Left to right: Ray Zaragoza Jr., Stephen Ponting, Sense, Deane Larkin
Ponting was born in 1948, while his father
was in the military. During Stephen’s youth, his family
traveled to different military bases whenever his father was
spent 1953 through 1955 in Germany living with his family in
Frankfurt and then in
In 1962, Stephen attended ninth grade in Los Angeles, Calif.
at the Queen of Angels High School Seminary.
He went to George Washington High in San Francisco in 1963
for his tenth grade year. He
attended Elk Grove High in Sacramento, CA for his eleventh grade.
Then he attended twelfth grade and graduated from Orange High
in Orange, Ca in 1966.
1966, He traveled to Cocoa Beach, Florida for the summer. Upon returning, he entered the U.S. Army in September of
1967. He spent 1968 and
'69 in South East Asia serving time in Viet Nam, enjoying the many
sites and sounds of the '68 and '69 TET Offensive fulfilling his volunteered duty
for Uncle Sam.
first encounter with the martial arts was in 1963 in San
Francisco, CA from a young Chinese friend that he attended school
with, he was taught only blocking and defensive moves, reminded by
his friend that at that time only Chinese could teach Chinese
offensive moves. His
next encounter was in 1964 in Sacramento, CA from another Asian
friend who taught him privately at his house, this is where Stephen
first encountered the theory that the best defense is offense.
the superior moves that the martial arts offered as opposed to the
moves he learned in boxing classes taught at his school as part of
PE programs, Stephen continued to seek out anyone who could show him
new skills. Stephen
appreciated his early training in those martial art lessons, for it
developed his passion for the art of empty hand fighting.
It was not until 1993, that Stephen finally found a group of individuals, who actually knew the true ability of Karate, which he had been seeking for all his life, and they were called…Yoshukai! He has been a member of the Yoshukai International Karate Association since that time. He travels to Florida for Natsu Kieko every year that's possible.