About Paul

Paul Badali

Paul is a registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.  He graduated from York University with a BA in Sociology (specialization in Gender and the Family) and an honours Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Social Work focussing on group work for justice system-involved youth.

Paul has worked in probation and youth justice settings offering psychotherapy and supervision to youth and adults in conflict with the law by helping clients address issues of conduct disorder, addiction and anti-social behaviours. As a Child and Family Therapist in children’s mental health services, Paul has helped individuals, groups, and families struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, learning disabilities, high functioning ASD and self-regulation difficulties.  His clinical work and program development have been informed by several aspects of his own personal journey.


In his youth, Paul trained in Judo and over the last 40 years he has continued studying, training and instructing in Mixed Martial Arts, holding a 4th degree black belt in Jiujitsu and a black belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu. He is also a certified Yoga instructor who has practiced meditation for 20 years and is currently instructed in the Zen tradition. It is this background in martial arts, yoga and Zen that has led Paul to offer clinical services in a unique therapeutic dojo setting rather than a traditional office environment.  The innovative space has tatami mats on the floor and flexible furnishings that clients can easily manipulate to accommodate individual needs and preferences.  The space and therapy invites clients to continuously recalibrate toward a balanced lifestyle in order to enhance overall health and well-being.


His distinct personal and professional interests have resulted in the development of an intervention called Activity Integrated Mindfulness (AIM) that addresses the needs of individuals and families at risk while building resilience. In early 1999 Paul started using AIM in his individual psychotherapy practice, playing basketball with one client and then cycling with another.  He discovered that integrating mindfulness, exercise, and psychotherapy was very effective and beneficial to the therapeutic process. These interventions eventually led to running a pilot AIM group program in 2000 that combined various elements including psychotherapy, martial arts and meditation. 


In 2002, Paul developed and launched the first ever Mindfulness Martial Arts program that has captured the attention of practitioners, researchers, and hard to serve clients. Recently he has developed an engaging new program called Taming the Bull that builds on dynamic and behavioural components conveyed through rich fictional and historical narratives, audiovisual and hands on training modalities. This new program serves a diverse client population ranging in age from 12 through to adulthood.

Warrior Martial Arts, Senior Black Belts