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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.

To see more photos from the celebration, click here


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