D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy: Making Life Champions

Since 1994. tucked away in a non-descript shopping center is one of Antioch’s hidden gems in youth development and self-defense.  D1 & Only Martial Art’s Academy has grown to be a cornerstone of Antioch through martial arts training, youth programming and the hard work and commitment of Master Tim Calvin.  As we explore our local backroads, we were grateful to be introduced to Master Tim and learn about his decades of commitment to the people of Antioch, California.  

Who Is Master Tim Calvin

Master Tim Calvin began his career in the U.S. Marines Corps, where he served the country for six years.  He then moved into law enforcement, where he dedicated the next decade. He began his tenure as a Police Officer in Oakland, where he then moved to the Novato Police Department where they sent him to the FBI’s Defensive Tactics Instructors Academy and SWAT school.  He found his passion for the martial arts when he transitioned into training defensive tactics on the force. 

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

Master Calvin realized that pure martial arts did not always work effectively for police work. He then began the extensive, and continually changing, trends in street tactics and began to explore how mixing martial arts could make law enforcement officers safer and more effective while on the streets.   Master Calvin also came to the realization that his passion was not necessarily in law enforcement, but in education, training and building a better community. Although possible as a police officer, Master Calvin made the decision to open D1 Martial Arts Academy. 

What is D1 & Only Martial Arts Guiding Philosophy?

Master Tim Calvin opened the doors at D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy with the mentality that mixed martial arts gave people a greater chance to practice effective self-defense.   He also came to the mat understanding that it was not all about martial arts or self-defense, but personal development and helping his students understand that perception is a powerful platform that builds life champions.  Hence, D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy has developed into a place where academic success, respect, and responsibility are the cornerstones of programming.

The style of martial art that is taught in Krav Maga, which is a military self-defense system developed for the Isreal Defense Forces that was developed from a combination of techniques from boxing, wrestling, aikido, judo, and karate – along with realistic fight training.  Between the intensive, realistic fighting styles and character development, D1 offers a comprehensive mindset and physical training platform. 

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

As soon as someone enters the doors at D1, it is clear that every student understands they are responsible for setting the tone of the environment they are in.  Master Tim explains that this aligns with the philosophy of personal development, where students are taught that every decision or choice they make has a consequence – and that consequences can be good or bad, depending on the decision.  He also states that personal development has to do with helping each student understand that their perception of every interaction impacts how they will engage and will set out the choices they can make to move forward. When someone changes their perception, they change their decisions.  Master Tim works tirelessly to help his students learn how to make good choices that will set the tone of success

The Hard Work at D1 & Only Martial Arts

At D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy, approximately 87% percent of the students are children, ranging from 3-year-olds to 18-year-olds. This expansive age range also encompasses all levels of training, from novice through Black Belt levels of competencies.  Over the years he has slowly integrated more adult programs into the academy. However, since so much of the hard work within the Academy is tied to academic success and character development, parents are inclined to enroll their children.  

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

Upon registration, Master Tim and his team put each child through a personal evaluation process. This is one of the unique aspects of his work.  The personal evaluation allows Master Tim to craft an individualized training program for each student to ensure their areas of greatest developmental opportunity are answered to.   The areas where Master Tim sees the greatest demand include respect and focus. Once Master Tim understands where each student has a growth opportunity, each instructor knows how to develop these areas with each student within training periods. 

A Commitment to the Community

Along with training Krav Maga and helping his students develop strong character, Master Tim Calvin has a history of commitment to the community. From creating opportunities for his students to visit college campuses to creating workshops for local colleges and working with local high schools, Master Tim is committed to his students and improving the local community.

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

When it comes to programming, Master Tim Calvin dedicated nearly a decade to working with local school districts and some of the local leadership to create and implement anti-bullying programs in the school.  The results were powerful. Not only was there a dip in bullying on campus, but there was also an increase in student success on the campus. An addition to the program was an after-school scholar-athlete program. In this light, Master Calvin brought in professional athletes to work with students on sports skills.  The caveat for each student was maintaining a GPA that permitted them to compete in the sport on campus. Again, the success was higher academic performance and commitment to education on campus.

Another unique way that Master Tim has brought safety to the community is through various workshops he has hosted for students and faculty at the local college, Los Medanos College. Student leadership contacted him and together they developed a training course to answer to student safety concerns on campus.  This included training on Sexual Violence and Awareness and an Active Shooter Seminar. Both of these workshops gave students tools to be proactive in the face of dangers lurking on college campuses. For Master Tim, it is another way he empowers the community to proactively take steps to create a safer community.

Building Women Up

In addition to community-driven workshops, Master Tim has developed a series of workshops designed specifically for women.  Several times throughout the year, D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy offers a free women’s self-defense course. Knowing that every 9 seconds a woman is physically assaulted, Master Tim fully believes that women need to be provided tools that will e empower women to help themselves.  Each workshop is slightly different. Master Tim watches trends in how women are being attacked and then teaches women defensive tactics that answer specifically to assault trends.

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy


Because a self-defense class can be intimidating for many women, the workshops begin with Zumba. This allows women to loosen up, have fun, and relax.  Zumba is followed by a hands-on workshop that gives each participant the opportunity to test out the newly introduced self-defense tactics. A representative from Damel’s in Defense, Susanna Coldpepper,  is also present at each workshop. The rep provides additional self-defense tools, including pepper sprays or stun-guns. The day allows women to walk away with a basic skill set, some new gained knowledge and tools, to protect themselves. 

The D1 & Only Martial Arts Difference 

D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy is a place where the focus is not on fighting, but on teaching students threat assessment before a threat actually happens.   With the addition of Krav Maga training, you can not only see threats before it happens, you learn how to take appropriate steps before anything actually happens.  The guiding belief of education and perceptual awareness is what sets the tone of every class, training session and interaction at the academy.

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

D1&Only Martial Arts Academy

Master Tim believes that empowering people with the tools they need to protect themselves and teaching them the skills to avoid needing to even use the self-defense tactics is fundamental at his academy.  He realizes that self-defense is not just physical, but it is mental. Mental acuity is the result of building a strong body, strong confidence, self-esteem and sense of self through hard work and physical training. This mental acuity allows his students to protect themselves mentally and emotionally so they do not feel like they need to fight, but have the skills to do so when it is urgently necessary. 

Master Tim Calvin passionately believes that he is not just teaching self-defense. He believes his work is changing minds and perceptions and helping students build confidence so they learn how to be successful with hard work.  He explains his goal is to change a student’s mindset and let students realize that life is hard, but hard is the path to success. Master Tim also touts the ideology that students of his academy are not successful because of their martial arts training, but because of a different mindset that empowers them to work hard and achieve whatever it is they put their minds to.  At D1, students learn how to do the ‘unattainable ‘unimaginable.’

How to Become Involved

D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy offers classes for all ages, genders and experience levels.  A quick visit to D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy website will outline the classes, schedules, and expectations of the school.  Master Tim invites people to join in a free class before signing up.  

The academy is located at 3385 Deer Valley Road in Antioch, CA 94531.  You can also call 925-753-1167 for more information. 

And as best stated by Master Tim Calvin, “We are developing Life Champions. How can you be successful in life – a mindset.  You are not here to win a championship, you are here to win at life. You get to decide what a winner in life looks like. It isn’t an award.  Be present. Be aware. BE what the world needs and what you need.”


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