Grand Master Johnny “Lightfoot” Thompson was promoted to his 9th Dan (GU Dan) on July 23, 2016 chaired by Professor Richard Bustillo with members of the International Martial Arts Council of America (IMAC) and a multiple inductee of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as one of their Ambassadors in Dallas, Texas in 2016 and 2017. He also holds a 1st Dan in Chu Ida Yong TaeKwonDo as well as Sifu ranking in Bai Lung Chuan Fa from Puerto Rico.
Grand Master Thompson is a retired United States Air Force veteran of over 20 plus years. Master Thompson is the Founder and President of the Tang Soo Do Karate Association (TKA) headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. He is also the Chief Instructor of Thompson’s Karate Academy and oversees operations of other sister locations in the United States. Once a year in December he oversees all operations for his annual Tang Soo Do World Conference entering its 28th year.
With over 50 years of martial arts experience and teaching over 42 of those years it included being nationally ranked in Region Six by Black Belt magazine and Karate Illustrated with his partners Grand Master’s Tom Balmos and Clarence “Daddy-O” Smith back in the early eighties in kata, kumite and specialty katas, he has spent his life helping and mentoring all that have crossed his path. Coming out of retirement back in 2001, he competed in Kata and Kumite in the Executive Master’s division and swept the competition winning at the completion of the year with the UMA circuit end of year banquet receiving the Grandmaster of the Year. Due to physical limitations he has retired again.
A certified Police Instructor who is certified in the training of the ASP baton & various other enforcement tools such as handcuffing, pepper spray usage and handgun retention he has taught, trained and certified many commissioned security officers in the State of Texas. He is also a certified Fugitive Recovery Agent, commissioned concealed weapons owner and teaches several courses pertaining to Bail Enforcement and is owner and operator of Technical and Tactical Security Consultants. Owner of J&L Trophy’s.
Grand Master Thompson was also one of the successful promoters of the Annual Battle of the Alamo Open Karate Championships in San Antonio along with GM Tom Balmos where he was also a board member of the United Martial Arts (UMA) organization. A respected member and Ambassador of the International Martial Arts Council of America (IMAC).
Some of his accomplishments are being inducted in the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Biloxi, Miss in 2002 where he was honored as Tang Soo Do Grand Master of the Year and also inducted August of 2003 into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Grand Master and now is one of their International Martial Arts Council Ambassadors. He also was honored at the 2005 Action Martial Arts Magazine Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts Spirit Award as a recipient. He was also honored and published in 1999 through Action Martial Arts Magazine of Who’s Who in the Martial Arts. He holds ties to the U.M.A., AKBBA, the PKA, and WBBB and a True Force Alliance Lifetime member. In 2016, in San Antonio he was inducted into the prestigious Master’s Hall of Fame. In 2017 he was awarded and published in the Who’s Who in the Martial Arts and received the Who’s Who Legends Award with the AMAA. Also, in 2017 in Houston, Texas he was honored by being inducted as a Sport Karate Museum History General Award as well as receiving the Sport Karate Museum Dragon Image Fighting Award, and earning the Sport Karate Museum Military Service Award for his years in the United States Air Force. In July of 2021 in Springfield, Arkansas at the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame he was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Receiving the bulk of his expertise from his deceased Senior Grand Master James Cummings Jr., Grand Master Thompson is surrounded by a myriad of great blackbelts who have made him what he is today. He owes all to his family of TKA blackbelts. The dedication, loyalty and professionalism that they possess show in the students that they teach who admire, respect and follow their every direction. All of this goes to show that to date the TKA has promoted 175 quality blackbelts from all systems and disciplines.