People start martial arts for various different reasons, when it comes to my story self-protection was definitely at the top of my list.
In my early years of life things were pretty good, my small stature and cheeky manner made me a target for name calling and bullying but my fast talking got me out of most tricky situatiions.

It was the sudden death of my father that introduced me to the martial arts. My uncle came to stay with us.He was a Black belt in Karate and decided to teach me in the backyard. His training methods although unorthodox in today's standard set the foundation for a journey that was about to change my life forever.

Over the years I've had the pleasure to train with many different masters, Jeff Atiken (Zen Do Kai) was my first club instructor and it was his free style philosophy of using anything that works that saved me from many beatings in my high school years.

After achieving my 3rd dan Black belt I decided it was time to open my own karate school (Formerly called Universal Dojo's). If you ever had the opportunity to teach you will understand the huge rewards and challenges that occur when teaching people. This experience alone taught me valuable lessons that were going to help me in my own personal and business orientated goals in the future.

Confidence, self discipline, leadership, goal setting, structures, time management and victories are a few rewards I have got from martial arts. A life long friendship with a diverse range of people has touched my life in so many ways to mention. These things alone are values many people can only wish for.

In 1998 this journey sent me on a trip to the USA were I trained with Grandmaster Michael Campos 9th Dan (Founder of ZDK INTERNATIONAL) who introduced me to a network of some of the best martial artists I had ever seen. It was his influence that gave me the tools to teach children in a way that helped them not only physically but academically, with a focus on a safe, fun training environment promoting restraint over violence.

It was also during this period I was actively competing in full contact karate, Kick boxing and later WKF Karate and WTF Taekwondo competition.The competitive aspect of the martial arts is an amazing one which saw me travel throughout the world including places like Spain, Germany, South Africa, USA, Hawaii, Singapore and Australia where I attained numerous championship titles in fighting, kata, and weapons. Representing New Zealand in two WKF Karate World Championships (2000, 2002) and the Commonwealth games of Karate (2003) are definitely the highlights of those times.

From competitor to coach I formulated a training program to duplicate the successes I previously experienced and have personally trained many national and International champions over the years.

2004 introduced a new chapter into my martial arts training; I had been travelling throughout the country training with every Sensei, Shihan, master, sifu I could find trying to fill a void I had in my own training. This was when I meet Patrick McCarthy Hanshi 8th Dan (Koryu Uchinadi). It was he who captivated me with his open book policy of showing you anything you wanted to see with his in-depth knowledge of application based practises, martial arts history and anthropology. Since this time we joined his organization and in 2010 I was awarded the rank of Godan (5th Dan) and Shidion (Instructor Certification in Koryu uchinadi).

The martial arts road is a long and enduring one, allot of people begin the climb while only a few make it to the summit.

People find many reasons why not to do martial arts, I'm too old, not fit enough, others will laugh at me, just too busy!

Heres why you should do the martial arts, make great friends, keep fit, lose weight, relieve stress, build confidence, improve communication skills, leadership, effective self-defence, focus, motivation, goal setting, challenges and helping others.

I look forward to hearing from you soon, take the step!

Johnny Kennedy

Martial arts achievements

5th degree Black belt - Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu

5th degree Black belt Zen Do Kai International

4th degree Black belt - UNZKO, Karate New Zealand

3rd Degree Black belt - World Karate Federation

3rd degree Black belt - BJC Freestyle Karate

1st degree Black belt ChCh Olympic Taekwondo

Yudansha - International Ryukyu Karate Research Society

Shidoin - Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu

Instructor Certificate - BJC Kickboxing

2004 International Black belt of the Year - ZDK

2001 International Black Belt of the Year ZDK International

2000 Competitor of the Year ZDK International

Featured in International publications

Featured on "The Hub" TV show 2003

Featured on the "What Now" in 2004, 2008, 2009

Featured on "TV 3 NEWS" in 2004

WKF Black Belt under 60kg Kumite  top 8 world ranking 2000 - 2002

TUNZ Black belt Bantam weight National champion 1999 - 2002 Undefeated

UNZKO - Black belt - 60/65kg National champion 1998 - 2004 Undefeated

- WKA Muay Thai Superlight weight SI Champion - 2012 - Undefeated

- Former International Kata, Kumite and Weapons champion

Trained with over 100 top ranked martial arts masters, instructors and competitors