American Honored Pugilist

Maestro John Kovacs

Maestro John Kovacs is one of the most-traveled martial artists in this year’s WPHF and a true warrior-scholar.

Maestro Kovacs has studied martial arts since childhood and holds advanced degrees and certificates in karate, Arnis de Mano, and JiuJitsu. He has published extensively and taught throughout the nation, including a series of workshops at the prestigious John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he held the positions of Defensive Tactics Coordinator and Firearms Instructor. Maestro John also holds a Master’s Degree in forensic psychology.

Maestro Kovacs is also the founder of the Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts in New York City. He has demonstrated and taught “Renaissance JiuJitsu”in the United States at the United Nations, in the First Annual Western Martial Arts Workshop. He has also taught in Legnano, Italy, at the First International Meeting of Ancient and Historical Fencing, under the FederazioneItalianaSchermaAntica E Storica.

Maestro John’s particular interest lies in the universal principles behind martial culture from both an Eastern and Western paradigm and the relationship between armed and unarmed combat.

Maestro John Kovacs currently resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

 Grand Master Peter Freedman


Grand Master Peter Freedman of New England is one of the most well-versed and diversified martial artists to be inducted into this year’s WPHF new category of American Honored Pugilists. His career and numerous accomplishments could literally fill a book.

Grand Master Freedman grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and most of his knowledge comes from the tough life experiences that he endured on the streets of Boston’s notorious Sound End.

In his 50-year-long and illustrious fighting arts career, Grand Master Freedman has mastered a wide variety of martial arts encompassing knife throwing, boxing, KetsugoJiu-Jitsu, Aikijutsu, Judo, Aikido, Savate, Tiger Claw kung-fu, Arnis, Kali, Escrima, PencakSilat, and Tai Chi. He is also a Level III Reiki healing touch practitioner.

Some Grand Master Freedman’s past teachers include Robert L. Dickey, Jim Jones, Jim Wade, SifuWah Don, George H. Brewster, Sifu Joshua Grant, Guru Herman Suwanda, Guro Mike Williams, Guru Ismail Sujadi, and Dr. Ericka Duffy.

Grand Master Peter Freedman currently resides in New Hampshire where he teaches weekly self-defense classes and lives with his wife and two daughters.