Masters Council

AIK MASTERS COUNCIL

The American Institute of Kenpo has enlisted a Master Council to give us guidance and to set policy in times of divergence.  Each member of AIK’s Master Council has many years of experience and they bring a wealth of knowledge, insight and real life know-how to assist AIK. We thank each member for your continued service and the special place you have with The American Institute of Kenpo - Until the last day…

Sigung Stephen LaBounty 

10th Degree Black Belt - Senior Master of the Arts

Founder Of Stephen LaBounty’s American Kenpo

 

Sigung Stephen LaBounty sits at the head of AIK’s Kenpo Lineage and he is AIK’s Senior Instructor.  

Arguably one of the most widely known Kenpoists, there are many in the martial arts who say that Steve LaBounty is the true definition of the "Warrior Spirit."  Having initially come to Ed Parker in 1966 with a background in Judo and having a Black Belt under Al & Jim Tracy (only their third), Mr. LaBounty went on to distinguish himself in the Martial Arts, carrying Mr. Parker's banner wherever he went. 

Both a National and International fighting champion, he is widely sought after on the seminar circuit where he is legendary for his "fighting drills”.  Mr. LaBounty has spent many years in police work and is active as a Law Enforcement Consultant and trainer. Having reached a level of excellence in the "Yang" side of the martial arts, he spent years pursuing an education related to the opposing "Yin" side, and today, as a practicing Acupressurist and Herbalist, teaches seminars in bodywork to martial artists.

At times outspoken, he is always willing to support events and causes he feels will bring the brotherhood closer. A friend to many in the Kenpo community he is often sought after for his wisdom and experience and was one of the founding members of the American Kenpo Senior Council.

AIK is honored to stand in (and be a proud echo of) the lineage of Sigung Stephen LaBounty! We are grateful for his continued instruction, guidance and council - Until the last day…  

Oos!

Mr. Lee Wedlake 

10th Degree Black Belt - Senior Master of the Arts

Founder of Progressive Kenpo Systems

 

Lee Wedlake started studying Judo in 1967 at the Shindo Kan school in Chicago, IL., run by Blaise Joseph Zorich, where he achieved the rank of Brown belt.  In November, 1972 he initiated study of Chinese Kenpo at a school in Evergreen Park, IL.  He left that school as a Brown belt and was later promoted to first degree Black belt on June 2, 1975 by Michael John Sanders, a Kenpo 5th Dan, of Sterling, IL., who later promoted him to 2nd Degree Black in 1978.  After Sander’s death in July 1979, Mr. Wedlake began studying with “The Father of American Karate”, at Pasadena, CA. starting in November, 1979.  He was trained by both the Senior Founding Grandmaster and Frank Trejo for two years and promoted to third degree in 1981.  

 

He was introduced to Richard “Huk” Planas at the 1982 International Karate Championships and studied concurrently with Planas and the Senior Founding Grandmaster.  The SFGM, Trejo, Planas and Joe Palanzo promoted him to fifth degree in September 1986 .  The SFGM promoted him to sixth degree on November 19, 1990, approximately one month before his passing.  Trejo and Planas promoted him to 7th degree on June 27, 1993.  In October 1998 during the annual Kenpo Camp in Ft. Myers, Huk promoted him to 8th degree. He and Planas parted ways in 2002. In October 2006 he assumed the rank of 9th with the approval of Kenpo seniors and peers.

Lee has written and published eight books on Kenpo. They are Kenpo Karate 101, Further Insights into Kenpo, Kenpo Karate 201, Kenpo Karate 301, Kenpo Karate 401, Kenpo Karate 501, Kenpo Karate 601 and his work on the SFGM entitled Lessons with Ed Parker. The Kenpo Karate Compendium, was released by Blue Snake Books in 2015. In addition he has had numerous articles published in several martial arts magazines including the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, as well as the Mensa Bulletin and aviation magazines. He has a DVD series and you can find his online learning site at www.wedlakekenpotv.com

Mr. Wedlake served as the SFGM’s representative in the Midwest for 11 years and was on the board examiners of the SFGM's Association. He was the US representative for Jeff Speakman’s AKKS, on the board of the Worldwide Kenpo Karate Association (WKKA), was the Illinois State Representative for the American Karate Association (AKA) and is on the board of directors of the World Registry of Black Belts, Organizations and Federations (WRBBOF). The Chinese Karate Federation was co-founded by himself and Sean Kelley in the 1990’s while he lived in Florida. Today Lee serves as the senior instructor of the Progressive Kenpo Systems group, founded in the late 1990s, with schools across the globe. He was recognized as a Shihan “Chief Grandmaster Instructor” by Shidokan International’s 10th degree, Richie Bernard, in January 2009.  In addition, he holds instructor certification in Russian Systema under Vladimir Vasiliev and has taught Yang tai chi since the early 1990's.

Mr. Wedlake is a 10th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate and is a tremendous asset to the American Institute of Kenpo.  We are honored that he has accepted the position on our Masters Council and we are thrilled to have him be a part of the AIK Family!

Mr. John Sepulveda

10th Degree Black Belt - Senior Master of the Arts

Founder of the Advanced Kenpo Training System

John Sepulveda, has over 50 years experience in Kenpo and holds an 10th Degree Black Belt (Senior Master of the Arts). Mr. Sepulveda was one of a very few who was a direct student of the Senior Founding Grandmaster before his untimely passing. Mr. Sepulveda is featured prominently in Tom Bleecker’s recent book, The Journey and the International Journey, which profiles prominent Kenpoists. He is also included in the book “Kenpo Perspectives, The Diversity of American Kenpo” written by Michael Miller. To the uninitiated, this is a singular honor. 

Mr. Sepulveda has actively and successfully competed in many Open, National and International tournaments and has many junior and senior students who have also competed successfully at the same levels of competition. His students are known for their speed and explosive power as well as their character. Mr. Sepulveda has also appeared on television, and in national and international martial arts magazines, and has written numerous articles on the art of Kenpo. 

Mr. Sepulveda is the founder of the “Advanced Kenpo Training System”™. This organization boasts member schools in the United States, from coast to coast. He is proudly affiliated with Ed Downey’s European Kenpo Karate Association at http://www.europeankenpo.com. 

 

Mr. Sepulveda is one of the founding members of the “Senior Council” which boasts some of the best Kenpo practitioners worldwide. He has been recognized worldwide for his committed efforts in promoting Kenpo, which has included receiving many awards, including the California Karate League’s “Official of the Year Award,” and the Associated Teachers Association of the Martial Artists (ATAMA) “Hall of Fame Award.” In 2007 he was inducted as a Charter Member of the Kenpo Hall of Fame, in 2008 he was inducted into the World Martial Arts Masters Association Hall of Fame, and in 2009 he was inducted into the World Master’s Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was inducted into the Master’s Hall of Fame and received the Mike Stone Leadership Award for his contributions to the martial arts community. At the present time there are over 50 schools affiliated with Mr. Sepulveda throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Mexico  

Mr. Bob White

10th Degree Black Belt - Senior Master of the Arts

Founder of Bob White's Kenpo Karate Studio

Senior Master Bob White has contributed to the art of Kenpo, in particular, the fighting arts, for over 50 years as a competitor and as a teacher and coach. Senior Master Bob White won numerous state, national, and international fighting championships. Bob White fought on the first International Kenpo Karate Association’s team, defeating the Chuck Norris team for 1st Place at the International Karate Championships. He fought on the National All-Star Black Belt Team which went undefeated in 1973 and 1974. During this time, he competed with and against some of the great champions of our sport such as the Urquidez Brothers, Brian Strain, Bob Alegria, Tom Kelly, Steve Fisher, Steve LaBounty, Howard Jackson, Darnel Garcia, Bob Mitchell, John Natividad, Ron Marchini and many more.

 

In 1968 Senior Master Bob White began teaching Kenpo at the Ed Parker School in Garden Grove, California. In 1972 he opened his own school and he has consistently turned out some of the worlds finest Kenpo fighters. During the 1990s, his students accounted for at least one of the Black Belt Grand Champions at the International Karate Championships. Bob’s school has won more than 1500 trophies at the International Karate Championships over the past 25 years.

In the mid-1980s Senior Master Bob White advised and acted in Columbia Pictures, The Karate Kid, movie and he was hired by the then Los Angeles Rams to teach Kenpo to players. He continues to work with many professional athletes.

Senior Master Bob White teaches seminars on a wide range of Kenpo-related subjects including sparring and he does special self-defense presentations. Along with Captain Ron Sanchez, a 22-year veteran police officer, and a long time student, Senior Master Bob White offers a seminar series on Urban Predators.

Senior Master Bob White has his headquarters in Costa Mesa, California but he has affiliated schools all over the U.S. and he teaches Kenpo all over the world.

Mr. Mike Winkeljohn 

8th Degree Black Belt - Associate Master of the Arts

Founder Of Wink’s Gym & Partner at Jackson’s MMA

Mr. Mike Winkeljohn is a two time world kickboxing and muay thai champion. He has a long and decorated fight career and now trains some of the most well known fighters in the world at Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts. 

Mr. Winkeljohn holds a 8th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo but he is above all, a great teacher and coach. 

Mr. Winkeljohn serves the American Institute of Kenpo as a Masters Council Member.  He offers his guidance, council and his advanced insights to bridge the gap between Kenpo and full contact fighting.  

The American Institute of Kenpo is grateful to Mr. Wikeljohn not only for the inspirational example that he sets, but also for all of the hard lessons and unforgettable memories.  

Mrs. Rebecca Knight 

7th Degree Black Belt - Senior Professor of the Arts

AIK’s Director of Operations

Often Mrs. Rebecca Knight lives somewhat in the shadow of her husband.  However, Shawn Knight (her husband) says, “Rebecca stands right beside me in all aspects of our lives together and I find myself within the confines of her shadow almost daily.  There are no words that could adequately express my gratitude for the person that has influenced me beyond the scope of all others in my life”.  

Managing the studio, Mrs. Knight serves as the Director of Operations for the American Institute of Kenpo; she tirelessly serves AIK and her students alike.  Although her demeanor is quiet and at just over five feet tall she is no imposing figure, you will find her to be a giant in the art of Kenpo.  

 

Mrs. Knight is also featured in an organization that spotlights the accpmplishment of the Women of Kenpo.  www.kenpowomen.com 

Mrs. Knight also shared part of her very personal story of overcoming adversity for SmartGirl Self Defense at the following link: Smart Girl Defense - Knight Interview

In addition, Mrs. Knight will be one of 5 women featured in the upcoming Journey 3, by Tom Bleecker. Stay tuned!!!

Whatever It Takes - Until The Last Day