Kiado-Ryu Karate

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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!

Photo of the Week: Patton, the KIA & Life

Patton, the KIA & Life

General George Patton is one of the greatest military generals in United States history. He was a major factor in the defeat of the Nazi regime in Europe during World War II.

Patton has many memorable quotes which resonate with of the principles of the Karate Institute of America and to life in general, one of which is this . . .

In war the only sure defense is offense.

Kiado-Ryu philosophy can testify to the veracity of this statement, not only in combat but in day-to-day living. Why? Because life is conflict, it is struggle. Life is full of adversity of all kinds. When we are confronted with any challenge, if we remain passive, there is the likelihood the problems associated with such challenges will overwhelm us. However, if we attack our problems, our challenges, we become empowered. We do so because we take charge of the situation and dominate it rather than it dominating us, overwhelming us. This is why one’s concept of defense must remain offensive. It may seem to be oxymoronic, but it is, nonetheless, a truism, not only in combat but in life itself.

Photo of the Week: The KIA/Churchill Nexus

The KIA/Churchill Nexus

Winston Churchill was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century. As Prime Minister of Great Britain, it was his leadership that helped win World War II. He was a smart, tough, determined, indefatigable and inspirational leader.

There is a nexus, a connection, between the philosophy and mindset of Winston Churchill and the Karate Institute of America. What is it?

First, this question. What one quality is common to every one of the current 63 Black Belts of the Kiado-Ryu and soon to be 64? By the way, the current number of KIA Black Belts represents a mere 2% of those who have studied at the KIA in its 36 year history. Thus, the quality each of them possesses is rare, indeed, but nonetheless universal among each and every one of them? Guessed it yet?

Here are three Churchill quotes exemplifying the quality that each KIA Black Belt reflects and, in fact, this quality is also common to every achievement of any individual in any field of endeavor throughout history.

You only have to endure to conquer.

Never, never, never, never give up.

If you are going through hell, keep going.

So what is the one word nexus we’re looking for? If you said Persistence you are absolutely correct. Persistence is the ability to never give up; it is that quality that defiantly and boldly states, “I’m not quitting and will never quit until I reach my goal.” Persistence is only one word, but its spirit and energy are endless, timeless, universal. To achieve anything in life, to endure any hardship, to rise to the top rung of any ladder we must persist, unrelentingly and defiantly. And if we do, if we endure to the end and never give up, a laurel wreath of triumph will surely be ours and set us apart from the “also-rans” who only wished and dreamed but never conquered simply because they did not persist, i.e., they gave up before the goal was reached.

Therefore, let Churchill’s words ring in your ears when going through tough times or when pursuing any dream or any goal . . .

Never, never, never, never give up!

Photo of the Week: Congratulations, Smasher!

Congratulations, Smasher!

Congratulations to Aidan “Smasher” Ligtvoet on the accomplishment of his Orange Belt. After a job well done, he poses with the Black Belts and his brother, Tristan, for some memorable photos.

Aidan did a wonderful job. He is a remarkable young man – very smart, very coordinated and very determined. As he learns to exhibit the mark of a master, i.e., control, he will go far in life. We look forward to watching him continue to grow and, hopefully, join his brother, Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet as a Kiado-Ryu Black Belt one day.

In fact, Tristan started his KIA training when he was eight years old, the same as Aidan. He’s now seventeen and scheduled to test for his 1st Dan Black Belt rating in October of this year, becoming the 64th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu. Also at that time, Kim “Cultivator” Thomas will hit a milestone in Karate Institute of America history, becoming its first 5th Dan Black Belt, a remarkable accomplishment carrying a “Master” rating and title. Major history is coming soon to the KIA!

Photo of the Week: Smasher Tests for Orange Belt

Smasher Tests for Orange Belt

This four photo sequence features some of Aidan “Smasher” Ligtvoet’s Orange Belt test:

  1. instructions from Mr. King;
  2. bowing in with the Black Belts;
  3. looking determined and focused during his “burn;”
  4. fighting with 4th Dan Black Belt, Kim “Cultivator” Thomas.

Aidan has come a long way since he began his Kiado-Ryu journey, growing from a boy to a young man. We are extremely proud of what he has accomplished and how he has matured. Ask him what “Your Life, Your Responsibility” means and he can give you an excellent explanation. Why? Because he’s lived it through his quest for Orange Belt, as all Karate Institute of America students themselves learn.

More pics next week. Stay tuned.

Note: photos owned and copyrighted by Ed Ligtvoet. All rights reserved. Published with permission.

Photo of the Week: Before Cell Phones & Computers

Before Cell Phones & Computers

It may seem inconceivable but there was a time before cell phones and computers, a time when people were engaged in actively pursuing meaningful goals and achievements.

This dual photo (courtesy of and copyright by Genny “Cougar” Edge) was such a time. The year was 1986. The event – a group testing at the Karate Institute of America. It seems like yesterday, but at the time of this publication that was a mere 29 years ago!

In this tandem snapshot of that event, there are 15 individuals who were either Black Belts or who would become Black Belts. For those of you who remember, can you find these people …

Steven Ho, Gerry Gentry, Dr. Jacobson, Colin Lee, Bob Schreck, Don Quinn, Danny Asay, Rose Hoberg, Genny Edge, Clark Hyman, Jerry Alston, Terry Bass, Bob MacFarlane, Larry Vetter, Mr. King? Enjoy the hunt!

Photo of the Week: Black Belt Master Artisan

Black Belt Master Artisan

Looking like the iconic true artiste, Dave “Rugman” Sampson allows us a look into his everyday life as a custom carpet artisan and part owner of MH Custom Carpets in Laguna Hills, CA.

Rugman is the 42nd Black Belt of the Karate Institute of America, receiving his 1st Dan rank on 24 February 1996. His elder son, Phillip, aka, “Ringer,” is the 33rd Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu, receiving his 1st Dan ranking on 20 August 1994.

Dave is one of the finest gentlemen you will ever meet – gracious, humble, kind, extremely generous and . . . hysterically funny. His wit is so sharp, his mind so fast that he could be a stand-up comedian if he chose to be so.

In reference to his artistic talents, Rugman is also a voice-over specialist, working for major companies in his part time. Too, he is a great cameraman, videographer, and director. With his vast experience in the Marine Corps as a newsman, Rugman was the dynamic core of public access TV shows such as Black Belt Masters Showcase, Horizons 2000 and The Mane Stage.

But all artists usually need a consistent day job, hence his involvement in MH Custom Carpets. In fact, it was Dave Sampson who designed and crafted the KIA’s carpeting in its last studio, as the following photos reveal.

Here is of the KIA’s logo which Rugman sewed into the actual carpet.

Circle Logo

And here is a close up of the Black Belt at its center. Awesome!

Belt Logo

We are so blessed to have Dave Sampson as one of the outstanding individuals enriching our Karate Institute of America legacy. Thank you, Rugman, for all you have done for us, for your exquisite talent, generosity, irrepressible personality, faithful and devoted friendship throughout these many decades.

Photo of the Week: The Giant of the Kiado-Ryu

The Giant of the Kiado-Ryu

Thomas Lindsey, aka “Draco,” is truly the giant of the Karate Institute of America. He hooked-up with Mr. King to say his farewell last week. He, his wife Michele and family, will be leaving the West Coast to establish a new life on the East Coast this month.

Draco is the 52nd Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu, earning his 1st Dan ranking on 13 December 1997. Although projecting a fearsome presence, Thomas is a gentle giant. Never once in his entire martial arts journey to Black Belt did he ever hurt anyone sparring. As a fighter, he had great control.

Thomas Lindsey is also an extremely smart, dignified, respectful human being…and classy—setting up a luncheon appointment to say his good-byes. Albeit short, it was a wonderful time of getting caught up and sharing old stories of the glory days of the Kiado-Ryu—days before cell phones and computers were commonplace; days where people spent time developing their marital arts skills in pursuit of a KIA Black Belt and its significance as a most noteworthy accomplishment.

Draco will be missed, no doubt. Luckily and thankfully, technology brings people together instantly at the click of a mouse or the touch of a keypad – a long distance from the time people actually had to write letters and send them by snail mail, often waiting weeks, if not months, for a return response; a time of which the young ones in today’s world have no experience. Truly, life changes and time marches on, waiting for no man.

Speaking for the entire Karate Institute of America, we want to say, “Thanks for the great and memorable times, Draco! We will miss you but wish you and your family all the best as you begin a new and adventurous phase of your life.”

Note: Draco’s email will remain the same. For those of you who would like his contact information, connect with Mr. King.

Photo of the Week: Smasher OB Prep

Smasher OB Prep

Aiden “Smasher” Ligtvoet, lookin’ pretty spiffy in his grey and red stripped pants, prepares for his Orange Belt test as he plants one of his powerful right punches squarely on Bob’s chin. Smasher, a very smart and talented young man, has been working very hard lately, and we look forward to witnessing him move to the next level very soon!

Photo of the Week: Don’t Forget the Heroes

Don't Forget the Heroes

Although written for Vietnam era military service personnel at the time, Don’t Forget the Heroes is a patriotic, passionate and moving tribute to all American men and women who serve, are serving and will serve the “Flag of the Free,” especially those who have paid, and will pay, the ultimate price in defense of liberty.

Endorsed by General Norman Schwarzkopf and Ross Perot …

“Don’t Forget the Heroes” is a wonderful tribute to all of us who served in Vietnam, both the living and the dead, and the families at home who also paid a price for loving a service member.

~ H. Norman Schwarzkopf-General, U.S. Army, Ret.

This CD will mean a great deal to everyone who lost a loved one in Vietnam, and will serve as a poignant reminder to every American that we should never forget those who sacrifice their lives for our country.

~ Ross Perot

Download the Full Song for free.