Kiado-Ryu Karate

What is Kiado-Ryu?

Kiado-Ryu is the trademarked name of that martial art style exclusive to the Karate Institute of America. Kiado-Ryu means, “Family of the KIA (Karate Institute of America) way.”

Kiado-Ryu is a complete martial art system focusing on basic karate skills and techniques, fighting (free-form, street and tournament), forms (kata), self-defense technique, weapons training, extemporaneous combat and character development. Its regimen is intended to be challenging as well as complete, testing the individual to his or her most distant limits physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

The code of Kiado-Ryu is: “Expressed excellence in character and skill.” It should be noted that character precedes skill. Students are expected to master the character traits of dignity, respect, discipline, control and humility in the course of their Black Belt training.

The roots of the Kiado-Ryu system rest in the ancient Chinese style of Kenpo karate. Mr. King began his formal martial arts training in 1968 and is well-versed in both the Tracy and Parker systems. A Fifth Degree Kenpo Black Belt, King founded the Karate Institute of America in Orange County in 1979 and began developing his own unique style. That style has come to be known as Kiado-Ryu.

The Kiado-Ryu system is divided into undergraduate (pre Black Belt) and graduate programs (post Black Belt). There are eight levels in the undergraduate program: White, Orange, Purple, Blue, Green, First Brown, Second Brown, Third Brown and ten levels in the graduate curriculum. The average time for an adult to achieve a Black Belt ranking is six years.

The standards of the Kiado-Ryu system are exemplary, arduous, difficult but fair, demanding a high level of desire, persistence, determination, dedication, concentration, commitment, courage and skill.

The Kiado-Ryu is a brotherhood in the truest sense of the word. Its Black Belts come from all walks of life and are dignified, accomplished, respectful, powerful, confident and generous human beings, always available to help and encourage others, especially those following in their footsteps and continuing to expand the legacy that is the Kiado-Ryu.


The KIA logo is rich in symbolism and meaning. The Prayer hands encircled by the karate belt signify spiritual perfection through martial arts. The hands themselves contain three triangles.

  1. The outer shape of the hands.
  2. The shape of the thumbs.
  3. The inner triangle formed by the index fingers.

Symbolically, the Triangle has universally represented perfection and the integration of body, mind and spirit—the true purpose of martial arts study.

There are also three circles: the two circles housing the text of the KIA and the third circle of the belt wrapping the hands, further reinforcing the concept of the Trinity and its Perfection. The Circle universally represents the circles and cycles of life and a continuum without beginning and without end.

Furthermore, the number Two (representing the duality of this dimension and the interplay of opposites: Yin & Yang, Masculine & Feminine, Hard & Soft, Day & Night, Positive and Negative) is also represented three times: by the two hands themselves (Left and Right), the two tabs on the belt tie and the two dots on opposite sites of the Karate Institute of America name.

The KIA logo stands for excellence and perfection in all life, not just in karate. Its deep and profound meaning establishes a code of Perfection, Completion and Balance in all things and forever remains a beacon for the martial arts soul in ascent.