Professor Nick Cerio
Nick Cerio was born on July 9th, 1936 in Boston, MA.
At the age of 9 while many of his peers were playing, Nick Cerio could be found
selling newspapers and doing other odd jobs to help support his family. At the age of
10 he moved with his family to the Federal Hill district of Providence Rhode Island.
At a young age Professor Cerio often found himself caught up in turf wars and
fights. As an outlet and a way to get off the streets he joined the local YMCA
boxing circuit. At 18 Professor Cerio joined the Air Force were he continued to hone
his boxing skills doing quite well in the lightweight boxing circuit. During his time in
the service Professor received his first introduction to the Martial Arts.
His fascination with the science behind fighting led him to continue his pursuit in the
Martial Arts after an honorable discharge from the service. At the age of 22
Professor Cerio began studying Judo under George McCabe. Searching for a
discipline that focused more on fighting, Professor Cerio met Ted Olson, and began
studying Tae Kwon Do. In 1962 Professor Cerio would be introduced to Sensei
George Pesare of the art Karazenpo Goshinjutsu. Sensei Pesare awarded Professor
Cerio with his Shodan in Kenpo in 1966. That year Professor Cerio opened his first
school, Cerio’s Academy of Martial Arts.
Professor Cerio spent much of his time on the tournament circuit, and there he
would meet Master Ed Parker, the founder of American Kenpo, and a lifelong friend.
Master Parker introduced Professor Cerio to William Chun Sr., Professor William
K.S. Chow’s most accomplished student. After a year of training with Chun in Hawaii,
Professor Cerio was granted the privilege to train directly under Professor Chow,
soon after he was granted the honor of permanent student status.
Professor Chow awarded Professor Cerio with his 5th dan. Professor Chow and
Master Parker both advised Professor Cerio to create his own system, his
Americanized version of Kenpo. In 1974 Professor Cerio took their advice and
created Nick Cerio’s Kenpo.
In 1989 Professor Cerio was awarded his "Professor" title from Professor Thomas
Burdine of the World Soke Council. This high honor granted by the World Soke
Council was bestowed on Professor Cerio after a detailed review of Professor’s
credentials, knowledge, and ability. This review deemed him worthy of status above
the Dan ranking system and gave him the power to carry on his system with whatever
rank he deemed appropriate.
Professor Cerio passed away on October 7th, 1998. Professor Cerio was a man known
not only for his breathtaking skill in the Martial Arts world, but also his kind sincere
nature. He touched many people’s lives and his legend continues to inspire many