In 1939 Albert Church began training in a form of Jujutsu based on Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu and Daito Ryu. By 1946, he began teaching jujutsu classes at the local YMCA. He continued teaching until he joined the United States Marines in 1948.

In 1950 Albert Church was stationed in Korea during the Korean conflict and while there he began training in So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Do Bup. At this time So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Do Bup was a self-defense discipline similar to today’s Hapkido. In 1952 Albert Church earned the equivalent of a Sandan (Roughly Boxer Level 2) in So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Bup before returning to the United States. After returning to the United States in 1952 Albert Church continued teaching Jujutsu and Churl Kwon Do.

During the 1960’s, Albert Church also learned and taught Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate and Hakko Ryu Jujutsu under the Hakko Ryu Martial Arts Federation (HMAF).

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In 1967, Albert Church traveled to Japan at the request of his Churl Kwon Do instructor, Ki-Oh sensei, who was now living in Japan. His instructor wanted him to continue training in So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Do Bup, now known in Japan as Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo. Because of personal illness and and his inability to continue teaching Ki-Oh sensei, officially appointed Albert Church as his lineage successor or “Soke Dai” and Albert Church inherited the So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Do Bup art.

While in Japan from 1967-1969, Albert Church trained with Ryuho Okuyama, the Soke of Hakko Ryu Jujutsu, Teruo Hayashi, Kaicho, Seishinkai and Shogo Kuniba, Soke in his inherited art of Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate-do and Albert Church earned the rank of Godan and the Shihan title.

In 1968, by the directive of the Seishinkai Shihan Committee, Shogo Kuniba prepared a scroll recognizing…”Nippon Kobudo Kamishin Ryu, Soke, Albert C. Church…” and a license as the founder-President (Kaicho) of the martial ways organization named Nippon Kobudo Rengokai.

In May 1969, Albert Church returned to the United States where he develop the organizational structure of the Nippon Kobudo Rengokai.

For the next ten years, Albert Church, Soke, continued teaching Nippon Kobudo Kamishin Ryu in the Charleston, South Carolina area until he passed away in 1980. He was 50 years old.

Source: Legends of Carolina Martial Arts

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