Hanshi Norman Armstrong 1938 – 2009
To celebrate the first anniversary of Hanshi Norman Armstrong’s passing on March 12, 2009, we at ELITE TAE KWON DO will hold practices with other Ten Chi Kenpo on his honor during the month of March 2010. Anyone willing to join us in keeping up his tradition, please join us in our training. Hanshi Norman Armstrong taught so many of us the essence of Martial Arts. His teaching was never about making money but creating martial artists. Our teacher is no longer with us but his hard work will remain until we join him. Even though I am teaching Tae Kwon Do, due to the fact Norman moved out of Boston but his way of life is embodied in my teaching. I have met so many great teachers through my journey but Norman had made the greatest impact. He saw something special in me and coaxed me into teaching rather than concentrate on being a fighter. A man so simple but yet so complex in his teaching, a gifted teacher that comes around once in a life time.
In memory of his first anniversary, I want to dedicate the month of March as: “Norman Armstrong Month” with peace and love. your student Jean Theodat
At once a remarkable scholar, practitioner, and teacher, Hanshi Armstrong began his career in Yokohama in 1957, stationed with the US Air Force, where he laid the foundations for his art and style. He studied Shotokan Karate, and later returned to the states and learned and practiced with noted Kenpo and karate practitioners, eventually branching into traditional Chinese martial arts and studying Taijiquan with the late T.T. Liang. Hanshi Armstrong founded Ten Chi Kenpo in 1974 and worked out a comprehensive system of training and martial arts, founded on the best traditions and techniques, unique in its synthesis and its practicality and adaptability. In all things, Master Armstrong was a pioneer, participating in the first mixed-race martial-arts tournaments in Boston in the sixties and seventies, and studying with practitioners of all races and cultures. In turn, he thought students of all races, nations, and sexes, holding only to his own high standards. A life-long “violence professional” as a bouncer, private investigator, bodyguard and more, he held that the practice of his art was a higher calling than the application of his skills, but both had to be as close to perfection as possible. A man of extraordinary presence, and a gifted educator; a despiser of charlatanry, hufflestuff, rigmarole, and lack of rigor, both intellectual and physical, Master Armstrong embodied all the virtues, and discipline he taught to others; he drove himself to be always better educated and better skilled at his art. He led by example, a formidable presence that remained superior even into his later years. He embodied the warrior spirit, serene but unwavering in all things, while a twinkle was never far from his eye and ribaldry from, his lips when class was not in session., Tough as an iron rod, merciless in his instruction and honest in a way that could not be mistaken, Norman made his art, our art, his salvation. He knew, and lived, that despite all the terrible things one can see and live through in a lifetime, you can conquer violence by conquering your self. Modest in person (never modest on the floor), he was never bitter, never rude, and never mean. Through a lifetime of violence and a lifetime of martial training, he learned and taught, that the salvation of one was the other, and that was the true end of continuing the practice. His lesson was heard and remembered, and he will be sorely missed.
Ten Chi Kenpo
Friends and students of Ten-chi Kenpo Karate,
On March 12, 2009, Hanshi Norman Armstrong passed beyond this world; founder and master of Ten-chi Kenpo Karate, Master Norman touched innumerable lives with his generosity of spirit, his remarkable and enduring teachings, and his impeccable personal example as a martial arts practitioner.
Hanshi Armstrong founded Ten-chi Kenpo Karate in 1974 and worked throughout his life to improve it and improve the whole martial arts community. Without immediate family, his extended network of students, devoted friends, and loved ones feels his loss acutely and remains deeply grateful for his instruction and his wisdom in the practice of martial arts.
Requiescat in pace. 3/12/2009, Hanshi Norman Armstrong