What a wonderful Christmas gift! Todd “Thunderpunch” Alston, visiting from back East, dropped by to pay Mr. King a visit. It was a great Christmas gift from Todd, who was one of the Karate Institute of America’s stalwart students in the 1980s. Todd’s contributions to the KIA in that era are prodigious. His intensity, courage, skill, support, and fighting expertise earned him enormous respect among other Kiado-Ryu students as well as his adversaries.
Todd, a free-form rock climber, did not get his callsign “Thunderpunch” by chance. He was a fearsome fighter whose principle weapon was a thundering reverse punch. A champion fighter, Todd had a knack for finding an opening in his opponent’s defenses. In fact, Thunderpunch’s “fighting eye” was so good he could find an eyeball on a flea. Mr. King has always said that when you fought Todd Alston, you knew you were going to get hit. It was just a matter of where and how hard . . . devastingly hard, like broken ribs hard.
Still, Todd was and is a kind, gracious, respectful, first class human being who has never forgotten his roots. His life over the years has not been an easy one; in fact, quite the contrary. He has overcome challenges and difficulties that would break most men, but he has never broken. He carries on, strength, courage, and spirit in tact, and we are deeply grateful that Todd “Thunderpunch” Alston is such a dynamic spoke in the wheel of our KIA legacy, and that he respects, remembers, and is ever grateful for his Karate Institute of America background.