Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Photo of the Week: Striker Strikes Orange!

Striker Strikes Orange!

With a beaming and relieved smile, Judy “Striker” Gompf poses with Mr. King after her successful Orange Belt test. Having moved out of the area, Striker was able to return and finish her goal. By the way, her basics were just as good as they were when she moved over a year ago. She didn’t skip a beat. This is such a great testimony to her persistence and determination, which her following inspirational quote corroborates:

No matter where life leads you or how long it takes you to get to your goal, don’t give up, even if you want to throw up during your karate test, fight through it and get it done.

— Judy “Striker” Gompf

As a side note, Striker is seeking employment in the legal field in Orange County. She has extensive experience, so if any law firms or associated companies are looking for an excellent addition to their organization, contact Mr. King (King @ and he’ll get you connected.

Photo of the Week: Pre-test Buddy Support

Pre-test Buddy Support

Zemia “Barracuda” Garrett (sunglasses) poses with Judy “Striker” Gompf just before Striker takes her Orange Belt test. Barracuda is a Purple Belt working on her Blue. And did her support help? Of course. These two ladies have been friends from their high school days at Laguna Beach where they both played softball. They’re really athletes and fearsome fighters. Check back next week to see if Striker passed her test.

Photo of the Week: Fairytale Reunion Lunch Collage

Fairytale Reunion Lunch Collage

Continuing the story of Goldilocks’ Fairytale Reunion is a collage from the event. Top left are the three ladies—Jenny, Nicole and Lori. Top right shows the group at lunch. Bottom left is Mr. King with the three lovelies. Center pic is Mr. King with the twins. Far right are the three amigas again.

This was a wonderfully warm, fun and terrific surprise. All had a great time. Hopefully, we can do it again before twenty years pass!

Photo of the Week: Goldilocks & Her Fairytale Surprise!

Goldilocks & Her Fairytale Surprise!

What a fairytale surprise! Nicole “Goldilocks” Hackler was visiting a “friend” in Irvine and she and I set a lunch date to get caught up after 20 years. She and her husband, Warren, had moved back East in the mid 90s, and although we were still in communication we hadn’t seen each other in all that time.

But when Goldilocks arrived for our lunch date—surprise, surprise! Who did she bring with her but the Brown twins—Jenny and Lori, also KIA 2nd degree Brown Belts and whom I had also not seen in decades! Yet, looking at these gorgeous ladies you would never know it had been twenty years. They all look the same today as they did then. No foolin’. Whatever secret youth formula they have they need to bottle it and sell it.

And, boy, did we all have a great laugh! Their surprise went off without a hitch. It was terrific, and I was thrilled, especially to reunite with three of the most positive, fun, exuberant and youthful ladies in KIA history.

In the photo, Jenny is in the turquoise top, Lori in the red and Nicole in the center. And those smiles you see on their faces, they’re fixtures. These three gals smile and laugh more than any three people on the planet. They are always upbeat and they are all such a joy to be around.

More to come from our “surprise” lunch date. Stay tuned.

Photo of the Week: If They Only Knew Then!

If They Only Knew Then!

From the Karate Institute of America pictorial archives, courtesy of Genny “Cougar” Edge, is this 1992 pensive and serendipitous cameo of then Rose “Renegade” Guck and Kurt “Raphael” Hoberg before they were married. If they, and we, only knew then what we all know now. It is amazing how fate exists right before our very eyes long before the reality is made manifest!

Rose and Kurt have been wonderful ambassadors of the KIA, and we greatly value their energies. May you have a long, healthy and balanced life.

Photo copyright and owned by Genny “Cougar” Edge, used with permission.

Photo of the Week: The Family Hoberg - Then & Now

The Family Hoberg - Then & Now

What a difference twenty-five years makes! How fast time flies. Meet the Family Hoberg, all grown up and not stoppin’.

Renegade (Rose Hoberg) received her 1st Dan Black Belt on 9 June 1990. Raphael (Kurt Hoberg) followed suit on 25 April 1992. At that time there were no kids in sight. Hardly the way things are now!

Pictured with Rose and Kurt are their lovely children – Kyle, Erick and April. The boys are now in college; April is a Junior in high school. They’re all doing extremely well and their future is quite bright. Next major life stage for Rose and Kurt – grandparents and grand kids, but probably sooner than twenty-five years!

Thanks for sharing! The KIA wishes you all the very best, and please keep the memories coming!

Photo of the Week: KIA Black Belt, Archer, Banker, Hubby

KIA Black Belt, Archer, Banker, Hubby

Husband to Champion Archer, Rose “Renegade” Hoberg (KIA Black Belt #12) is Kurt “Raphael” Hoberg (KIA Black Belt #21). Rose and Kurt actually met through the Karate Institute of America via Kurt’s mother. They dated, fell in love, married and as they say, “The rest is history.”

Kurt, like his champion wife, is also a competitive archer. Both of them have qualified to compete in the Senior Games in Minneapolis, MN, in July. We’re certain they will do well. After all, they’re KIA Black Belts!

Besides practicing his archery skills, Raphael manages an online banking firm’s Application Operations Center, keeping things working smoothly. He is also the President of their local archery club, the Conejo Valley Archers.

The photo next to his archery pic is Raphael back in the day (1991) performing during a KIA function. He was awarded his 1st Dan Black Belt rating in 1992.

Another interesting piece of history is that Rose is the KIA’s 12th Black Belt and Kurt is its 21st Black Belt. How perfect is that – 12 and 21, married, having met at the Karate Institute of America.

Thanks you two. We appreciate your update and will share more soon.

Karate photo of Kurt Hoberg is owned and copyrighted by Genny “Cougar” Edge.

Photo of the Week: Black Belt Pianist Extraordinaire

Black Belt Pianist Extraordinaire

The Karate Institute of America has always been blessed with an exceptional clientele throughout its history, now spanning five decades.

From our archives we see a young Eric “ET” Tan sharing his exquisite piano skills during his Black Belt coronation ceremony in 1992.

Eric was a driven young man. He began his KIA studies around age 7 and achieved a fully ranked adult 1st Dan Black Belt rating as a young man. Continuing his studies, he achieved a 2nd Dan Black Belt rating before heading off to Stanford University.

One of ET’s art forms, other than martial arts, was piano. Practicing 3 hours a day, his skills developed to such a extent that he gave solo performances before packed audiences, even playing with local symphonies.

Karate and music were not his only accomplishments. Eric was an excellent student, so much so that he was the Valedictorian at Santa Margarita High School in Orange County, CA. Whatever Eric touched obviously turned to Exquisite. We are highly fortunate to have him as another stellar individual in our rich Karate Institute of America legacy.

Photo copyrighted, and courtesy of, Genny “Cougar” Edge – 1992

Photo of the Week: Goldilocks & the Three Dogs

Goldilocks & The Three Dogs

Featured this week are Nicole “Goldilocks” Hackler, her husband Warren, an heroic Marine who served America with honor and distinction for 26 years (now retired), and their loves – Clyde (the red male Shiba Inu) and Kiba (the black and tan female Shiba-Japanese for “Fang!).

Goldilocks was one of the movers and shakers of the Karate Institute of America during her time with us. She achieved a 2nd Degree Brown belt rating before her husband was reassigned to another state so, unfortunately, she was not able to reach Black Belt, although she would have done so had she been able to stay in the area, no doubt.

Goldilocks is smart, tough, lovely and accomplished. A professional Civil Engineer (designated “P.E.”), Nicole was the project manager for the Yadkin River bridge project, listed as one of the Top 10 bridges rated by Road and Bridge magazine! This chick takes no prisoners! She knows how to handle a crew, for sure. Yet, she is as professional as they come. We are so very proud of her and her accomplishments and blessed that she was with us as long as she was.

We are also extremely proud of her husband, Warren, and his devoted service to America. He is a great guy, and together they make a terrific couple. We truly miss them, but destiny will have her way. We wish them all the best as they move into a new phase of their life together.

And, especially, THANK YOU, GOLDILOCKS, for your unique spirit, effervescent personality, loving manner and devoted support of the KIA throughout all these years. We are certainly blessed that your spirit is forever etched into the history and legacy of the Karate Institute of America.

God Speed to you Nicole and Warren.

Photo of the Week: Renegade Black Belt Champion Archer

Renegade Black Belt Champion Archer

The Karate Institute of America is proud to announce that we have a California State Archery Champion within our martial arts family. She is Rose “Renegade” Hoberg, the 12th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu (1990). Rose is the current California State Indoor Champion in the Masters 50 Recurve division.

Husband Kurt “Raphael” Hoberg is the 21st Black Belt of the KIA and an archer as well. It is extremely satisfying to see our KIA family members so dynamically active and successful. Congrats, Renegade! Next step, “Robinette of the Hood!”