Dustin Kook started his martial art training in 1989 at a local Tae Kwon Do school that unfortunately closed before he could earn his Black Belt. Still having an interest in martial arts he bounced around trying different styles until at the age of 15 he finally found his home at National Karate & Kickboxing. Under the tutelage of Master John Mazzola and Master Pam Thomas he worked his way up the ranks and enrolled in the NK Assistant Instructor program in 2001. In 2003 he earned his Black Belt and graduated from the Instructor program to become a full Instructor.
Mr. Kook was tasked with running multiple National Karate satellite location programs including classes at Children’s World Learning Centers, Kids Choice, and the Lifetime Fitness Health Clubs. In 2006 he was promoted to the Assistant Director position at the South Elgin NK location where the school earned the “School of the Year” award every year he was there. Then, in 2009 he was promoted to the Director position at the Bartlett NK location. Dustin has had much success as an instructor earning many awards including the “Outstanding Instructor” award, and “Most Improved Youth Program” award, and in 2014 he was presented with the coveted “Instructor of the Year Award”.
Mr. Kook has also had a very successful sport karate career and has been an avid sport karate competitor in the Chicagoland area and Minnesota over the last 16 years. One of his favorite years as a competitor came in 2011 where he took 1st in Fighting at the AKA Grand Nationals, the Naperville Challenge, the Diamond Nationals, 1st at both National Karate Championships, and 2nd place at the Naperville open. Now at the rank of 4th degree Black Belt and is a Krav Maga Certified Instructor. Dustin continues to train and compete and teach his students the valuable lessons that competition and his years of training has taught him.
Mr. Kook says,“God has truly blessed me over the years with a job I love and fun people to work with. National Karate has become a home away from home, and I couldn’t think of doing anything else but teaching karate.” –Dustin
Did you know:
- Mr. Kook was an excellent High School athlete and has earned dozens of awards and letters in multiple sports including football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and wrestling.
- He is an accomplished musician competing in local and state competitions in voice and trumpet.
- He is part of the duet team that sings the National Anthem at all of our black belt exams.
- In 2012 Dustin was honored with the boys scouts “mentor pin” for the role he played in one of his student’s life.
- Holds a Homeland Security/FEMA certification for “Workplace Violence Awareness Training” and “Active Shooter Training”.
- Mr. Kook and his wife are expecting a newborn baby any day now!