Tiger-Ryu was developed in Seattle Washington in 1991 by Martial Artist Timothy Lee Kerofsky. Mr. Kerofsky’s roots are traced to Opole Poland in which his family immigrated to LaSalle and Rock Island Illinois. He was born in Moline Illinois in 1965. He started learning self defense in 8th grade when a student pulled a knife on him for lunch money. His first self defense class was called “Stand Firm” under the instruction of Michelle Fox. In 1976 he joined the “Quint Cities School of Judo and Karate” under the instruction of Sensei Jess Mills. The style was called “Shuri-Ryu”. He trained there until August 1985 when he joined the Navy. He received his Ikkyu under video training. He served on his first ship, the USS New Jersey BB-62, as a Boatswains mate. During his first “West Pac” in 1986 Mr. Kerofsky’s friend, S. Hinzel, introduced him to his master in Hong Kong – Master Lo Wong. It is then he started training in Tiger- Dragon Kung Fu (Hung-Gar) which in 1990 he earned a red sash in. In 1987 while the Battleship was in the shipyards he joined “Ed Parkers School of Kenpo Karate” after seeing the 23rd International Karate Championships at Long Beach Arena in which he earned a first degree black belt in. After his second “West Pac” in 1988 he met a woman named Ms. Olivia Ling training in “Bo-Jitsu” at the base park. After seeing her doing some extraordinary things with the Bo staff, he asked her to teach him some. He trained with her for a year until his third “West Pac” cruise at the end of 1989 until 1990. Right before the deployment he joined the ships Karate team, “Jersey Tigers” which started that year under the instruction of K.C. Reed. The Karate team only lasted for four months. During the Gulf Cruise in 1990 while on liberty in the Philippine Islands he did some stick fighting under the instruction of Danny Banitez. In April of 1990 he was on an Antarctica Expedition then he got out of the Navy and moved to Seattle Washington. He attended classes at Lake Washington Vocational Technical Institute (Lake Washington VOTECH) and did a Tai Chi Chuan class under the instruction of Mark Balaczski for college credit. In August 1991 Mr. Kerofsky got married to me, Jill Janine Meister. It is then he started developing his own style. He combined what he has learned into a form he calls, “Tiger-Ryu”. He then registered it with the World Self Defense Federation and the American Martial Arts Council in Seattle Washington in September of 1991.
In January of 1992 he re-joined the Navy. He went to MS ‘A’ School (Cook School) in San Diego California. He became a pantry cook stationed on the USS Richmond K. Turner CG-20 stationed in Charleston South Carolina. On January 8th, 1994 while on an extended leave he earned his Black Belt (Shodan) under a Kamaza Ceremony. He served on the “Turner” until May of 1995. Then he transferred to the USS John C. Stennis CVN-74 out of Norfolk Virginia. He worked as the Training Petty Officer until June of 1997. Sifu Bison Lopez, a master instructor in “Seven Star Praying Mantis Gung Fu”, started a Ships Martial Arts Program in October 1996. Mr. Kerofsky joined the program to help instruct and learned a lot in the process. He learned the Mantis form called, “Bong Bo” (Crushing Steps). His next naval command was shore duty at the Naval Station in Newport Rhode Island. In Rhode Island he attended Master at Arms training, Auxiliary Security Force training, and Certified Security Professional training. He worked as the Team Leader for the Blue Security Team (Night Watch) until September of 2000. He became a Certified Naval Security Force Instructor and taught security tactics, self defense (Jujitsu) techniques, and anti-terrorism awareness. In 1998 he earned his Second Degree Black Belt (Nidan) and on January 8th, 2000 he earned his Third Degree Black Belt (Sandan) along with a Basic Instructor Certificate and Lifetime Membership in the Traditional Schools of Okinawan Karate. Mr. Kerofsky’s next naval command was on the USS Belleauwood LHA-3 in San Diego California. There he crossed into the Master at Arms rating and wrote a Self Defense Program for the Security Staff. In 2001 he furthered his security training by attending Armed Pier Sentry training, Black Water Security training, and the OC Spray course. He then worked as a Ships Roving Patrol Guard. In 2003, after attending Naval Corrections and Brig Staff training in Lackland Texas, he worked as a Cell Block Supervisor in the Ships Brig. In 2004 he worked with the Naval Security Force for the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq and Kuwait. That same year he earned his 4th Degree Black Belt (Yondan) . After ironically getting injured by a cabinet that fell on a ladder well he went to rehab at Great Lakes Illinois. After Rehab he earned his 5th Degree Black Belt (Godan). He worked doing administration duties with the Master at Arms, front desk duties, and Leading Petty Officer Duties.
He officially retired from the Navy on May 31st, 2007.
Renshi Timothy L. Kerofsky is currently the chief instructor of the Kerofsky Family In-House Dojo. He taught karate in Seattle WA, Rhode Island, San Diego CA, and home in Moline Illinois. His first student was Chase Larson. He has life experience from his travels all over the world. He has traveled throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. His favorite places were in the Orient – Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. In Singapore he visited the botanic gardens, shrines, and monasteries where he wrote down different philosophies’. Kyoshi Kerofsky is currently a 9th Dan Master in which he earned on March 9th 2018. He earned his 6th (Rokudan), 7th (Shichidan), and 8th Dan (Hachidan) under studies and instructions from Master Stevens
in Shorinju Ryu Kempo Karate.
He has a heart for the Martial Arts!
Above I told you about my husband and mentor Master Timothy L. Kerofsky. Now I am going to tell you about Tiger-Ryu Karate itself. Tiger-Ryu is mainly the combination of Shurinju-Ryu Karate Do and Tiger Dragon Kung Fu. It was developed in Seattle in 1991 like I wrote before. Mr. Kerofsky is a good Martial Artist and he constantly studies and practices, even with his injuries he acquired in the military. Tiger-Ryu utilizes Karate Basics, Kenpo Techniques, Kung Fu Forms, Bo-Jitsu Weaponry, and Tai Chi Meditation. Tiger-Ryu consists of 10 levels, 2 sub-levels, and a Grand Master Level. The first five levels are the foundation. They consist of the History, Creed, Basics, Kote Aite, 16 Techniques, Wansu-Tiger Kata (the main form of Tiger-Ryu), Basic Weapons, and Meditation. The next five levels consist of Advanced Techniques, Forms, Evasion Movements, and Tactics. The two sub-levels are the Tiger and the Dragon. The tiger is upon the 7th and 9th levels. In the 7th level one performs the “Long Tiger Form”. In the 9th level one does forms and techniques blindfolded. The Dragon is upon the 10th level were one does ten trials. After he or she becomes a master of Tiger-Ryu and also of themselves. There can be more than one Master, but only one Grand Master. He or she then becomes known as the “Grand Dragon Master”. A true master comes along once in a lifetime, he or she is a master of character.
Below is the original ranking structure of Tiger Ryu!
From the first to the fifth level the student is called the Tiger-Ka.
From the sixth to the tenth level the student is called the Dragon-Ka.
Note there are 5 levels of Tiger - White Tiger, Yellow Tiger, Green Tiger, Blue Tiger,
Purple Tiger and five levels of Dragon - White Dragon, Yellow Dragon, Green Dragon,
Blue Dragon, and Purple Dragon. Then Master, Grand Master
and his created rank Grand Dragon Master;
this was the original ranks but changed it by the belt structure of Shuri Te.
Rewritten in 2018, first written in 1991, then 1995, then 1997, then 2011.