Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Oct 19, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Bowing In

The date: October 13, 2009. The event: Tristan Ligtvoet and Josh Shamassian’s Blue Belt test. From left-to-right are, Kim “Cultivator” Thomas, Tristan, Christopher “Growler” Grau, Josh, Mike “Shooter” Benedict, and Mr. King (kneeling in front). The boys did an excellent job during their testing, as confirmed by the Black Belt panel. More to come, stay tuned.

Oct 12, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: The Grau Family

Pictured left-to-right are Christopher, Christa, and Kaylee Grau. Chris “Growler” Grau is the 36th Black Belt of the Karate Institute of America, the webmaster of, and will soon be testing for his Third Dan, a prestigious rank of considerable achievement, which will make him the highest ranking active Black Belt at the KIA. Christa, his lovely wife, heralds from Arizona. Kaylee was soon to be a year old when this photo was taken.

Oct 5, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Lou & Linda Gacs

Lou and Linda Gacs have been devoted and long-time friends of Mr. King and the Karate Institute of America. Each is an accomplished Black Belt, Lou holding multiple black belts in different styles. Mr. King first met Mr. Gacs, a now-retired United States Marine, when he was hosting martial arts tournaments at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in the mid-1980s. Although not an official Kiado-Ryu Black Belt, Mr. Gacs is one of our own, a true friend, an unrelenting KIA supporter, and a black belt of uncompromising character.

Sep 28, 2009 - Photos of the Week

Photo of the Week: Warrior's Clan

Pictured here at the KIA 30th Anniversary Celebration at Dana Point Harbor is the Dale family. Annette “Warrior” Dale and her husband, Mark, are accompanied by their beautiful children, Sophia and Jake (also known as “Black Stripe” around the Karate Institute of America). Beautiful smiles!

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.