Sid Rayford initially began his martial arts training at age 7 in the art of Shito-Ryu Karate in 1969. Under the instruction of Sensei Augustine Gomez in Avenal, California. Sid Rayford continued his training for 21 years. During his years of training in the art of Shito-Ryu karate, Sid Rayford was successful in point style and full contact competitions held in Long Beach, California each summer. As an adult, Sid Rayford relocated his young family to Hanford, California in 1990 where he met and became friends with Sensei Tim Evans. Sensei Evans was then training in Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu and also had an extensive background in Jeet Kune Do. Sid Rayford began training with Sensei Evans and became Sensei Evans’ first Black Belt.
Sensei Evans moved away from the Hanford area and left the students and school in the hands of Sid Rayford. After moving to the Northern California area, Sensei Evans met Kyoshi Sid Campbell, of Oakland California. Both Tim Evans and Sid Rayford began training under Sid Campbell in 1992. This required a conversion from Matsubayashi to Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu, as Sid Campbell was the known pioneer of Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu to the United States.
Ranks and Titles
In the time span of about one year (1993), Sid Rayford earned a first degree Black Belt in Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu under Kyoshi Sid Campbell, who was then authorized to promote and grant rank by the Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan Association of Okinawa. Three years later (1996), Sid Rayford was promoted to second degree Black Belt by Sid Campbell who was at the time yet a member of the Okinawan association. Shortly after awarding Sid Rayford his 2nd Dan, Kyoshi Sid Campbell formed his own association and named it the World Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo Association. It was at this time that Sid Campbell assumed the title of “Soke” or “head of family” as the president of the new association which consisted of several schools abroad. The following year (1997), Sid Rayford was promoted to 3rd Dan by Kyoshi Sid Campbell.
Also in 1997, Sid Rayford relocated from the Hanford area to Merced, California and began teaching classes in the garage of his home. With classes becoming too large for his garage, Sid Rayford began teaching in downtown Merced and in 1998 was promoted to 4th Dan. Shortly after receiving the 4th Dan, Sid Rayford became the instructor of Sensei Kim Henderson, a 2nd Dan Black Belt in the art of Shuri-Ryu Karate, in Atwater, California. The Atwater, California school became the first “branch” of Merced’s Rayford Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo School. Soke Sid Campbell was quite pleased with Sid Rayford then being in charge of two locations and in 2000, Sid Rayford was promoted to 5th Dan and given the title of “Renshi”. Another student of Sid Rayford’s, Don Anderson, opened his own dojo in Sonora, California and created a third location of Rayford Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo. Again, Soke Sid Campbell was pleased with the growth of Rayford Shorin-Ryu and in 2002 Sid Rayford was promoted to 6th Dan and given the title of “Shihan”. In 2005, Sensei Kim Henderson, chief instructor of the Atwater, Calif. dojo moved to Coos Bay, Oregon and left the Atwater school in the hands of one of her senior students. Sensei Kim Henderson soon opened a dojo in Coos Bay, Oregon and essentially became a fourth location of Shihan Sid Rayford’s teachings. On September 29, 2007 (Sid Campbell’s 63rd birthday), Sid Rayford was promoted to 7th Dan and given the title of “Kyoshi” by the World Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo Association. Kyoshi Sid Rayford has now promoted 22 black belts and is continuing to thrive in the Merced, California area.
Honors and Awards
Throughout his training under Sid Campbell, Sid Rayford was annually presented with awards from the World Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo Association. Best Kata Artist, Best Bunkai (technique application) Artist, and Instructor of the Year are among awards that were regularly presented to Sid Rayford.
In 2003, Sid Rayford was inducted into the Masters Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Newport Beach, California and presented with the Life Achievement Award for 25 or more years in martial arts. This induction was made possible by the nomination of Sid Campbell.
Current Rank and Title
7th Dan Black Belt Kyoshi-Shorin Ryu Karate
5th Dan Black Belt-Okinawan Kobudo
For more information about Sid Rayford and Rayford Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo visit the organization website at http://www.rayfordshorinryudojo.com and the Rayford Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo listing on the Martial Arts Schools and Businesses Directory by clicking on the image on the left.