Kiado-Ryu Karate

Black Belt #60: James "Psycho" Griffin

James “Psycho” Griffin is a walking paradox. On the one hand he is a member of the intelligentsia. You know the type, white tape wrapped around the bridge of his black horned-rimmed glasses, pocket-pen holder neatly placed in his shirt pocket, a gait that gives no alarm. Yet, on the other hand, James Griffin is one of the most courageous, wise, smart and tough fighters ever to wear a KIA gi.

Once Mr. King asked Psycho what the KIA meant to him. He responded, “Sir, to me the Karate Institute of America stands for ’true fighting wisdom.’” That’s Psycho, totally respectful, totally smart. Wise beyond his years.

James is a real tribute. It’s a known fact that Mr. King never thought he would make it to Orange Belt, which goes to show you that you can never ever judge a book by its cover. In the beginning of his training, Psycho visibly lacked coordination. However, what could not be seen from the outside was his enormous drive, courage, determination and indefatigable persistence. Not only did Psycho make it to Black Belt, he became one of the very best Black Belts at the KIA.

Psycho is a great fighter. He has an exceptionally long reach (with his legs in gear) and covers more distance in one move than just about anybody. One of his greatest skills is his extreme movement. Psycho can slip kick off his back leg nearly twelve feet and then execute a hook kick/return roundhouse kick combo with Houdini-like ease. Scary.

James is one half of the Griffin brother/sister Kiado-Ryu Black Belt tandem, the only one so far. Psycho’s sister, Anna “Wildcat” Griffin, is Black Belt #55. The Griffin’s character is beyond comment. They are awesome individuals with great heart and soul … and skill.