Early History

The IMAS teaches a particular martial art known as Kenpo (Fist Law.)  Modern Kenpo was developed in Hawaii during the early 20th century by such Grandmasters as William K.S. Chow, Bill Chun Sr., and James Mitose.  It is a combination of Chinese, Japanese, and Hawaiian arts that feature a combination of punches, kicks, locks, and take-downs. 


Post World War II

After World War II, Kenpo made its way to the Continental United States, and eventually east to New England.  There, in the 1960s, black belts such as Grandmaster George Pesare and, especially, Professor Nicholas Cerio refined the art, codifying much of the curriculum still in place today. 


Direct predecessor

The IMAS was borne out of another southern NH institution, the Independent Karate School (known to many as “The IKS”.) The co-founders of the IKS, O-Sensei Louis Desmarais and Meijin Victor Nastasia, met in the 1970s while studying Kenpo at the United Studios of Self Defense.  After years of study, they decided to open their own school and incorporate aspects of other arts into their curriculum, while maintaining the best, traditional practices of the last century. Naming their new school the Independent Karate School, their doors were opened on July 9, 1979.  O-Sensei, a former USMC boxing champion and black belt in Hakko-ryu Jyu Jitsu, built a sister art to Kenpo known as En Shu Do (The Way of the Circle Hands.)  After forty years, the current headmaster decided it was time to retire knowing the future to be in good hands.