Jeff Speakman started his athletic career very early in life in the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. Training and competing as a gymnast during the school year and as a springboard diver in the summer consumed much of his young life.
Jeff’s talent as a springboard diver blossomed in high school where Jeff set new records in the conference and district and earned the honor of being named All American without the assistance of a diving coach. Waiting for the bus at 5:30 a.m. every morning in the winters of Chicago to practice at the neighboring high school’s pool ultimately gave Jeff the discipline and the drive to succeed.
Working his way through his undergraduate studies at Missouri Southern State University, Jeff was able to complete his degree in general psychology with a supporting area in biology.
During his college years, Jeff began his martial arts career by earning a black belt in Japanese Goju-Ryu Karate from the legendary master Lou Angel in 1980.
Upon Jeff’s graduation from college, Mr. Angel told Jeff to move to California to study Kenpo Karate from Master Ed Parker if he wanted to make martial arts his life. Selling his car to pay for the U-Haul truck, Jeff was off to Los Angeles to follow his dream and feed his passion.
Two years after arriving in Los Angeles, Jeff was invited by Mr. Parker to join three other people at Mr. Parker’s house in Pasadena California to become what would be known as his last group of protégés.
Jeff began to study acting at the same time with the same dedication he had approached everything else in his life. After five years of workshops, auditions and small bit parts here and there, Jeff got his break with his first feature film with Paramount Pictures called “The Perfect Weapon.”
To date, Jeff has starred in 10 feature films such as “Perfect Weapon” (Paramount), “Street Knight” (Warner Bros.), “The Expert” (MGM) and “Escape from Atlantis” (Universal), and produced 3 of those films.
According to the internationally recognized web site www.martial-arts-network.com, Jeff is now voted to be the most popular martial artist in the world. Jeff is the only martial artist rated higher than Bruce Lee who is second, and Chuck Norris third.
In addition, Jeff is a certified Defensive Tactics Instructor (DTI) for the Department of Justice, teaching DEA, FBI, Homeland Security and Department of State, and the “sharp edge weapons instructor” for the California Department of Corrections teaching at Pelican Bay and Folsom.
Also, Jeff has been inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the Masters Hall of Fame.
Currently, Jeff resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he oversees the largest Kenpo Karate organization in the world, the AKKS, and operates the Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo Karate 5.0 franchise schools now in 21 counties.
In addition, Jeff has the Champions Foundation, a non-profit organization teaching the discipline of Kenpo Karate to underprivileged children currently in the U.S., Bolivia, Mexico, Germany, and soon in Australia and Chile.
The following are quotes of some authorities of the special agencies where he has been teaching:
“The Special Agents were impressed with your range of knowledge in the field of Martial Arts and Defensive Tactics. You are a welcome asset to the Drug Enforcement Administration.” Javier F. Pena, Assistant Special Agent in Charge DEA
“Our Special Agents were tremendously impressed with your course and commented that it will be of great value as they conduct potentially dangerous law enforcement actions. I would recommend your training to any law enforcement agency.” S. Harrison, Special Agent in Charge U. S. Department of Homeland Security
“On behalf of Pelican Bay State Prison I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation for your efforts. I personally monitored the morning session and was very impressed by the course presentation. Your effort and your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise is greatly appreciated. ” Franklin C. Vanderhoofven, In-Service Training Manager Pelican Bay State Prison
“Your level of expertise in the Martial Arts field was readily evident and we would welcome future training for our Mission Personnel. The Regional Security Office encourages you to pursue further training opportunities with our fellow Diplomatic Security Special Agents of the US Department of State. Your principles of defense tactics would serve our agency well.” Robert Rentz, Assistant Regional Security Officer Special Agent