Ten-Chi Kenpo
The Art and History of Master Norman Armstrong
His Teachers and Influences
  Dojo Locations
  Belt Rankings
  Gray Belt Curriculum
  Photo Album

Ten-Chi Kenpo (The Law Of Heaven And Earth Fist) is a contemporary Martial Art whose roots can be traced to the Aiken Temple in Japan, the Shao-Lin and Wu-Tang monasteries in China. Ten-Chi Kenpo was formulated by Kyoshi Norman Armstrong during the 1970's, and later confirmed by the president of the United Federation Of Martial Artists Nick Cerio in 1981. This occurred when Hanshi Cerio awarded the rank of Godan (5th degree black belt) to Kyoshi Armstrong.

I. Contemporary Kenpo

       Contemporary American Kenpo, as practiced in the United States comes from one basic source. That source is James Masayoshi Mitose, who introduced the form of Kosho-Ryu Kenpo-Jiu-Jitsu to Hawaii in 1936. Today, contemporary Kenpo has three major organizations that govern its techniques and ranking, and promote some form of Mitose's Kenpo.
  1.) The International Kenpo-Karate Association that had been headed by Edmund Parker. A senior student of William K. S. Chow ( Chow being the founder of Kenpo-Karate, and a senior student of Mitose ), Ed Parker is known today as the father of American Kenpo.
  2.) The International Ka-Ju Kenbo Association is headed by Adriano ( Sonny ) Emperado. Emperado is one of the highest ranking students of Professor William K.S. Chow, and is himself a student of Dr. Mitose.
  3.) The Kosho-Shorei Karate and Kenpo Association is headed by Thomas B. Mitose. Thomas Mitose is the son and official successor to the Reverend Dr. James Masayoshi Mitose.

II. Ten-Chi Kenpo

       Ten-Chi-Ryu Kenpo-Karate (The Heaven and Earth School of the Chinese Hand) is a contemporary martial art whose roots can be traced back to the Aken-kai temple in Kyushu, Japan, and the traditions of the Shao-Lin and Wu Tang templesin China. Uniquely, it is a combination of both Okinawan and traditional Chinese forms and technques. It incorporates the idea of Yin and Yang, of positive and negative, as a core concept in its techniques of mind and body. Philosophically, Ten-Chi represents the duality of all existing things; the interaction of two complementing halves, as in Yin and Yang, Night and Day, Hard and Soft, and Mind and Body.

III. About the Founder

       Kyoshi Armstrong was born in New York City in 1938 and began his martial arts training in the Shoto-Kan system in 1957, while stationed in Japan during his service in the U.S. Air Force. He returned to the states and continued his studies in various styles such as, Shorin-Ryu, Tang So Do, Kajukenbo, and Shuri-Ryu, before relocating to Boston in 1970, at the rank of Shodan.
       Kyoshi Armstrong trained with a number of instructors in a number of styles to formulate the Ten-Chi Kenpo Karate Association. He studied the T'ai Chi Chuan, Northern & Southern Shao-Lin, and Northern & Southern Tang Lang (Praying Mantis) Styles. Rounding out the Chinese forms and influences in Ten-Chi Kenpo.
       On February 16, 2008, Master Armstrong was elevated to Judan and the title of Kyoshi/Kaiden was conferred upon him by a committee of his highest ranking students.
       Master Armstrong passed away on March 12, 2009. He will be greatly missed by his students.

Norman Armstrong's 10th Dan          - by Elliott Edwards, February 2008

         On the weekend of February 16-17 roughly 50 members of the Ten-Chi Kenpo family convened in Ontario California. Their aim was the consideration of Master Armstrong for an advancement in rank. While only the six most senior members technically made the decision, it was in an open ceremony that all present witnessed.
         It seemed entirely fitting that the very center where Norman so often taught should be the hall chosen for the event. A Vietnamese Buddhist priest and an assisting nun chanted and sanctified the room. A prayer was offered to the assembly for health.
         A statement addressing the request was read and a vote taken. The Senior practitioners voted 6-0 that Master Armstrong be advanced two degrees rather than one. Ranking student Gary Rooney smudged the presentation belt with sage and it was passed hand to hand among all of the uniformed students, coming finally to Elliott Edwards the next ranking Dan who presented it to Shihan.

Click here for the text of the promotional statement

Click here to see photos from the celebration

50th Anniversary Commemoration          - by Elliott Edwards, February 2007

         I returned recently from the West Coast, it was a short trip meant to further the transmission of our martial art. The trip coincided with Master Norman Armstrong's 50th anniversary as a practitioner of Asian fighting arts. He began in Yokohama in 1957, I watched him teach 2 classes last Thursday.
         We have been connected through the training for well over 30 years. As we sat together talking one evening, I wondered how many people understand in the slightest degree what constancy in anything for a half century requires. The opportunities put aside, the slights overlooked.
         Respect is earned. Across years and distance, Norman Armstrong has my utmost respect.
         Happy Anniversary, Sensei.

Click here to see photos from the celebration

Norman N. Armstrong
Kyoshi/Kaiden Ten-Chi Kenpo

Ranks Held:
Judan - Kyoshi/Kaiden - Ten-Chi Kenpo
Hachidan - Shihan - Kenpo Karate
Ryokudan - Renshi - Chito-Ryu Karate
Nidan - Sensei - Shotokan Karate
Nidan - Sensei - Kajukenpo
Nidan - Sensei - Chi-Do Kwan
Shodan - Sensei - Hakko-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu
Shodan - Sensei - Mu-Gai-Ryu Iai-Jitsu
Instructor - T'ai-Chi Chuan - Yang Style
Instructor - Shao-Lin Chuan - Northern Style
Student - Hung-Gar Chuan - Southern Style
Positions Held by Soke-Kyoshi Armstrong:
State Representative ( MA ) - American Karate Association 1971-1973
Chairman of the Board - United Federation of Martial Artists 1973-1975
President - New England Association of the A.A.U. 1973-1975
Co-Chairman - New England Association of the A.A.U. 1975-1976
National Delegate - A.A.U. National Karate Committee 1974
New England Delegate - A.A.U. National Convention 1975
Liason for the National A.A.U. - International Master Games 1981
National Championships:
All Around Champion - 1981 A.A.U. National Championships
Second place Kumite - 1981 A.A.U. National Championships
Third place Weapons - 1981 A.A.U. National Championships
Second place Kata - 1983 A.A.U. National Championships

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