Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo is the Japanese name of the Chinese art Sau Lin-Szu Pao Ming Chuan (Young Forest Temple Cannon Fist "Ming Dynasty") founded in the Henan (Honan) province of north central China during the Ming dynasty. This system of martial application was based upon the long staff and fist/foot techniques, in association with the monks of the Sau Lin-Szu (Young Forest Temple) better known as the Sau Lin Szu Songyue Si.
Albert C. Church, Jr., sensei began training in Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo (at this time called So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Bup (Do)**) in Korea while stationed there for the Korean conflict in 1950. At this time the system was a small self-defense discipline similar to Hapkido of today. Church sensei earned the equivalent to a Sandan in So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Bup before returning to the U.S. in 1952.
** Note: The art of So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Bup has also been known as So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Do. Some of the reason for this change was attributed to the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1910, effectively stopping the teaching of all Kwon Bup styles in Korea.
Church sensei re-opened his Jujutsu dojo and included So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Bup there-in. Between the years of 1952-1956, Church sensei steadfastly taught the arts of Jujutsu and Churl Kwon Bup in America. In 1956 Ki-Oh sensei advised Church sensei of his relocation from Korea to Japan due to medical treatment available to him. From 1956 to 1967 Church sensei continued to instruct Ki-Oh sensei's art (now called Shorinji Tetsu-Kempo in Japan), making several trips to Japan for training with him. In 1967, Church sensei named his senior-most student, Harold Martin as Hombu Dojo-Cho (home school chief instructor) and left the daily running of his school to him. Church sensei then traveled back to Japan at the request of his instructor to once again train. Then in a surprise move, Ki-Oh sensei, due to personal illness and inability to continue teaching his discipline, officially appointed Church sensei as his lineage succesor "Soke Dai" (Inheritor Elect).
During this time period (1967-1969), Church sensei also trained with Ryuho Okuyama, Soke, Hakko Ryu Jujutsu, Teruo Hayashi, Kaicho, Seishinkai and Shogo Kuniba, Soke in his inherited art of Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate-do and earned the rank of Godan and the Shihan title.
In 1975, Ron Cherry was named by Church sensei as his system Chief Examiner. Shihan Cherry continued in this capacity until Church sensei's death in 1980.