On March 10, 1940
in Ryan, Oklahoma, Carlos Ray Norris was born... with unconfirmed rumors
that he had a full beard and roundhouse kicked the doctor for spanking
He has two younger brothers, Wieland (deceased) and Aaron (a
Hollywood producer and current UFAF CEO).
He joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman
(AP) in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was there
that Norris acquired the nickname "Chuck" and began his training in Tang
Soo Do and Judo.
Upon his return to the states, Mr. Norris began competing in
and teaching the martial arts. In 1968, Mr. Norris won the Professional
Middleweight Karate champion title, which he held for six consecutive
years! He is the first man from the Western Hemisphere to be
awarded an eighth degree Black Belt Grand Master ranking in the art of
Tae Kwon Do.
In 1969, Mr. Norris made his acting debut in the Dean Martin
film The Wrecking Crew. At a martial arts demonstration in Long Beach,
Norris met the soon-to-be famous martial artist Bruce Lee. In 1972, he
acted as Lee's nemesis in the movie Way of the Dragon (titled Return of
the Dragon in its U.S. distribution), which is widely credited with
launching him toward stardom. Today Chuck Norris is an international
television and film star and has starred in 23 motion pictures such as
Delta Force, Code of Silence and Missing in Action, just to name a few.
His television series “Walker, Texas Ranger”, ran for 81/2 years. With
203 episodes, is the most successful Saturday night series on CBS since
“Gunsmoke”. Internationally, it is seen in more than 80 countries
worldwide with an average of 1 billion viewers daily.
Chuck Norris is also a New York Times bestselling author of
three books. They include Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken
America, and the 2004 autobiographical Against All Odds.
Norris has also penned two works of fiction, The Justice Riders
and A Threat to Justice. In 2006, he added “columnist” to his
list of credits with the launch of his popular internet column on the
independent news site WorldNetDaily.com. His weekly column is now widely
syndicated and carried by Human Events and Townhall, among other
In 1992 Mr. Norris founded the KICKSTART KIDS Foundation with
the purpose of building strong moral character in our youth through
martial arts training. His wife, Gena, is also a leading force in this
endeavor as the foundations Executive Chairman.
A brief history of UFAF
and Chun Kuk Do™
By the 1970's,
Mr. Norris had revolutionized martial arts in the U.S. and began forming
his own style under the names of the "Chuck Norris System" and the
"United Fighting Arts Federation" or "UFAF".
In 1988, Mr. Norris once again became a leader in the martial
arts community by recognizing and bringing the Gracie family, founders
of Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to the 1988 UFAF Convention in Las Vegas,
NV to introduce their style to his black belts. Later, Mr. Norris would
go on to earn a black belt under the Machados, cousins of the Gracie
family, and begin incorporating this training into his own style. In
1990, Chun Kuk Do™ was founded.
The style of Chun Kuk Do™ was
originally based on Mr. Norris' Tang Soo Do training in Korea while he was in the
military. During his unprecedented competitive fighting career
(undefeated world middleweight karate champion six years running), Mr.
Norris began to evolve the style to make it more effective and
well-rounded. He did this through committed study of other systems which
he felt would complement his Tang Soo Do foundation. This evolution,
along with his personal commitment to excellence, resulted in his
phenomenal success. This openness continues today, as Chun Kuk Do™
continues to evolve to include aspects of other systems, or completely
original aspects which make it more complete.
The United Fighting Arts Federation™ (UFAF) became a
corporate entity to be the governing body of Chun Kuk Do™ and a board of
directors was formed.
Chun Kuk Do™ (CKD) is a Korean-based American hard style
of karate. The name is loosely translated to mean "The Universal Way."
The Korean terms actually mean 'the way of 1000 lands,' or 'the way of
CKD is not an ad hoc collection of various techniques from different
systems. Rather, it is a style with a deeply-rooted traditional
foundation of its own - now unique and different from its Tang Soo Do
predecessor - to which various other elements that complement its
fundamentals have been added. Chun Kuk Do™ has come to emphasize self
defense, competition, weapons, grappling, fitness, and more.
The United Fighting Arts Federation™ (UFAF) is
an increasingly worldwide martial arts membership organization founded
by Mr. Chuck Norris. Members of the organization study the style of Chun
Kuk Do™ ("The Universal Way"), also founded by Mr. Norris.
UFAF provides many services and benefits to its member students,
instructors, and schools:
Chun Kuk Do™ rank certification by UFAF and Chuck Norris!
Annual membership card and membership premium
Uniform patch signifying
membership and Chun Kuk Do™ style identity
Special events such as the annual UFAF
International Training Conference (ITC) in Las Vegas
News magazine published three times each year, with ”Extra’s” throughout the year
Educational opportunities, curriculums, and certifications
Online community access
Business training for school owners
Professional martial artist
Access to a network of phenomenal martial artists
UFAF is the governing and sanctioning body for the Chun Kuk Do™ style,
providing technical standards for instruction and advancement in the
system. Members of UFAF receive certification of their Chun Kuk Do™ rank
from Mr. Norris himself! Aside from UFAF, the only other organization in
the world where this happens is KICKSTART KIDS, UFAF’s official charity, also founded by Mr. Norris.
UFAF is guided by it's National Board of Directors and Advisory Board that
work to continually evolve and grow UFAF as a provider of martial arts
programs, certifications and training to it's members, and the world's
martial arts community.
National Board of Directors
Aaron Hensley Steve Brown
1 - David Gamble
2 - Joe Gemma
3 - Shantell Dawson
4 - Ed Saenz
5 - Howard Munding
6 - Tim Clark
7 - Lindy Woods 8 - Doug Shaffer Asst: Steve Giroux
9 - David Rodriguez
10 - Rodolfo Varela
11 - Van Frasher
12 - Jorge Alonzo
We are a UFAF
Chartered Chun Kuk
A United Fighting Arts Federation™ (UFAF) authorized
Chun Kuk Do™ School Charter is required for any school or individual to
teach the art of Chun Kuk Do™. This charter insures that the school or
individual has met the requirements set forth by UFAF to insure a safe
environment for students with a credible instructor that is current with
certifications and training methods outlined by UFAF.
Some of those
I am an active UFAF member in good standing
I hold a 2nd degree CKD black belt rank or higher
I have committed to having 100% of my Chun Kuk Do™ students enroll as
members of UFAF
I have attended a CKD school owner orientation within the past year
(offered at the PDS)
I will attend a UFAF Professional Development Series event at least
every other year on average
I will attend a UFAF Instructor Development Series event at least
every other year on average
I have certified in at least one UFAF Master Development Series course
I will attend, certify, and progress through the UFAF Master
Development Series courses at least every other year on average
(or audit, if all certifications are complete)
I will conduct my school business in accordance with the UFAF Creed
and Code of Ethics
I am CPR certified
Top Form Karate & Fitness is a 100% compliant Commercial UFAF
Chartered Chun Kuk Do™ School.
Series (MDS) Certified Instructors
UFAF Master Development Series™ (MDS)
Teacher, Trainer, Coach
The UFAF Master Development Series™ is a unique and powerful educational offering for
black belts. It's purpose:
Teacher - help all participants understand more fully the roots, foundation, and structure of Chun Kuk Do™, both as practitioners and as instructors
Trainer - help all participants learn how to prepare their bodies for the physical demands of martial arts training as well as for enhanced athletic performance
Coach - provide valuable information for instructors in coaching students through the various challenges they face in their training
The MDS consists of 4 courses:
501 - stances, punching and blocks
502 - front, side, round and back kicks
601 - circular kicks
602 - Black Belt testing - scoring and
At the end of each session there is a test for
certification. Successful certification is required for black belt
promotions to 5th & 6th degrees and required to maintain a UFAF
Chun Kuk Do™ School Charter.
Our region - UFAF
Top Form Karate & Fitness is part of
the UFAF Region 8. At this time Region 8 consists of the Northeastern US
and Eastern Canada.
Each region has a regional chair that is responsible for organizing and
conducting official UFAF black belt pre-tests and tests, as well as
regional seminars and event. The chair also acts as the next level of
"authority" in the organization for official business and disputes that
may arise among that region's students, instructors, and school owners.
Mr. John Presti was the previous regional chair, based out of Niagara
Falls, NY, for many years. Mr. Presti is also a UFAF National Board
member and has moved to another assignments in the organization. The
current Region 8 Chair is our very own Mr. Doug Shaffer, 5th degree
master rank and assistant instructor at Top Form Karate. Mr. Steve
Giroux, owner of Giroux Brothers Martial Arts outside of Boston, MA, is
acting as the assistant regional chair at this time.
Black belt testing happens two times per year, around April and October.
The location for the test rotates around the region to different
schools, with consideration given to the travel burden on the majority
of test candidates, test board availability, and local events.
Currently, there are 8 active schools in Region 8:
Top Form Karate & Fitness - Weirton, WV - Mr. Steven Brown
Presti Karate Centers - Niagara Falls, NY - Mr. John Presti
Presti Karate Centers - Lewiston, NY - Mr. John Presti
Cannon Karate - Corning, NY - Mr. Michael Cannon
Martial Arts Institute - Falmouth, ME - Mr. Cub Lewis
Giroux Bros. Martial Arts - Newtonville, MA - Mr. Steve Giroux
Zhuta's Universal Martial Arts - Waterbury, CT - Mr. Phil Zhuta
Thunder MMA Academy - Watertown, CT - Mr. Daniel Semeraro Jr.
ISDT (Integrated Self Defense Techniques) is the hand-to-hand portion that is based on stand-up defense, clinching, takedowns, and core Jiu Jitsu elements for control and/or submission on the ground.
This curriculum was designed for UFAF by Mr. John Will and Mr. David
Meyer, both veteran black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the Machado
They Gun Defense Curriculum, developed by UFAF's own Joe Gemma, 8th degree black belt and retired Las Vegas Metro Police Dept. Lieutenant, is our style's curriculum based on a very simplistic progression of techniques to gain control of an attacker's weapon when in close quarters and eliminate the threat or escape.
The Knife Defense is based on a curriculum designed for our style by UFAF's own John Comito, 5th degree black belt, and Raffy Pambuan, the world famous Filipino knife fighting expert, and will cover 9 basic knife cuts and defensive techniques
Some techniques from all of these courses are incorporated into our
regular teen/adult Chun Kuk Do™ program and any student can purchase the
full curriculum with log book to work toward full certification.
Certification in at least one is required for testing eligibility for
3rd degree black belt.
The Chun Kuk Do™ International Training Conference (ITC) and Chun Kuk
Do™ World Championships is held every year in Las Vegas, NV
around the 3rd week of July. UFAF members from around the world come
together for training and competition and to celebrate our style and the
UFAF organization. Mr. Chuck Norris and Mr. Aaron Norris are usually in
attendance to enjoy the weekend with old and meet new students and black
belts of Chun Kuk Do™.
The week long event includes training session for youth and
adult students, instructor development for black belts, professional
business training for school owners, and competition in traditional kata,
open kata, team fighting, individual fighting, demo teams, weapons kata
To get an idea of the events at the ITC, here is the schedule
from the 2013 event:
MDS Attendees Check-in
Morning - Afternoon
MDS 501, 502, 601, 602 (Black Belts
Morning - Afternoon
MDS 501, 502, 601, 602 (Black Belts
UFAF Professional Development
Series™ (PDS) Attendees Check-in
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
PDS (Black Belts
and Staff Only)
General Check-in and
8:30 am - 11:30 am
Instructor Development Series™
(IDS) (Red and Black Belts
KICKSTART KIDS is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization, founded by Mr. Chuck Norris, with a mission to build strong moral character
in our youth through martial arts. KICKSTART KIDS in the official
charity of UFAF and Top Form Karate & Fitness is a proud supporter of
the KICKSTART KIDS program.