GURO ROBERT PARKES
Dr Robert 'Espada' Parkes (BEd Hons Sydney, PhD Newcastle) is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Kali Newcastle (previously known as the Kalisadors Club). He is an accredited martial arts instructor (KWA Accreditation No. A00606), published author, editor, historian, and an Associate Professor of curriculum studies and teacher education at the University of Newcastle.
Robert began training in Kung-Fu in 1980 at the age of 14 and opened his first martial arts school at the age of 18. His first exposure to Filipino Martial Arts, came through seminars with Guro Dan Inosanto. In his twenties Robert studied and taught Bujinkan Kobudo, receiving his 5th Dan Black Belt in 1992, from Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. During the 1990s Robert also gained a trainer (Tagapagsanay) qualification in Modern Arnis (GM Ernesto Presas lineage, later to be called Kombatan) through the Arjuken Martial Arts Association headed in Australia by Chris Traish. Since 2015 Robert has also been studying the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. His nickname 'Espada' (sword) was given to him by Mestre Borracha, head of Capoeira Aruanda.
In 2019 Robert travelled to the Philippines with his daughter to study De Campo 1-2-3 Original, and in 2020 he became the first Australian to be certified as an Instructor (Magtutudlo) in De Campo 1-2-3 Original, by Maestro Paolo Pagaling and Master Jomalin Caballero. In addition to continuing studies in De Campo 123, Robert has begun to study the Bernas Estocadas system of Grandmaster William Bernas.
GURO REBEKAH PARKES
Rebekah 'Serenata' Parkes (BMus Hons, Newcastle) grew up around martial arts, and has been studying Capoeira under Mestre Borracha since 2011 and formally studying Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) since 2015. In 2018 she travelled to Brazil to further her studies in Capoeira, and in 2019 travelled with her father to study De Campo 1-2-3 Original in the Philippines. She is Australia's first female De Campo 1-2-3 Original Instructor, certified by Maestro Paolo Pagaling and Master Jomalin Caballero.
Rebekah's nickname 'Serenata' means "to Serenade" and was given to her by Mestre Borracha for reasons that will become obvious. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree as a Vocal major, from the University of Newcastle, and was a founding member of the art music group Tone Camerata; a key participant in the University of Newcastle World Music Ensemble; and is currently lead singer in the world music trio, Big Jarda. In her spare time she also plays with a Batucada trio, performs as a member of Soulfire Circus, and enjoys studying Acro-Yoga.
In addition to teaching Capoeira and FMA, Rebekah conducts private lessons in singing, has taught classes in circus skills on the silks and static trapez and more recently has become a Gymanstics for All Coach. She is currently also studying to become a high school teacher at the University of Newcastle, and is continuing to broaden her studies in FMA.