Nathan Ligo fighting with Japan Champion Masuda Akira in 1991

We chose the order of opponents for Masuda’s 100-man kumite by lots. I drew number 7. By the time he’d fought 60 90-second fights that day, he was pretty spent. Here, right at the beginning, he was just getting warmed up. This fight did a lot to build my confidence because I stood up to a Japan champion for some time . . . before he won by TKO, his famous chudan mawashi geri that completely collapsed my lungs. I was 20 years old. It was 1991.


Nathan Ligo Interviewed on ABC News

Video: ABC News Interview 2011


Click here to see the Ligo Dojo of Budo Karate Website.

A Short Film About Ligo Dojo’s Young Warriors Program

Ligo Dojo is a nonprofit with the mission of using Budo karate to educate youths in Durham and Orange County, NC, providing them with the confidence, composure, and strength that they need to develop into independent, responsible adults. Its services are available to all children and adults; in its role as a non-profit, it provides services at reduced cost to at-risk youths and to children referred through social services or the justice system.

The video below gives a good introduction to Ligo Dojo’s nonprofit mission. This 7-minute video (2010) documents Ligo Dojo’s ongoing commitment to helping families and young people in our community. Ligo Dojo’s work has been funded by grants from the Governor’s Crime Commission, the Triangle Community Foundation, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and the City of Durham. It is recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3)e; those wishing to support its work can find additional information at