Sensei Lusk F. Penn – He has over 34 years of experience and has studied a variety of martial arts. He is the President and Chief Instructor of the Karate program at the Kazoku Martial Arts Center.
As an astute martial arts fan, Sensei Penn began studying martial arts in 1975. He studied Kung Fu, Karate, and Judo. In those years of martial arts, schools frequently closed or changed locations. Therefore, it was not until 1978 when he began studying Japanese Kempo Karate that he found a stable school to grow with and truly learn karate. He quickly learned that karate was more than just blocking, punching, and kicking — it was an avenue or a method used to allow persons to perfect their character. In 1982, Sensei Penn obtained his first-degree black belt.
As a volunteer, and later as a staff member for more than 10 years with the District of Columbia Department of Recreation, he taught karate and coached various athletic teams. He taught his students the discipline, self-respect, self-control, confidence, courtesy, and humility he had learned through his study of karate. In 1988, Sensei Penn obtained the rank of instructor in Japanese Kempo Karate.
In 1992, he began studying Aikido. He achieved the rank of brown belt first kyu before the program closed; but he would not let that prohibit him from obtaining a black belt in Aikido. In 2003, after 2 years of training with Sensei Alphfonzo Pearsall, Sensei Penn was awarded the rank of Shodan, first-degree black belt.
In 1994, he began studying Japanese Shotokan Karate. Because of his previous experience in Kempo and the similarities between the two styles, he was able to move through the ranks quickly. He obtained his first degree-black belt in Japanese Shotokan Karate in 1995, second-degree in 1996, and third-degree in 1997. In 1999, he obtained and currently holds, the rank of fourth-degree black belt, Master Instructor, in Shotokan Karate from the American College of Martial Arts. He has also obtained the rank of black belt in Okinawan Goju-Ryu and Kobudo (Weapons).
In 2003, Sensei Penn was evaluated and awarded the rank of Sandan, third-degree black belt, in Sanuces Ryu Jiu-Jitsu by Dr. Moses Powell, the creator of the system. He contributes his success in Sanuces to the excellent instructions he received from Professors Al Wood and Darryl “World” King. Sensei Penn is also a certified Tactical Master in Compliance, Direction, Takedown (CDT). He is also certified to teach Know and Go, a child safety program.
He believes God has blessed him with the gift to work with people of all ages. Through his teachings of the martial arts, it is his intent to use this gift to help people strengthen their mind, body, and spirit, so that one day, they may be able to perfect their character.
Instructor – Sensei Leslie Cauthern
Sensei Leslie Cauthern started studying martial arts in 1991 while at Delaware State University. The first style he studied was Vin Jujitsu. After that class ended, the following year he studied a new style of martial arts called Chinese Kempo under a new instructor until December 1993. When he graduated from Delaware State, he looked for another school to continue his martial arts studies. In 1994, he found Champion Martial Arts School, which taught both Aikido and Shotokan. He began to study the art of Aikido. While at this school, he met his current instructor, Sensei Lusk Penn and under him studied Shotokan. In 1996, he earn the rank of first-degree black belt Chief Instructor Ueki Masaaki.
When Champion school was about to closed down, it was under the leadership and guidance of Sensei Penn to keep the school open so that the students could continue their martial arts training. In 1996, Sensei Leslie was exposed to the Philippine Martial Arts by various instructors through his training. In 1997, while continuing his training in martial arts, he earned the rank of second- degree black belt from Sensei Lusk Penn and Sensei Kevin McMurtry. In the same year, in Denver Colorado, Sensei Leslie competed in a full-contact (no pads, no gloves) tournament known as the Sabaki Challenge. While training for the Masters Of Martial Arts tournament, he also studied the art of Go Ju Ryu Karate and earned a black belt. In 1999 as he continued to train under Sensei Penn, he earned the rank of a third-degree belt in Shotokan Karate. He was dedicated to his training and in 2007 he earned the rank of fourth-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate.
During his martial arts training he came in contact with many influential instructors. Other than his teacher, Sensei Penn, he met a legend in the martial arts Aikido world, Dr. Moses Powell. He learned a lot from him and earned the rank of first-degree black in the art of Sanuces Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, and in 2009 he was promoted to the rank of second-degree. In the process of giving back, he has taught a wide range of ages and children with disabilities. One of his goals is to pass on the knowledge that he receive from instructors to all of the students at Kazoku and to the general public in hopes to make society more tolerant of others. He currently is continuing his martial arts studies at Kazoku by actively studying Shotokan, Aikido, and Aiki Jujitsu.