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Martial Arts

Sensei Nick’s Sport Karate Cover Story

Check out this throwback to when Sensei Nick was featured as the cover story in Sport Karate Magazine, Issue 71, Nov-Feb 2001!

Cover Story – Nick Perdunn

By Boice Lydell

  • Date of birth: March 28, 1984
  • Age: 16
  • Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Residence: Delran, New Jersey, USA
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Ethnic Origin: Italian
  • Style: Kenpo
  • School: Amerikick
  • Instructor: Mark Russo
  • Year started in martial arts: 1992
  • Year received black belt: 1996
  • Team: Team SMASH International 1997-2000
  • Sport Karate coach: Mark Russo
  • Favorite technique: 540 kick
  • First national win: 1997 Tornado Internationals
  • Sport karate world titles: 1999- 12-14 Hard creative forms world champion, 1999- 12-14 Hard/soft creative weapons world champion, 1998- 12-14 Hard creative forms world champion, 1998- Boys team sparring world champion, 1996- 10-11 point sparring world champion
  • Toughest forms/weapons opponent: Chris Millares
  • Toughest fighting opponent: Jermond Wiggins
  • Sport karate career highlight: Winning five world titles
  • Martial Arts goal #1: To open up his own successful karate school
  • Martial Arts goal #2: To win more world titles than Adrian Ulanoff
  • Non-martial arts goal: To finish school and be successful in life
  • Favorite tournament: Tornado Internationals and Amerikick
  • Favorite sport karate players:
    • Past forms: Charmichael Simon
    • Present forms: Chris Millares
    • Past fighting: Troy McCaskell
    • Present fighting: Justin Smith
  • Most admired martial artist: Just Smith
  • Most admired person: His parents, Art and Luann Perdunn
  • Favorite food: Cream chipped beef
  • Favorite movie: American Anthem
  • Favorite actor: Sylvester Stallone
  • Favorite magazine: Sport Karate Magazine
  • Favorite book: The Bible
  • Favorite music: Anything but country
  • Favorite hobby: Trench digging and landscaping
  • Favorite sport: Everything
  • Address: 72 Springcress Dr., Delran, NJ 08075
  • Phone: (856) 461-3626

“Oh yea baby” are the enunciated words from the crazed and smiling competitor as he points at the audience after his 360 drop kick has just crushed and mangled his make believe foe. This could only be the performance of one well known and easily liked sport karate player- Nick Perdunn. Perdunn is the happy-go-lucky type of teenager that can put on a show, unembarrassed by any action, get everyone to enjoy and watch for his uncanny mannerisms, yet stay the most modest and humble athlete that could be the envy of any instructor or parent. From blowing the pretend smoke off his pretend red hot kama to falling flat on his back to end his performance (obviously as crazy as Butch Togisala used to be), to his Indiana Jones routine, with the bull whip, leather jacket and hat, Perdunn could convince the novice spectator that he may be of the cocky and arrogant teenager type off stage. However in reality he’s reserved, generally quiet and stays on the sidelines and lets others, such as his best buddy and teammate Chris Millares, be the spectacle for non competition entertainment.

In actuality he’s many times the big tease as he’s as gullible for practical jokes as anyone can be (except perhaps the famed Ryan Huntley). And his biggest teaser is his best friend, Millares. As the first two members of Team SMASH International formed in 1996 by their coach and instructor, Perdunn formed a lasting friendship with Millares since the early 1990’s when he first met him. This occurred when Perdunn was invited to attend a blackbelt class as a brown belt at his karate school. Perdunn was a talented brown belt if not unintentionally deceiving one. For it was during one such workout that the instructor, Mark Russo, asked Perdunn to attempt a 540 kick to which Perdunn attempted to near perfection, little to Russo’s knowledge that the other school instructor, Justin Smith had been training Perdunn to do it for some time. This perfection of technique led Perdunn to be invited by Russo to continue as a member of the class.

The unexpected should always be expected from Perdunn however, as his record indicates, even though he sometimes appears like the push-over type in reality. The two world champions with records of winning the most titles in a single year know the best. Adrian Ulanoff with seven world titles to his credit in 1998 and Chris Sublett with seven world titles to his credit in 1999 were both stopped dead in their tracks from winning eight titles because of Nick Perdunn. Actually Perdunn prevented Sublett from winning a possible nine world titles last year, as he stopped Sublett from winning both the 12 to 14 creative forms title and creative weapons title. And in the year prior against Ulanoff in the 12 to 14 creative forms division, Perdunn headed to the Grand Finale as the underdog to Ulanoff by four one-hundreds of a point eliminations loser to him only to top him in the Finale by two one-hundredths for the world title.

Perdunn could easily be termed the record “spoiler” but this is never-the-less a testament to his abilities. However he’s had his share of second places as well. Looking at it as either a credit to his skill or disappointment not to take the title, besides his two world titles last year, he took as incredible five runner-up titles. Two of those losses were handed to him by Sublett in the same 12 to 14 year old musical divisions of which he took the creative wins in, while he also took second in junior soft forms, 14 to 15 year old point sparring and a runner-up junior team sparring title.

Like many other youngsters, Perdunn was lured to karate as an eight year old watching Bruce Lee and others in the movies. His parents hunted down the local school which was the nearby “American Karate” owned by Dennis and Sharon Tosten, whose young instructors Justin Smith and Mark Russo become his mentors. The school franchised to become the Amerikick Karate Systems with Russo starting his own school as well as Perdunn’s own parents running one. After being an avid basketball, soccer and baseball player. Perdunn found karate competition to be his favorite, especially after taking fourth place in Las Vegas in 1996 in his first blackbelt national competition. He miraculously went on to win his first world title that year in the 12 to 13 year old sparring division at Super Grands VIII in Colorado Springs.

Now with five titles neatly tucked under his belt his goals include a desire to compete at more foreign tournaments and to top Adrian Ulanoff’s record of 20 world title wins. Will he do that…? Could be since he plans to make owning and operating his own school his career.

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Newsletter

July 2022 Newsletter

Check out July’s upcoming events!

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June 2022 Newsletter

Check out June’s upcoming events!

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Black Belt Essay

A Black Belt Essay

What I have learned since receiving my Amerikick Black Belt

By Billy Preston 

Ever since I got my black belt, I have learned a ton of new and fun things! When I went to my first Black Belt class, I learned my previous training was to prepare me to start to really learn Karate. I also learned that it was going to be up to me to put more work in to learn the new techniques and prepare for my Senior Black Belt. 

If I had to choose one of the new techniques I learned as my favorite I would choose Twisting Dragon, because I think it is unique that the good guy is the one attacking the bad guy and because I like to do tricks and it feels like a funky cartwheel while doing it. For me, the hardest technique I have learned is Tiger Stretch because it was hard to remember what moves come next in each part. The easiest technique for me to learn was Reverse Hammer Lock because I think it has the least number of moves and the moves are basic. I think the hardest skill I have learned in my whole Karate career is a Falcon Kick from my last test. I think my favorite black belt kata is Short 2 because all the steps and moves are easy but not too easy like short 1 and long 1. 

After I got my Junior Black Belt, I started to help out with the younger kids in class.  I think my favorite part of being a Black Belt is helping out because not only do you get to learn people’s names and make friends, but I also get to help the younger kids get to where I am today! 

We had to rebuild our Black Belt Demo Team after senior members became too old to be on the team. I am now one of five remaining members from our old team and am considered one of the leaders on the new team.  This is both exciting and a bit scary because the new kids on the team look up to us now as leaders. I have made a lot of new friends on the team though. I love to come every week to learn new amazing things on the demo team and in class! Sensei Jamel’s Tricks class is probably my favorite because I am good at doing tricks and I am starting to be able to perform more advanced tricks in my creative katas.  On some nights I would be the only one to show up for class.  Those nights were fun because Sensei Nick would help me with my Back Tucks! I also have fun learning Arnis Sticks with Sensei Pete and going to special Arnis classes with Grandmaster Dennis Tosten. I’ve just started learning Jiu Jitsu with Sensei Tyler too.

I had an amazing tournament season as a Black Belt last year.  I could not believe that I finished as the top overall Black Belt in the Amerikick Karate League. I got to meet Mason StowelI at the Amerikick Internationals. My least favorite part of the season were the virtual tournaments because I had to perform each of my katas 3 or 4 times for the camera to get them perfect instead of doing them once at the in-person tournaments.  Boy was I glad when we finally went back to the in-person tournaments! 

I think being Black Belt is my favorite belt so far because I get to be the leader for more things now. In class I have had a ton of fun challenges that I had to accomplish. All my Senseis have made sure I have had fun learning my senior belt techniques and Katas and have helped me so much along the way.  I also have to thank my Mom and Dad and my brother, Sensei Bobby, for helping me get to where I am now. So far, my journey in Karate has been extremely fun and extraordinary and I can’t wait for more!

Sensei Billy’s Black Belt poster
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Newsletter

May 2022 Newsletter

  1. May 2nd Summer Uniforms can be worn in classes! Must be Amerikick T-Shirt & Amerikick Shorts.
  2. 10th – Bring A Buddy AKX Fitness Kickboxing Class @ 7:15pm
  3. 14th- Belt Graduation at 12:00pm! 
  4. 20th – Star Wars, Dodgeball, Ninja Warrior, Nerf Wars, Pizza Night! 6:30pm – 9:00pm $30 per person $25 BBC & MC Members!
  5. Closed Sat-Mon for Memorial Weekend
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Martial Arts

Meet Sensei Pete

Hi everyone, my name is Pete or Sensei Pete.  Just want to let you know how I started at the Amerikick Delran Team.  I am a father of two: I have a daughter Arianna (21yrs) and a son Anthony (18yrs), you may have seen him around.  Anthony had already been attending Amerikick karate, at the age of 5, and there was a special father’s day membership promotion, so I decided to attend a karate class.  My level of activity had declined and I wanted to get back into some kind of physical training.  It beat sitting on the couch eating snacks and waiting for bedtime by 100 miles, God bless my wife, Diane. 

During my time with the Amerikick Delran family, I was an active member of the community at the time.  Coaching or helping coach in the Delran athletic association and being the Den leader/Cubmaster for cub scout Pack 25.  

I had earned my karate first and second degree black belt under Sensei Nick, which opened the door to many other martial arts learning opportunities.  Arnis and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) have also become training passions, both available within Amerikick.  

Arnis, also called Eskrima, Kali, Garrote, or fighting sticks, has been very enjoyable to learn and teach.  Amerikick introduces the art during the first degree black belt journey, but that was not enough for me.  So, I continued my training with none other than Grandmaster Dennis Tosten, founder of Amerikick, and earned my Lakan (equivalent to a Black Belt).

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ has been another branch in the martial arts tree.  I have the opportunity to learn and train with some excellent martial artists within the Amerikick Delran team: Sensei Tyler and Sensei Jamel.  My BJJ journey currently has me at a purple belt level under Sensei Nick and Coach Rick Migliarese.  Every single member within the BJJ program keeps me on my toes and makes me earn the purple belt every training session.

So, in addition to my martial arts passion, I have a bachelors in Mechanical engineering from NJIT and work full time at a company close by that designs and builds automated laboratory robotics equipment for the pharmaceutical industry.  

I would also like to mention that every experience I have had at AmeriKick has resulted in a camaraderie. 

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Martial Arts

The Benefits of Martial Arts on Mental Health

Most people know the physical benefits of training in Martial Arts but do you know all of the mental benefits?  According to  A review of the effects of martial arts practice on health, “Benefits from this practice include better overall health and balance, as well as an improved sense of psychological well being.” Today we want to take a deep dive into all the ways Martial Arts benefits mental health.

Physical Exercise

I know, we said mental health, not physical health, but hear us out.  Did you know that physical exercise has an impact on mental health?  According to A Meta – analysis of the Relationship Between Children’s Activity and Mental Health, “Clinicians, school-based professionals, and parents should encourage physical activity in children, not only for the physical health benefits, but for the positive mental health outcomes as well.”  Exercise produces endorphins which are known to boost your mood and make you happier.  I don’t know about you but a workout always helps to clear our minds and put us in a better mood.  Physical strength and endurance are both key components of Martial Arts.

Stress Relief

Have you ever kicked or punched a heavy bag as hard as you can?  We strongly suggest it!  Take whatever is on your mind and turn that negative energy into power. Classes and learning new techniques also help to occupy your mind with something new and positive.  Sometimes you just need to shift your focus.  Speaking of…

Focus

Sometimes we just have too many tabs open in the browser, if you know what we mean.  It can be hard to complete tasks and even stressful when your mind is racing.  Martial Arts instructors help their students to focus in order to learn techniques and properly perform those techniques.

Self-Control

This is something that many of us struggle with.  We are not talking about seeing a cookie and not eating it.  We mean understanding a feeling and taking a minute to decide how to react.  We practice this all the time in Martial Arts.  The reason we are able to train in sparring and weapons safely is because we teach students the importance of self-control.

Courtesy

Students are expected to treat people respectfully in and out of the karate school.  We are courteous to each other but we expect that to extend far beyond the school.  Even though karate is an individual sport, we as a school are a team.  We encourage each other and mentor each other. 

Community

Feelings of loneliness or isolation can have serious effects on one’s mental health.  Martial Arts offers a community of people who share a common interest and who work together to support each other.  Students are all working towards the common goal of Black Belt Excellence. You feel a special bond when you are working hard together towards a goal.  In addition to that, many friendships are made at a karate school.

Perseverance

“The more you practice, the better you get”, is a phrase heard often at our karate school.  No one decides to be a Black Belt one day and becomes one on the same day.  As much as getting a Black Belt may be the goal, all the growing and learning takes place during the journey to get there.  When you reach the goal, it’s that much sweeter because you know you never gave up.

Confidence

Every new technique learned, every new belt, every Martial Arts tournament competed in, raises your confidence a little more.  That same confidence will stay with you through all of life’s challenges. If you have a big tournament coming up, you practice because you know you will feel more confident when you compete.  That next week when you hear about your big math test, you will know you will practice for that same feeling.  Proper planning prevents poor performance.  Also, it lessens nerves.

Work Ethic

According to the article, Positive Psychology in Martial Arts, “Martial arts training forms the foundational base for establishing a healthy work ethic.” Feeling like situations in your life are out of your control can be a cause of anxiety for many. Understanding that you control the actions you take and the work you put into a task, can help to alleviate some of that anxiety.

Creativity

You are probably wondering what could be creative about Martial Arts. Sure, we teach techniques and katas that are memorized but that is just the foundation. Once you understand the movements and their purpose you can build from there. If you have ever sparred you know that you have to think quickly and be creative with the moves you choose to use. Many students love to compete in the Creative Forms division at tournaments. They are able to take the moves they have learned and use them to create their own kata. Just like in real life, you learn your basic principles or virtues at home. You determine how to use them through life. You might be faced with challenges or difficult decisions but your virtues help guide you down the best path for you.

We could go on forever on all the ways that Martial Arts can benefit you, body and mind, but we will stop there so you have time to get some training in. If you are ready to begin your Martial Arts journey but you are not sure how to start, check us out at Amerikick Delran!

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, you can find resources at the National Institue of Mental Health (NIMH).

Categories
Newsletter

April 2022 Newsletter

  1. Saturday 4/2 @ 12:00pm Belt Graduation
  2. Weapons Week will be Chucks this month.
  3. Monday 11th @ 8:00pm FREE Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Class
  4. Friday 15th All Classes Bring A Buddy Night! 
  5. Tuesday 19th FREE Fitness Kickboxing Class! 
  6. Saturday 23rd Parent Participation All Classes! Part II 
Categories
Martial Arts

Meet Sensei Tyler

Hey guys! My name is Tyler, or Sensei Tyler as some of you may know. I started learning karate at Amerikick Delran when I was just 7 years old. My interest in karate stemmed from the years I dealt with managing my anger. Despite going to therapy, I needed another way to release stress and that is when karate become a huge part of my life. With the guidance and knowledge of Sensei Nick, I grew to become a talented student and competed well in many competitions. After 5 years of hard work, I earned my Black Belt and continued to learn new skills for 2 more years.

Sensei Tyler resting after some hard work at Black Belt testing.
Sensei Tyler getting his Black Belt from Grandmaster Tosten at the Black Belt Extravaganza.

While karate is something I am very passionate about, another form of martial arts has become an important part of my life. As I get older, I strive to keep learning and expanding my knowledge of self-defense. I was introduced to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program at Amerikick over 5 years ago, and since then I have grown to appreciate martial arts even more. I am now a Purple Belt and have many competition wins, some being professional, to add to my list of accomplishments. Even more importantly, I have created life-long friendships with my co-workers and training partners.

Sensei Tyler and some of the AK BJJ crew.
Sensei Tyler with his Dad and brother/training partner Andrew.
Sensei Tyler celebrating a victory with his brother and sister.
Sensei Tyler and Sensei Nick at the Tap Out Cancer Submission Showcase. Tyler took the win and raised money for cancer research.

I aspire to one day open my own martial arts school. I love watching students grow into confident individuals and seeing them reach their goals makes me want to work even harder towards mine. Sensei Nick has been my biggest inspiration and has shown me that my goals are achievable no matter how difficult they seem. I am extremely grateful for my Amerikick Delran family, and I couldn’t imagine my life without martial arts in it! A quote I live by every day is by Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, and it states, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

Sensei Tyler is always either in a Jiu Jitsu gi or a karate gi. He is always training!
Categories
Martial Arts

Top Martial Arts Movies

The list of Top Martial Arts Movies is no easy list to come by.  Asking Sensei Nick to choose his favorite martial arts movie is like asking him to pick a favorite child, he can’t do it.  He loves them all.  But we asked him to anyway and here are his picks.  Make sure you read all the way through for a special rare movie pick!

Top 5 Martial Arts Movies for Kids (in no order)

  • Kung Fu Panda: Watch Po uncover his destiny with his pals, The Furious Five.  This movie keeps the kids entertained and the parents.  This movie is also a perfect example of one of our favorite sayings “The more you practice, the better you get.”  Heroes aren’t made overnight, and neither are Black Belts!
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: One of Sensei Nick’s favorite shows growing up was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so it was no surprise when he picked this one.  He is a fan of all of the TMNT movies but the original will always hold a special place in his heart.  You can’t go wrong with Turtle Power!
  • Mulan: The Disney animated version is good but the Disney live-action version takes the Martial Arts action to the next level!  Sensei Nick lives in a house full of strong females so it only makes sense that Mulan would be a household favorite!
  • 3 Ninjas: Rocky, Colt, and Tum-Tum are three brothers who learn Martial Arts from their grandfather which comes in handy when they are faced with defending themselves against a bunch of bad guys.  The family that kicks together, sticks together!

Top 5 Martial Arts Movies for Grown Ups (in no order)

  • The Karate Kid: All of the Karate Kid movies are great but nothing beats the first.  Watch them all then follow up with the Cobra Kai series when you are done.  You won’t be disappointed.
  • Best of the Best: Great fighters from all over the country come together to compete against Korea at a Tae Kwon Do tournament.  Watch to see if teamwork really does make the dream work!
  • Bloodsport: We practice peace and friendship so thankfully there will be no Kumite training in our school.  That doesn’t stop us from cheering on Frank Dux though!
  • Kickboxer: This is definitely not the same as the Fitness Kickboxing we offer with the AKX program!  So while our training won’t have us avenging any family members, we can certainly appreciate Kurt’s journey to avenge his brother.

Special Feature

As promised, one of our top picks that Sensei Nick may be too modest to mention…

  • Kick: a film about three competitors and their lives on and off the competition stage.  See anyone familiar???  We are still trying to get our hands on a copy of this classic but when we do, you all will be first to know!

Grab a bucket of popcorn and one of these movies for some Martial Arts entertainment.  When you are ready to start your Martial Arts training, give us a call at Amerikick Delran!