Kiado-Ryu Karate

Apr 12, 2021 - Feature of the Week

Viper Earns Orange Belt Amidst Mysterious Light Beam

The date: 24 March 2021, Wednesday. Nine year old Nolan “Viper” Brubaker achieved his Orange Belt—the first major rank in the Kiado-Ryu martial arts system. So first, here’s a hearty CONGRATULATIONS, VIPER! You’re an awesome young man with a great heart.

But this particular KIA test, his test, experienced something that we’ve never seen in the forty-two year history of the Karate Institute of America. During Nolan’s Orange Belt ceremony, a mysterious light beam was captured in a photo by his mom’s digital camera. Of the original twenty-four images taken during the event, one of the images contained a mysterious light beam which shined directly on Viper’s Orange Belt as it lay on the ground in KIA fashion at the beginning of his commencement ceremony! It is an extraordinary photo. Thousands of pictures have been taken during the KIA’s long existence but none like this. None. Ever. How special is that!

We’ll get to the photo soon, but first—some well-deserved recognition for Nolan “Viper” Brubaker.

Nolan Brubaker is a stud. That’s the first thing to know about this young man. He’s never late to his karate lessons and is always supercharged. He runs to class and runs home. Who does that? He loves doing pushups and sit ups—both with excellent form. He’s polite, kind, respectful and just plain fun to teach and be around. As is obvious from the first photo, he’s all smiles on Orange Belt test day.

Viper has an excellent reverse punch and my-o-my how he loves to use it!

His knife edge kick is pretty good, too!

After doing extremely well on his test, with not a drop of sweat on him (of course), his recognition ceremony begins. It’s very normal and formal. The KIA has had thousands of tests just like this one since 1979.

How many times has this scene been repeated through all belt levels and thousands of students in forty-two years of Kiado-Ryu history and legacy? A lot, to be sure. In this photo, nothing is out of sequence, right? Nothing is abnormal, right? It’s business as usual, right?

But then … the following photo is captured—the only one of twenty-four photos taken that day!

This is the actual photo taken on Wednesday, 24 March 2021, in Nolan Brubaker’s congratulatory Orange Belt ceremony. Contrast it with the prior photo, the “normal” photo. No one in that room noticed this light beam at the time except when the photos were being reviewed on the camera. Furthermore, there has been no doctoring of the photo. This is exactly what the camera saw, not what human eyes saw. The photo was taken by Nolan’s mother, Melissa. She confirmed there were no special effects added to create this image. It is as mysterious to her and her husband as it is to Nolan and Mr. King.

Where did this light beam come from? What is its genesis? There is no other light source in this photo other than natural light coming from the left. Notice that the light beam contains various delicate colors (yellow, orange, red, blue, green, aqua) and is focused on Viper’s Orange Belt. Well over 3,300 students have studied at the Karate Institute of America but no other photo of any KIA test has been as dramatic as this photo. Pretty special, to say the least! All in all, it’s a glorious mystery. Was this photo the result of a technical glitch in the camera? None of the other photos were affected. Is it the result of what exactly? As of now, it remains an enigma. But the placement of the light beam and its timing are perfect—at the exact moment of Nolan “Viper” Brubaker’s Orange Belt presentation! That has to be by design, somehow. In how many ways can one describe this extraordinary event and its remarkable image? We may never know but one thing is certain—it is a very cool photograph of a very deserving kid in a very extraordinary moment of Kiado-Ryu history.

The following photo shows everything back to normal just a few seconds later, continuing the ceremony. Such a dramatic contrast!

After the traditional congratulatory ceremony, the Orange Belt was proudly tied around Viper’s waist, signifying his accomplishment.

And the well-deserved confirmation handshake of Nolan “Viper” Brubaker’s achievement.

Then, of course, the supportive and happy family—Eric (dad), Melissa (mom) and Nolan!

We are thankful for the Brubaker family and their continuing support of the Karate Institute of America and the Kiado-Ryu system of martial arts. Congratulations to you, Mom and Dad, and of course to Nolan.We appreciate you all! Here’s to Viper’s continued success and perhaps the next mysterious image in his journey … maybe!