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Kevin Pence


Kevin Kyoshi (Prof.) opened his first dojo, United Shaolin Kempo of Burlington, in May 2000. He subsequently developed his own curriculum, called Ping Shen Tao, and established Pence Self Defense Academy at the same location in 2002. Since then he has awarded black belts to over 200 students.

Kevin Kyoshi is recognized by Kempo International, the World Martial Arts Federation (WMAF) and the Martial Arts Research Institute (MARI) as a 8th Degree Black Belt in Kempo Karate . He also holds the rank of 3rd Level Tribal Leader (Instructor) in Southeast Asian arts with Guro Michael Williams at MARI, as well as being recognized by Depasquale Yoshitsune Jiu Jitsu as a 3rd Degree Black Belt. He has traveled to the Philippines and Indonesia to train with some of the worlds top Grandmasters. He also hosts seminars with the best of the best martial arts teachers on earth.

Kevin Kyoshi has received many accolades from a variety of martial arts organizations, to include:

  • Sensei of the Year, Universal Martial Art Hall of Fame
  • Martial Artist of the Year, World Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • Man of the Year, USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • Legion of Honor, International Federation of Ju Jitsuans (IFOJJ)

    He is a Board Member of the World Martial Arts Federation and an Executive Board Member of the Karazempo Go Shinjutsu Black Belt Society 

In 2019, Kyoshi was made an honorary member of the Guardian Angels.

Ruth Carr 


Ruth Sensei started her journey in 1972 with her father Walter (Buddy) Carr, a professional boxer, training at the famous West End boxing gym in Lowell MA. In 1991 Ruth Sensei began her study in Tang Soo Do with Master Kaled, competing in KRANE tournaments across New England. In 1992 she became a Guardian Angel in the Lowell Chapter, where she met and began her studies with Guro Michael Williams in the Southeast Asian arts of Dekiti-Tirsia-Siradas (Kali) and Silat. Ms Carr has been a Tribal Leader (instructor) in these arts for over 20 years. Her Kempo rank is 3rd Deg. black belt under the teaching of Shihan Kevin Pence. Sensei has also spent 10 plus years studying the art of Yoshitsune Ju Jitsu.

 She has traveled to the Philippines and Indonesia to train with some of the worlds top as well as being Member of Kempo International.

Mike Romano

Mike Sensei has trained with Kevin Shihan for more than 20 years, and holds a 4th Degree Black Belt in Ping Shen Tao Kempo. Along with this accomplishment, he has also studied Kali, Ju Jitsu, and Kobudo and is Kevin Shihan's eldest student. He is truly the Spirit of the Art.

Trevor Forsythe


Trevor Sensei has trained for over 24 years, starting with a 1st Degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo. Trevor Sensei currently holds a 4th Degree Black Belt in Ping Shen Tao, as well as training in the arts of Kali, Ju Jitsu & Kobudo. Trevor Sensei has the honor of being Kevin Shihan's longest running student.

Diane Dooley


Diane Sensei has studied martial arts for over 20 years, holding the rank of 2nd degree black belt in the art of Ping Shen Tao. She has also trained in Kali, Kubudo, and Ju Jitsu for several years. She is a 1990 graduate of The Military College of Vermont at Norwich University, and formerly held the rank of Captain in the US Army Reserve. She deployed to Kuwait from 2005-2006, and ran the Land Navigation Training Range at Fort Dix, NJ, during the deployment surge in 2007. She is an avid participant in medieval reenactment, where she participates in armored combat as an archer.

Joseph Aismondo 


 Joe Sensei started his journey in Martial Arts in 2006  with Kung Fu, and eventually found his way to PSDA, where he has been studying the art of Ping Shen Tao since 2013. He earned the rank of Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in 2018. Joe Sensei is also experienced in the arts of Shaolin Kung Fu, Kali, Ju Jitsu & Uechi Ryu, as well as Western Boxing. He has also competed in many tournament in and around the New England area, along with judging, scorekeeping, and setting up tournaments. 

Joe Sensei adopts the theory that age and prior experience does not matter when it comes to learning. "If a student is willing to learn and has an open mind they can do so".