Hanshi Sid Rayford, 9th Dan
ATAMA President, 2016-present
Sid Rayford initially began his martial arts training in 1969, the youngest of three boys who had begun to learn and practice martial arts; at a couple of locations in the small town but mostly at home. This continued until 1973 when a man by the name of Augustine Gomez who was teaching Shito-Ryu Karate opened a dojo in the recreation center in Avenal, California. Sid Rayford was ranked a black belt by his Sensei Augie Gomez in 1980, when leaving for college. He continued his training into his adult life for about 18 years until he met and became friends with Sensei Tim Evans in Hanford, CA. Sensei Evans was then training in Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu; Sid Rayford began training with him and became Sensei Evans’ first Black Belt in the time span of about 1 year.
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 West Coast of the United States. In 1996 Sid Campbell and Dan Tosh founded the World Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo Association (WOSKKA). Sid Rayford became a founding member of WOSKKA under his teacher and remained with Sid Campbell until he died. Upon his teacher’s death, Sid Rayford was the older of two 7th Dans that had been promoted by Sid Campbell in 2007.
The death of Hanshi Campbell caused WOSKKA to lose its founding President and the founding Vice-President, Hanshi Dan Tosh became the new WOSKKA President. Upon doing so, Hanshi Dan Tosh announced that Sid Rayford had become the new WOSKKA Vice-President. Hanshi Campbell had asked Hanshi Tosh to continue the rank progression of Sid Rayford in WOSKKA accordingly with responsibilities. In 2011 Sid Rayford was ranked 8th Dan in WOSKKA, and in March of 2016 he was ranked 9th Dan and given the title of Hanshi in San Francisco, CA.
2016 was an exciting year for Sid Rayford, by the end of the year he was also voted in as the National President of ATAMA and given the task of reviving the ATAMA system of support for America’s martial arts teachers.