Here’s a wonderful flashback to the early 1980s and a Saturday morning KIA kids class with instructors Greg “Maddog” Bendel and Rose “Renegade” Hoberg. Rose became the 12th KIA Black Belt; Greg the 14th.
How cute these kids were! And they could never be tired out! The ages of these children were 5 to 7. Simply adorable.
A couple things of note:
- This photo was taken at the main studio on the corner of Lambert and Aspen streets in Lake Forest.
- Notice the blue bags on the floor. We still have them, although they’re quite worn. Real troopers.
- The only Black Belts at the time were Steven “Widi” Ho and Jerry “Bones” Gentry, both 2nd Dans as is noticeable by the two red stripes on their Black Belts hanging above the mirror (Ho’s is the grey gi top in the foreground; Gentry’s the black gi top with the red bandana he used to wear). The KIA now has 64 Black Belts on its distinguished Wall. With an average of six years training time from white belt to Black Belt, one can appreciate how challenging it was and still is to ascend to the Black Belt level. It is an elite group, to be sure, representing 2% of all Karate Institute of America students throughout its continuing journey to date (March, 2016).
Photo owned and copyrighted by Genny “Cougar” Edge, KIA Black Belt #13; published with permission.