Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Photo of the Week: High Kicking Griffins

High Kicking Griffins

Having fun during their all-too-brief visit to California, the three Griffins show off their impressive high kick skills. From right to left are “Scholar,” “Badger” and “Gunner.” Obviously Scholar is setting the bar for her younger siblings. We’ll certainly miss these wonderful young people. They are quite talented, eager to learn, smart, respectful, dedicated and courageous—just like their other family members, especially aunt Anna “Wildcat” and uncle James “Psycho.” It was an honor to have them attend classes during their visit and we hope we will be able to work with them again in the future.

Photo of the Week: Impressive Wildcat

Impressive Wildcat

Anna “Wildcat” Griffin practices her knife-edge kicks during her recent visit to Southern California. Anna began her Karate Institute of America studies at age eleven. She became the 55th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu in 1998. After traveling abroad to Europe, she received her Masters Degree in German and served in the U.S. Army in a combat division. Humble by nature, Wildcat is one tough soldier and martial artist. She is a true hero. We are extremely proud of her and grateful for her military service.

Photo of the Week: Griffin Family Visit

Griffin Family Visit

What a great surprise visit from the family Griffin—well, some of them! Flanked by James “Psycho” Griffin (KIA Black Belt #60) and Anna “Wildcat” Griffin (KIA Black Belt #55) are family members “Badger” (glasses and purple top), “Gunner” (blue shirt looking tough) and Scholar (glasses, center). During their month-long visit, the kids have been taking karate lessons. Of course “Psycho” and “Wildcat” were a great help. And what fun! These kids are talented! How could they not be with two extraordinary Black Belts in the family!

Photo of the Week: Flash’s Trucker Remembrance

It is with deep and profound sorrow that I announce to you that our dear friend and martial arts brother, Bob “Trucker” MacFarlane, has passed on.

As a final update to our remembrance, we would like to share another condolence we received. Following this week, we will post a page honoring Trucker.


Thank you for your guidance and encouragement you gave me as I was climbing the ranks to Black Belt at the KIA.

You are truly a man of integrity and loyalty.

We will all miss the gift of your life…until we meet on the other side.

Your friend and Black Belt Brother,

Clark “Flash” Hyman

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).

Rest in Peace: Bob "Trucker" MacFarlane

This group photo was taken on 26 February 2013, during a group workout session honoring Bob upon notification of his cancer. He is located in the white gi (uniform) in the middle row. How fortunate that we were able to share this last workout with our dear friend and martial arts brother. Bob was a true gentleman of the highest caliber, a 1st class individual who was an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family, especially his wife Gail, sons Matt and Jason, and daughter Andrea.

In the immortal words of the great poet Alfred Lord Tennyson from his poem “In Memoriam” …

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Photo of the Week: Smasher Hangs With the Guys

Smasher Hangs With the Guys

Hanging with the guys is our newest young stud – Aidan “Smasher” Ligtvoet, looking determined. It wasn’t that long ago that his brother (far right), 3rd degree brown belt Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet, was the size and age Smasher is now. If history and lineage are any indication, we older ones are in for the fight or our lives in a few years because Smasher didn’t get his callsign for nothing! He is good, smart and talented!

Photo of the Week: Fun Fear

Fun Fear

Kim “Cultivator” Thomas (KIA 4th Dan Black Belt) expresses some “fun fear” as he poses with our newest future Kiado-Ryu fighter – Aidan “Smasher” Ligtvoet. “Look out, Mr. Thomas! Smasher is, indeed, a smasher!”

Photo of the Week: The “Before” Photo

The "Before" Photo

Take a good look at this photo. It’s the “Before” shot of big brother Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet and younger brother Aidan, aka “Smasher.” Why “Before?” Because Tristan started his martial arts studies when he was Aidan’s age and size. Now look at him! Thus, how big will Aidan be when he is 15? That will be a great “After” shot when he poses with his brother then!

Photo of the Week: Smasher’s Beginning

Smasher's Beginning

Aidan “Smasher” Ligtvoet, Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet’s younger brother, strikes a pose at the outset of his martial arts journey. Aidan is smart, coordinated, determined … and tough. All of us at the KIA look forward to sharing and helping Aidan as he grows … and grows … and grows. If he’s anything like his older brother, he’ll be a big dude one day!

Photo of the Week: The Family Ligtvoet

The Family Ligtvoet

Pictured with 3rd Dan Brown Belt Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet are members of his family, many of whom traveled from Los Angeles to support Tristan in testing for his 3rd Brown rank. How wonderful it is to have a family who supports their own. It’s not as common as one might think. The Karate Institute of America is honored to have such a exemplary family as a part of its legacy. The only non-family member is Mr. King (back row, center) who is certainly proud to be included with the Ligtvoets in honoring Tristan.