Kiado-Ryu Karate

Black Belt #42: Dave "Rugman" Sampson

Dave “Rugman” Sampson received his Kiado-Ryu Black Belt a year and a half after his eldest son, Phillip “Ringer” Sampson (Black Belt #33), making the Sampsons one of the Kiado-Ryu’s father/son dynamite duos.

Rugman, a former Marine, is one of the most extraordinary Black Belts in the history of the KIA and one of the most humble. Few people know of his extreme creative abilities, generosity, independent nature, family orientation, professional voice-over talents, spiritual focus, and martial art expertise. Why don’t they know? Because Rugman never talks about himself. Too, he is so very funny he could well make his living as a world-class comedian. Anyone who has ever heard him speak knows how hard the gut hurts and tears flow as a result of his dry wit.

For example, as an artisan, Rugman owns his own custom carpet company. His designs grace financial institutions, the homes of the very wealthy, and world class hotels such as the Ritz Carlton.

Rugman’s creative talents were quite evident during his stint in the United States Marine Corps, where his media job consisted of single-handedly putting together an entire newscast each day for his post.

In the mid 1990s, Rugman teamed up with Mr. King and together they produced two local cable television shows, Black Belt Masters Showcase and Horizons 2000. The first a martial arts production and the second a variety interview show. Rugman was the director of both shows. Then, in 2003, Rugman and Mr. King teamed up once again to create yet another cable television show, called The Mane Stage, an equestrian variety production.

One could extol Dave Sampson’s achievements forever, but the most remarkable thing about him is his tremendous character and generosity. His ethics are unparalleled; his honesty impregnable; his modesty almost too modest. It is Rugman who created the gorgeous custom carpet in the new KIA inside The Cutting Edge. Without a doubt, Dave “Rugman” Sampson is one of the finest human beings on this planet and Mr. King is ecstatic, not only to have him as the 42nd Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu, but also to be his friend and television partner. Thank you, Rugman, for all you’ve done for the KIA and our surviving legacy!