Board of Directors

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First Name:
Last Name:
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Joe Palanzo, President
Joe Palanzo is a Tenth Degree Black Belt (Grand Master) in Kenpo, and has operated successful martial arts schools in Baltimore, Maryland, since 1969. He began his martial arts training in 1964 while studying at the Peabody Music Conservatory. He later studied with Grandmaster Ed Parker from 1966 to 1990, and achieved the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt. Mr. Palanzo served as Vice President of Ed Parker's International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA), and owned and operated the only East Coast Ed Parker Franchise School from 1970 until Mr. Parker's untimely death in 1990. He has long enjoyed an international reputation and critical acclaim for his proficiency in the martial arts and innovative capacity for introducing and developing martial arts skills among diverse audiences. After 50 years, he continues to teach at his schools in Baltimore.

Tom LoVarco, Vice-President
Tom LoVarco is a 8th degree Black Belt (Professor) in Kenpo. Mr. LoVarco and his wife Lorraine are the owners of American Black Belt Academy in Massapequa Park, NY. The American Black Belt Academy is one of the most successful and largest schools in the North East and has a reputation for producing exceptionally high quality students. The LoVarco's have been hosting the American Karate Championships each year since 1995, an event that has grown to be the largest tournament on Long Island and is part of the Worldwide Kenpo Karate League. Additionally Mr. LoVarco and his staff coach several National Championship Demo Teams, one of which was recently featured on The Montel Williams Show.  Mr. LoVarco continues his studying of American Kenpo under Mr. Palanzo and is continually developing the WKKA tournament circuit and the expansion of Kenpo through training seminars offered by the association.

Russell Palanzo, Executive Director
Russell Palanzo is a 4th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. Mr. Palanzo's knowledge comes from a life engrossed in the Martial Arts through his father Grand Master Joe Palanzo, training and mentoring of Dr. Maung Gyi - Founder of the American Bando Association, and Shootfighting with Bart Vale.  Mr. Palanzo is a skilled tournament competitor, wrestler, and is proficient in the use of many weapons including the staff, kukri, and nunchaku.  Mr. Palanzo owns and operates two Palanzo Martial Arts School in Baltimore, MD
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Henry Agri, Regional Director
Henry Agri is a 7th Degree Kenpo  Black Belt and has taught martial arts for over 25 years. He is the owner of Henry Agri's Kenpo Karate in North Grafton, MA and has owned and operated schools in FL, CA and GA.  Mr. Agri is an accomplished martial artist who earned his Black belt at the age of 15 and has trained with some of the world's greatest martial artists.


Sibora Chan, Regional Director

Sibora Chan is a 7th Black Belt and owner of American Kenpo Karate Studio in York, Pennsylvania. Mr. Chan is a nationally renowned instructor, and he has trained countless police officers, SWAT team members, homicide detectives, military, and special security agents.


Ken Herman, Regional Director

Ken Herman is a 6th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo and has studied martial arts for more than 30 years. Mr. Herman is a loyal Ed Parker advocate, and an outstanding instructor
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Dr. Maung Gyi, Board Advisor

Dr. Maung Gyi founded the American Bando Association in 1960. The ABA is a martial arts training organization that seeks to honor American veterans who fought and died in wars in Asia. He is an accomplished martial artist and a true pioneer of martial arts in America.  Dr. Gyi has been a great supporter to  Mr. Palanzo and the WKKA since 1992.