Paul Veldman is a 6th Dan Black Belt in Karate. Shihan Paul began training at the age of 13 in Freestyle Karate. He later started training in the traditional karate of Shukokai, achieving his black belt in 1995. Shihan Paul is a committed full time instructor who is also the motivation behind the successful martial arts chain of schools Kando Martial Arts. Shihan Paul believes that the focus, camaraderie, and personal growth that is fostered in a well balanced martial arts program has the potential to change lives for the better. Paul should know, because as a career senior ranking police officer up until 10 years ago, he has seen the result of misguided youth and lack of structure in peoples lives and insists that martial arts can make the difference that is greatly needed in today's society. Having also achieved ranking in Kickboxing, boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Floro Fighting Systems and Kinetic Fighting, Shihan Paul is well qualified to create an inclusive program that provides maximum benefit for the maximum demographic. During his time as a member of Victoria Police for 17 years, he spent time as an operational general duties member, as a member of the Force Response Unit, and later as a Police Instructor and “Train the Trainer” in Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Conflict Management and Forced Building Entry. As part of these duties he would conduct research and development into Police Tactics and Training, Forced Building Entry, Siege and Hostage Negotiator, and Close Personal Protection Officer. Shihan Paul has a mission to share his quality martial arts program to as many people as possible and contribute in a positive way to the people of Melbourne.
Emma was an elite Swimmer who began swimming at age 6 and came onto the national scene in 1996 by competing in the Commonwealth Games Trials as a 13 year Old. As well as swimming Emma competed in squad basketball for over 6 years and in her earlier years practiced Gymnastics and little athletics, running in state competitions. It was clear however that Emma belonged in the pool and Emma quickly concreted her place on the Australian Swimming Scene for over 8 years. Competing in the Olympic Trials, Pan Pacific Games, National and State Championships as well as local meets. Emma’s achievements include, Gippsland, Victorian Country and Victorian Multi Gold Medallist and Record Holder, Victorian Team Member from age 10 to 21, Pan Pacific Schools Gold, Silver and Bronze Medallist, National Finalist, member of the Telstra skins Australian development team and Gippstar of the year 1996. In 2004 Emma completed a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Medicine and Health science, Nursing with Honours and then went on to defer medical studies, to later study Chinese Medicine, Mineral Therapy. Emma is always looking to learn more about how she can positively influence her patients and clients and is currently furthering her studies in Nutrition and Dietetics. Emma’s passion and focus has always been around health, medicine, and fitness. Emma worked in medical suites and Nursing homes as a teenager and then major city hospitals, emergency departments intensive care units and operating suites post-graduation. After Emma’s swimming career ended due to a shoulder problem and subsequent operation, Emma concentrated on her university studies, travelled the world, and started a family. It was not long until Emma’s passion for sports was again sparked, and she took up Martial Arts in the form of Aikido and Wing Chun Kung Fu. Of key importance to Emma is addressing the issue of increased physical and emotional violence against women, by building an empire to support, educated and train women and children in self-defence, self-worth and awareness, to empower each individual and reduce the incidences of abuse and bullying. Emma delivers her EmPower programs across Victoria, to Victorian schools’ children, small and large corporate empires and through government bodies to allow individuals to build their own platform as a formidable force, pushing back against all forms of abuse, danger and bullying empowering individuals to focus on their strengths, improve their health and fitness and feel and be supported and nurtured on their journey
Bob White - Chief Master at Bob White’s Karate Studio The history of Bob White is one that tells a story far greater than can be read in this brief profile. You see Bob White began is martial arts training at a very young age. There was something about Karate that he loved and wanted to excel To truly understand the life and achievements of Bob White one would be wise to pick up his book “Life in Session” – The Senior Master Bob White Story. The book tells the story of Senior Master Bob White who was a formidable competitor in the top karate tournaments for two decades in the United States. And yet, Bob White’s biggest battles weren’t against his fellow karate fighters, but instead against the disease of alcoholism and, late in life, two of the deadliest forms of cancer. The book has been on the best seller list in various international bookstores and provides an unfiltered synopsis of a man who has overcome enormous adversity to become the highly respected and much-loved coach he is today! Passing up a professional baseball career at a young age, Senior Master Bob White has been contributing to the art of American Kenpo for over fifty-years. On the tournament circuit he won numerous state, national, and international fighting championships. Bob White fought on the National All Star Black Belt Team, which went undefeated in 1973 and 1974. As a teacher and coach, he has consistently turned out some of the world’s finest karate fighters. Over the past 50+ years, Bob White’s Karate Studio has had many World Champion fighters and each year throughout the 1990s his students accounted for at least one of the Black Belt Grand Champions at the International Karate Championships. Bob White and his wife Barbara conduct seminars throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. They are both professional instructors who enjoy sharing their Kenpo and being in service to their students. Bob White was involved in the original “Karate Kid” movie and appeared as a referee in the film. BWKS had over 50 students that appeared in the movie as tournament competitors. Mr. White was also involved in The Karate Kid part 3 and worked to promote the new “Karate Kid” version with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Senior Master White along with his wife Barbara and a great team from BWKS promote an annual karate tournament, The Bob and Barbara White Invitational that raises money for the Royal Family Kids. Royal Family Kids is an organization that provides a weeklong camp for abused and neglected children. The Bob and Barbara White Invitational began in 2005, and to date, has raised over a million dollars for RFK. Not only have hundreds of children been helped through the tournament, but the Kenpo community throughout the world has gained an awareness of RFK, and a desire to become involved in this cause. This involvement of the Kenpo community continues to grow, and contributions are coming in from all over the world. In the 1980’s Bob White was promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt by Senior Grand Master, Ed Parker. This was the highest rank that Ed Parker ever promoted. He was one of only a very few to earn that rank. Senior Master White has been inducted into many different Hall of Fames and recently he was the 2012 Keynote Speaker for the master’s Hall of Fame in Southern California. On March 24 th 2018 in a very large gathering of Kenpo leaders, Senior Master White was asked to be promoted to the rank of 10th Degree Black Belt. After turning down various requests for 25 years to move to 10 th Degree Senior Master White accepted and now has the title of “Senior Master”. Bob White has been featured in various books including The Who’s Who in Martial Arts, The Journey, and most recently in The International Journey. His new book, “Life in Session; The Senior Master Bob White Story” is now available in our store. He has also been interviewed on many television and radio shows. Besides the martial arts, Bob enjoys game fishing, running, and is an avid tennis player. Bob, Barbara and their children live in Costa Mesa, California. Senior Master Bob White is committed to the development of all his students, he understands all too well the importance of camaraderie, respect, integrity, and gratitude and the difference that training in a solid martial art system can bring. If we were to use one word to describe Bob White’s approach to others it would certainly be “Altruism.”
Father Dave Smith is best known for his work with at-risk youth, especially in his use of boxing for those suffering from substance abuse problems and anger management issues. He is also a 6th degree black belt and a professional boxer. His progression into martial arts and boxing happened while he was attempting to raise funds for the community in Dulwich Hill, where he is the parish priest. Father Dave has been twice awarded Marrickville Citizen of the Year award and was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2004 and 2009. In 2012, he broke the world record for the most continuous rounds of boxing. Born in Newtown, Sydney, in 1962, he completed an arts degree with honours in philosophy in 1984 before beginning studying theology at Moore College in 1985. He completed two degrees in theology in 1988 and was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia in 1989. After ordination, Smith spent two years in the parish of Miranda (in Sydney’s south) before being appointed to Dulwich Hill (in Sydney’s inner-west) in December 1990. He has continued as parish priest at Holy Trinity since then. When Smith became the parish priest in Dulwich Hill it was known as an area that was rife with drugs. In 1991, he began to focus on working with young people with drug problems in the area and opened the church hall as an area where local youth could do fitness and martial arts training. In 1993, he founded the Order of the Fighting Fathers as a way of encouraging other priests and religious people to use the fighting arts to help young people overcome their addictions and lead fuller lives. Smith's work in the community led him to twice be awarded the Marrickville Citizen of the Year award, in 1997 and 2009. In 2005 and 2009 he was also nominated for Australian of the Year, particularly for his work with young people battling substance abuse. In 2001, a short film was made about Smith, which is titled The Good Fight. In 2011, Smith began training to break the world record for the longest period of continuous boxing. On 1 April 2012, he boxed continuously for eight hours - against 66 opponents over 120 three-minute rounds. He succeeded in breaking the world record and received extensive media coverage, including from Fox Sports. The previous world record before this attempt was 26 rounds. On 19 February 2016, Smith returned to professional boxing to raise money for youth programs and became Australia's oldest ever professional boxer.
Shihan Tony Bowden is a 6th Dan Black Belt in Kyokushinkai Karate. Shihan Tony is a highly regarded and well-known and respected heavyweight Karate champion who dominated the tournament circuit for over 10 years. Is it any wonder he earned the reputation as the hard man of Kyokushin Karate! Shihan Tony’s fighting career began in the 1980’s where he competed in Kyokushin tournaments along with Non-Contact or FAKO tournaments as they were called in those days. It was the Kyokushin Tournaments that gave him the satisfaction of competition that he was wanting, and so began a successful competition career. In 1977 Tony entered the first Australian National Tournament held by the AKKA in the Sydney Town Hall this was the first time that a tournament of any style had been held here, Sosai Mas Oyama was the guest of honour at our first Nationals. That year he took second place in the Heavyweight Division due to a compound fracture of the finger forcing him out of the tournament. Tony’s greatest disappointment was not being presented the winner trophy by Sosai Mas Oyama. Tony returned the following year in Melbourne to take out the Heavyweight Division and come second in the Grand Champion. Tony went on to taking 3 more championships and 3 Grand Championships after which they ceased holding that event. In 1979 Tony represented Australia at the World Titles in Tokyo, Japan to which I made it through to the final 32. With my final fight on the last day of a three day tournament, against a young Japanese instructor Sensei Koichi Kawabata, losing on decision it was won of Tony’s greatest fights. Shihan Tony now focusses his time and energies expanding and improving the state of Queensland where he has held the National Camp for the past 20 years along with holding the Queensland State Titles. Shihan now has dojo’s in Townsville , Mackay, Gladstone, Ipswich, Kingscliff, Palm Beach and Nerang.
Maria Rich is a 5th Dan in Karate and World champion Karate fighter. The first World Champion Australia was to produce. She has been training in Karate since she was eight years old and by the age of twelve was training five nights per week while other children were playing. Even as a child she took her karate seriously, traveling regularly on weeknights as far as Geelong to train from Moonee Ponds where she grew up. As a teenager she often defeated the boys in semi-contact championships and won numerous non-contact divisions until reaching the legal age for full contact fighting. At fifteen years of age she became one of the youngest people to gain a Kyokushin Black Belt completing all of the forty fights at the end of a grueling five-hour grading. Maria debuted into full contact placing second in the South Australian State Championships and followed that with a second place in the National championships. She then went on to win the interstate championships in '92 and fought undefeated through'93 with wins in the Victorian, South Australian and New South Wales championships and finished the year by defeating the National Champion to win the Australian Kyokushin Full Contact Championships. She remains undefeated in Australia having won five National Championships since then plus the New Zealand International Tournament of 1996. In 1996 Maria traveled to New York to compete in the First Women's World Tournament where she was penalized for an alleged face punch and finished in 6th place. The following year she fought in the World weight Category tournament in Tokyo Japan and was crowned World Champion. Maria added to her long list of successes by dropping the weight to win in the middle weight division at the 1999 Nationals. Maria is a founding partner of the Fighting Arts Fitness Centre where she teaches other successful fighters . The Gibilisco name is well known throughout the Martial Arts community with her and her sister both continuously taking the trophies. Maria's teaching ability and knowledge of both Karate and Self Defense techniques has lead her to become a role model to both men and women who are striving to achieve a dream of only half of what Maria has already achieved. As well as being ranked number one in the world after winning the ‘97 world tournament she has been decorated with prestigious awards such as the Blitz hall of fame award '95 and '97. Maria has appeared in magazines and newspapers such as Blitz magazine and Inside Sport, as well as radio, pay TV and television performing feats of strength and technique such as breaking a baseball bat with her shin. A feat she incredibly performs with both lower and upper roundhouse kicks and doubled to break two at a time with a single kick