Shining Lights |

Shining Lights

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Kyle Light calls karate, drumming and snowboarding his triangle. Those three passions occupy most all of the 20-year-old Glenwood Springs man’s time.

He’s a second-degree black belt in karate, a percussionist for the local band “Beyond Prophecies” and he’ll work as a snowboard instructor at Sunlight Mountain Resort this winter.

All three go hand in hand.

“My karate improves my balance and my strength and my core,” Light said. “That goes into snowboarding, which means I have better balance, body awareness.

“With drumming, karate teaches you discipline, and there’s actually a lot of rhythm in karate. It teaches you rhythm and dynamics, as far as slow and fast and what’s sharp and what’s really soft.”

As Light’s words suggest, karate is a big player in each of his passions. And he’ll put those karate skills on display at this weekend’s International Shotokan Karate Federation National Karate Tournament in Denver.

Light, who will be competing in kata (forms) and sparring, will represent the Mountain States Team. He’ll be joined in Denver by his dad, David Light, who operates Two Rivers Shotokan Karate Club, a small dojo in Glenwood. David will compete individually.

Another Two Rivers member, David Collier, will also compete at nationals as an individual.

David Light opened Two Rivers Shotokan Karate Club five years ago. Kyle, who is responsible for his dad’s introduction to karate, is an assistant instructor.

The karate passion took root some 14 years ago for the Lights, who lived in Pennsylvania at the time.

“When I was little and in elementary school, I got bullied a lot,” Kyle said. “My parents were like, ‘Do you want to start taking karate?’ It was something for me to do after school so I wasn’t home playing video games, wasting my brain away. It was something constructive.”

Soon after, his dad followed.

“He started when he was 6, and I started a few months after he did,” said David, who ran collegiately at Miami University (Ohio). “I did it as a form of exercise.”

It quickly grew into something more than exercise.

“It didn’t take long before it became my passion,” said David, a third-degree black belt who is a carpenter by day.

In the summer of 2002, the family moved to Colorado. A few years later, Two Rivers Shotokan Karate was born.

The Lights’ dojo remains small, with just a handful of regular students. But, as its heavy representation at nationals suggests, it packs a competitive punch.

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