Instructor Profiles

John R. Venson – 9th Degree Black Belt Shuri Ryu Karate – Hanshi – Menkyo Kaiden

Chief Instructor of Just for Kicks The Martial Arts University, was born on Grand Master Sokon Matsumura’s birthday (July 7th).   He is an Internationally Certified 9th Degree Black Belt, promoted to the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt and and Kobudo title Hanshi はんし in March of 2013, and Menkyo Kaiden ゔぇんそん   in April of 2013.  The title Hanshi is held by only six other living people in the Shuri-Ryu system, and Menkyo Kaiden is only held by nine other people in the United States.   In 2014, Hanshi Venson was Inducted into the Prestigious PKC Elite Society, as a Charter Member.  He was the second selection of the charter members that were personally selected by はんし Glenn R. Keeney (President and Founder of The Professional Karate Commission in September, 1989).   The Venson family’s Martial Arts schools are traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo’s which teach the classical principles of the Shuri-Ryu Martial Arts System.   Hanshi Venson still studies diligently under the direction of O’Sensei Robert H. Bowles – 10th Degree Black Belt Shuri Ryu Karate.  John II  is among the elite martial artists in the extensive training of the Chief Instructor program of Shuri-Ryu, one of the most challenging martial arts systems in America.  Only the most outstanding Yudansha are selected for this by the Inner Council of Shuri-Ryu.

Personally Trained Under and Promoted by O’Sensei Robert A. Trias – Father of Karate-Do in America (1972-1989).

Professional Karate Commission “Man of The Decade” – Awarded to 2010

Hanshi Venson’s Instructors:

  • Sensei John H. Venson – Student of O’Sensei Trias  (Deceased 1993)
  • O’Sensei Robert A. Trias (Deceased 1989)
  • O’Sensei Robert H. Bowles- Student of Grandmaster Trias (1993 – Present)
Director of PKC  Region 1 (Professional Karate Commission) 1999 – Present
International Martial Arts Symposium Instructor (Fighting Classes) 1996 – Present
Inducted into World Sports Hall-of-Fame 1995
World Karate Champion Nineteen (19) times
Fighting (10) – Forms (4) – Weapons (5)
Grand Champion Winner of Illinois State Karate ChampionshipTwelve (12) times
Grand Champion Winner of Regional Karate ChampionshipNine (9) times
Former Drill Instructor & Hand-to-Hand Combat InstructorUnited States Marine Corps
Rated among the Top Ten Fighters in The United StatesTwelve (12) consecutive years
Captain of the United States Karate Team (1985-1989)
Inducted into the United States Karate Hall-of-Fame  (The Trias International Society) 1983 – First person to receive 100% unanimous vote.


Reginald L. Venson – 7th Degree Black Belt Shuri Ryu Karate – Renshi

Internationally Certified 6th Degree – 2010   Inducted in PKC Elite Society – 2014 – Charter Member
Bushido International Society – 2010
I.S.A. Budo Society – 2011      USKA Hall of Fame – 2000

USKA World Kata Champion 6 Times – 1999,2001,2003,2004, 2009



Black Tiger Karate Championships – Baltimore, MD Kata and Weapons 2009 Grand Champion, 34 and up Fighting Champion and 2012 Kata Grand Champion
PKC Internationals Grand Champion  Kata 2003, 2008, 2009
PKC Internationals Grand Champion – 12 times
PKC Nationals (Great Lakes) Champion Kata, Kumite 13 times
PKC Internationals Executive Black Belt Champion Kata – 2008
PKC Internationals Executive Black Belt Champion Fighting – 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013
USKK National Points Champion – 2007-2008
PKC Nationals (Great Lakes) Champion Executive Men Fighting 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012
PKC Nationals (Great Lakes) Grand Champion Kata and/or Weapons2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Battle of Cincinnati Fighting Grand Champion – 2007
Pennsylvania State Champion Fighting 2006, 2007
Indiana State Tournament Champion Fighting 2006, 2007
National PKC Executive Black Belt Fighting Points Champion2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
First active competitor to be awarded the James A. Jones Elite Martial Artist Award – 2004
Recipient of the PKC Most Outstanding Black Belt Competitor Award 2002-2003
USKA All America Fighting team 2000
Member – PKC International Fighting Team

1998 – 2007

Rated #1 Overall competitor PKC Region 1

1997- 2017

Renshi Reginald L. Venson is Blessed to have known and receive lessons from The Father of Karate, himself, O’Sensei Robert A. Trias, and although O’Sensei Trias passed away while Reggie was very young, he has continued his studies under his grandfather (John H. Venson) and his father (John  Venson II), both of whom studied directly under the Great Master Trias.  Reginald is the first son to follow his father into the U.S. Karate Hall of Fame, and joins John Venson II as the first father/son combination in The PKC Elite Society.  Reggie is the youngest member of the inaugural group of inductees into The PKC Elite Society (The Most Outstanding Competitors in the history of The Professional Karate Commission)

Reginald is also currently the only martial artist to be inducted into all three of the elite warrior societies formed by leadership instructed directly by O’Sensei Trias. (Bushido International Society – United States Karate Hall-of-Fame – Budo International Society)   These three societies were in all in one organization before O’Sensei Trias passed away in 1989, and the heads of each still remain original Trias International Society members while presiding over their interdependent societies.

Reginald captured the 2003-2004 PKC National Middleweight fighting championship, and along with Lightweight champion Dwight J. Venson, became the first brothers to hold National Point Champion titles in the same season in any organization.  Reginald Venson has been at the top as the PKC National Points Champion in Forms, Fighting, and/or weapons for more than a decade now (2003-2016).   He was promoted to 7th Degree black belt in May of 2018, and in 2010, became one of the last Black Belts to receive rank confirmation from Hanshi Ridgely Abele.  Reginald  is also among the elite Yudansha in the extensive training of the Chief Instructor program of Shuri-Ryu, one of the most challenging martial arts systems in America.  Only the most outstanding Yudansha are selected for  this by the Inner Council of Shuri-Ryu.

Dr. Dwayne Cook – 4th Degree Black Belt Shuri Ryu Karate

Sensei Dwayne Cook is a 3rd Degree Black Belt, and also holds a P.H.D. in Theology. He is a champion competitor, Deshi, and in addition to teaching at Just For Kicks, Dr. Cook was the owner/head instructor of Internal Strength Martial Arts located on Chicago’s north side.