Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Photo of the Week: The Wise General

In any combat situation, the master fighter, the master general, the master tactician, always attempts to manipulate and control his adversary. Its inverse is critical to survival: one must not allow himself to be manipulated by an adversary. This simple truth is echoed in Sun Tzu’s terse but definitive maxim: The wise general cannot be manipulated.

In life we seldom face actual physical combat. However, daily we are assaulted by the very exigencies and challenges of life. They become our adversaries. Disallowing them from manipulating us is critical to living a successful life. As wise generals of our own army of one, ourselves, we must so center ourselves in wisdom and power that we cannot be manipulated by such challenges, whether those challenges arrive in the form of people, events, circumstances or problems. As wise generals we cannot afford to be manipulated by any force—internal or external—if we are to maintain our individual sovereignty as human beings.

The Wise General

Photo of the Week: Raptor’s 2nd Dan

2nd Dan Kiado-Ryu Black Belt

Congratulations to Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet on the accomplishment of his Karate Institute of America 2nd Dan Black Belt rating.

Raptor, the 64th Black Belt of the KIA, is one of the finest human beings you could ever know. An exceptional young man, he has also become an exceptional martial artist. The KIA is very lucky to have Tristan, his talent, character, and skill in our family. Thanks, too, to his parents, Atousa and Ed, for raising such an exemplary young man!

Remember these photos when Tristan was a young boy and beginning his Kiado-Ryu journey? Cute kid, eh?

Lots of focus that really paid off!

That was then, and now, just eight weeks away from being twenty years old, Raptor has become a handsome young man and a stud 2nd Dan Kiado-Ryu Black Belt! How the children do grow up!

Raptor proudly poses with our old buddy, Bob. Remember the photo above when he was striking Bob’s throat? Such a change, and a wonderful one at that.

No. That’s really not a black eye! It’s just a shadow.

Pretty cool juxtaposition. It puts the long journey from White to Black in perspective.

Nice looking tabs, Raptor. Next stop, 3rd Dan!

Photo of the Week: The Family Vail - Then and Now: Part 2

What’s in a Callsign?

As is Karate Institute of America protocol, everyone has a callsign. Once in a while, one may query how an individual got his/her callsign in the first place. Sometimes, this can be a mystery. Not so with Jon “Stretch” Vail. In the following pictorial catalogue, can you guess why Jon got his callsign? If you can’t get this, you fail the test!

From the early days of the KIA and its studio at 308 Lambert Street, Lake Forest, CA.

From his collage days in the mountains.

Getting nasty with an axe kick! Remember, Jon is around 6’3” or so. That’s a high kick.

Nice air! And power!

Version #2.

A nice news articles from his college days in Arizona.

On the rocks with Stretch and his nephew.

Just hangin’ out in the hallway. Not lookin’ quite as young, though, but still s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g!

This has to be the only photo of its kind in the world—doing splits on your wedding day! Priceless! Janice is a beautiful bride!

And with Jenny and Ryan at home. Not quite as youthful but still, and forever, the STRETCH!

Now, if you didn’t guess how Jon “Stretch” Vail got his callsign, you flunk the test! You must go back and re-take the test.

Thanks for the memories, Stretch. Lots of fun, and congrats for staying so flexible for so long. You’re an inspiration, indeed!

Photo of the Week: The Family Vail - Then and Now: Part 1

This is too much fun! Jon, “Stretch” Vail studied at the Karate Institute of America way back in his teen years. As destiny commanded, when he graduated from high school he went to college in Arizona, received a degree in geology, married his lovely girlfriend Janice, got a job, settled down and started a family.

Jon has been wonderfully connected to the KIA and, lucky for us, keeps us updated with his life. Following are a half dozen photos of the Vail family from 2008 and 2017. The changes are beautifully dramatic and so much fun to enjoy. So, enjoy them! And thanks, Stretch, for sending them to us to share with other KIA family members. What awesome memories! We all wish you, Janice, Jenny and Ryan a healthy, balanced, harmonious and successful 2018!

Photo #1: The Vail family visits the KIA in 2008 on their vacation. Now prepare yourself for a jump forward in time! Wow!

Photo #2: The Vail Family in Fall/Winter-2017. Is this a cool selfie or what?! It gets even better.

Photo #3: Son Ryan and daughter Jenny in a ballet duo photo. This next photo is absolutely stunning of Jenny.

Photo #4: A truly gorgeous photo of Jenny the ballerina. Beautiful. Graceful. Amazing! Remember photo #1? How the children grow up!

Photo #5: Dad, Daughter, Son (Jon, Jenny, Ryan)

Photo #6: Dad and Son

Thanks, guys. Awesome shots! Next week we’ll have Part 2 of this series. Stay tuned!

Photo of the Week: The King Family

The King Family

To all of our KIA Family, the King Family wishes you all a healthy, balanced and centered 2018!

Those of you who are long-standing Karate Institute of America members might remember Christa and Chandra when they were very little girls. Now they’re all grown up, pictured here with their awesome husbands and beautiful children. What a thrill for the “Old Man” to have the family together!

God Bless you all from all of us to you and yours.

Photo of the Week: Daunting & Dangerous KIA Damsels

Honing their hand-checking skills are Blue Belt Zemia “Barracuda” Garrett (right) and Purple Belt Judy “Striker” Gompf (left).

These two professional ladies are, to be sure, daunting, dangerous damsels. They have power, skill and intent. Athletically, Barracuda has a softball background; Striker a surfer and tennis background. They know how to use their bodies to deliver maximum damage to a target, and if their lives and/or well-beings are threatened they would have no compunction about using maximum force on their assailants to protect themselves.

No sloppy guards here, nor wandering eyes. Their fighting focus is scope-locked and on target.

Those knee strikes would not be welcomed by any assailant, not to mention the follow-up palm, fist, elbow and armbar strikes!

Barracuda and Striker are making excellent progress in their martial arts training. As mature, professional, accomplished women they understand the value of patience, determination and persistence. Believe me, if you were ever in a fight you’d definitely want them on your side! They are truly daunting and dangerous damsels of the Karate Institute of America!

Photo of the Week: Our KIA Hannah Signs “Praise You in This Storm”

Our KIA Hannah Signs "Praise You In This Storm"

How beautiful is this . . . on many levels! Hannah, a KIA martial arts Purple Belt, is also a proficient artist in American Sign Language (ASL). She has been studying Signing in high school for two and a half years. In her own YouTube video, she beautifully performs “Praise You In This Storm” by Castings Crowns. Her performance is highly artistic, emotionally moving and dramatically inspirational. Thank you, Hannah, for this wonderful performance of “Signing!” You are one awesome talented young woman! We are all so extremely proud of you!

Photo of the Week: Surfer Chick Catches a Purple Wave

Judy “Striker” Gompf, aka Laguna Beach Surfer Chick, catches a Purple Wave propelling her up the ranks of the Karate Institute of America after passing her Purple belt test on 24 November 2017.

Judy is a professional real estate agent, mother of two, possesses multiple collegiate degrees with a résumé heralding nearly two decades of work as a paralegal.

A gifted surfer, Striker has applied her athletic skills of strength, balance, timing and concentration to her martial arts discipline. She has developed excellent hands, both offensive and defensive. Her kicks are extremely powerful—daunting weaponry to any would-be assailant.

The following photo juxtaposes her transition from Orange Belt to Purple Belt. Nice smile both before and after. Next stop, Blue belt.

Developing championship form is challenging, as any KIA forms competitor understands. Judging by the following photo, Striker certainly has what it takes to be a kata champion.

Born and raised in Laguna Beach, Striker is a perfect match for anyone looking to buy or sell property in the area. She knows South Coast communities thoroughly, and with her paralegal background she’s a perfect fit for interested buyer and sellers.

Feature of the Week: Helen Keller, Martial Artist and Warrior?

Helen Keller a martial artist and warrior? Not in today’s lexicon. However, Helen Keller is one of the greatest, strongest, most courageous, and accomplished fighters and warriors in world history.

At nineteen months of age, Keller was stricken with a disease leaving her both blind and deaf. Yet, she became a highly educated luminary of the human spirit, a truly shining example of what it is to struggle and triumph. A little online research will reveal her extraordinary life challenges, the intensity of which would dwarf many of today’s vaunted athletes and personalities.

The following Keller quotes (below) are powerful and apply to each of us as we traverse the difficulties of our own lives, and in many cases putting those difficulties in a more realistic and manageable light.

In guy terms, Helen Keller was an absolute stud, a warrior’s warrior. Read her book, The Story of My Life, and learn what it’s like to endure a day-by-day, hour-by-hour struggle for an entire life of, in her case, eighty seven years.

To underscore her global fame, Mark Twain stated that there were two people he wishes he could have met during his life. One was Napoleon; the other, Helen Keller.

These Helen Keller’s quotes are worth much attention and reflection, for if anyone understood adversity and how to overcome it, it is she. What a tribute and inspiration to humanity this brave, courageous, and vaunted woman was and continues to be. Unequivocally, Helen Keller is a supernal example of how one human being can turn infirmities into celebrations and celebrations into inspirations for all mankind.

Helen Keller, Martial Artist and Warrior?