Introducing Our Team Of Kenpo Instructors
David Giovenco – Chief Kenpo Instructor
I began training in martial arts at the age of 15 in Kyokushin Karate at the Parramatta Police Citizens’ Youth Club. Although I tried different styles such as boxing, kick boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), achieving a Blue Belt in BJJ and a Brown Belt in Kyokushin Karate, I soon found that I could not find a discipline that met all of my needs and answered all of my questions.
Still hungry for knowledge, I came across Kenpo through a friend who showed me a DVD of Larry Tatum. Shortly after, in 1999, I was introduced to Mr Jeff Speakman, a 7th Degree in the Kenpo Karate style, and I realised immediately that I had found a complete art with a true martial artist, a leader who led from the front. Not knowing who Mr Speakman was and not knowing anything about Kenpo, I did know that I wanted to be a Jeff Speakman Black Belt – not just in title, but in personality as well.
I achieved my goal after five years of every-day hard training. In 2004 in Las Vegas, I was tested for my 1st Degree Black Belt alongside my instructor and mentor (who was testing then for his 8th Degree Black Belt, he is now a 9th Degree Black Belt) and in front of a panel that consisted of Mr Lou Angel, Sigun Steve Labounty, Mr ‘Benny the Jet’ Urquidez, Mr Dan Inosanto and Mr Gokor Chivichyan. Two years later and again in Las Vegas I tested for my 2nd Degree Black Belt in front of a panel headed by Mr Lou Angel, Mr Jeff Speakman and Mr Eric Lee. I am now a 5th Degree Black Belt (the highest rank held in Australia) in Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0 as well as being a personal student of his, and am the American Kenpo Karate Systems (AKKS) representative for Australia.
Born and still living in Sydney, Australia, I run a school in Newington teaching Kenpo 5.0 as taught to me directly by Mr Speakman, the 9th degree Black Belt in Kenpo. To ensure I keep up to date with the latest information I travel interstate and overseas on a regular basis, and attend Mr Speakman’s yearly ‘Down Under’ training and teaching sessions.
Mr Speakman has always instilled in me the belief that life is about making a difference, that a true martial artist leaves the world a better place than he found it. In turn, this is the first thing I teach at my school. I am proud to be a Jeff Speakman Black Belt, to be part of his Kenpo 5.0 Family and the one he chose to lead Australia in the evolution of Kenpo 5.0. With the support and strength of all of the AKKS Schools across Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, we will bring Kenpo 5.0 to this wonderful Country.
I work casually as a tactical defence instructor for Secta Security (the largest registered training organisation in Australia), teaching security guards correct eviction procedure, self defence and weapons training, and have also taught conflict resolution strategies to State Transit Authority employees.
I intend to keep my promise to Mr Speakman to promote and teach Kenpo 5.0 in Australia. I want to build a safe and friendly environment in which kids & adults can learn self defence and leadership skills, in the process further increasing my own knowledge in the amazing martial arts system called Kenpo 5.0.
Lauren Campbell – 4th Degree Black
My name is Lauren Campbell and I am a 4th Degree Black Belt in Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0.
I am currently an Instructor based in Sydney at the Kenpo 5.0 Head Quarters, with Australian Representative and 5th Degree Black Belt, Mr David Giovenco.
As a 9 year old looking to learn self-defence I was drawn to martial arts. With great commitment & determination I achieved my first Black Belt in 1995 as a 14 year old. As a teenager I focused on my studies & martial arts until completing my HSC.
In 2001 I discovered Kenpo and have dedicated myself to learning the art and essence of Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0 ever since. In 2002 I had the great opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to train with our inspirational leader Mr Jeff Speakman. I have returned on several occasions to represent Australia and to train and test alongside my international Kenpo family and friends.
I love the art of Kenpo 5.0 as it is a practical art. Not just for its practical application of self-defence but also for the way its lessons translate into everyday life. Kenpo teaches and requires Respect, Discipline, Commitment, Honour, Loyalty & Focus. In addition it teaches you how to deal with conflict, to have patience and a greater respect and understanding of people, their behaviours and awareness of your environment.
As an Instructor it has been amazing to watch the confidence of the students grow, as they learn, mature and build new friendships as they advance through the Kenpo Art.
Mr Speakman has taught me many things but most importantly:
- Strive for excellence and never settle for the status quo
- Never give up.
In addition to Kenpo I am also a qualified and practicing group fitness specialist and a qualified trainer. I hold a Certificate III in Fitness, Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and I hold a current Provide First Aid Certificate.
Something I believe in and have learnt along the way is:
“Respect yourself and one another, be disciplined to train and commit to learning the essence of the art, be loyal to your school and relationships, be honourable in your actions and words and love what you do and therefore do it with passion”.
Decide to be the best you can be and I will help you achieve things you never thought possible.
Jeremy Rosenstrauss – 2nd Degree Black
My active Judo and Kenpo trainings have given me a wealth of knowledge which I have incorporated in my love of teaching kids.
I have been a personal student of Mr. Giovenco since March 2010 and now have 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kenpo 5.0. Having years of experience working with children and spent several years as a rugby coach and an acting teacher for young children and teens, I currently work as a childrens entertainer.
My strong passion for Kenpo, teaching and working with children and ability to interact easily make me an integral part of KICKS After School where I am a main instructor for the kids karate classes.
Josh Suranyi – 2nd Brown Belt
My name is Josh. My love for martial arts started from a young age when I would watch Asian/Kung Fu cinema and then my journey in martial arts started when I joined a karate dojo at age 10.
I have now been a student of Mr. Giovenco for 5 years and I hold the rank of 2nd degree brown belt and I intend to attain my first degree black belt next year. I personally believe Kenpo is a great tool for shaping the generations to come by instilling important ideals and principals such as Discipline, Wisdom, Strength and Kindness.
Being part of the Instructor team I have seen first hand how the Kenpo 5.0 & the KICKS After School Program can make a difference to children both Mentally and Physically through the power of Martial Arts.