Master Tom Smotherman
Current Rank is 5th Dan promoted by Grandmaster Ray Arquilla IDMA Tom Smotherman’s Martial Arts journey started back in 1993, in Granite Bay California at the age of 38. His first Kenpo Instructor was Kyoshi Dave Kovar. Tom Smotherman became a Shodan on Sept 24, 1997 at the Kovar Martial Arts School, in Granite Bay Ca., and rose to the rank of Nidan, in 1999. At the time, Master Kovar was teaching primarily, Tracy Based Kenpo system.
After training and teaching there for nearly six years, He was introduced to Grand Master Ray Arquilla of the Iron Dragon Martial Arts Institute. Grand Master Arquilla was promoted to #3 Master by Great Grand Master James Mitose and was one of Kyoshi Kovar’s early instructors. Grand Master Arquilla’s curriculum at the Iron Dragon’s Institute includes the entire Tracy Kenpo System as he learned it in the late 1960’s, as well as aspects from four other systems.
Born April 30th 1955 in Sacramento, Ca.
Graduate of Fresno State University 1977
Tom was a full scholarship athlete in Football at FSU.
Owner Dynasty Appraisal Service since 1985 Real Property Appraisal and Land, working primarily with the Veterans Administration.
Married to his outgoing wife Laurie since 1978, that’s 39 years strong,
with two adult children, Adam who’s 31 and Kellie is 28.
In 2001, Tom was with Grand Master Ray Arquilla and the Iron Dragons in Las Vegas at the 2001 Gathering of Eagles (GOE), where they formally started the Iron Dragon Martial Arts Assoc. and formally setup the Iron Dragon Kosho Senjutsu Kenpo System as a standalone system which includes the Tracy Kenpo System, Kosho Shorei , Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Hung Gar, Tang Soo Do, and Weapons. At that time, Grandmaster Al Tracy and Grand Master Ray Arquilla, acknowledged his rank of Nidan, 2nd Black on August 11, 2001 at the GOE.
Grand Master Arquilla has promoted Master Smotherman four times since 2001. Tom received the rank of 3rd Black, (Sandan) on April 30th 2005, 4th Black, (Yodan) on July 4th 2009, and his current rank of 5th Black (Godan) on April 24th 2017. On Sept 24, 2017, Tom will have enjoyed his 20th year as a Shodan.
Tom’s training and learning is ongoing and will continue as many years as the body permits. Master Smotherman is on the mat 3-4 times a week. At 62, He still has a hunger for the Art and the Dragon Spirit to share it.
In addition to, his years of Martial Arts training and teaching, Master Smotherman has also found time to Coach High School Football and Soccer in the Roseville/Sacramento Metropolitan area, for the past 25 years. His enormous contributions to our community and his commitment to the Kenpo Arts reflect his strong personal character and his spirit for the Martial Way.
“I ask for nothing in return, only honest effort.” said Tom “It is a great honor for me to be considered, as a positive influence to the culture of our Kenpo Martial Arts History. As a senior Dan, I will always strive to represent myself and my Art in a positive way.
In early 2000, at 45 years old, Tom became a student of Grandmaster Ray Arquilla. Their agreement, to become an Iron Dragon, was that Tom restart, his formal training from the beginning. Master Smotherman, started at the Orange belt manual at the Iron Dragon Institute, and has completed the entire original Tracy System, 250+ techniques and forms as was taught back in the 1960’s to GM Arquilla, along with, kosho Shorei, Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Southern Hung Gar. He was then honored by GM Arquilla with an Iron Dragon Shodan rank, after completion. Master Smotherman has been training as an Iron Dragon for 17 years and has been Grandmaster’s Senior Instructor for the past 10 years.