Kiado-Ryu Karate

Black Belt #45: Steve "Shadow" Harrison

Steve “Shadow” Harrison had been a United States Navy pilot before he came to the Karate Institute of America which gives the reader an insight as to his intelligence, ethics, morals, and general bearing. His job after the Navy involved working with NASA’s space shuttle program. Again, a testimony to his abilities and credentials.

Shadow was a John Wayne type of guy: strong and silent. He was, and is, a man of few words but long on action and discipline. His character was exemplary, expressing the bearing of a United States military officer and his case, the phrase “Officer and a Gentleman” fits to a tee.

Shadow was not a tall man, so when he fought he had to use his mind to overcome the reach and mass capabilities of taller and larger fighters. He mastered the “Z strategy” which, in the Kiado-Ryu system, involves attacking an opponent in a zig-zag pattern as opposed to a straight line approach. No one else in KIA history has used this strategy as effectively as Steve Harrison and, boy, did he have it wired. When he was in attack mode, his opponents would see him, they’d counter strike but he’d zig and zag and make them miss, ultimately engaging and defeating them like a side-winder missile strike.

Shadow’s tactical background also became useful in weapons work. In fact, Steve would use a move with the bo (long staff) or cane that was so effective, the move, still used today with great efficiency, was named Shadow Blast in his honor.

And that’s what Steve Harrison had most of, by the way, honor. He was a truly dignified man and gentleman, and the KIA is forever honored, proud and privileged to have him as the 45th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu.