Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Photo of the Week: Spotlight Shines on Kiado-Ryu History

Spotlight Shines on Kiado-Ryu History

The spotlight shines brightly on Kim “Cultivator” Thomas as he prepares for his testing to become the first Black Belt in the 36 year history of the Karate Institute of America to achieve a 5th Dan “Master” status.

Thomas began his Kiado-Ryu journey just days before 911 and has been consistently developing his martial art skills for the last 14 years. His fierce determination and never-say-quit mindset underscore his massive accomplishment. After all, over 3,300 students have passed through the doors of the KIA since they opened on 31 August 1979. Cultivator will be the first student to reach such a distinguished and daunting Kiado-Ryu milestone.

Furthermore, Kim will be 59 in November, making his accomplishment all the more inspirational and impressive. He has a young heart and fearless spirit, but his body has long passed the age of endless energy. It is his indomitable will that has served him well, extremely well.

Stay tuned. The time is near. It would be wonderful to see KIA family members come to support him at this auspicious moment in our long history, at least on the night of his kata performances, TBA.

Photo of the Week: A True Kiado-Ryu Chainsaw

A True Kiado-Ryu Chainsaw

It’s hard to believe but this photo was taken nearly a quarter of a century ago. From our Karate Institute of America archives, courtesy of Jenny “Cougar” Edge, and mugging for the camera during his Black Belt test, is Jeff “Chainsaw” Kelly who went on to become the 18th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu. His coronation ceremony was 23 November 1991.

Jeff transferred from another martial arts studio when it closed down. As is the case with all transfers, he had to begin the KIA curriculum from the beginning. This is not an easy task, but different studios teach different curricula and that of the KIA is quite extensive, second to none. Every student en route to a Black Belt, male or female, must learn basic, intermediate and advanced degrees in fighting skills (competitive and street), self-defense techniques, katas (choreographed forms routines), an assortment of weapons katas and basic philosophic principles specific to our Kiado-Ryu martial arts system.

Jeff Kelly was an intense young man. He loved to fight. He loved to perform. He was courageous, strong, determined, highly respectful and honorable. He was not only a joy to have in our Kiado-Ryu family, but an asset to its legacy and heritage.

Pictured in the circle are (left to right): Steven Ho, Clark Hyman, Thomas Lindsey, David Mooney and Dan Asay.

Photo copyright and courtesy of Genny “Cougar” Edge, Kiado-Ryu Black Belt #13

Photo of the Week: President Calvin Coolidge - Persistence

President Calvin Coolidge - Persistence

Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States of America. His quote on Persistence has been a mainstay of the Karate Institute of America for decades. Its truth rings clear in every avenue of life. It’s a good one to memorize.

Photo of the Week: American Rambo, His Valiant Wife, and Global Grins

American Rambo, His Valiant Wife, and Global Grins

What a wonderful and nostalgic reunion with Todd “American Rambo” Miller. Todd studied at the Karate Institute of America in the early 1980s when he was simultaneously studying at USC where he graduated cum laude from the Real Estate Finance Program at the Marshall School of Business. He is now the owner of Western States Technologies in Irvine, CA. Todd is also a Gold Medalist and National Champion in Adult/Senior volleyball, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for the renowned Semester at Sea collegiate program.

Photo of the Week: Blonde on a Blue Horizon

Blonde On a Blue Horizon

Zemia “Barracuda” Garrett strikes a forward stance and punch as she prepares for her upcoming Blue belt test (TBA). She is a determined young woman with a “Never-say-die” mindset. Barracuda is also becoming a very accomplished Kiado-Ryu martial artist, brandishing excellent round house kicks and quick, studied hand movements. Her fighting spirit is nothing to challenge unless you want to find yourself looking up from a supine ground position, dazed, wondering what just hit you and how you got there!

We’re excited to have Zemia advance to the next level. Stay tuned!

PS: Notice the blue fingernail polish. She’s motivated!

Photo of the Week: Sun Tzu on War

Sun Tzu on War

What student of the Karate Institute of America does not recognize this quote from the ancient Chinese warlord Sun Tzu . . .

War is a grave concern of the state; it must be thoroughly studied.

(Sun Tzu – The Art of War, translated by Samuel B. Griffith)

This statement underscores the critical importance of not just studying martial arts but studying it thoroughly.

As KIA students also know, and as The Black Belt Book of Life teaches, “Martial arts is life.” Therefore, the admonition of Sun Tzu that “War . . . must be thoroughly studied” applies to everything we do in life if we want to succeed. Being mediocre, doing things haphazardly, not paying attention to details, not being serious about succeeding, etc., will not guarantee success. Whatever it is we choose to do, if we wish to succeed, we must not simply study it; we must study it thoroughly.

Photo of the Week: Lightning Works

Lightning Works

Ciaran, aka “Lightning,” moves from the Acquisition stage of his Karate Institute of America education to the Integration process – doing the practice. In the left photo he works his hand-checking skills with an overhand hook. He must be having fun if the smile on his face is any indication.

In the right photo, Lightning practices his knee strike. Notice his concentration in both pics. Given his parental heritage, Ciaran has the potential of being a great athlete. His mother and father were both athletic standouts – his mom in soccer; his dad in ice-hockey.

Lightning has already shown great promise. Right from birth he could sling a ball with either hand, swing a kid’s golf club with amazing power and strike a puck with equal intensity. And … he always loved to go fast. He really never learned to walk, he ran, everywhere. That’s how he acquired the callsign “Lightning.” He was always on the go. So … go get ‘em, Lightning! The world awaits!

Photo of the Week: Like Grandfather, Like Grandsons

Like Grandfather, Like Grandsons

Well, the circles and cycles of life keep circling ‘round. With Mr. King are his two grandsons: Ciaran, aka “Lightning,” (the elder, now 5) and Rory, aka “Thunder,” (the younger, age 1). They are the progeny of Whitefire’s younger daughter, Chandra, and her husband, Dan.

Photo #1: Lightning gets instruction in hand checking as Thunder sits and takes notes.

Photo #2: Lightning is put to the test with Thunder on deck, standing and ready to mix it up.

Photo #3: Thunder lets Lightning know it’s his turn. Time to work Bob a little.

Photo #4: Thunder gets kudos from proud Papa after his first palm strike.

Lightning and Thunder – a dynamic duo. More to come, for sure. Maybe we can even get the granddaughters, Popeye and Pipes (Christa’s and Mike’s kids – Paige and Emery) in for a photo shoot soon. They’re already pretty seasoned!

Great memories! Such a blessing to be a part of these young soul’s lives!