Master Austino











About the Instructors

All instructors are certified black belt teachers who have completed all the required curriculum and have been through our assistant instructor teaching preparation. The instructors are all under the guidance of Master John Austino, and are required to participate in seminars and clinics to enhance their teaching and knowledge base. 

Glassboro School - Austino's Karate Do (Headquarters)

Four Seasons Health Club

626 Delsea Drive North

Glassboro, NJ 08028-1419

Tel: 856-417-3574


Hainesport School - Tsuru Ki Martial Arts

1381, Suite B, Route 38

Hainesport, New Jersey 08036

Tel: 609.458.2232

Master John Austino Jr - Chief Instructor

Master Stephen Garavento - Head Instructor

Master John Austino, Sr

Gus Dressner, Sensei




Master Steve Cianelli, Chief Instructor


Master John Austino, Jr.

Master Austino began his karate training in USA Go-Ju, in 1982 and has trained under Masters John Austino, Sr., Phil Maldonato, Ric Pascetta, and Maestro Peter Urban. He is a top competitor in the martial arts both locally and nationally. In 1986 he made it to the finals for the USA. AAU Olympics tryouts and placed third in fighting. In 1989 he opened his first karate school.  During 1992, 1993, and 1994 he became the UMARA League Black Belt Light Weight Champion. In 1993 he was hired by the Vineland Police Department.  In 1995 he was instrumental in developing a Defensive Tactics program for eth Vineland Police Department and police academy.  In 

1995 he completed SWAT I and II level training with the Los Angeles Police Department.  From 1995 to 2000 he was a member of the Vineland SWAT Team.  In 1998 he received certification in GRAPLE - Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement under direct instruction of Royce Gracie.  From 1995 to present he continues to certify police recruits in New Jersey Police Academies, in Weapon Retention, Defensive Tactics, Handcuffing, and Baton training.  In 2003, he was hired by the State of New Jersey, Human Services Police Department and in 2005 developed and teaches in-service training for, Defensive Tactics program for the State of New Jersey Human Services Police Department.  In 2011 he was appointed as Coach for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.

In 2004, he was promoted to Nanadan (7th Degree) in U.S.A.G.A, by Grandmaster Peter Urban. In 2012, he was promoted to Kyoshi (6th Degree) in A.G.K.A.I, by Shihan Ric Pascetta.


Master John Austino, Sr.

Born in 1947 in Vineland, New Jersey.  He began his karate training in 1979 under Master Ric Pascetta. He also trained under Phil Maldonato and Grand Master Peter Urban. He trained with Grand Master Urban until his death in 2004.

In 1982 he opened his first karate school in Williamstown, New Jersey. He produced top rated students who competed both locally and nationally.  Master Austino competed both nationally and internationally as well. From 1985 to 1988 Sensei Austino was a dominate force in the Senior’s Division

where he won Senior Division championships in 1987 and 1988. From 1983 to 1989 Sensei Austino was a licensed Professional Boxing Manager and a licensed corner person. He also was a boxing sparring partner for middleweight Jamming Johnny Miller.

From 1994 to 1995 he was the U.M.A.R.A. New Jersey Director.  During that time he served as the rules committee chairman, and served on the committee for certification of center referees.

In 2006 he received his instructor’s certification in the Monadnock Defensive Tactics System from the Monadnock Police Training Council. During that time he assisted his son in training school security forces in that system. He attended the Academy Of Enforcement Agents and was certified under Pennsylvania’s Lethal Weapons Training Act. He also became certified in CDT, Non Deadly Force Techniques, Level One.  Master Austino has worked as a Private Security Agent certified under PA Act 235, for Ric Pascetta's security firm.  There they provided armed security for night clubs and concerts and corporate security and personal bodyguard assignments.

In 2011 he was appointed as an Assistant Coach for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.


Master Steve Cianelli - Tsuru Ki GoJu Ryu

Master Cianelli began his martial arts training in 1988 while attending Temple University.  He began his martial arts studies in Shotokan Karate under Master Teruyuki Okazaki (1988-1989).  In 1992, he began his study of USA GoJu under Masters John Austino Sr.  & Jr. and in 2012 attained the rank of 5th degree in USA GoJu.

He has studied the system of American/Urban GoJu Ryu under Master John Austino, Sr. and Master John Austino, Jr. since 1992. 

In October of 2018 Cianelli, Sensei traveled to Okinawa to participate in the Seiryukan Kokusai Budo Rengokai held in Okinawa City, Okinawa. Training over 5 days was held at the Okinawa Koza Athletic Park Budokan沖縄市コザ運動公園 武道館 and the Okinawa Karate Kaikan in Naha, Tomigusuku City.  Instrcutions was provided by Takashi Kinjou, Sensei and Masami Kinjou, Sensei / Masanori Zaha / Keisyun Kakinohana, Sensei and Tetsuhiro Hokama and Shigemitsu Tamae, Sensei.  Mr. Cianeli was also accepted as a member of the Seiryukan Kokusai Budo Rengokai and presented with a certificate of membership (#0011).

Mr. Cianelli has also studied the Chinese Martial Arts Systems White Crane Chi Kung and Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan.  He has studied directly under the Grandmaster S. L. Martin and Master Judie Martin since 1996.  In 2010 he began studying Invincible White Crane under Master Judie Martin.  He is an assistant instructor at the Green Dragon Headquarters School and member of the Green Dragon Demo Team and prestigious Green Dragon Chinese Martial Arts School International Exhibition Team.  He has accompanied Grandmaster Martin on five trips to Taiwan, R.O.C.  In November 2007, he was promoted to Black Sash in the White Crane Chi Kung System of Taiwan, Republic of China, under the direction of Grandmaster S. L. Martin.  In November 2007, he was promoted to Black Sash in the White Crane Chi Kung System of Taiwan, Republic of China, under the direction of Grandmaster S. L. Martin.    In November 2017 he was awarded the title of Tai Shih (Master) in Taiwan Hung System White Crane Chi Kung. 

In 2011 he opened his own school (Tsuru Ki GoJu Ryu) in Hainesport NJ.  Also, in November of 2011 under direction of John Austino Sr and Jr. he qualified for the NAMFA Team USA, representing the seniors division and along with his daughter, Bianca and seven other students of Austino’s Karate Do Participated in the NAMFA World Karate Championships in Niagara Falls, Canada where they won the NAMFA World Cup.

In 2012 he was appointed by Grandmaster S. L. Martin, Chairman of the Tiger Family Iaido Association (TFIA) as the Chief Technical Coordinator of the TFIA.  The TFIA seeks to promote awareness and appreciation of Iaido and Kendo and its philosophy of discipline, integrity, and respect.

Mr. Cianelli is a long time member of the United Martial Arts Referees Association where he has been elected to the position of Recording Secretary, he is the official Webmaster for UMARA and is a certified Class “A” Referee.  He is an active competitor and has been recognized as one of the outstanding martial arts competitors in UMARA for Forms, Weapons and Sparring 1996 to 2012.


Master Stephen Garavento

He started his training in 1995 and has studied Urban GoJu Ryu under Master John Austino Jr. for the last 17 years.  Under Master John Austino Jr., he has achieved the rank of Yondan Dan (4th Degree).  He assists in teaching both children’s and adult classes at Austino’s Karate Do. In conjunction with instructing martial arts, he has assisted in various women’s self-defense and defensive tactics seminars with his instructor.  .  In 2011 he was appointed as an Assistant Coach for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.  Mr. Garavento is a teacher of social studies at Cumberland Regional High School


Kyoshi Stephen (Steve) Phillips - Kei Shin Karate

He was born in 1971 in New Jersey. He started training in the martial arts at the age of 10 and has trained under several great masters to include Howard Moore, Phil Maldonato, John Austino Sr., Ric Pascetta, and Grand Master Peter Urban.  In 1989, Kyoshi Phillips graduated high school and joined the U.S. Army as a Military Police Soldier.  During his military service he traveled overseas and continued training and teaching fellow soldiers in the martial arts.

Upon returning from military service, Kyoshi Phillips reunited with Kyoshi John Austino Sr. and continued his training.  Kyoshi Phillips along with Kyoshi John Austino Jr. started competing heavily in the Delaware Valley tournament scene.

Kyoshi Phillips has competed locally and nationally in tournaments; he took many first place trophies in Fighting, Forms, and Weapons Divisions.   At the rank of First Degree Black Belt, Kyoshi Phillips competed in New York Cities "All GoJu Invitational Tournament" and dominated his division by taking First Place in Fighting and Kata (Forms).  .

In 1994, Kyoshi Phillips opened his first karate school in Woodbury, New Jersey.  He soon expanded and moved to a bigger facility in the Gibbstown area where he continued to grow his school.  During this time frame he began to study Okinawan Weapons.  He has also studied Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and Kali.  

Kyoshi Phillips relocated to South Carolina works for the Sheriff's Department.  He was also deployed to Iraq with his Military Police Unit. Upon returning from Iraq, he went to the police academy and opened Fighting Tigers Martial Arts Academy (Now the Kei Shin Karate Academy) in Conway, South Carolina.  He currently works as a police officer (Detective) for a local agency and continues to train in the martial arts. He has been certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as an instructor for Defensive Tactics and Ground Defense.  He has been certified in the P.P.C.T (Pressure Point Control Tactics), Handcuffing, Spontaneous Knife Defense, and Weapons Disarming. He was also certified by ASP to teach their Expandable Baton System.   

In 2005, Kyoshi Phillips received his Sixth Degree Black Belt in American (Urban) GoJu under Kyoshi John Austino Sr.  Also in 2005, he started training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Relson Gracie Black Belt representative Jay Dennis.  At the age of 34, he entered the South Carolina State Grappling Championship which was his first Jiu-Jitsu competition and received a Bronze Medal.  He competed as the oldest person in his division. He has competed in Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, & Cage Fighting Events.

In 2012, Kyoshi Phillips will be graduating from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  He believes that learning is a necessary component of life.  Now in his forties, he has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years. He continues to pass the knowledge that he has received over the years on to his students.  He specializes in teaching people of all ages and back grounds.  He believes children should train to learn self-discipline and adults should train to better their quality of life.  He also believes that the student should become better than the teacher and will continue to teach the martial arts to the next generation so they can carry on the spirit of the martial arts for generations to come!



William Bontcue, Sensei

He began his karate training in 1992 with the New Jersey Black Belt Association (NJBBA). In 1994 after becoming a Vineland Police officer, he continued his training with Master John R. Austino, Jr. In 1998 William Bontcue was introduced to GRAPLE - Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement under direct instruction of Royce Gracie by Master John Austino Jr. William Bontcue took interest in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and began training at several different schools. He currently holds the rank of 4 stripe purple belt. Since 2006 William Bontcue has competed in several professional MMA fights 


August (Gus) L. Dressner Jr., Sensei

He began his training in 1982 under Masters John Austino Sr., Phil Maldonato, Master Ric Pascetta.  In 1986 he qualified for the USA AAU Olympic trials and made it to finals in kata, fighting and team kata, selected as an alternate.  In 1992 under Master John Austino Sr. he was promoted to Shodan.  In 2005 he joined with Master John Austino Jr. and was promoted in 2007 to Nidan  He is currently an assistant instructor at the Glassboro school where he teaches Children and Adult classes.  He is also a US Postal Service employee working at Glassboro Post office.


William Gieger, Sensei

Born and raised in Gloucester City, NJ.  began his martial arts training in1991  under John Austino Sr and Jr  in Gloucester City at Gloucester City Fire Hall.  He received his Shodan March 26 1995 and his Ni Dan in March 2012.

He has been an active competitor in UMARA over the many years, school and work schedule permitting and has been rated in UMARA many times and has won multiple Sparring Grand Championships in various venues.


Troy Sprenger (Inactive)

He started his martial arts training under master John Austino, Jr. in 2005.  Since that time he has had the opportunity to interact with Hanshi Pascetta, Master Austino Sr., Master Garavento and Master Cianelli, working on various aspects of the martial arts to enhance his law enforcement skills. In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of Shodan and is an assistant instructor at the Austino’s Karate Do Buena NJ School.

Mr. Sprenger started his law enforcement career in 1997 


Brian White, (Inactive)

He began his training under Hanshi Ric Pascetta in 1992 and then under  Master’s John Austino Sr. and Jr.. In 2009 he was promoted to Shodan under the direction of Master John Austino, Jr.  He continues to train under Master Austino Jr. and is an assistant instructor at the Austino’s Karate Do Glassboro School.


Taylor Burke, (Inactive)

She started her karate training in 2001 under Master John Austino Jr.  In 2009 she achieved Shodan, being the second female to do so under Master John Austino Jr.  She is an Instructor at Austino’s karate Do, Buena School.   She was the Super Junior Girls UMARA Triple Crown Winner for 2010 and 2011.

n November 2011 she qualified for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.   She just graduate high school in June and is furthering her education at a local community college.


Mr. D. J. DeTetta (Inactive)

He began his GoJu training at the age of five in 2000 under Master John Austino, Jr.  In August of 2009, he was promoted to Shodan at fourteen years old making him the youngest to do so under Master John Austino Jr.   In November 2011 he qualified for NAFMA Team USA where in November of 2011 they would go on to win the world cup in Niagara Falls, Canada.  He currently trains and assists teaching classes at Austino’s Karate Do.   He is an active UMARA Competitor.

Mr. Ricky Acosta  (Inactive)

He began his martial arts studies in 2000 under master Austino, Jr.  He was promoted to Shodan on February 25, 2012.  Mr. Acosta in addition to being a martial artist is an avid golfer. 




It was the Okinawan Master Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915) through his intensive studies in Fuzhou, China (Fujian province, 1867-1881), who laid the foundation for what would become Goju-Ryu Karate-Do. Kanryo Higaonna set sail for the city of Fuzhou in the autumn of 1867, when he was 15, and settled in the Okinawan community known as the Ryukyu Kan, an area compromising a microcosm of Okinawan life. Kanryo Higaonna was eager to study the Chinese martial arts and was introduced to the Chinese Master Ryu Ryu Ko.  The devotion of Kanryo Higaonna was such that he eventually became Ryu Ryu Ko's, uchi-deshi (senior student), learning his entire martial system. He also studied weapons, and traditional Chinese medicine. It is not exactly clear in what year Kanryo Higaonna began teaching the martial arts in Okinawa, but it is known that he did not begin teaching until a few years after his return from China.  He had many notable students and eventually his most dedicated student, Chojun Miyagi, succeeded him as the leading Master of Naha-te (Chinese or Okinawa hands).


Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953) is the founder of today's Goju-Ryu Karate-Do; he was responsible for taking the Naha-te of his teacher and formulating it into his own martial arts system.  Miyagi was Kanryo Higaonna's most talented student and his chosen heir. Miyagi came from a wealthy family of ship owners who imported medicines from China and supplied them to the royal family, the government and leading Okinawan trading houses.


After the death of Higaonna Kanryo, Miyagi, dedicated himself full-time with the study of martial arts. Miyagi traveled to Fuzhou. Back on Okinawa, Miyagi became friends with two tea-merchants from Fuzhou Wu Xianhui and Tang Daiji. Both merchants were famous martial arts teachers. Wu Xianhui (1886-1940) came to Naha in 1912 to teach White Crane Kung Fu.  Tang Daiji (1887-1937) a Tiger Boxing (Hu Quan) master who also emigrated from Fuzhou to Naha. 

Miyagi dedicated his whole life to the development of what was called Toudi- Jutsu ( China hand art) or simply 'te' on Okinawa. In 1921, Crown-Prince Hirohito visited Okinawa and witnessed a demonstration of Naha-te by Chojun Miyagi.  In 1925 Miyagi demonstrated the style for prince Chichibu-Nomiya and, in 1926, founded the Okinawa Karate Kenkyu-Kai (Okinawa Karate Research Club) together with Chomo Hanashiro (Shuri-te), Choyu Motobu (Tomari-te) and Kenwa Mabuni. One year later, Chojun Miyagi demonstrated to Jigoro Kano (the founder of Judo), grappling, locking and throwing techniques and the correct use of breathing. 


In 1933, Chojun Miyagi registered his Toudi-Jutsu officially as Goju-Ryu at the prestigious Dai Nippon Butokukai, (All Japan Martial Arts Association). Miyagi, recognized by the Ministry of Physical Education for his art, received the highest honor of the Dai Nippon Butokukai and was appointed representative to the Butokukai department for Okinawa. Goju-Ryu Karate-Do was the first and the oldest karate-tradition recognized by the Dai Nippon Butokukai and the founder, Chojun Miyagi, was awarded significant accolades. 


Gogen Yamaguchi (1909-1989) was born Jitsumi Yamaguchi on January 20,1909.   In 1930, Yamaguchi and his instructor Sensei Jitsuei Yogi, were the primary cofounders of the Ritsumei-Kan Dai-Gaku Karate Kenkyu Kai, the first Karate club at Ritsumei-Kan University. Soon the dojo became famous in the city, known for it's hard training. In those days karate men practiced only kata (formal movements) and yakusoku kumite (prearranged sparring) and were unable to have matches between each other since they did not hold back their techniques. It was during this period that Yamaguchi created the first stages towards what is known as jiyu kumite (free fighting) and established rules to decide the winner of a match. Some of the rules are still in use today in what is known as sport or competition karate.    In 1928 Chojun Miyagi visited Japan to teach his style of karate. He had taught in the Judo Club of Kyoto University in which Yamaguchi attended. He came back to teach in Japan on other occasions, and in 1931, Gogen Yamaguchi was introduced to him.  In 1937, he was entrusted by Master Chojun Miyagi with the task of popularizing and developing Goju-Ryu Karate-do on the Japanese mainland.  Yamaguchi continued his relationship with Miyagi through visits to 

Okinawa and short instructional visits by Miyagi while touring Japan.  Master Yamaguchi succeeded in uniting many karate schools in Japan into a single union which resulted in the formation of The Federation of All Japan Karate-do Organization (F.A.J.K.O.) in 1964. The Kokusai Budo Renmei (The International Martial Arts Federation) in Japan, whose chairman was Prince Higashikuni of the Japanese Imperial Family appointed Master Yamaguchi as Shihan (Master) of the organization’s karate division. He added to the Japanese Goju system other kata, including the Taikyoku forms, - training methods for the beginner students to prepare them for the more advanced kata.   "The Cat" is Yamaguchi's nickname. There are several reasons given for this, such as his long hair, which resembles a lion's mane, his movements which resemble those of a cat, or his use of the cat stance in sparring. Yamaguchi himself explained it to interviewer Rolland Gaillac, of the French magazine "Karate" (April 1977 edition), in the following words: "Even today, young man, if you were to face me in combat, I would be able to determine in a second the strength of your Ki. Immediately I would know if you were a good opponent. It is this quality, and no other, which has given me the name of The Cat."


In 1953 Peter Urban (August 14, 1934 - April 7, 2004) was a young sailor when he was introduced to karate in Yokohama, Japan. After training for one year with Sensei Richard Kim, Peter Urban traveled to Tokyo and was introduced to Gogen Yamaguchi. He was accepted as a student of Gogen Yamaguchi. In 1957, Peter Urban opened a small Dojo in Tokyo, Japan, and he competed in the all-Japan College Championships that same year. In 1959, Sensei Urban moved to America, and opened his first American Dojo in Union City, New Jersey.  Sensei Urban was reportedly one of the men responsible for establishing structured tournaments in America, with one of the first being the North American Karate Championships in 1962 held at Madison Square Garden.  In the early 1970s, Sensei Urban returned to Japan to ask Gogen Yamaguchi for permission to establish in America a karate system separate from Japan's. Yamaguchi refused, saying the rules of Bushido stated that no white man could achieve Nirvana.   Urban, dissatisfied with the decision, retorted that these same rules stated that Japan could never lose a war. This statement offended the Sensei Yamaguchi. Realizing this and not meaning any disrespect, Sensei Urban prepared to follow samurai custom and cut off his pinky finger in apology to his sensei. Yamaguchi's oldest son stopped him from doing this; however, the damage was done. Seeing this as a turning point, Urban returned to America and incorporated himself as the founder of American Goju.  USA GoJu is an eclectic synthesis of the education, training, and 

experience of Sensei Peter Urban. There are three primary influences of USA GoJu. Chogun Miyagi, the Founder of Goju-Ryu Karate, Gogen Yamaguchi - the Founder of the first GoJu Karate School in Japan and Peter Urban - founder of the USA GoJu Karate System, he was a student of the following martial arts Masters Gogen Yamaguchi, Richard Kim, and Mas Oyama. Although his style of USA GoJu/Urban GoJu is closely related to that of Yamaguchi's Japanese GoJu Ryu, Sensei Urban infused several styles of Karate together to form USA GoJu Karate. He was the 10th Dan Grand Patriarch of all USA GoJu systems. He is the father of the American GoJu Karate in America. He is also responsible for the development of several Martial Arts systems throughout the world.



Austino's Karate Do

Four Seasons Health Club

626 Delsea Drive North

Glassboro, NJ 08028-1419

Tel: 856-417-3574