Introducing Our Queensland Adult Kenpo Instructors
Kenpo Instructor – Don Woods
My name is Don Woods, I currently hold a 4th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo 5.0. My wife Suzanne and I are the Instructors in Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0 in our home city of Brisbane, Australia. Our School is in Sunnybank on Brisbane’s Southside and has been running since 2004. We teach both Adult’s and Children’s Classes every week and have developed a solid skills base across all ranks.
I started Martial Arts in Brisbane back in 1988 & progressed through the ranks of Freestyle Tae Kwon Do achieving a 2nd Degree Black Belt in November 1997. I continued with TKD for another 6 years.
In Jan 2003 I had the pleasure of attending a seminar with Mr. Jeff Speakman in Brisbane. I clearly remember Mr. Speakman demonstrating a few Kenpo Techniques using me as the “Dummy”. I couldn’t believe his incredible power and speed – it was literally like getting hit by a machine gun!! I returned home and told Suzanne all about it and showed her my checkerboard chest (a result of all the hits from the Kenpo Techniques).
After experiencing the Awesome Power of Kenpo & listening to Mr Speakman’s clear and concise explanations of the underlying principles & concepts, Suzanne & I decided to leave TKD after 15 years and study Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo Karate. Suzanne & I quickly developed a great relationship with our Instructor Mr David Giovenco in Sydney. Mr Giovenco is an excellent Martial Artist and is one of our closest friends.
One of the great things about Mr Speakman’s Kenpo is that it is a continually evolving art, to provide its students with solutions to new threats that develop in the street. The ever-increasing popularity of Mixed Martial Arts in Australia has resulted in many more people who have skills both in Stand-up and in Ground Fighting. To provide solution for self defence against opponents on the street with these types of advanced skills, Mr Speakman evolved his system into Kenpo 5.0 in 2006 (Yes, the previous version was Kenpo 4.0). The Kenpo Ground Fighting System was created, adding many ground fighting techniques to the curriculum. To assist with my study of the ground fighting techniques I started cross-training in Freestyle Wrestling in January 2007 accompanied by my son Daniel.
In June 2006 I had the great pleasure of testing for my 1st Degree Brown Belt in Las Vegas, USA. What an Awesome place! And what a fantastic group of people Mr Speakman leads! I met new friends from countries such as America, New Zealand, Bolivia & France. The standard of Mr Speakman’s students from all over the World is Extremely High. I returned to Las Vegas in June 2008, 2010 and 2013 with my wife Suzanne and we both tested for our 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Black Belts…
This was a Huge Reward for Suzanne and I for all of the hard work, dedication, loyalty and sacrifice towards becoming kenpo instructors
Suzanne and I have three children that all train Kenpo 5.0 with us. Rachel, Daniel and Sarah have all earned Black Belts in our Junior System, and are currently working through the Adult System.
For us, it is truly a Family affair. I take great pleasure in guiding all the Children in our Martial Arts School towards their goals. They are all well on their way to becoming strong, kind, respectful, knowledgeable and humble members of our community.
Kenpo 5.0 – Wisdom, Strength, Kindness…
Kenpo Instructor – Suzanne Woods
My name is Suzanne Woods and I currently hold a 4th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo. Along with my husband Don, we are the kenpo Instructors and Representatives for Jeff Speakman in Qld, Australia. We teach Kenpo 5.0 at our Martial Arts School in Sunnybank, Brisbane.
I began my Martial Arts journey way back in 1986 when I joined the local TKD School, looking to learn some self defence and to stay fit. After 4 years training I was awarded my 1st Degree Black Belt from the head of the organization Steven Cheah (7th Degree Black Belt and Head of Cheah’s Advanced Taekwondo in Australia)
I trained for a further 6 years with his organisation but in 1995 had to take a break when Don and I had our first child.
Seven years and two more kids later, Don attended a Jeff Speakman seminar in Brisbane in 2003. I still remember when he came home that night, his chest was like a checkerboard. Mr Speakman had used him as his training partner to demonstrate one of his techniques named “Shielding Hammer”. This was the beginning of our journey in American Kenpo and our Association with Mr Speakman.
We opened our Kenpo School in early 2004 at MacGregor in Brisbane and since then our School has steadily grown.
Under the direction of our kenpo Instructors and now a good friend Mr David Giovenco (Head Australian Representative for Mr Speakman), Don and I tested for our 1st Degree Black Belts with Mr Speakman in Las Vegas in 2008 followed by our 2nd Degree in 2010.
Recently I competed in the Las Vegas World Cup and won the Adults Self Defence Grand Championships for the second year in a row and was divisional Winner in Forms.
I am so proud and honoured to be a Jeff Speakman Black Belt and to be part of his Kenpo Family which now extends to over 17 Countries around the World.
Mr Speakman leads the finest group of Martial Artists and more importantly the greatest people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, training with and learning from.
Matt has been a member of our adult group since June 2011. He recently was graded to 2nd Degree Black Belt in Las Vegas and becomes our 1st adult student to reach this Black Belt level.
Matt is a valued member of our Kenpo 5.0 instructors team. He regularly helps teach the junior classes where he is known for his enthusiasm and good humour. He is an asset to our team.
We look forward to Matt continuing his Kenpo journey with us and hope he will open a school of his own one day.
Meet Our Junior Black Belt Kenpo 5.0 Instructors
Rachel received her Junior Black Belt in 2008 after 7 years training in the
Jeff Speakman Kenpo 5.0 System. She continued making her way through
the Adult System and earned her 1st Degree Black Belt in 2019.
She is a great asset to our school and has competed in many International
competitions as a junior, winning Oceania Championships along the way.
She represented Australia in Disneyland in 2005 and won the Self Defence
for her age group.
In 2010 she was nominated in the Quest Newspaper Young Sportsperson
of the Year after winning the category for May 2010.
Rachel was also announced as the winner of the Australian Olympic
Movement’s Pierre De Coubertin award in 2012.
Rachel holds a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Sports Science from the
University of Queensland. She currently works as a Clinical Exercise
Physiologist at St Andrew’s Hospital and also at a private clinic in Brisbane.
She has experience helping cancer patients in their recovery and also more
recently helping at the Sporting Wheelies here in Brisbane. She helps all
kinds of patients with rehabilitation.
Rachel is an integral part of our Instructors Team helping teach the Little
Dragons, juniors and adults.
Daniel received his Junior Black Belt in 2009 after training in Kenpo since
the age of 4. In 2019 he received his 1st Degree Black Belt in the Adult
Kenpo 5.0 System.
Daniel has been a member of our Oceania Championship Team since
2008. He was the Oceania Self Defence Champion after competing in
Auckland in 2017. He was also 2nd in adult 5-0 fighting at that event fighting
a weight category up from his.
Daniel has traveled internationally on several occasions to represent our
Brisbane Kenpo 5.0 School.
He is an avid Sportsman and received MacGregor State High School’s
“Spirit of Sport at MacGregor” Award in 2013. In 2014 Daniel was also
elected School Captain and was the winner of the Australian Olympic
Movement’s Pierre De Coubertin award. This prestigious award is given to
students who excel in all sport and set a good example to others with their
great sportsmanship and spirit. He follows in his big sister Rachel’s
footsteps. Rachel Woods won the award in 2012.
Dan recently completed a Civil Engineering Degree at QUT in Brisbane and
works for Telstra Mobile networks. He helps as a Kenpo Instructor for our
adults classes and assists in coaching our International and Oceania
Sarah began her Kenpo journey at age 4 and became our youngest Junior
Black Belt at age 11. She has been assisting in the junior classes since
Sarah continued into the Adult Kenpo 5.0 System and received her 1st
Degree Black Belt from Mr. Speakman in Las Vegas in 2019.
She has competed at an International level on many occasions. She has
been an Oceania Champion for her age group in Self defence, and more
recently competed at the Las Vegas World Cup 2019 where she was
overall Grand Champion in Adult Self Defence and Divisional World
Champion for her age group in forms.
Sarah attended Macgregor State High School and was the 3 rd of the Woods
children to be School Captain (2017).
Sarah was also announced as the winner of the Australian Olympic
Movement’s Pierre De Coubertin award in 2017. This prestigious award is
given to students who excel in all sport and set a good example to others
with their great sportsmanship and spirit.
Sarah is a valued member of our Junior Kenpo Instructors team helping in
kids and adult classes.
She is in her final year of Paramedics at QUT and is currently working at
the Children’s hospital in Brisbane as an admin officer while she completes
Hi, I’m Rachel. I started kenpo in 2011 at the age of 4 in the little dragons program. Currently, I hold a junior black belt and an adult purple belt. In 2016 and 2019, I participated in the Oceania Championship held in Sydney and placed 2nd in forms and 2nd in fighting, respectively. My hobbies include ice skating, listening to music and playing guitar.
Hi my name is Cindy and I have been doing Kenpo since I was 6 years old. I became a junior instructor at the age of 13 and I am currently training in the adults class. I enjoy playing a variety of sports but I prefer playing netball, as well as doing fitness activities in my spare time.
Hi my name is Darby and I started learning Kenpo 5.0 in 2015 when I was 7 years old. I became a junior instructor when I was 12 years old and a brown belt. Some of my favourite things to do are camping, running, touch football and messing around with my friends in my spare time.