi lessons,

    inquire below using the message form.


    Watch out for Tim's public seminars and workshops.

  • Tim Tipene

    For 25 years Tim Tipene has been changing the lives of thousands through his acclaimed Warrior Kids program, his award winning books and his inspirational talks. Tim overcame a violent and abusive childhood, broke the cycle, and has spent his life transforming the lives of others, often without any form of payment.

    Tim has featured on television, radio and in various magazines and newspapers.

              Warrior Kids.

    In 1994 at the age of 22 Tim, homeless, jobless and without any formal qualifications or funding, set out to help kids just like him by creating a program to empower Children and Youth with Self Control and Social Skills within a therapeutic and loving environment. He named it Warrior Kids.


    Tim went on to provide Warrior Kids to communities and schools for over 25 years, taking referrals from community and government agencies, and changing the lives of thousands of children and their families. For 24 of the 25 years Tim ran Warrior Kids without any form of funding or financial support. Tim kept the costs to families low and many in hardship got to do it for free.


    In 2006 Tim's 'Warrior Kids' novel for children was published. It was re-released in 2012 as 'Bullies and Warriors'.

    In 2011 Tim's Manual 'Warrior Kids, Warrior Training for Children' was published allowing Warrior Kids to be taught nationally and internationally. Tim became a trained counsellor and gained a graduate certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health in 2000.



    Tim was first published in 1996. He is the author of ten books, five of which have won awards, including the picture books for children - Maui - Sun Catcher, Hinemoa te toa, Taming the Taniwha, Haere and The Wooden Fish. Tim's other books include Rewa finds his Wings, and the novels, Kura Toa Warrior School and Patu.


              Inspirational Speaker.

    For two decades Tim has been sharing his inspirational story

    of overcoming a violent and abusive childhood and breaking the cycle with audiences both young and old.

    Tim speaks in schools through Duffy Books in Homes, Storylines, the NZ Book Council and Getting Kids into Books. Tim was a speaker at the 2017 Auckland Writers Festival and is a part of the Sir Peter Blake Dream Team of Leaders.


    More facts about Tim


    Tim was adopted and raised in two cultures, NZ Maori and NZ European.

    His tribal affiliations are Ngati Kuri and Ngati Whatua.

    • In 2013 Tim was inducted into the New Zealand Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
    • In 2014 and 2015 Tim was recognised as a Kiwibank Local Hero and received a Medal in recognition of his contribution to the lives of others.
    • In 1994 Tim created Toatoi, a personal development and therapeutic art of de-escalation and restraint; and his own school 'Kura Toa Warrior School' to house his classes. 
    • Tim started martial arts at the age of 12 and over 30 years accumulated a total of 12 Black Belt Dan ranks and various teaching titles.
    • Tim started working in the community at the age of 19 when he became a live in support person for adults with special needs for Mt Tabor Trust.
    • Tim has also been an advocate for adults with special needs, a self-defence instructor for women and a facilitator of Anger Management and Living Without Violence programs for men.

    Click for Fact sheet for Media and Teachers