About the Instructors
All instructors are certified black belt teachers who have completed all the
required curriculum and have been through our assistant instructor teaching preparation. The instructors are all under the
guidance of Master John Austino, and are required to participate in seminars and clinics
to enhance their teaching and knowledge base.
School - Austino's Karate Do (Headquarters)
Seasons Health Club
Delsea Drive North
School - Tsuru Ki Martial Arts
B, Route 38
John Austino Jr - Chief Instructor
Garavento - Head Instructor
John Austino, Sr
Steve Cianelli, Chief Instructor
Austino began his karate training in USA Go-Ju, in 1982 and has trained
under Masters John Austino, Sr., Phil Maldonato, Ric Pascetta, and Maestro
Peter Urban. He is a top competitor in the martial arts both locally and
nationally. In 1986 he made it to the finals for the USA. AAU Olympics
tryouts and placed third in fighting. In 1989 he opened his first karate
1992, 1993, and 1994 he became the UMARA League Black Belt Light Weight
Champion. In 1993 he was hired by the Vineland Police Department. In
1995 he was instrumental in developing a Defensive Tactics program for eth
Vineland Police Department and police academy. In
he completed SWAT I and II level training with the Los Angeles Police
Department. From 1995 to 2000
he was a member of the Vineland SWAT Team. In 1998 he received
certification in GRAPLE - Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law
Enforcement under direct instruction of Royce Gracie.
From 1995 to present he continues to certify police
recruits in New Jersey Police Academies, in Weapon
Retention, Defensive Tactics, Handcuffing, and Baton training.
In 2003, he was hired by the State of New Jersey, Human Services Police
Department and in 2005 developed and teaches in-service training for, Defensive
Tactics program for the State of New Jersey Human Services Police
Department. In 2011 he was appointed as Coach
for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the
world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.
2004, he was promoted to Nanadan (7th Degree) in U.S.A.G.A, by Grandmaster
Peter Urban. In 2012, he was promoted to Kyoshi (6th Degree) in
A.G.K.A.I, by Shihan Ric Pascetta.
Born in 1947 in Vineland,
New Jersey. He began his
karate training in 1979 under Master Ric Pascetta. He also trained under
Phil Maldonato and Grand Master Peter Urban. He trained with Grand Master
Urban until his death in 2004.
1982 he opened his first karate school in Williamstown, New Jersey. He
produced top rated students who competed both locally and nationally.
Master Austino competed both nationally and internationally as
well. From 1985 to 1988 Sensei Austino was a dominate force in the
he won Senior Division championships in 1987 and 1988. From 1983 to 1989
Sensei Austino was a licensed Professional Boxing Manager and a licensed
corner person. He also was a boxing sparring partner for middleweight
Jamming Johnny Miller.
1994 to 1995 he was the U.M.A.R.A. New Jersey Director.
During that time he served as the rules committee chairman, and
served on the committee for certification of center referees.
2006 he received his instructor’s certification in the Monadnock
Defensive Tactics System from the Monadnock Police Training Council.
During that time he assisted his son in training school security forces in
that system. He attended the Academy Of Enforcement Agents and was
certified under Pennsylvania’s Lethal Weapons Training Act. He also
became certified in CDT, Non Deadly Force Techniques, Level One.
Master Austino has worked as a Private Security Agent certified
under PA Act 235, for Ric Pascetta's security firm.
There they provided armed security for night clubs and concerts and
corporate security and personal bodyguard assignments.
2011 he was appointed as an Assistant Coach for NAFMA Team USA where in
November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls,
Master Steve Cianelli
- Tsuru Ki GoJu Ryu
Cianelli began his martial arts training in 1988 while attending
Temple University. He began his martial arts studies in Shotokan
Karate under Master Teruyuki Okazaki (1988-1989). In 1992, he
began his study of USA GoJu under Masters John Austino Sr. & Jr.
and in 2012 attained the rank of 5th degree in USA GoJu.
has studied the system of American/Urban GoJu Ryu under Master John
Austino, Sr. and Master John Austino, Jr. since 1992.
Cianelli has also studied the Chinese Martial Arts Systems White Crane Chi
Kung and Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. He
has studied directly under the Grandmaster S. L. Martin and Master Judie
Martin since 1996. In 2010 he
began studying Invincible White Crane under Master Judie Martin. He is an assistant instructor at the Green Dragon
Headquarters School and member of the Green Dragon Demo Team and
prestigious Green Dragon Chinese Martial Arts School International
Exhibition Team. He has
accompanied Grandmaster Martin on five trips to Taiwan, R.O.C. In
November 2007, he was promoted to Black Sash in the White Crane Chi Kung
System of Taiwan, Republic of China, under the direction of Grandmaster S.
2011 he opened his own school (Tsuru Ki GoJu Ryu) in Hainesport NJ.
Also, in November of 2011 under direction of John Austino Sr and
Jr. he qualified for the NAMFA Team USA, representing the seniors division
and along with his daughter, Bianca and seven other students of
Austino’s Karate Do Participated in the NAMFA World Karate Championships
in Niagara Falls, Canada
where they won the NAMFA World Cup.
2012 he was appointed by Grandmaster S. L. Martin, Chairman of the Tiger
Family Iaido Association (TFIA) as the Chief Technical Coordinator of the
TFIA. The TFIA seeks to
promote awareness and appreciation of Iaido and Kendo and its philosophy
of discipline, integrity, and respect.
Cianelli is a long time member of the United Martial Arts Referees
Association where he has been elected to the position of Recording
Secretary, he is the official Webmaster for UMARA and is a certified Class
“A” Referee. He is an
active competitor and has been recognized as one of the outstanding
martial arts competitors in UMARA for Forms, Weapons and Sparring 1996 to
started his training in 1995 and has studied Urban GoJu Ryu under Master
John Austino Jr. for the last 17 years. Under Master John Austino
Jr., he has achieved the rank of Yondan Dan (4th Degree). He assists
in teaching both children’s and adult classes at Austino’s Karate Do. In
conjunction with instructing martial arts, he has assisted in various
women’s self-defense and defensive tactics seminars with his instructor.
2011 he was appointed as an Assistant Coach for NAFMA Team USA where in
November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara
Mr. Garavento is a teacher of social studies at Cumberland Regional
was born in 1971 in New Jersey. He started training in the martial arts at
the age of
10 and has trained under several great masters to include Howard Moore,
Phil Maldonato, John Austino Sr., Ric Pascetta, and Grand Master Peter
Urban. In 1989, Kyoshi
Phillips graduated high school and joined the U.S. Army as a Military
Police Soldier. During his
military service he traveled overseas and continued training and teaching
fellow soldiers in the martial arts.
returning from military service, Kyoshi Phillips reunited with
Kyoshi John Austino Sr. and continued his training.
Kyoshi Phillips along with Kyoshi John Austino Jr. started
competing heavily in the Delaware Valley tournament scene.
Phillips has competed locally and nationally in tournaments; he took
many first place trophies in Fighting, Forms, and Weapons Divisions.
At the rank of First Degree Black Belt, Kyoshi Phillips competed
in New York Cities "All GoJu Invitational Tournament" and
dominated his division by taking First Place in Fighting and Kata (Forms).
1994, Kyoshi Phillips opened his first karate school in
Woodbury, New Jersey. He soon expanded and moved to a bigger
facility in the Gibbstown area where he continued to grow his school.
During this time frame he began to study Okinawan Weapons.
He has also studied Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and Kali.
Phillips relocated to South Carolina works for the Sheriff's Department.
He was also deployed to Iraq with his Military Police Unit. Upon
returning from Iraq, he went to the police academy and opened
Fighting Tigers Martial Arts Academy (Now the Kei Shin Karate Academy) in
Conway, South Carolina. He
currently works as a police officer (Detective) for a local agency and
continues to train in the martial arts. He has been certified by the South
Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as an instructor for Defensive Tactics
and Ground Defense. He has been certified in the P.P.C.T (Pressure
Point Control Tactics), Handcuffing, Spontaneous Knife Defense, and
Weapons Disarming. He was also certified by ASP to teach their Expandable
2005, Kyoshi Phillips received his Sixth Degree Black Belt in
American (Urban) GoJu under Kyoshi John Austino Sr. Also in 2005, he started training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
under Relson Gracie Black Belt representative Jay Dennis. At the age of 34, he entered the South Carolina State
Grappling Championship which was his first Jiu-Jitsu competition and
received a Bronze Medal. He
competed as the oldest person in his division. He has competed in Karate,
Jiu-Jitsu, & Cage Fighting Events.
2012, Kyoshi Phillips will be graduating from Liberty University
with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
He believes that learning is a necessary component of life.
Now in his forties, he has trained in the martial arts for over 30
years. He continues to pass the knowledge that he has received over the
years on to his students. He specializes in teaching people of all
ages and back grounds. He believes children should train to learn
self-discipline and adults should train to better their quality of life.
He also believes that the student should become better than the teacher
and will continue to teach the martial arts to the next generation so they
can carry on the spirit of the martial arts for generations to come!
his karate training in 1992 with the New Jersey Black Belt Association (NJBBA).
In 1994 after becoming a Vineland Police officer, he continued his
training with Master John R. Austino, Jr. In 1998 William Bontcue was
introduced to GRAPLE - Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law
Enforcement under direct instruction of Royce Gracie by Master John
Austino Jr. William Bontcue took interest in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and began
training at several different schools. He currently holds the rank of 4
stripe purple belt. Since 2006 William Bontcue has competed in several
professional MMA fights
and raised in Woodbury, NJ, where he began his Karate training in 1986
under Sensei Victor Castagna. Upon the closing of his home dojo in 1989,
he became a direct student of Shihan Ric Pascetta. After a nearly 6
year break in training, he once again resumed his studies under Shihan
Pascetta, until the birth of his first daughter in 1999. In 2007, he returned
to Karate under Sensei Mark Moore, finding his new and permanent
home in April, 2008 at Austino's Goju. In February, 2012, Master
John R. Austino, Jr. promoted Scott to the rank of Shodan. He
currently resides in Williamstown, NJ with his wife and 2 daughters,
and owns an Insurance Agency.
began his training in 1982 under Masters John Austino Sr., Phil Maldonato,
Master Ric Pascetta. In 1986
he qualified for the USA AAU Olympic trials and made it to finals in kata,
fighting and team kata, selected as an alternate. In 1992 under Master John Austino Sr. he was promoted to
Shodan. In 2005 he joined
with Master John Austino Jr. and was promoted in 2007 to Nidan He is currently an assistant instructor at the Glassboro
school where he teaches Children and Adult classes.
He is also a US Postal Service employee working at Glassboro Post
and raised in Gloucester City, NJ. began
his martial arts training in1991 under John Austino Sr and Jr
in Gloucester City at Gloucester City Fire Hall.
He received his Shodan March 26 1995 and his Ni Dan in March 2012.
has been an active competitor in UMARA over the many years, school and
work schedule permitting and has been rated in UMARA many times and has
won multiple Sparring Grand Championships in various venues.
started his martial arts
training under master John Austino, Jr. in 2005. Since that time he has had the opportunity to interact with
Hanshi Pascetta, Master Austino Sr., Master Garavento and Master Cianelli,
working on various aspects of the martial arts to enhance his law
enforcement skills. In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of Shodan and is
an assistant instructor at the Austino’s Karate Do Buena NJ School.
Sprenger started his law enforcement career in 1997
his training under Hanshi Ric Pascetta in 1992 and then under
Master’s John Austino Sr. and Jr.. In 2009 he was promoted to
Shodan under the direction of Master John Austino, Jr. He continues to train under Master Austino Jr. and is an assistant
instructor at the Austino’s
Karate Do Glassboro
started her karate training
in 2001 under Master John Austino Jr. In 2009 she achieved Shodan, being the second female to do
so under Master John Austino Jr. She
is an Instructor at Austino’s karate Do, Buena School. She was the Super Junior Girls UMARA Triple Crown
Winner for 2010 and 2011.
November 2011 she qualified for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011
they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.
She just graduate high school in June and is furthering her
education at a local community college.
began his GoJu training at the age of five in 2000 under Master
John Austino, Jr. In August
of 2009, he was promoted to Shodan at fourteen years old making him the
youngest to do so under Master John Austino Jr.
In November 2011 he qualified for
NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the world
cup in Niagara Falls, Canada. He
currently trains and assists teaching classes at Austino’s Karate Do.
He is an active UMARA Competitor.
began his martial arts studies in 2000 under master Austino, Jr.
He was promoted to Shodan on February 25, 2012.
Mr. Acosta in addition to being a martial artist is an avid
||It was the Okinawan Master
Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915) through his intensive studies in Fuzhou, China
(Fujian province, 1867-1881), who laid the foundation for what would
become Goju-Ryu Karate-Do. Kanryo Higaonna set sail for the city of Fuzhou
in the autumn of 1867, when he was 15, and settled in the Okinawan
community known as the Ryukyu Kan, an area compromising a microcosm of
Okinawan life. Kanryo Higaonna was eager to study the Chinese martial arts
and was introduced to the Chinese Master Ryu Ryu Ko. The devotion of
Kanryo Higaonna was such that he eventually became Ryu Ryu Ko's,
uchi-deshi (senior student), learning his entire martial system. He also
studied weapons, and traditional Chinese medicine. It is not exactly clear
in what year Kanryo Higaonna began teaching the martial arts in Okinawa,
but it is known that he did not begin teaching until a few years after his
return from China. He had many notable students and eventually his
most dedicated student, Chojun Miyagi, succeeded him as the leading Master
of Naha-te (Chinese or Okinawa hands).
Miyagi (1888-1953) is the founder of today's Goju-Ryu Karate-Do; he was
responsible for taking the Naha-te of his teacher and formulating it into
his own martial arts system. Miyagi was Kanryo Higaonna's most
talented student and his chosen heir. Miyagi came from a wealthy family of
ship owners who imported medicines from China and supplied them to the
royal family, the government and leading Okinawan trading houses.
the death of Higaonna Kanryo, Miyagi, dedicated himself full-time with the
study of martial arts. Miyagi traveled to Fuzhou. Back on Okinawa, Miyagi
became friends with two tea-merchants from Fuzhou Wu Xianhui and Tang
Daiji. Both merchants were famous martial arts teachers. Wu Xianhui
(1886-1940) came to Naha in 1912 to teach White Crane Kung Fu. Tang
Daiji (1887-1937) a Tiger Boxing (Hu Quan) master who also emigrated from
Fuzhou to Naha.
dedicated his whole life to the development of what was called Toudi- Jutsu (
China hand art) or simply 'te' on Okinawa. In 1921, Crown-Prince Hirohito
visited Okinawa and witnessed a demonstration of Naha-te by Chojun Miyagi.
In 1925 Miyagi demonstrated the style for prince Chichibu-Nomiya and, in 1926,
founded the Okinawa Karate Kenkyu-Kai (Okinawa Karate Research Club) together
with Chomo Hanashiro (Shuri-te), Choyu Motobu (Tomari-te) and Kenwa Mabuni. One
year later, Chojun Miyagi demonstrated to Jigoro Kano (the founder of Judo),
grappling, locking and throwing techniques and the correct use of
1933, Chojun Miyagi registered his Toudi-Jutsu officially as Goju-Ryu at the
prestigious Dai Nippon Butokukai, (All Japan Martial Arts Association). Miyagi,
recognized by the Ministry of Physical Education for his art, received the
highest honor of the Dai Nippon Butokukai and was appointed representative to
the Butokukai department for Okinawa. Goju-Ryu Karate-Do was the first and the
oldest karate-tradition recognized by the Dai Nippon Butokukai and the founder,
Chojun Miyagi, was awarded significant accolades.
||Gogen Yamaguchi (1909-1989) was
born Jitsumi Yamaguchi on January 20,1909. In 1930, Yamaguchi
and his instructor Sensei Jitsuei Yogi, were the primary cofounders of the
Ritsumei-Kan Dai-Gaku Karate Kenkyu Kai, the first Karate club at Ritsumei-Kan
University. Soon the dojo became famous in the city, known for it's hard
training. In those days karate men practiced only kata (formal
movements) and yakusoku kumite (prearranged sparring) and were
unable to have matches between each other since they did not hold back
their techniques. It was during this period that Yamaguchi created the
first stages towards what is known as jiyu kumite (free fighting)
and established rules to decide the winner of a match. Some of the rules
are still in use today in what is known as sport or competition
karate. In 1928 Chojun Miyagi visited Japan to teach his
style of karate. He had taught in the Judo Club of Kyoto University in
which Yamaguchi attended. He came back to teach in Japan on other
occasions, and in 1931, Gogen Yamaguchi was introduced to him. In
1937, he was entrusted by Master Chojun Miyagi with the task of
popularizing and developing Goju-Ryu Karate-do on the Japanese
mainland. Yamaguchi continued his relationship with Miyagi through
and short instructional visits by Miyagi while touring Japan. Master
Yamaguchi succeeded in uniting many karate schools in Japan into a single union
which resulted in the formation of The Federation of All Japan Karate-do
Organization (F.A.J.K.O.) in 1964. The Kokusai Budo Renmei (The International
Martial Arts Federation) in Japan, whose chairman was Prince Higashikuni of the
Japanese Imperial Family appointed Master Yamaguchi as Shihan (Master) of the
organization’s karate division. He added to the Japanese Goju system other
kata, including the Taikyoku forms, - training methods for the beginner students
to prepare them for the more advanced kata. "The Cat" is
Yamaguchi's nickname. There are several reasons given for this, such as his long
hair, which resembles a lion's mane, his movements which resemble those of a
cat, or his use of the cat stance in sparring. Yamaguchi himself explained it to
interviewer Rolland Gaillac, of the French magazine "Karate" (April
1977 edition), in the following words: "Even today, young man, if you were
to face me in combat, I would be able to determine in a second the strength of
your Ki. Immediately I would know if you were a good opponent. It is this
quality, and no other, which has given me the name of The Cat."
||In 1953 Peter Urban (August 14,
1934 - April 7, 2004) was a young sailor when he was introduced to karate
in Yokohama, Japan. After training for one year with Sensei Richard Kim,
Peter Urban traveled to Tokyo and was introduced to Gogen Yamaguchi. He
was accepted as a student of Gogen Yamaguchi. In 1957, Peter Urban opened
a small Dojo in Tokyo, Japan, and he competed in the all-Japan College
Championships that same year. In 1959, Sensei Urban moved to America, and
opened his first American Dojo in Union City, New Jersey. Sensei
Urban was reportedly one of the men responsible for establishing
structured tournaments in America, with one of the first being the North
American Karate Championships in 1962 held at Madison Square Garden.
In the early 1970s, Sensei Urban returned to Japan to ask Gogen Yamaguchi
for permission to establish in America a karate system separate from
Japan's. Yamaguchi refused, saying the rules of Bushido stated that no
white man could achieve Nirvana. Urban, dissatisfied with the
decision, retorted that these same rules stated that Japan could never
lose a war. This statement offended the Sensei Yamaguchi. Realizing this
and not meaning any disrespect, Sensei Urban prepared to follow samurai
custom and cut off his pinky finger in apology to his sensei. Yamaguchi's
oldest son stopped him from doing this; however, the damage was done.
Seeing this as a turning point, Urban returned to America and incorporated
himself as the founder of American Goju. USA GoJu is an eclectic
synthesis of the education, training, and
of Sensei Peter Urban. There are three primary influences of USA GoJu. Chogun
Miyagi, the Founder of Goju-Ryu Karate, Gogen Yamaguchi - the Founder of the
first GoJu Karate School in Japan and Peter Urban - founder of the USA GoJu
Karate System, he was a student of the following martial arts Masters Gogen
Yamaguchi, Richard Kim, and Mas Oyama. Although his style of USA GoJu/Urban GoJu
is closely related to that of Yamaguchi's Japanese GoJu Ryu, Sensei Urban
infused several styles of Karate together to form USA GoJu Karate. He was the
10th Dan Grand Patriarch of all USA GoJu systems. He is the father of the
American GoJu Karate in America. He is also responsible for the development of
several Martial Arts systems throughout the world.
Austino's Karate Do
Seasons Health Club
Delsea Drive North