Instructor Profiles

John R. Venson – Hanshi – 9th Degree Black Belt – Shuri Ryu – ゔぇんそん はんし

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 Official title Hanshi is held by only eight other living people in the Shuri-Ryu system, and Menkyo Kaiden is only held by twelve 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 GrandMaster 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/Shuri-Te 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.

Trained & Studied Under his father, John H. Venson “The Original Sensei Venson” (D. 1993), who was a student of O’Sensei Robert A. Trias

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

Personally Trained Under and Promoted by O’Sensei Robert Bowles – I.S.A. Founder and Director (1993 – Present).

Inducted into The Trias International Society – 1983 – Unanimous Vote

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

Inducted into The PKC Elite Society – 2014 – Charter Member

I.S.A. International Symposium Instructor

USKA Hall of Fame

World Martial Arts Hall of Fame

United States Marine




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

Internationally Certified 7th Degree – Chief Instructor of Just for Kicks – The Martial Arts University
Inducted into The 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 – 14 times
PKC Nationals (Great Lakes) Champion Kata, Kumite 15 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 Weapons 2007, 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

Canadian Nationals Grand Champion – Forms and Fighting

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 Legendary GrandMaster, O’Sensei Robert A. 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.



Mr. David Person – 6th Degree Black Belt– Shuri Ryu 

Master David Person was introduced to Shaolin Kung Fu  in 1974, and began his Shuri Ryu training in 1976. He was promoted, by Master Venson, to Shodan (First Degree Black Belt) in 1988, and was promoted to Rokudan (Sixth Degree Black Belt) in 2017 by Hanshi Venson.  He opened the East Chatham School of Martial Arts in 1992, and later opened MD Extreme Martial Arts School in 2001.  Along with holding rank in Shuri Ryu, Master Person also holds rank in Universal, and Shito Ryu, as well as Tokushinkan Aikido and Judo.  He is also a member of and a certified referee for the World Karate Federation, International Shuri Ryu Association, and the Professional Karate Commission.  Master Person is a Regional, National, and International competitor, with numerous tournament wins. He was also a member of the USA Karate traveling team  from 1999 – 2004.  He has conducted self defense training for several law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana State Police Department.  Master Person served his country as a member of the United States Army, enlisting  in 1982, where he attained the rank of Sergeant, and was Honorably Discharged in 1992.

Mr. Ed Gilmore – 5th Degree Black Belt– Shuri Ryu 
Master Edward Gilmore began his studies in Okinawan Shuri Ryu karate under Hanshi John R. Venson in 1980. He was promoted to Godan (Fifth Degree Black Belt) in 2007. Master Gilmore is continuing on his Martial Arts journey to perfect his skills and upholding the True Way.

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

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.




Ms. Rochelle Harris – 3rd Degree Black Belt– Shuri Ryu 

 Sensei Harris was promoted to Shodan (First Degree Black Belt in 2009), and was promoted to Sandan (Third Degree Black Belt) in 2019.
She has won numerous Regional, National, and International tournaments. She continues to study with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a burning passion, and aspires to attain the rank of Godan (Fifth Degree Black Belt) in the near future.
Bryce Wolfe  (Junior Black Belt)
Bryce Wolfe joined JFKTMAU in 2010, and was promoted to Shodan Hou (Junior Black Belt) in 2019. Bryce has won many Regional, National, and International Championships, and he aspires to attain the rank of Shodan (Black Belt) before his eighteenth birthday.  Bryce graduated from Junior high school as a member of the National Junior Honor Society and continues as such in High School.  He plans to complete high school with a 4.0 GPA, and upon graduation, attend a university or college.
Marshawn White (Junior Black Belt) 
Marshawn White joined JFKTMAU at three years of age, while watching his older brother, Keyshawn, attend karate class.  Marshawn was promoted to Shodan Hou  (Junior Black Belt in 2019, and has won numerous Regional, National, and International championships. His goal is to be promoted to Shodan (Black Belt) before the age of eighteen.
Marshawn is a consistent Honor Roll student, and plans to attend college after high school graduation.