Family Tree & Black Belts

Yudansha & Yudansha Candidates

In response to your questions, Professor Chamberlain has posted the information below in regards to those individuals planning to test for any of the Yudansha (black belt) ranks.  This serves as a reminder of the requirements Professor Chamberlain laid out for the potential candidates, so hopefully there will be no last minute surprises regarding either who is eligible to test, or what is expected.  If you are having trouble with any of the guidelines below, please discuss these with Professor Chamberlain NOW!!  Don’t wait and just show up to Warrior Weekend assuming the guidelines don’t apply to you.

Time In Grade Requirements

RankTime in Grade
The first three ranks in Black Belt are based on your technical skill and ability with the material in Gasan Ryu Kenpo.
Shodan3-4 years
Nidan+2 years
Sandan+3 years

These three ranks in Black Belt are based on your skill and ability in the area of teaching Gasan Ryu Kenpo, kids, adults, groups, privates, seminars, workshops, weapons, etc.
Yondan+4 years
Godan+5 years
Rokkudan+6 years

These three ranks in Black Belt are for the development of Gasan Ryu Kenpo, writing manuals, books, creating DVD's, starting dojos, creating new programs and classes, running and promoting tournaments, seminars, workshops and community service events, etc.
Shichidan+7 years
Hachidan+8 years
Kudan+9 years

This rank is for the senior most student of Gasan Ryu Kenpo and/the founder/soke of the system.
Judan+10 years

Message from Professor Chamberlain

*Testing for ranks within black belt requires you to have fulfilled the basic active training “time in grade” requirement, along with knowledge of the techniques in our curriculum for White Belt through your current rank.  Beyond that, if you are testing for Nidan or higher, you need to be teaching on a regular basis, and your personal development training in the dojo should be on an average of at least 1½ times per week.

In addition, it cannot be overstated how important it is for the higher ranking black-belts especially, to be actively involved in the dojo.  One of the things that sets our school apart from others, is our close-knit, family atmosphere.  These values are things that trickle down from the top ranks and get passed along as new students join the fold.  All black belts who desire to continue moving up in the ranks of Gasan Ryu Kenpo need to be helping out at dojo events such as the Tournament, belt tests (kids & adults), school carnivals, seminars, women’s self defense workshops, etc.  There are many, many things during the year in which we need people to help out.   Our goal as a dojo is to continue to grow and impact our community in a positive way.  With help, we will be able to do more community outreach, get our name out there more, teach at more schools, and ideally, open additional dojo locations!!  High ranking black belts need to be invested in the success of our school.  Please bear this in mind as you prepare for your upcoming belt test.

Here are two quick stories that have helped shape my understanding and help put this in perspective.

1.   My good friend Tony, whom I have known since high school, retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel after a brilliant career as a pilot and flight instructor.  He had more ribbons on his chest than most high ranking Generals.  I asked him why he held his current rank and he said that to remain doing what he loved (which was flying every minute he could) he had turned down promotion opportunities on a regular basis.  For him, promotion meant that he would be at the Pentagon or commander of a base and he would then be behind a desk instead of in a cockpit.  He made a choice, more flying or more rank and responsibility.  Now retired, he flies private jets for a living – “Blue Skies!”

How does this relate to our ranks?  If you want to devote yourself to just working out and training and remain out of the areas of responsibility that go into the success of the dojo, you will be limiting your advancement to the higher ranks in Gasan Ryu Kenpo.

2.  Some friends took my wife and me to their church for service on a Sunday morning a few years ago.  When the priest got up for the sermon it was his first opportunity to speak with the congregation as he had just joined the church as their new leader.  He spoke simply and honestly about his plans for the future and one thing in particular has stuck with me ever since.  He stated that he intended to measure his success not by how much money he was able to collect in the offering, but in the sense of community and family he was able to create within the congregation.

How does this relate to our ranks?  A sense of family and community is developed from the top down and takes involvement and commitment from the higher ranks and instructors as well as the new students.  It is maintained by seeing each other at dojo activities and renewing friendships during events, by sharing responsibilities and by supporting each other in our lives and goals as martial artists.

Thanks, and Happy Training!

The Gasan Ryu Kenpo Yudansha!

The following students have been promoted to Gasan Ryu Kenpo ranks in Black Belt by Professor Nick Chamberlain and are part of the Yudansha, they are in alphabetical order with the date of their promotion to Shodan (first degree Black Belt) listed.  Some of these students have also been promoted by Professor Chamberlain to ranks in Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu (authorized by Sijo Sonny Gascon), Nick Cerio’s Kenpo (authorized by Professor Nick Cerio), American Kenpo (authorized by Professor Nick Cerio) and Shaolin Kenpo.


Jim Adcox – 2013

Colin Arntz – 2014



Evan Balch – 2007

Tom Ballinger – 2004

Brian Birmingham – 2013

John Blanchard – 1988

Michelle Boyd – 2006

Mike Bush – 1992



James Campbell – 2008

Gerardo Caro – 2006

Kim Chabot – 1981

Edwin Chamberlain – 2003

Patti Crites – 2008

Matt Crocker – 1989



Wes Davis – 2016

Brian Doherty – 2011

Shannon Durst – 2015



James Epstein – 2008

Gerry Escarcega – 2010



Tricia Finley – 2016

Paul Flynn – 2006

Greg Fountain – 2007

Mark Fountain – 2002



Alyx Galbreath – 2005

Kris Galbreath – 2010

Dawn Gallenstein – 2011

Les Gallenstein – 2011

Sabrina Gallenstein – 2013

Marc Giguere – 1991

Brad Gould – 1989

Linn Griffin – 2004

Shawn Griffith – 2010



Michael Hand – 2010

Jim Harding – 1982

Bobby Hasty – 2012

Kory Helfman – 2010

Joe Herlihy – 1988

Rohan Hoare – 2015

John Thomas Holden – 2016

Kevin Hooker – 2002

Warren Hutcheson – 2008



Nicholas Interrante – 2008





Joe Kane – 1990

Tom Kearin – 1982

Ronnie Keiser – 2003

Sam Keiser – 2004

Carrie Kimbrough – 2005

Chris Kimbrough – 2004

Dallas Kirby – 2011



Kellyn Laurinski – 2010

Jerry Little – 1991



Bill Madsen – 2012

Morgan Martinez – 2016

Jimmy Mathis – 2010

Mary Mathis- 2010

Rick Matson – 1988

Norman McBride – 1988

Mike McDonald – 2015

Paul McDonough – 2006

Steve McInnis – 1989

Al Mendonca – 1993

Joe Mendoza – 2016

Paul Micciche – 1988

Ryan Miller – 2006

Matthew Miller – 2012

Victoria Miller – 2010

Matt Moncreaff – 1993

Lisa Moretta – 2008

Kevin Morey – 1989

Kramer Morgan – 2014

Mike Morrison – 1997



Rollend Nery – 1997

Alex Neyrey – 2009

Cherie Neyrey – 2010

Rob Nickell – 2006





Sebastian Perez – 2009

Clark Perkins – 2006

Chad Perry – 1990

Genevieve Petersen – 2017

Arrash Pirasteh – 2004





Tongla Reddix – 2012

Robert Reddix – 2011

Jim Riddle – 2003

Erin Roarke – 1988

Gina Robinson – 2014

Glenn Robinson – 2014

Scott Robinson – 2004

Jennifer Ross – 2004

Steve Rountree – 2014



Erik Sanchez – 2012

Jorge Sanchez – 2008

Mason Schleu – 2012

Dan Smith – 2002

Clif Snow – 2010

Jason Solorzarno – 2016

Bill Starkey – 2012

Jamie Steeves – 1989

Hannah Sternblitz – 2012

Bob Stickney – 1989

Carlene St. John – 2012

Jamie St. John – 2012



Terin Tehan – 2009

George Thibault – 1988

Terrence Tippet – 2015

Alex Torres – 2010

Darrell Turner – 2012



Dru Ubben – 2010



Chris Valentine – 2011

Laura Vaughn – 2001

Mike Vaughn – 1999

Jorge Veliz – 1991



Scott Watrous – 2010

Madison Walsh – 2013

Shane Whitehead – 2004

Diana Whiting – 2008

Stephen Whiting – 2008





Brenda Yturralde – 1997



Tom Zimmerschied – 2012