Kim Thomas has now earned the distinguished title, “Master Thomas” for achieving the rank of 5th Dan Black Belt. He is the first student in the history of the Karate Institute of America since its founding in 1979 to achieve such an enormous goal. Kim began his KIA journey in August of 2001 at the age of 45, received is 1st Dan Black Belt rating in July of 2007, and has not let up since, finalizing the “Master Dan” phrase of his journey at age 59. Remarkable!
Tristan Ligtvoet started studying at the KIA in the same year Mr. Thomas achieved his 1st Dan Black Belt in July of 2007. Thus, it has been eight years since the last Black Belt. Tristan, aka, Raptor, is the 64th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu. He started at the age of 8 and is now 17 and in his Senior year of High School. He is a remarkable young man, and we are extremely pleased to induct him into the KIA Black Belt Brotherhood.
Congratulating Messrs. Master Thomas and Mr. Ligtvoet on their achievements are James “Psycho” Griffin (KIA Black Belt #60) and Mr. King.
Not only was it an historic evening for the Karate Institute of America, but the event was a publicly memorable one. What a great group of family, friends and KIA faithfuls were in attendance. Their presence and support of Messrs. Thomas and Ligtvoet created a wonderful environment for the occasion. Thank you all!