Ken “Ramjet” Rogers was a driven man. A former Marine and black belt from another system, Ken watched Greg Bendel’s entire three and a half-hour green belt test from the back door of the Lambert Street studio. After the test concluded, Ramjet approached Mr. King, ecstatically exclaiming, “I want to study here! I want my black belt from here!” The next day he enrolled and eventually entered the Black Belt Halls of the Kiado-Ryu.
Ken Rogers’s work ethic is legend. He was a serious student who studied and prepared for his tests. Seriously. He would adjust his work schedule and come to the studio in the afternoon and practice for hours, his sweat-soaked gi a visual commentary on his effort and character.
As an acknowledgment of Ramjet’s courage and toughness, he went through his entire third degree brown belt test with a broken rib! Although it was extremely painful, he never showed one speck of pain. Furthermore, he did this without Mr. King’s knowledge who, had he known, would most certainly not have allowed him to test. It was a fellow testing candidate who revealed this secret after the test was over!
Ramjet did something on his Black Belt test no other Black Belt has ever done, and may never do. After successfully completing his one hour horse stance, in response to Mr. King’s acknowledgment that he was done, Ramjet, in Marine fashion, belted out this request: “Sir! Permission to do another hour, sir!” Unbelievable. Mr. King, understanding Ramjet’s deep sensitivity and undaunted courage, granted his request. Thus, Ken Rogers held his Black Belt horse stance for two full hours, twice what any other candidate has done, establishing himself as one of the most courageous Kiado-Ryu Black Belts ever!