Zemia “Barracuda” Garrett joins the guys as she prepares for her upcoming Purple Belt test. Barracuda will be testing at the same time that Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet tests for his 3rd degree Brown Belt. Remember when Raptor was small? Not any more, to the chagrin of us who have to fight him!
Be sure to check out: The Black Belt Book of Life – Secrets of a Martial Arts Master, available at Amazon, KingsKarate.net, RichardKing.net/books.
Hannah “Hannibal” gives Bob some love to help him feel better after she spends some time beating up on him. Actually, Bob loves the attention, no matter how he gets it!
If you look at Hannah’s feet, you can see why her second call sign is “Socks.” She always wears different socks on different feet. Today’s session is no different. Cute.
Hannah “Hannibal” Shamassian is known for her flair, as well as her martial artistry. Notice her feet? She’s wearing a different sock on each foot. This unique artistic touch has garnered her a second call sign, “Socks.” Hannah’s spirit is as fun as her wardrobe! She’s a delightful young woman, up and coming martial artist, and, by the way, she employs a wicked right punch!
Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet (pronounced “Light foot”) easily dispatches his attackers—Chris “Growler” Grau (red gi top) and Kim “Cultivator” Thomas (all black gi). Raptor has come a long way up since his younger, and much shorter, days as a raptor fledgling. He will be testing for his 3rd degree Brown Belt soon. We’re really proud of him. Stay tuned.
Hard to believe this photo was taken twenty-eight years ago in 1986. In many ways it seems like yesterday.
Sparring with each other are Eric “E.T.” Tan and Jimmy “Moneyman” Edge, both of whom have grown into fine men. Eric is the 22nd Black Belt of the KIA. Jimmy is the son of Genny “Cougar” Edge, the 13th KIA Black Belt.
In the foreground on the left is Clark “Flash” Hyman, a green belt then but who became the KIA’s 16th Black Belt in 1991.
Against the curtain in the black gi (uniform) next to the young man in the white gi is Jason “J.B.” Brown, the KIA’s 15th Black Belt (1990). Two people to his left in the red boots and black gi is Colin “Semi” Lee who became our 5th Black Belt, receiving his 1st Dan rating in 1988.
On the right in the white gi top is Jerry “Bones” Gentry, the KIA’s 2nd Black Belt. Sadly, Bones, a 2nd Dan Black Belt, passed on in 2012.
(Photo owned and copyrighted by Genny Edge)
The Karate Institute of America has been blessed with wonderful people throughout its history. One of the classiest, yet toughest, individuals is Don “Quindar” Quinn, the 7th Black Belt of the KIA. Quindar received his 1st Dan rating in 1988. Always a gentleman, and always in control, Don was a rock-solid inspiration of what a true Kiado-Ryu Black Belt is.
Have you ever wondered what the number one quality is that identifies all Black Belts? I can’t speak for other martial art studios, but in the thirty-five year history of the Karate Institute of America, from its beginning on 31 August 1979, one common thread identifies every one of its sixty-three Black Belts to date. That one quality is…persistence. They never quit. They just kept on pressing on until they achieved the very prestigious goal of becoming a KIA Black Belt.
This is most likely why Winston Churchill, arguably the greatest British leader and statesman of the 20th Century vehemently stated: Never, never, never quit.
To corroborate this most exalted virtue of never giving up, the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, remarked:
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Yours in the Arts,
Richard Andrew King
Grandmaster, Karate Institute of America
Author of The Black Belt Book of Life: Secrets of a Martial Arts Master
Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats