Just thought I’d share some pics of my daughter Chandra and her kids over Christmas vacation. How sweet it is to have them visit from Boston!
To all of our KIA Family, the King Family wishes you all a healthy, balanced and centered 2018!
Those of you who are long-standing Karate Institute of America members might remember Christa and Chandra when they were very little girls. Now they’re all grown up, pictured here with their awesome husbands and beautiful children. What a thrill for the “Old Man” to have the family together!
God Bless you all from all of us to you and yours.
Honing their hand-checking skills are Blue Belt Zemia “Barracuda” Garrett (right) and Purple Belt Judy “Striker” Gompf (left).
These two professional ladies are, to be sure, daunting, dangerous damsels. They have power, skill and intent. Athletically, Barracuda has a softball background; Striker a surfer and tennis background. They know how to use their bodies to deliver maximum damage to a target, and if their lives and/or well-beings are threatened they would have no compunction about using maximum force on their assailants to protect themselves.
No sloppy guards here, nor wandering eyes. Their fighting focus is scope-locked and on target.
Those knee strikes would not be welcomed by any assailant, not to mention the follow-up palm, fist, elbow and armbar strikes!
Barracuda and Striker are making excellent progress in their martial arts training. As mature, professional, accomplished women they understand the value of patience, determination and persistence. Believe me, if you were ever in a fight you’d definitely want them on your side! They are truly daunting and dangerous damsels of the Karate Institute of America!
How beautiful is this . . . on many levels! Hannah, a KIA martial arts Purple Belt, is also a proficient artist in American Sign Language (ASL). She has been studying Signing in high school for two and a half years. In her own YouTube video, she beautifully performs “Praise You In This Storm” by Castings Crowns. Her performance is highly artistic, emotionally moving and dramatically inspirational. Thank you, Hannah, for this wonderful performance of “Signing!” You are one awesome talented young woman! We are all so extremely proud of you!
Judy “Striker” Gompf, aka Laguna Beach Surfer Chick, catches a Purple Wave propelling her up the ranks of the Karate Institute of America after passing her Purple belt test on 24 November 2017.
Judy is a professional real estate agent, mother of two, possesses multiple collegiate degrees with a résumé heralding nearly two decades of work as a paralegal.
A gifted surfer, Striker has applied her athletic skills of strength, balance, timing and concentration to her martial arts discipline. She has developed excellent hands, both offensive and defensive. Her kicks are extremely powerful—daunting weaponry to any would-be assailant.
The following photo juxtaposes her transition from Orange Belt to Purple Belt. Nice smile both before and after. Next stop, Blue belt.
Developing championship form is challenging, as any KIA forms competitor understands. Judging by the following photo, Striker certainly has what it takes to be a kata champion.
Born and raised in Laguna Beach, Striker is a perfect match for anyone looking to buy or sell property in the area. She knows South Coast communities thoroughly, and with her paralegal background she’s a perfect fit for interested buyer and sellers.
Helen Keller a martial artist and warrior? Not in today’s lexicon. However, Helen Keller is one of the greatest, strongest, most courageous, and accomplished fighters and warriors in world history.
At nineteen months of age, Keller was stricken with a disease leaving her both blind and deaf. Yet, she became a highly educated luminary of the human spirit, a truly shining example of what it is to struggle and triumph. A little online research will reveal her extraordinary life challenges, the intensity of which would dwarf many of today’s vaunted athletes and personalities.
The following Keller quotes (below) are powerful and apply to each of us as we traverse the difficulties of our own lives, and in many cases putting those difficulties in a more realistic and manageable light.
In guy terms, Helen Keller was an absolute stud, a warrior’s warrior. Read her book, The Story of My Life, and learn what it’s like to endure a day-by-day, hour-by-hour struggle for an entire life of, in her case, eighty seven years.
To underscore her global fame, Mark Twain stated that there were two people he wishes he could have met during his life. One was Napoleon; the other, Helen Keller.
These Helen Keller’s quotes are worth much attention and reflection, for if anyone understood adversity and how to overcome it, it is she. What a tribute and inspiration to humanity this brave, courageous, and vaunted woman was and continues to be. Unequivocally, Helen Keller is a supernal example of how one human being can turn infirmities into celebrations and celebrations into inspirations for all mankind.
Studying martial arts certainly has its sufferings, especially if one dedicates his life to it. In this light, one would be well-served to remember the famous words of Lebanese-American author, painter and poet Khalil Gibran.
(Principle #9; pages 39-40)
In the wisdom of time
with its messages ageless,
the pinnacle of all is that
Character Must Precede Prowess.
The first essential step to a spiritual life is character.
One may deceive one’s friends, relatives and even
oneself, but the Power within is not deceived.
~ Saint Sawan Singh, 20th Century
For he who is honest is noble, whatever his fortunes or birth.
~ Alice Cary (Nobility)
Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.
~ Dr. Albert Einstein
An honest man’s the noblest work of God.
~ Alexander Pope
IF we are to live with a noble and elevated spirit, regardless of our personal comfort, it is axiomatic that we realize that Character Must Precede Prowess. In other words, character must come first before our martial arts rank, status, championships, name, fame, skill, billfold, bank account, titles on the door, trophies on the shelf, name plates on the desk, headlines in the local society column or records in the record book. Without a high ethical and moral character, of what true value is our life? Regardless of our achievements, if we lack a sound character, how can we be truly satisfied with ourselves as human beings and the legacy we will leave upon the earth when our last breath is expended?
Yet, how often is the great ideal of personal character sacrificed for the passing pleasures, ephemeral accomplishments and empty titles of this world? Who is there, what is there that extols the nobility of personal character? Where are the virtue schools in our society? Where are the headlines praising those whose lives are wrapped with the garments of virtue? For the most part, those who are lauded, applauded and praised in a daze are saturated with energies far from that which speaks to a noble character.
Thankfully, there are higher powers that recognize and reward higher values and virtues. As martial artists, as those individuals on a path of self-improvement and personal integration, we should be one part of society that teaches and expresses that which is noble, good, decent, kind, caring, compassionate and magnanimous. If not us, then who?
Having been studying and working diligently, Judy “Striker” Gompf is poised to achieve her Purple Belt ranking in the near future. Her basic KIA fundamentals, fighting skills, and kata proficiency are progressing extremely well. We look forward to witnessing her next test and then on and beyond, working up the ladder to The Wall.
Striker, a mother of two children, has multiple collegiate degrees. Serving the SoCal area, she is a “Veterans Approved” agent for Keller Williams Realty (her business card is below).