Sep 21, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Cultivator's Repose

Kim “Cultivator” Thomas kneels in a moment of repose before he performs a kata during his Second Dan Black Belt test at the Karate Institute of America. Of the current sixty-three Black Belts of the Kiado-Ryu, Mr. Thomas is currently the eleventh Second Dan in the thirty year history of the KIA.

Sep 14, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Scary Eyes & Cultivator Blade

If Kim “Cultivator” Thomas didn’t scare anybody with those eyes of his, that knife with its curved beak certainly would. And notice that huge right hand holding the knife! One of Cultivator’s trademarks are his enormously strong mitts, developed over many decades during his career as a landscape architect. This shot was taken during his Second Dan Black Belt test, in which he performed an open blade knife kata—the use of a real blade being a KIA requirement—as well as two other weapon sets: short stick—his favorite—and nunchaku.

Sep 7, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Shooter's Gift

Mike “Shooter” Benedict, a Black Belt panel member, presents his gift of a Second Dan Black Belt tab to the newest Kiado-Ryu Second Dan Black Belt, Kim “Cultivator” Thomas. Shooter’s idea of presenting a striped tab to recognize black and brown belt degrees is an innovative concept worthy of merit.

Aug 31, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: KC Thomas, Second Dan

Congratulations to Kim “Cultivator” Thomas, who achieved his Kiado-Ryu Second Dan Black Belt on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. Cultivator gave excellent performances with three weapons: nunchaku, stick, and knife. He also scored highly in his 360 extemporaneous attack drill. Kim’s skill as a Black Belt is commendable, but his immense character and ever-positive personality set him apart. All of us at the KIA are grateful that Kim Thomas is part of the Karate Institute of America, and we look forward to his attainment of Third Dan.

Aug 24, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Bitter-Sweet Goodbyes

Just before leaving home and beginning her collegiate career at the University of California, Berkeley, Sheel “Ceo” Chitalia delivers a crushing right palm to Bob’s face—per his request—before she, in return, gives him a departing thank-you kiss for all the abuse, pain, and crushing karate blows she delivered to him in the last four years. Frankly, Sheel and Bob have had a special relationship. Whenever Ceo would do “Bobwork,” her eyes, face and smile would light up like a Fourth of July fireworks display.

Aug 17, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: University Bound

The beautiful and lovely Sheel “Ceo” Chitalia poses with Mr. King after her last lesson before going off to college. Sheel will begin her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley. This young woman is a tribute to humanity. At the KIA we all know how tough and intense she is; a veritable lioness when it comes to fighting and self-defense. We all know, too, what an extraordinary young woman she is—bright, charming, intelligent, respectful, humble, and oh, did we say intense?