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Grandmaster Joe Onopa (1942-2010) “The White Tiger”
Born 1st January 1942, as a boy living in California he started training in a Golden Gloves Boxing program, and then moved to Michigan where he began his Martial Arts odyssey in 1955. He had trained with many famous Instructors; General Choi Hong Hi - Founder of the International Tae Kwon Do Federation. He was personal bodyguard to General Choi Hong Hi along with Master Kwon Jo Choi (Guard to General Choi Hong Hi). His first instructor was Master James B.C. Yu. Grandmaster Onopa has numerous awards and accolades from many organizations and was honoured and respected by many of the world’s leading Martial Artists, he held close to him and cherished the bonds he had with some of his closest friends and peers. (Refer to Network).
Grandmaster Onopa has 4 children with his wife Winnie. Eleanor 3rd Degree, Cathy 6th Degree, Wally 4th Degree & Joey (deceased).
GMO worked for the General Motors Corporation Detroit Michigan, and then when he retired from G.M.C. he continued to focus on his professional teaching career.
Grandmaster Onopa developed a unique style of Tae Kwon Do incorporating the techniques and philosophy of Chuan Fa (fist way or method) and in the higher levels of study Chin Na (to trap and lock) to neutralize an attacker with explosive speed and continuous counter techniques, he was able to generate shock power over a very short distance with both hands and legs. Both these arts had a large influence on the Korean Karate styles later to be known as Tae Kwon Do under Choi Hong Hi. Kwon Bop was one of those arts.
Internet Martial Artists! Or other Actual Practitioners may say, “well we do that, or we incorporate that!” but it is his use and combinations of delivery that makes the original and only TKD Kwon Bop Do Federation system he created so effective in realistic situations that is unique.
Grandmaster Onopa’s Inheritor and his highest ranked Instructor teaching Kwon Bop Do Master Nick Donato has always shared the passion for the Kwon Bop Do system. Grandmasters vision was the reason GM Onopa and GM Lenchus created the non-political IGOR Federation to be able to benefit all true Martial Arts practitioners. Master Donato and Grandmaster Onopa worked closely together with 7 International trips, 3 World Cups, conducted examinations and held seminars for many schools of the Arts. Master Donato Instructs the largest number of Kwon Bop Do schools and students in the world. He began learning Boxing in 1968 and then in 1973 with Ted McKenzie; a sparring partner of Mr Jimmy Carruthers World Bantam weight champion. He started training in the art of Tae Kwon Do in 1974, began teaching in 1984, and became a full time professional Tae Kwon Do Instructor from 1987 to present day. In 1986 he began training with Sensei Ben Di Pede in Ju jitsu and Kobu Jutsu receiving an Okuden Menkyo from Shihan in 1998.
‘Master Donato will continue to uphold the integrity, the honour, the vision and legacy of GM Onopa and his System’
Master Chief Instructor Nick Donato
Professional Martial Arts Instructor - 2018 Celebrating 50 years in the Arts
Founder of the Personal Defence Studios - The Pit
Kwon Bop Do Federation Inheritor Soke Dai (Founder Grandmaster Joe Onopa)
Kwon Bop Do Federation International Director
WHFSC - (World Head of Family Sokeship Council) - Grandmaster Member
Ben Kan Ryuha Nihon Ju Jitsu / Kobu Jutsu, Okuden Menkyo (Master Teaching) Licence Kaisso Sensei Ben Di Pede 1927-2006)
Bunbu Ichi Nihon Ju Jitsu Dan Certified (Hanshi Les Harnos)
AJF (Australian Ju Jitsu Federation) - Member
ISKA - (International Sports Karate / Kickboxing Association) - Member
WKA - (World Kickboxing Association) - Member
Kojosho Dan Certified & Recognised (Hanshi Fred Absher)
IGOR (International Grandmasters of the Roundtable) Federation - (Grandmaster Onopa, Grandmaster Lenchus, Grandmaster Keller) - Member & International Co-Director
Registered Trainer CSA Combat Sports Authority NSW Government
Authorized Trainer ADFMAA Australian Defence Force Martial Arts Association
Australian Sports Commission - Community Coaching / Officiating
NOAS - National Officials Accreditation
Master Nick Donato has trained with some of the best instructors in Australia and overseas in a variety of systems and styles. He has taught, lectured, trained and tested / graded in many countries Australia, USA, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Taiwan & Korea
Master Donato began training in boxing as a boy in the late 1960’s with his great uncles who were professional boxers in the early days 1930’s and 40’s, then from 1973 – 1975 at the Penrith PCYC, and with Ted McKenzie; sparring partner of Jimmy Carruthers, World Bantam weight champion. At this time he was introduced to Martial Arts by a friend and in 1974 began training in Tae Kwon Do under Steve Wilson at Warrimoo Community Centre.
1980 – He moved from Hazelbrook (Blue Mountains) to Campbelltown continuing in Tae Kwon Do under Grand Master Chong Chul Rhee and Master Geoff Stubbs in Rhee Tae Kwon Do.
1983 – He trained with Master Graham Johnston Tae Kwon Do, which later became The Australian Freestyle Tae Kwon Do Academy.
1984 -1995 He trained with Master John Gallegari, Master Jim Sheedy and Andrew Darlington. During this time he met and trained under Sensei Ben Di Pede ( Kasso of Ben Kan Ryu & Yoshin Ryu Gi Nihon Ju Jitsu Judo, Kobujutsu / Kenjutsu until his passing in 2006, receiving a Menkyo in 1998.
1995 – began training and teaching under Grandmaster Joe Onopa after his Australian Tour until his passing in 2010, when Grand Master Onopa’s family and other Grandmasters and Masters appointed Master Donato the Inheritor / International Director and Head of TKD Kwon Bop Do Federation