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.