Wolverines are powerful, solitary, tenacious predators. Highly aggressive and fearless, they’re blessed with such great fighting skills that bears, big cats and wolves avoid confrontations with them.
The Karate Institute of America has its own Wolverine, Tejas Maniar, the 57th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu. Wolverine earned his 1st Dan rating on the 23rd of January 1998, eighteen long (or is that short?) years ago. How fast time flies!
Pictured with Tejas in this photo of his Black Belt ceremony is Mr. Dave “Rugman” Sampson, the 42nd Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu, a KIA instructor and great mentor to Wolverine. Other visible individuals in the photo are, from left to right: Taka “Wadachild” Wada (Black Belt #43) seated in the black gi on the wall; Mr. Vince “Sly” Weber (Black Belt #41) seated on the floor behind Mr. Sampson; Heather “Burner” Corn (Black Belt #37, now Riggs) seated to Mr. Weber’s left; Anna “Wildcat” Griffin (Black Belt #55) in the white gi.
Tejas was always the epitome of a great young man and great student. Respectful, honorable, smart, disciplined, controlled, good-natured and humorous, Wolverine was one of those young men you just liked to be around. Such an instructor’s dream!
And, true to his nature, he has continued living his life in the same manner, but why would he not? After attending UC San Diego, where he met his future wife, Shweta, Tejas joined a small start-up company that successfully grew and was eventually sold. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio, becoming a Midwest sports fan. The Cavaliers are his favorite basketball team.
In 2013, he moved back to California, joined Google, and continued learning and honing his business skills. Moving up the ladder, he joined Mayfield Fund, a venture capital firm. He is now Vice-President and enjoys his job working closely with entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.
Tejas and Shweta welcomed their first son, Taavish, in December of 2015, and are now experiencing the joy of parenting, inclusive of all its demands, responsibilities and sleepless nights. Ah! The joys of parenthood. But not to worry. The Maniar family is wonderful. Their second son, Soham, achieved a 2nd Degree Brown Belt before he went off to college. Great memories. Great family. We wish them all well in their future endeavors.