About TDG

A History of the Throwdown Group – by Shawn Zirger

These events started 2006, inspired by a thread in www.bullshido.com, where martial artists from various styles agreed to get together and spar with folks they met online. At that time my student Simon Walder, suggested that we should host Throwdown events of our own. It was very good timing for me, as I was just getting involved with social media, and I was curious about an attitude among my peers, that we were really great fighters. Since I knew that very few of us fought outside our own circle, I wondered how it was we could be so sure of our own greatness.

The first events were hosted as an open invitation for anyone who could make the event to come and fight my students and myself. It was a great experience, we learned a lot; we found that we really did compare with the the folks that came out to fight and we found that there were a lot of really good martial arts groups out there.

Additionally, we discovered that our JKD outlook, specifically, finding value in other styles and generally maintaining an open mind about learning and fighting, was very conducive to building a strong community of fighters, from different backgrounds. Here in Toronto, the Throwdown events are heading into their 9th year and have taken on a life of their own. It has brought together a large network of schools and practitioners who fight, not for prizes but for the love of the thing itself. We see new fighters join, and veteran fighters improving.

I am very proud of this event and its members. It is very exciting to see this group grow, to see the context spread and touch new training groups locally and around the world. What we have seen to date is just the tip of the iceberg…jump on board and discover where the journey takes you!



Below is some additional information about the Founder and Sponsoring Schools

Shawn Zirger & Zirger Academy of Martial Arts

Shawn Zirger is the founder and head instructor at Zirger Academy of Martial Arts. Established for the pursuit of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do Concepts and Philosophy, the Academy has committed itself to facilitating and maintaining an environment where its students can develop their skills and challenge their limits.


Fighting Arts Collective

Fighting Arts Collective is the premier combative martial arts school in Toronto specializing in real world solutions, historical context and unconventional fitness programs. Founded in 2004 by world-class instructors, FACT is committed to upholding the values of collaboration, healthy living and the pursuit of warriorship.



The Throwdown Group website is intended for entertainment purposes. All participants of the Throwdown Group events have agreed to a written and video waiver. All matches are monitored by a professional to ensure the safety of our fighters. All content on this site belongs to Zirger Academy of Martial Arts unless otherwise credited.


Background Video: Dominic Dowson
Background Photography: Kenneth Hama
Site Admin: Andi Paras

Contact the Organizers:

Zirger Academy of Martial Arts

  • 416-892-9529
  • 927 Dupont Street
Send us an email