Houlton teacher inducted into Martial Arts Hall of Fame
For New Richmond resident Tim Armstrong, martial arts has been a huge part of his life since he saw his first Bruce Lee film when he was 7. Now, 40 years later, Armstrong will be inducted into the United State Martial Arts Hall of Fame when he travels to St. Louis for the induction banquet in June.
Armstrong also teaches classes in Houlton at 1370 Hilltop Drive.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years now and it has been a lifetime of adventure,” Armstrong said. “It has been a series of progressions. I have been training for 40, but I’ve also been teaching for 22 years. It has been my life’s passion and my lifestyle.”
Armstrong’s journey to the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame was not an easy one, but he was able to overcome and is now has reached the pinnacle of his craft. Making the honor even more meaningful is the fact that it was Armstrong’s students who nominated him to the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
“Knowing my students nominated me for the Hall of Fame is like a lifetime achievement award, as far as I’m concerned,” Armstrong said. “That is the highest that I can get in my field, is to be nominated for the Hall of Fame and be accepted by the Grandmasters Council. Its been my lifelong dream and passion to achieve that. My goal as a grandmaster is to teach people the correct Martial Arts knowledge so there will be fewer victims and people can live a dream of a more peaceful world. That is the reason why I teach.”
At Armstrong’s school of martial arts, students learn Loa-Hu Kung Fu, which teaches you how to defend yourself when you are forced into a bad situation, such as a home intruder or a mugging attempt on the street.
“I mostly teach reality street conflict, attacks that you would pull off in the street,” Armstrong said. “I teach mostly reality, not so much classical martial arts school. I have a black sash society and not belts. It is an honor to be in that society.”
At the end of January, Armstrong received the highest rank he could when he was promoted to 10th degree Red Sash.
“I got promoted to 10th degree, which is the highest level you can go, on Chinese New Years of 2014,” Armstrong said. “I have written two books, on Mook Jong (Wooden Man) and one of the two books is even in the Library of Congress.”
To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the Board of Directors looks at a masters’ body of work as well as their commitment to the discipline and their work in the community.
“When they are looking at you for induction into the Hall of Fame, they look at your published works, your community service, activities, teaching, training, studies and life developments and then you have to be nominated,” Armstrong said. “My students put together something and nominated me this year.”
Armstrong will be going into the Hall of Fame as a Gold member since he has been training for over 40 years now.
“They say a Bronze member is anybody who has been training for 20 years, then silver is 30 and so on up to Platinum, which is 50 years of training. I’ll hit that mark in 10 years,” Armstrong said.
Despite all his training, Armstrong is a little anxious about hearing his name called and stepping up to accept his award at the banquet in June.
“I’m nervous going into this and getting the award,” Armstrong said. “I have to get a tux for the banquet for sure. I think they give you an award, a patch and I believe they give you a diploma but I’m not sure. It is a banquet dinner and celebration. It has been 40 years in the making, so it is exciting too.”
Accompanying Armstrong on the trip to St. Louis will be his son, Caleb, who was just as excited, if not more so, to hear his father was accepted into the Hall of Fame.
“I am going to be taking my son Caleb, who is 12, with me to the banquet,” Armstrong said. “When he heard about me getting in he was super excited. He told me that it was wonderful that I had gotten in.”
After the ceremony this summer, Armstrong plans to continue training and teaching as well as work with other masters to further his skills and those of the people around him.
“I’ve been working with some other accomplished masters and we have talked about doing some seminars and some training methods as well as continuing on with my teaching,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong teaches every Monday night in Houlton and then teaches privately out of his apartment on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Armstrong is currently taking on new beginner students for his Loa-Hu Kung Fu school at an introductory cost of just $35 for the first four lessons. Those interested in learning from Armstrong can contact him at (715) 246-4477, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on his school visit loa-hukungfu.com.