Shorinji Tetsu Ken do Kanda ha kamishin ryu Ju-Jitsu
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Albert C. Church Jr., Jusandai-Soke
(13th generation head-family), began studying Aiki-jujutsu and Judo in
1939 at the age of nine years old. Seven years later in 1946 at the age
of sixteen, Church sensei opened his first Jujutsu school at the
Birmingham Alabama athletic club.
Four years later at the age
of twenty, Church sensei joined the U.S. Marines and left for a two
year tour of duty in Korea. It was here in Korea during the Korean war
that Church sensei met and began training with Kim Chi Wang in So Rim Sa
Churl Kwon Bup.
In 1952 Church sensei returned to the United
States and re-established his Jujutsu school, this time adding the
teachings of Wang sensei's (Wang sensei used his Japanized name Kin
Ki-Oh in Japan) Churl Kwon Bup to his curriculum. Church sensei
continued teaching these arts and training in other arts such as Shito
Ryu and Hakko Ryu as well.
In 1967, at the age of
thirty-seven, Church sensei received word that Ki-Oh sensei was very
ill. Ki-Oh sensei requested that Church sensei come to Japan to be with
him (Ki-Oh sensei moved to Japan in 1956 for medical treatment). Church
sensei moved his family to the Kanagawa area of Japan in 1967. While
there he trained with several Japanese Masters including his sensei, Kim
Chi Wang (Kin Ki-Oh) in the "family" art of Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo
(Japanese name of style), Kuniba Shogo, Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate-do, Hayashi Teruo, Seishinkai Jujutsu and Okuyama Ryuho, Hakko Ryu Jujutsu.
In Nov.1967 Ki-Oh sensei died, passing on the inheritance of Shorinji
Tetsu-Kempo to Church sensei. In 1969 Kuniba sensei prepared a scroll of recognition
of Church sensei as Head-Family (Soke) of Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo / Nippon
Kamishin Ryu and Kaicho of the newly founded Nippon Kobudo Rengokai.
Church sensei moved his family back to the U.S. in late 1969 and began
formalizing the teachings of his art of Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo / Kamishin
Ryu. In 1977, Church sensei created the Kamishinkai International and
passed the Nippon Kobudo Rengokai to Harold Martin, Soke-Dai.
In 1980, at the young age of fifty, Albert C. Church Jr. died.
Church sensei's memory lives on through the many students he touched
during his life (and the lives of those he touched through his art even
after his death).