Kostas Dervenis was born in the United States in 1959. His parents, immigrants to the US, moved back to Greece when he was 12 years old. As a teenager, Kostas, always direct and candid, couldn’t bear the oppressive junta regime and social conditions of the day in his native Greece, and so returned to the US alone at the age of 16, against his parents’ wishes. After receiving degrees in Chemical and Materials Engineering, Kostas pursued a career in the defense industry. In 1990 he returned to Greece as the Engineering Manager for the Greek F-16 program, and in 1992 decided to take his chances with going native, settling in Greece. Today, he is a business professional, is married, and has a daughter.
Kostas joined the Martial Arts world at the age of ten, beginning with judo and boxing. During his teens and in college, he trained predominantly in karate and judo, while beginning in 1982 he became known on the international martial arts circuit as a student of Japanese ninpo taijutsu, through a series of articles in major magazines.
In 1982 Kostas attended a ninpo taijutsu seminar in Dayton, Ohio, taught by the school’s grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. He was impressed by Dr. Hatsumi, and joined the shool. In 1985, Kostas established through personal research that what was being taught by Dr. Hatsumi had nothing to do with ninpo, but rather was the classical Japanese bujutsu of the Kukishin and Takagi Yoshin schools, with personal elements thrown in by Hatsumi’s teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu. In time, Kostas differentiated his position from the status quo of Dr. Hatsumi’s Bujinkan school, objecting both to the training methods followed and to the evident policy of selling ranks. In 1994 Kostas formally announced his resignation from the Bujinkan.
In 1984, while studying in Atlanta, Georgia, Kostas became acquainted with, and became a student of, the well-known weapons-master and Western-style fencing researcher Hank Reinhardt. Kostas was greatly influenced by Hank’s “international” approach, and it is this very methodology that characterizes him today.
In 1994, Kostas sought out, and became accepted as a student by, Sifu John Djiang, Grandmaster of the Chinese school of Baleiquan kung fu in Indonesia, with whom he studied until 2002. Since 1994, he has also studied Chen style Taijiquan, under Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang (the Chen family taijiquan lineage holder), and Wu style Taijiquan in the lineage of Grandmaster Wang Peisheng.
In addition, in his 40-year plus Martial Arts career, Kostas has been a student of various other martial and health systems and training methods for shorter periods of time, most of these in their country of origin. Some of these aforementioned systems are: Taekwondo, western fencing, Shinkage ryu bujutsu, Wing Chun kung fu, Javanese Silat, Aikido, Taihojutsu, Krav Maga, Feldenkrais, chiropractic medicine, submission grappling, etc. Having surrendered all other ranks, Kostas retains a 4th Dan in Jujutsu/Jojutsu under Professor Andrew Yiannakis.
Kostas the Writer…
Kostas published his first literary essay in 1985, and hasn’t stopped writing since! This website, being a Pammachon specific site, hosts Kostas’ articles and books that are martial arts related. In addition to these, Kostas has also written television screenplays and novels. He writes under an alias whenever possible, for peace of mind.
Kostas’ work was also referenced by Bettany Hughes in her book, "Helen of Troy," and he was cited as an expert on Bronze Age combat in an accompanying Channel 4 documentary. His book "The Martial Arts of Ancient Greece" has been included as a reference for the degree program at the US Army War College.