Through their hard work, commitment, and a sincere dedication to the Shorinji Toraken Ryu Arts, these individuals lead the American Kempo-Karate Association with the earned respect and trust of their teachers, students, and peers. They are responsible for maintaining the high standards upon which the Shorinji Toraken Ryu System has established itself.

Dr. James R. Cherry

Founder of
Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu

10th Degree Black Belt

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu

7th Degree Black Belt

Goju Karate
Goju Jujitsu

5th Degree Black Belt

Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate
So Rim Sa Churl Kwon Do
Tang Soo Do
Nippon Kamishin Ryu Karate-Do

Soke Cherry's professional credentials include the following:Founder of the American Kempo-Karate Association
Featured in "Master Founders and Leaders of American Martial Arts
"Who's Who in American Martial Arts"
Lifetime Member of American Society of Black Belts
Lifetime Member of International Black Belt Federation
Member of National Association Professional Martial Artist
Cloud Forest Association
Christain Black Belt Association
Shiho Karano Kai International
International Han Shi Association

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Renshi Kevin Caldwell

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu

Also Serves as
Chief Examiner & Vice President of Operations
for the
American Kempo Karate Association

6th Degree Black Belt

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu

2nd Degree Black Belt

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Jujutsu
Hakkoryu Jujutsu

Kevin Caldwell began his martial arts training in 1990 at the Academy of Kempo Karate in Charlotte, NC under the instruction of Soke Ray Ferrell. For over 22 years he has studied all aspects of Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu, and was the first person to attain the rank of 5th degree black belt since the system was revised in 1990. Kevin has also studied Hakkoryu Jujutsu under the direction of Shihan Garner Train, and Mugai Ryu iaido under the direction of Sensei Tony Alvarez and Soke Ray Ferrell.

In 2007 Kevin was named Soke Dai, or inheritor to the Shorinji Toraken Ryu system of martial arts.

Professionally, Mr. Caldwell has over 17 years experience as a paramedic in Charlotte, NC. More than 10 of those years were spent attached to the police department SWAT team as a tactical paramedic, where he received multiple awards for operational excellence. He is a graduate of both the CMPD SWAT, and the DoD sponsored Counter Terrorism Tactical Operations Medical Support (CONTOMS) programs. In 2007, Kevin was personally invited to attend a tactical medic instructor course at North American Rescue. Following this training, he began teaching with a private tactical training company, and has since served as the primary instructor for hundreds of law enforcement and military special operations personnel. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Caldwell was the director of tactical medical training for the EMS system in Mecklenburg County, as well as for the CMPD SWAT team. He has served as an advisor to the board on tactical emergency casualty care, and as a regional representative for the North Carolina Tactical Medic Association. Kevin holds a Bachelors degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is currently pursuing additional degrees from that same institution.

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Soke Ray Ferrell

Present Head of Family
Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu

Also Serves as
President & Chief Instructor
for the
American Kempo Karate Association

10th Degree Black Belt

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu

1st Degree Black Belt

Goshin Do

Ray Ferrell (Soke) has also studied the Chinese martial arts of Emperor Long Fist Tai Chi Chuan, Taoist Temple Ba Gua Chang and Shaolin Hsing Yi Chuan as well as Temple Chi Kung, acupressure and traditional Chinese medicine from D E "Wei" Kash (Sifu), OMD, Hanshi, Tenth Degree Black Belt. He has been awarded for accomplishments in the Wu Tang and Shao Lin Iron Palm. Ray Ferrell (Soke) is also a vice president of the American Chinese Chi Kung Acupressure Association in North Carolina. Ferrell (Soke) was awarded the "Most Respected Martial Artist Award" for the Cloud Forest Chin Woo Athletic Association in 1998.

Soke Ferrell began his training in the martial arts in 1978 and has been a personal student of Dr. Ron Cherry (Soke) since 1983.
On March 18, 2000 Dr. Ron Cherry (Soke) Performed an Inheritor/Successorship ceremony and handed the system and organization to Ray Ferrell (Soke) making him the (Nidai Soke) or (present head of Family) and 2nd generation Soke to the Toraken Ryu Arts.
On August 2nd, 2003 Dr. Ron Cherry promoted Ray Ferrell to 9th degree in the Shorinji Toraken Ryu Sogo Kempo Jutsu Arts.

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Shihan Rob Zingg

Vice President of Domestic and International Affairs
American Kempo Karate Association, Shorinji Toraken Ryu

6th Degree Black Belt

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Karate

4th Degree Black Belt

Okinawan Tozan-ryu Karate
Shorinji Toraken-ryu Kobudo

1st Degree Black Belt

Shorinji Toraken Ryu Kempo Karate
Shorinji Toraken Ryu Jujutsu

Other Credentials

Instructor Rating in Unconventional Personal Combat (UPC)

Shihan Zingg began his Karate training in 1969 studying Okinawan Isshinryu Karate. Two years later he began studying Okinawan Tozan-ryu Shindokan Karate under Bobby Joe Blythe, 6th Degree Black Belt. From 1972 through 1984, Mr. Zingg was the Senior Assistant Instructor at Shihan Blythe's school in Dumfries, Virginia and became the school manager in 1979. In 1984 he moved to Charles Town, West Virginia where he opened his own school. Mr. Zingg met Soke Cherry and Nidai Soke Ferrell in 1987 and began his training in Shorinji Toraken-ryu shortly thereafter.
Shihan Zingg also serves as the Team Leader for the US Kempo Team and he is the Pan-American Director of the International Kempo Federation (IKF). Go here see information about the US Kempo Team

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