Taken from jeffspeakman.com
“…A native-born son to the city of Chicago, Illinois, Jeff started his athletic career very early in life. 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 honour of being named All American with out 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 neighbouring high school 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 and Mr. Parker in Pasadena, California to become what would be known as his last group of protégés. Jeff also began studying 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 – a Paramount Pictures production called “The Perfect Weapon”.
To date Jeff has starred in 10 feature films such as “The Perfect Weapon” (Paramount), “Street Knight” (Warner Bros.) “The Expert”(MGM) and “Escape from Atlantis”(Universal).
According to the internationally recognized web site www.martial-arts-network.com, Jeff is now rated as the most popular martial artist in the world. He is the only martial artist rated higher than Bruce Lee, who is second, and Chuck Norris in third.
In addition Jeff is a certified Defensive Tactics Instructor (DTI) for the Department of Justice, teaching DEA, FBI, Homeland Security and Special Teams, and the “sharp edge weapons instructor” for the California Department of Corrections teaching at Pelican Bay and Folsom. Currently Jeff resides in Lake Arrowhead California where he oversees the largest Kenpo Karate organization in the world; the AKKS, and operates the Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo Karate franchise schools, now in 14 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 and Germany; also soon to be in Australia and Chile…”