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Andrew Pilch

7th Degree Black Belt

Senior Professor of the Arts

Founder of the American Institute of Kenpo 


Some of Mr. Pilch's accolades include:

  • Began Kenpo Training 1986

  • Certified Kenpo Instructor 1993

  • Tested & Promoted to 1st Black Belt 1995

  • Instructor of the Year 1997 (AKKA)

  • Tested & Promoted to 2nd Black Belt 1997

  • MMA & Kickboxing Fighter

  • Tested & Promoted to 3rd Black Belt 2000

  • Co-founded the American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) 2005

  • Promoted to 4th Black Belt by AIK’s Black Belt Board 2007

  • Certified Kickboxing Instructor for Pima Community College 2007

  • Inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame 2007

  • Presented AIK Founder Belt 2009 

  • Head Kickboxing and MMA Coach for AIK

  • Promoted to 5th Black Belt by AIK’s Black Belt Board 2011

  • Accepted as a personal student of Sigung LaBounty 2012

  • Tested & Promoted to 6th Black Belt by Sigung LaBounty 2015

  • Completed & Released AIK's New Curriculum July 2018

  • Promoted to 7th Black Belt by Sigung Stephen LaBounty 2018

  • Assumed full leadership of The American Institute of Kenpo 2022

  • Promoted to the rank of Physicist in the Paxtial Arts by Ed and Baer Parker 2023

(1977 - Present) Andrew Pilch began studying martial arts at the age of nine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though Kenpo is Mr. Pilch’s chosen art, prior to starting Kenpo he tried other styles and found that they were not a good fit for him at that time. 


In 1986, Mr. Pilch became a Kenpo student of Mike Winkeljohn. Mr. Winkeljohn has always been an exceptional coach and mentor and, along with his exceptional teaching staff, provided the right balance of education and toughening up that Mr. Pilch needed at the time.


Though early in his career, Mr. Winkeljohn was on the path that lead him to become an 8th Degree Kenpo Black Belt, a world champion full contact competitor, and a world champion trainer, Mr. Winkeljohn is now a former ISKA, IMTO, and CHKA World Middleweight Kickboxing Champion. He also coaches many of the best fighters in the world who are most notably recognized in the UFC. In 1993, inspired by his mentor, Mr. Pilch broadened his studies beyond the traditional Kenpo to include boxing, kickboxing, grappling, and MMA.


In 1998, Mr. Pilch moved to Tucson to manage a school which he later purchased. For several years, Mr. Pilch competed in boxing, kickboxing, and MMA. In addition to the wonderful martial artists Mr. Pilch has had the privilege to mentor during this period, he has also had the opportunity to train countless amateur boxing, kickboxing, and MMA competitors. 


In 2005, Mr. Pilch co-founded The American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) and implemented his first major update to the curriculum he teaches. This was no small undertaking but with the help of his experienced teaching staff, the foundation of AIK was laid allowing for a much more dynamic teaching model to be implemented to better serve martial arts students seeking to learn about Kenpo.


In 2007, Mr. Pilch became a Certified Kickboxing Instructor for Pima Community College where he taught for several semesters. During this time, Mr. Pilch trained several other instructors to teach this college class and gave them the opportunity to serve the students at Pima Community College as well.


Mr. Pilch has been blessed with the opportunity to form many relationships during the decades he has been in the martial arts. Shortly after founding AIK, Mr. Pilch had his first contact with Ed Parker Jr. and over the years that followed, they became friends. Because of this friendship, Mr. Pilch was afforded the opportunity to have Mr. Parker's mentorship in art design which is implemented on a regular basis to provide AIK with exceptional and great looking training resources. 


During those early years of knowing and working with Mr. Parker, Mr. Pilch was exposed to what was called American Kinetica. This was eventually given the name of the Paxtial Arts to better convey the intentions of what Mr. Parker Jr. wanted to pass on. Though the Paxtial Arts use many of the same principals of Kenpo, it focuses on situations which are not life and death in origin. Rather than implementing the concepts we find in Kenpo that we use to generate maximum damage in a minimal amount of time, the Paxtial Arts instead uses these concepts to gently, and in a non-damaging manner, compromise an aggressor's ability to be a threat. This counterbalance to the martial arts' violent solutions provides options for dealing with those you care about and don’t want to injure. The result is a win-win scenario allowing hypothetical Uncle Bob, who may have had one to many drinks at the family gathering, to skip the visit to the Emergency Room. 


In 2012, after several years of interaction, Mr. Pilch became a student of Sigung Stephen LaBounty. The Rough N’ Tumble mentality of real life application was something that Mr. Pilch has always valued and appreciated. Though Sigung had a rough and tough exterior it was his compassion for those that he valued that truly set him aside. It was this companion driven skill set that ultimately decided Mr. Pilch on becoming one of Sigung’s students.


In 2018, Mr. Pilch implemented his second major update to the curriculum he teaches. As the foundation was so strong from the foundation of AIK, though this was a significant update, it was easily implemented and well received by the students.


In 2022, when Shawn Knight the co-founder of AIK and his wife Rebecca Knight branched off and founded the Knight Method Kenpo, Mr. Pilch assumed full leadership of AIK.

In 2023, Mr. Pilch became the first person promoted to the rank of Physicist in the Paxtial arts by Ed and Bear Parker. 


~ Last Updated 6/8/2023

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