David Lader has over 25 years of experience in various areas of the fitness and wellness industries. He is a 5th degree Master of Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do and has additional experience various other styles, including Aikido, Karate, Jutitsu, Judo, Gung Fu, Muay Thai, Tai-Chi, Pa Kua, Hsing-I, and Capoera. In addition to his study of yoga and Pilates through the years, David also studied classical dance at the Royal Ballet School in London in 1985.
Mr. Lader received some of his training in Tae Kwon Do directly from Grandmaster Hyun Ok Shin at the United Chung Do Kwon Home School in New York. After founding four Tae Kwon Do schools in New York, Vermont, and Ohio, Davidmoved to Tucson, Arizona in 1991 to establish The Dojang, A Martial Arts Community. Here he began developing what would become his signature system, Warrior’s Dance. The system combines all of David’s training in martial arts, dance, and yoga to form a novel approach to movement, exercise, and, particularly, martial arts. In total, Mr. Lader’s schools have produced over forty Black Belt and Black Sash students over the years. He is currently teaching and developing Warrior’s Dance at the Flor De Liz Dance Studios in Tucson.
David also earned his Master’s Degree in counseling through the University of Phoenix. As a student, he interned in Tucson at El Rio Behavioral Health Center in 1997, where he assisted with intakes, group therapy, and crisis counseling. Upon graduation, Lader was hired on to facilitate the center’s Outpatient Life Skills Group for Severely Mentally Ill adults. He worked in this capacity for two years before becoming a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and earning his professional counseling license in the state of Arizona (LPC). In 1999, David opened up a private practice specializing in couples counseling and addictions. During this time, Lader also worked at Tucson’s Center For Life Skills facilitating substance abuse and anger management groups. During his counseling years, Lader remained an active member of The American Counseling Association (ACA) until his retirement from practice in 2004.
After graduating with a degree in Cross-Cultural Psychology and Anthropology from Cornell University, David also studied as a personal fitness trainer at The Fitness Advantage in Essex Junction, Vermont from 1986 to 1987; he was later certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a Group and Personal Trainer. His experiences as a fitness trainer, counselor, and martial artist have certainly played a significant role in his position as head instructor of the Warrior’s Dance system over time.
Through the years, David Lader has donated his time and energy at various social service agencies. One of his most endearing memories of volunteering was at Cleveland’s Montefiore Nursing Home in 1981. David assisted a 92 year old resident, Mr. Freeman, with the Bar Mitzvah service he’d never been able to have as a little boy growing up in Eastern Europe. Mr. Freeman and David became good friends until Mr. Freeman passed away a short time later.
David recalls another meaningful volunteer engagement in Ithaca, New York where he worked for a year at Offender Aid and Restoration in Ithaca (OAR). David provided support and advocacy to prisoners on the verge of release into the community. These clients were otherwise isolated and often lacking the resources to successfully re-integrate into society. The training that David received at OAR was the first of many experiences that inspired him to practice the art of active listening; he has been strongly influenced, as such, and, today, his teaching style reflects this history.