WTKO Man of the Year

John Parnell 4th dan KUBG/JKA

WTKO Honors an Outstanding Individual

2003 Men's Individual Kata Champion, John Parnell
2003 Team Kumite Champions  Jerry Flood, John Parnell, Terrence Postell
See the video John Parnell in action

The man of the year is selected for a number of reasons other that just karate skill. Our first man of the year was Dr. Milorad Stricevic Dean of Health Careers at Long Island University NY, for his contribution to karate and his incredible body of published works on the science of karate.  

John Parnell's contribution is to the WTKO and the effect he has had on all the have known him and worked with him over the past three years.  He arrived in the United States sometime in 2001 and competed in the first WTKO World Championship, his performance was at the time unremarkable.  He joined the Staten Island branch of the WTKO and began training under sensei John Mullin, WTKO Executive Chairman.  It became crystal clear that John Parnell was a talented athlete with tremendous potential and skill.  He had a long history of success in the UK competing in KUGB tournaments and had trained under some top notch instructors one of which was Charles Gidley, Chief Instructor of the BSKI.  John was invited and joined the monthly Squad Training of the WTKO under the instruction of sensei Richard Amos, Chief Instructor of the WTKO.  John, as the British say, got stuck in and quickly established himself as a tough no nonsense member of the squad.  

Over the following three years John was to prove that he was not just another member of the squad but a leader and one who was willing to lead by example.  He is not the tallest member of the squad, in fact he was the shortest, but only in stature not in heart.  Over the next three years he produced a remarkable record.  

2002 WTKO World Championship, NYC
Men's Individual Kata Champion 
A Member of the Champion Men's Team Kumite.

2003 WTKO/SKUN World Championship, Bath UK
Captain of the 3rd Place Men's Kumite Team 

2003 WTKO North American Championship, NYC
Men's Individual Kata Champion 
Captain of the Champion Men's Team Kumite

Unique in today's age of specialists, John is a generalist.  His technique is grounded in the basics.  While he is a superb kata competitor his kumite is exciting and daring.  He can score a point attacking when necessary or hold back and score with a counter.  His hands and feet are equally dangerous.  Whether counter fighting or attacking he uses the Kumite ring like a matador, looking for the precise moment for the moment of truth.  His skills as a teacher are equal or greater than his competition performance.  John In February of 2004 he returned home to England.  He left behind in the United States good friends and fond memories.  Wherever he goes and wherever he trains he will raise the level of those around him.  He is a true champion not just because of his karate technique, he is most of all gracious, modest and a gentleman.