Tristan Ligtvoet began his karate journey in 2007 at the age of 8. A quiet, respectful young man, Tristan’s exalted character was obvious from the get-go. He chose the callsign “Raptor,” which was derived from the dinosaur genus Velociraptor—the frightening bipedal, feathered carnivore of Jurassic Park fame.
On Tuesday, 15 December 2015, Tristan earned his 1st Dan rating, becoming the 64th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu. His performance during his testing was, as a Raptor is, powerful, dynamic, accomplished. It must be added also that although he could have qualified for a Junior Black Belt rating at age 12, Tristan chose to forego a junior rating and continue his studies to become a legitimate adult-ranked Black Belt.
Tristan’s development as a young man and martial artist should serve as an example to all young people. He is an inspiration and will go far in life. In his entire martial arts journey at the KIA, he has never once not comported himself with the utmost dignity and respect. He has an immaculate set of manners which far exceed those of his peers and which would rival the most refined and sophisticated adult.
As a fighter, Raptor is as raptors are … scary. He has an excellent mind, highly developed fighting skills, an exceptional reach and very fast, educated hands. In fact, a second callsign for Tristan could be octopus because his long, lanky arms are like tentacles, which not only have a whipping motion but which can engulf his opponent in a death grip.
We are extremely graced to have Tristan “Raptor” Ligtvoet as one of our Black Belt Brotherhood. He is, indeed, not only an exceptional martial artist but an even more exceptional human being.