Ricky & Randy Smith


Founders of SideKick Karate Dojos & American Open Karate System, World Champion Kickboxers, 9th Dan

Outline of Martial Arts Background:

(Click on underlined text for more information)  

  • Started karate/Chang Mu Kwan/Gary Basinger/Ronnie Gregory/1974.
  • Studied Kyokushinkai of Oyama/Gary Basinger/Darrell Wilson/1975.
  • Started teaching karate/Smith Brothers Karate/China Grove, NC./1976.
  • 9th Degree Black Belt/American Open Style Karate/Grandmaster Jerry Piddington/Grandmaster Danny McCall/Grandmaster Robert Bowles/March 16, 2019.
  • 9th Degree Black Belt/American Open Karate System/Grandmaster Jerry Piddington/Grandmaster Danny McCall/Grandmaster Robert Bowles/March 16, 2019.
  • 9th Degree Black Belt/American Open Karate/International Shuri-ryu Association/Grandmaster Robert Bowles/April 22, 2019.
  • 8th Degree Black Belt/American Shorei/Shorin Karatedo/Grandmaster Jerry Piddington/Hanshi Dan McCall/Vitus Bilking/January 11, 2010. 
  • 8th Degree Black Belt/American Jee Do Kwan Karate/Grandmaster Dave Adams/June 2, 2012. 
  • 7th Degree Black Belt/International Shurite Yudansha-kai/Hanshi Ridgely Abele/January 20, 2005.
  • 5th Degree Black Belt/American Karate Systems/Grandmaster Joe Lewis/December 1, 1995. 
  • 5th Degree Black Belt/Okinawan Shuri-ryu Karate-do/U.S.K.A./Hanshi John Pachivas/Hanshi Ridgely Abele/Hanshi Jerry Piddington/January 1, 2000. 
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt/Shurite Ju-jitsu/Kyoshi Troy Price/Kyoshi Vitus Bilking/April 20, 2013.
  • 1st Degree Black Belt/Hobbs Mixed Martial Arts/U.M.M.A.F./Joe Hurst/Jerry Piddington/Madison Hobbs/March 27, 2015.
  • Licensed Joe Lewis Kickbox Fitness Instructor with permanent status/2001.
  • Ranked 10th in the World & 3rd in U.S.A. in Kickboxing by The World Journal Martial Arts/Spring 1978/Summer 1978
  • World Tag Team Kickboxing Champions/NKA/1977 & 1978. 
  • Members of undefeated kickboxing team - The Charlotte Warhawks.   
  • Featured in Karate Illustrated Magazine as Gold Dust Twins/June 1977.
  • Promoters of The China Grove Superfights featuring kickboxing champions such as the legendary Joe Lewis, Bill "Gentleman" Morrison, Johnnie "Superfoot" Davis, and Curtis "The Explosive Thin Man" Bush/1982-1983.
  • Promoters of The Lexington Superfights, WKA sanctioned N.C. Kickboxing Championships/1993.
  • Inducted into World Martial Arts Hall of Fame/Instructors of the Year/1994. 
  • Kata Grand Champion/World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Championships/1994. 
  • Seventeen Kata Tomoe Warrior Award (first out of only eleven) presented by Hanshi Piddington/1997. 
  • Pinnacle Tomoe Warrior Award presented by Hanshi Piddington (only six), highest honor of American Karate Academies National Association (AKANA)/2000. 
  • Founders of SideKick Karate & SideKick MMA franchise with past schools located in Lexington and China Grove, N.C. and current schools located in Salisbury and Concord, N.C and Myrtle Beach, S.C./1990.
  • Promoters of Living Legends Celebrity Roast honoring Hanshi Piddington along with the greatest fighters and martial artist of our era such as Howard Jackson, Joe Lewis, Jeff Smith, Don Wilson, & Bob Wall/2003.
  • Inducted as Living Legends of Sport Karate by The National Sport Karate Museum/2003.
  • Received Superior Leadership Award/Hanshi Ridgely Abele/Shurite Yudansha-kai/2003 & 2004.
  • Received Professional Martial Artist Award/Hanshi Ridgely Abele/Shurite Yudansha-kai/2005.
  • Chief Instructor of American Karate Academies National Association.
  • Battle of Atlanta Hall of Fame/Joe Corley/Don Wilson/Jeff Smith/June 7, 2011.
  • Founders of American Open Karate System/Proclaimed Headmaster by A.K.A.N.A./December 2012.
  • Inducted into the (first) Legends of Carolina Martial Arts in Columbia, S.C./Class of 2017. 
  • Published in Who's Who in the Martial Arts/2017-2018 Edition.
  • First to implement an after-school martial arts program in Rowan County/Fall 2017.
  • First to implement a martial arts program with Salisbury/Rowan School System for kids at risk/January 2018.
  • Title of Kyoshi/Shuri-te Bu-jutsu/Kyoshi Troy Price/Hanshi Robert Bowles/Hanshi Doug Perry/April 14,2018.
  • Received The Joe Lewis Eternal Warrior Award by Bill Wallace and Jeff Smith (only 50 in 50 year history of sport karate), highest martial art fighting award in Professional Karate Association (PKA)/June 2018.  (Read Salisbury Post Article)
  • Title of Kyoshi (Headmaster Teacher)/American Karate Academies National Association/GM Jerry Piddington/Endorsed by some of the most notable pioneers/champions in American karate history:  GM Chuck Norris (TKD), GM Robert Bowles (Shuri), GM J. Pat Burleson (TKD/First Karate Champion), GM Roy Kurban (TKD),  GM Jim Butin (TKD), Tony Lopez (World Champion), Hanshi Bruce Juchnik (Shorei Kosho Kempo), Hanshi Doug Parry (Shorin), GM John Natividad (TKD), GM Jeff Smith (World Champion) , Bill "Superfoot" Wallace (World Champion), GM Dennis Brown (Wu-shu Kung-fu), GM Joe Corley (PKA)/Guro Dan Inosonto (JKD)/September 28, 2018.
  • Received The History General Award presented by The National Sport Karate Museum/Professor Gary Lee/Houston, Texas/September 29, 2018.
  • Received The Joe Lewis Dragon Image Fighting Award by The National Sport Karate Museum/Professor Gary Lee/Houston, Texas/September 29, 2018.
  • Creators of Get Started in Karate instructional video series.  
  • Authors of three volumes of American Open Karate Illustrated Training Manual from White Belt to 2nd Degree Black Belt endorsed by A.K.A.N.A. 

Charitable Activities:  

  • Founders of Double Impact Ministries involved in nationwide youth outreach.  
  • Founders and promoters of Bushido Warrior Sparring Tournament as fundraiser for Godstock since 2004 raising over $100,000.00. 
  • Founders and promoters of China Grove 5K Challenge as fundraiser for YMCA Youth Camp since 2000.
  • Founders of SideKick Karate Black Belt Ministries currently active in youth camps, such as Camp Discovery, in the local area.


  • Angel With A Kick - A Dave Adams Film starring Thomas La Puppet and Ricky & Randy Smith.
  • The Quest - A Universal Picture starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Roger Moore.  Ricky was a stuntman and portrayed a pirate.
  • Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite  - An FM Entertainment Production starring Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi) and  Daniel Bernhardt.  Ricky portrayed a fighter in The Kumite.
  • The Russian Godfather - A Hollywood Star Entertainment Production starring Jeff Conaway.  Ricky and Randy were stuntmen and portrayed bodyguards. 

Click here for the complete Bio of Ricky and Randy Smith

Gold Dust Twins


Randy "The Bullet" & Ricky "Flash" Smith - 1977

Ricky and Randy Smith were named The Gold Dust Twins by Karate Illustrated Magazine in 1977. Ricky was ranked 3rd in the United States and 10th in the World in Professional Kickboxing.  The highlight of Ricky and Randy's exciting career came in 1978 when the double duo won the Double Pro Team (Tag Team) Kickboxing Championship of the World, which was sanctioned by the National Karate Association. This fight is still considered by many as one of the most action-packed bouts in the history of Full  Contact Karate. The twins also fought as super light weights for the world famous undefeated kickboxing team called "The Charlotte Warhawks." Randy had an extremely powerful straight right hand punch and was properly named "The Bullet" after his first opponent fell victim to one of these devastating shots. Ricky had lightning fast hand and feet combinations and was nicknamed "Flash" after knocking out his first opponent in a record setting seventeen seconds. The Gold Dust Twins were two of the most colorful and popular fighters of their era.