Address to Assembly on the Occasion of Master Armstrong's 10th Dan
We, the senior practitioners of Ten-Chi Kenpo, have been convened with
a singular request. That is to consider the status and attainments of
Norman N. Armstrong, the founder and head of our martial art,
evaluating the aforementioned efforts with an eye as to whether an
advancement in rank is warranted.
The collective experience of the six practitioners named approaches
150 years. A century and a half is time enough to have perspective on
any historic event. We believe that those of us assembled here see
this afternoon in precisely that sort of light.
Probably each of us was struck by a similar insight upon receipt of
Shihan Armstrong's Petition. Namely that in all of our years of
association, he had never asked FOR ANYTHING of us. He had asked a
gread deal OF us, but that was and is solely as exacting practitioners
in a complex discipline.
We have all been repeatedly evaluated by Shihan. There are the obvious
rank reviews, but there were also moments of personal crisis and
wrongheaded choices that Norman invariably addressed with coolness and
candor. Today the roles are reversed, and it is the man entire who
sits before us asking nothing more than consideration.
It is fair and right that this deliberation be left to us. None better
know the price paid over 50 years in forming, founding, and shaping
this art. We have so many others, former classmates, who could as well
occupy these seats today. Each of us can readily think of ten as
talented or more so. Ten in Gary's mind, in Linda's, as many others in
Ben's, Robert's, Deanna's, mine ... surely 100 in Norman's. The room
is suddenly very crowded.
We come to this moment attentive, humble, and very aware of the
importance of our undertaking. Each of the six has read and re-read
Norman's documents. Five of us are present. All of us have discussed
this with others of the six.
We will now formally vote our opinion. Having spoken at length with
Linda Resner and being clear as to her wishes, I [Elliott Edwards] will vote as her proxy.
Ben called the role as each Master voted "hai" (yes).
By a vote of six yes and zero no the request is affirmed with a single
amendment. Let it be known to all concerned that from this day:
We the acknowledged Masters of Ten-Chi Kenpo hereby unanimously
promote Norman Armstrong to Kyoshi Kaiden, tenth dan, on this Saturday
the 16th of February 2008.