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NOVEMBER 20, 2021 - at Karate STL dojo in Maryland Heights, Missouri: 
Ameer Syed Sensei, who is the instructor and director of The Arch Shidokan -- Karate STL's Fuku Shibu Dojo (sub-branch under their Shibu Director) -- was promoted to the black belt rank of 5th Dan (Godan).  Syed Sensei began with Basinger Sensei as his teacher at Karate STL as a white belt in 2003.  He has since progressed through the ranks and teaches karate and self-defense at 3 locations in the St. Louis area.

Sharon Basinger Sensei, Karate STL's Chief Instructor and Shibu (branch directly under Iha Hanshi) Dojo Director, was promoted to the rank of 7th Dan (Nanadan) and was awarded the highly regarded title of Kyoshi (Kyoshi description per Association bylaws: 
“Knowledgeable Person.  He/she is a senior member who has gained the respect of members from all over as well as his/her teacher.  The Kyoshi is recognized as being able to represent the Hanshi anywhere the Kyoshi travels.  The Kyoshi holds the rank of 7th and/or 8th Dan.")  Sensei's certificate indicates her new rank and her new title.  7th Dan ranks are deeply honored to be presented with a red and white belt, embroidered with their name, new title and Beikoku Shidokan Association.  This new belt supersedes the 6th Dan black belt that Sensei wore which was embroidered with her name and Shihan (Certified Instructor) title.

Also on November 20, after an eloquent introduction by Joe Kalikow Sensei, Grand Master, SEIKICHI IHA, Hanshi 10th Dan, President of Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association, presented Kip Barker Sensei with his new red belt indicating his well-deserved promotion to Hanshi 10th Dan.  Hanshi description per Association bylaws:  "Master.  An honorary title given only to the highest ranked of an organization... granted to someone who has spent their life promoting selfless karate and their teacher's organization, and has performed these duties extremely well.  The Hanshi is the successor to the teachings of the Hanshi's teacher."

A huge
CONGRATULATIONS to Syed Sensei, Basinger Sensei, and Barker Hanshi!!    

Basinger Sensei is not only immensely proud of her student, Ameer Syed, who was promoted, but also greatly appreciates Karate STL's Tony Bui, Kevin Queen, Natalie Bernhardt-Steed and Josh Wald-Kerr, who helped with preparation for and participation in the dan test.  Thank you all for your time, effort and impressive representation of our St. Louis Shidokan dojo.

Due to Covid-19 and its variants still being a concern, the dan test was virtual and conducted mostly at Shibu and Fuku Shibu dojo locations, as well as at the Hombu dojo (a very small percentage of candidates) in Lansing, Michigan.  I
ha Sensei announced his final pass/fail decisions after completion of the test. 


NOVEMBER 21, 2020 -
at Karate STL dojo in Maryland Heights, Missouri, Laura Jenkins and Natalie Bernhardt-Steed were promoted to the rank of 1st Dan (Shodan).  Congratulations, Laura and Natalie!

Due to the pandemic still being
in full force, the first-ever virtual dan test was conducted at Shibu and Fuku Shibu dojo locations rather than in person at the Hombu dojo in Lansing, Michigan.  Grand Master, SEIKICHI IHA, Hanshi 10th Dan, presided virtually from his residence.  The pre-tests were also done virtually.  All candidates remained 6 feet apart, even during kumite and bunkai.  The test committee evaluated each candidate at the pre-tests, and voted from their respective locations.  Iha Sensei announced his final pass/fail decisions after completion of the test.    


JULY 31-AUGUST 1, 2020 - Due to the continuation of the pandemic, Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association held its first-ever Virtual National Training Seminar (NTS).  Over 500 students were in attendance from around the world!  Keynote instructors were Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan, and Argentina's Masatoshi Miyazato, Hanshi 10th Dan.  Various senior instructors conducted interesting and educational break-out sessions, as well.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone who contributed countless hours and tireless effort making the webinar an enormous success, far beyond all hopes and expectations!


JUNE 22, 2020 - Encouraged and fully supported by Shibu Dojo Karate STL's Sharon Basinger Sensei:  Gateway Shidokan Karate (Stephanie Faulkingham, Instructor) Fuku Shibu dojo, has been transfered to an out-of-state dojo (as their Fuku Shibu dojo), rather than continuing under the direction of Karate STL.  Basinger Sensei sincerely wishes the very best for Gateway in the future.


MAY 21, 2020  was to be Sharon Basinger Sensei's final karate class taught at Pattonville School District.  She had given notice on December 17, 2019, of her May 2020 retirement from Pattonville.  But, in mid-March 2020, Pattonville canceled all classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Therefore, Thursday, March 12, 2020, became Basinger Sensei's last Pattonville class. 

However, she did NOT  RETIRE FROM TEACHING!!  She has since taught karate and self-defense at her home dojo, modifying schedules, classes and procedures to keep her students safe from Covid-19.



MAY 19, 2020
- the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education announced
:
Grand Master, SEIKICHI IHA, Hanshi 10th Dan, was recognized as an OKINAWAN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL ASSET by the Okinawan government.  This is the highest award to be bestowed upon an Okinawan Karate Master.  Read more.
Congratulations, Iha Sensei!!  We all are proud to be your students!


AUGUST, 2019 -  Hundreds of Iha Sensei's students and friends traveled to Okinawa for his “Tookachi” celebration.  It’s a person’s 88th birthday/birth year, and is called “Tookachi” in Okinawa, and “Beiju” in mainland Japan.  It is one of the two biggest birthday celebrations, the other being the 97th anniversary, also known as “Kajimayaa.”  The Tookachi celebration typically takes place on the 8th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.  Congratulations, Sensei!!!  Among Missouri students in attendance were Karate STL's  Sharon Basinger Sensei, Ameer Syed Sensei, Tony Bui, Kevin Queen, Leigh Travis, and Hannah, Jennifer and Pat Rankin. 

We were also able to fulfill one of Iha Sensei's lifelong wishes to recreate the photo of Gusukuma Sensei teaching students in the Shuri courtyard...with his students, and him as teacher.  What an historical accomplishment, and how awesome to be a part of it!  So very sadly, the following October, Shuri Castle was destroyed in a devastating fire.  It is n the process of being restored but will take years to rebuild.
 
In addition to all the events surrounding the celebration of Iha Sensei's Tookachi, most of which were held at the new Okinawa Karate Kaikan (Kaikan video tour), we were given the opportunity visit the dojo of Iha Sensei's teacher Katsuya Miyahira (1918-2010), as well as to tour the many amazing sites on Okinawa. Those sites are highlighted below in 2 of our 4 total trips2009 and 1997.


MAY 18, 2019
in Lansing, Michigan:  Kevin Queen was promoted to the rank of 2nd Dan (Nidan).  Congratulations, Kevin!


JULY 19, 2018
in Lansing, Michigan:  Tony Bui was promoted to the rank of 4th Dan (Yondan).  Congratulations, Tony!


SEPTEMBER, 2017
Ameer Syed, Sensei 4th Dan, began teaching karate and self-defense at 3 different training locations in the Saint Louis Area:  Ross Elementary School in Creve Coeur, Missouri and Selvidge Middle School in Ballwin, Missouri.  He also volunteers his time teaching karate at a Community Center in Overland, Missouri.  Congratulations, Ameer!


NOVEMBER 21, 2015 in Lansing, Michigan:  Ameer Syed was promoted to the rank of 4th Dan (Yondan).  Congratulations, Ameer!


AUGUST 16, 2015
  - 6th Annual Karate Family Picnic, Vago Park, Maryland Heights, MO.  A great time was had by all!  A big thanks to all who came out for a day of summer fun.  Over a hundred of our Missouri dojos' students and their families and guests were able to make it.  Extra special thanks to Stephanie and Ian Faulkingham, for their effort and time involved.  Even if Ian's culinary talents were "wasted" on the hot dogs, they were still definitely yummy!!


JULY 18, 2015 in Lansing, Michigan:  Stephanie Faulkingham, Sensei 3rd Dan, Gateway Shidokan Karate, received her Fuku Shibu (sub-branch) dojo certificate.  Fuku Shibu dojos are under the direct supervision, tutelage and guidance of their Sensei/Shibu dojo director.


Laura Jenkins, 4th; Summer Miller, 3rd; Trevor Miller, 4th; Tawni Miranda, 4th.  Congratulations to all these great kids on their well-deserved accomplishments!

From our St. Louis dojo were:  Record numbers were in attendance this year from Karate STL, as well!  Students attending the NTS with Basinger Sensei:  Ameer Syed, Stephanie Faulkingham, Tony Bui, Kevin Queen, Chris Sharp*, Laura Jenkins, Carl Armbruster*, Tawni Miranda, Summer Miller*, Makayla Green*, Seth Armbruster*, Jacob Green*, Trevor Miller*.  Non-participants who came to lend their support were Minerva Miranda, Paul, Lisa and Simon Jenkins, Terri Sharp*, Jeff* and Beth Miller*, Kris Green*.  An educational and fun time was reportedly had by all.  Everyone representing Karate STL made Basinger Sensei extremely proud -- no surprise there!
* First time attending NTS



JANUARY 13, 2014 - Karate STL's (former) second St. Louis area branch dojo, Gateway Shidokan Karate reopened at Maryland Heights Centre in Maryland Heights, Missouri.  This originally was Karate STL's second training location  -- 13 years total.  Instructor is Stephanie Faulkingham, who began her training as a white belt at Karate STL with Basinger Sensei in November of 2003.  In November, 2005, Basinger Sensei very gradually began allowing her (rank was a Brown Tip, 3rd Kyu) some controlled and monitored teaching opportunities at Maryland Heights Center.  Basinger Sensei, continued to teach, support, and prepare her over the years.  Then as Stephanie progressed in rank and experience, Basinger Sensei ultimately gave her that location.



JULY 19, 2012, in Lansing, Michigan, Karate STL's Chief Instructor and Shibu Dojo Director, Sharon Basinger Sensei was promoted to the rank of 6th Dan (Rokudan) and was awarded the title of Shihan (Certified Instructor).  6th Dan ranks are honored to be presented with a new belt depicting their name, new title and Beikoku Shidokan Association.  Congratulations, Sensei!



JULY 14, 2011, in Lansing, Michigan, Tony Bui was promoted to the rank of 2nd Dan (Nidan), and Ameer Syed was promoted to the rank of 3rd Dan (Sandan).  Congratulations, Tony and Ameer!


JULY 5, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri, Tawni Miranda was promoted to the rank of Junior Black Belt.  Congratulations, Tawni!


APRIL 20, 2011,Miranda so very tragically, Anthony (Tony/AJ) Miranda passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 42 due to sudden heart failure.  He was the beloved father of our student Tawni Miranda.  Tawni, who began her training with Basinger Sensei as a Tiny Tiger, is now 12 years old and holds the rank of advanced brown belt.  She attends the youth advanced class at both locations, and often voluntarily assists in other classes.  All of us at Karate STL are truly heartbroken for Tawni and her mother Minerva, as well as for her brother Marc.  They are in our thoughts and prayers, now and always.
 
Many of us came to know Tony and Minerva when they would proudly watch while Tawni trained.  Over the years, a lasting friendship and special bond formed among us as their family became enthusiastically involved in Karate STL activities, among which were attending NTS in Lansing several times, and competing in tournaments.  Tawni and her family have always had such spirit and life, and that they've been touched by this tragedy is simply unfathomable.  It is a tremendous shock and devastating loss to our karate family.  Tony was a warm and caring person, and genuinely devoted to his family.  He always had a smile and his presence lit up a room.  He was intensely loved and respected, and will be sorely missed, by anyone blessed enough to have known him.  This world lost a wonderful man and beautiful soul, but he will remain in our hearts forever.  (These sentiments are shared by the members of Karate STL.)

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DECEMBER 9, 2010 - The Third Annual Program Showcase, Maryland Heights, Missouri, exhibited a sampling of the many programs offered at Maryland Heights Center, including a karate demonstration comprised of youth and adult students from our Karate STL Maryland Heights location.  We are extremely proud of all our students who gave an impressive and crowd-pleasing performance!  A huge and sincere thanks goes to all demo participants as well as to their supportive families.


NOVEMBER 29, 2010 - Karate STL and Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association members mourn the loss of Katsuya Miyahira, Hanshi 10th Dan, President of the Okinawa Shorinryu Karatedo Association, who passed away in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, at age 92.  The world-wide karate community is saddened by the death of this great teacher and leader.  Teacher to Seikichi Iha, Miyahira Sensei was an extraordinary man who will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.


NOVEMBER 20, 2010 in Lansing, Michigan, Stephanie Faulkingham was promoted to the rank of 2nd Dan (Nidan).  Congratulations, Stephanie!


NOVEMBER 12 & 13, 2010:  Celebration of Sharon Basinger's
15th Anniversary of teaching in St. Louis!
 Anniversary poster
Banner

On Saturday, there was a karate demonstration in the Pattonville Heights School gym, Maryland Heights, Missouri, featuring over 50 of our students from both training locations, enthusiastically displaying their impressive skills which included kata, kumite, bunkai and board breaking.  100+ spectators were in attendance!  There was a 50" x 8" banner and a 36" x 48" poster (both pictured above) on display at the celebration, as well as demo programs that were handed out to the spectators, all painstakingly created by Basinger Sensei's students: Stephen and Chris Green, Chris Hardin and Sara Blackwell-Hardin.  And Stephanie Faulkingham assisted Sensei in preparing and directing students, culminating in a fantastic two days.  So many other students also volunteered their valuable time, effort and amazing expertise resulting in an extremely special weekend:  Among those are Zy Faulkingham, Kevin Queen, Tony Bui...plus, student Laura Jenkins' mom, Lisa Jenkins, who kindly made available her professional photographic skills to Karate STL students (the above group photo is courtesy of Ms. Jenkins of LJ Photography STL).
   
The guest of honor at this momentous event was Basinger Sensei’s teacher, esteemed Grand Master, Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan, who conducted an educational and inspiring two-day training seminar.  Without Iha Sensei’s continuous guidance, support and encouragement that started back in 1989, Basinger Sensei's dojo would have no 15th anniversary to celebrate.  She was surprised and honored to be presented with a very elegant plaque from Sensei Iha in recognition of her years dedicated to furthering Shidokan Shorinryu Karatedo.  We were also very pleased to welcome as seminar guests Yujiro Uza, Sensei 4th Dan, of Chicago, Illinois (who also gave an outstanding performance in the demo!), and Lynn Tanner, 1st Dan, from the Hombu dojo in Lansing, Michigan.  Yuji is Basinger Sensei's longtime friend with whom she trained while living in Dallas.  Basinger Sensei and Lynn became friends when they were among the group of students from North America traveling with Sensei Iha to Okinawa last year (see August 10-20, 2009 below).

Basinger Sensei wishes to offer her deepest gratitude to all her students and their families who contributed in countless ways to make this weekend such a huge success -- far beyond her wildest expectations!  She feels truly privileged to be their sensei.  She knows she could never adequately express the magnitude of her pride and appreciation, so she can only say to all of them, "THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!"

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AUGUST 1, 2010 - 1st Annual Karate STL Family Picnic
Vago Park
Maryland Heights, MO
About 60 Karate STL students and their families turned out for hot dogs and some summer fun! 


JULY 16-18, 2010 - 13th Annual National Training Seminar (NTS)
Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association
Lansing, Michigan USA
Laura Jenkins, Chris Hardin and Sara Blackwell-Hardin were first-time attendees this year.  Laura and Tawni Miranda gave an exceptional performance in the youth kata tournament.  Like usual, they and all Karate STL students made Basinger Sensei very proud.


NOVEMBER 13-14, 2009 - Karate STL held a two-day training seminar at Pattonville Heights Middle School.  Seminar instructor was world renowned Grand Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan and President of Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association.  We were also honored to welcome as seminar guests Yujiro Uza, Sensei 4th Dan, of Chicago, Illinois, and Lynn Tanner, 1st Dan, from the Hombu dojo in Lansing, Michigan.  An educational and fun time was had by all at the well-attended seminar!


AUGUST 10-20, 2009 - Karate STL Head Instructor, Sharon Basinger had the rare opportunity to travel to Okinawa, Japan, with her teacher Grand Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan, and a 
group of about 30 other fellow Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association members from North America.  The principal focus of the trip was the 2009 Okinawa Traditional Karatedo World Tournament and Training Seminars at the Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan in Naha City.  There were over 1,100 participants from 40 countries at the televised event.  The opening  ceremony included karate demonstrations in which Basinger and other Shidokan Shorinryu members proudly performed.  She acted in the capacity of tournament coach; 15 others of her North American group competed in the tournament.  We are all very proud of Laura Chartier, Sensei 5th Dan, of our Clawson, Michigan, shibu dojo, who finished 3rd in her division.  Congratulations, Laura!   Also in attendance were about a hundred Shidokan Shorinryu members from several countries and continents around the globe, including South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.   

Shuri Castle
T
his being her second visit to Okinawa, Basinger Sensei was able to intensify the experience.  Her coaching role allowed even deeper interaction with fellow karate-ka, and from a different perspective than when she competed in 1997.  Friendships created on the last trip were renewed, as well as new friendships formed with fellow karate-ka she had previously known only peripherally.  Okinawa sites revisited were even more meaningful because she had time to absorb things she missed before (like seeing a great movie the second time).  The group was also granted the privilege and honor of visiting the dojo of Katsuya Miyahira (1918-2010), Hanshi 10th Dan and President of Okinawa Shorinryu Karatedo Association.  Other than at the Budokan, training was also held at other Okinawa dojos with Okinawan masters.  Among the sites visited were historic Shuri Castle (above), Shikinaen Royal Garden (18th century largest second residence for the Ryukyu royal families), the awe-inspiring Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (second-largest in the world!) within the Ocean Expo Park, an Ancient Okinawa Cultural Village, ancient masters' memorial sites, the beautiful but poignant Okinawa Cornerstone of Peace (over 200,000 names engraved in granite -- soldiers and civilians regardless of nationality -- of those who lost their lives in the 1945 World War II Battle of Okinawa). 
We also visited the Gyokusendo Cave.


JULY 17-19, 2009 - 12th Annual National Training Seminar (NTS)
Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association
Lansing, Michigan USA
Tawni Miranda was a first-time attendee this year and gave a terrific performance in the youth kata tournament and banquet demonstration.  She and all Karate STL students made Basinger Sensei very proud, as usual.


JULY 16, 2009 in Lansing, Michigan, Tony Bui was promoted to the rank of 1st Dan (Shodan).  Congratulations, Tony! 


JULY 17, 2008 in Lansing, Michigan, Stephanie Faulkingham was promoted to 1st Dan (Shodan), and Ameer Syed was promoted to the rank of 2nd Dan (Nidan).  Congratulations, Stephanie and Ameer!


JANUARY 24, 2008 -
NHL Saint Louis Blues Hockey mascot Louie visits Karate STLLouie, St. Louis Blues Hockey Team mascot, visits Karate STL kids at Pattonville Heights Middle School!   Louie is the mascot for the NHL  St. Louis Blues Hockey team.  The resulting video can no longer be viewed, unfortunately.  The video aired on the Jumbotron at the Blues' home game on February 10, 2008.  A big "Louie-size" thanks goes to our great students and their supportive families who made it possible, as well as to the St. Louis Blues for contacting us to participate in this fun event.  We all had a blast!  GO BLUES!!  

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JULY 20-22, 2007 - 10th Annual National Training Seminar (NTS)
Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association
East Lansing, Michigan USA 
Excerpt from Iha Sensei's web site:  "This year's NTS was a great success with over 250 Shido-kan karate enthusiasts participating in three intensive days of training with Seikichi Iha, Hanshi, 10th Dan, at Michigan State University. Members of dojos from throughout the U.S., Canada, Okinawa Japan, Colombia and Israel were in attendance this year. We enjoyed many hours of active training time with Iha Sensei each day along with break-out sessions on a wide range of applications with our senior teachers..." 


JULY 20-23, 2006 - NTS & 30th Anniversary
9th Annual National Training Seminar (NTS) & 
30th Anniversary Celebration and Demonstration
East Lansing, Michigan USA
This NTS we commemorated Iha Sensei's 30 years of teaching in the U.S.  Leading the seminar were honored guest karate master teachers, all under the direction of Iha Sensei.  There were more than 320 participants at the tremendously successful event...from the US, Okinawa, Canada, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Israel!  An open-to-the-public demonstration was held at the Wharton Center featuring Iha Sensei and visiting karate masters, traditional Okinawan festival dancers, kobudo (weapons), and creative contributions from each Shidokan dojo including Karate STL.


JULY 20, 2006, in Lansing, Michigan, Ameer Syed was promoted to the rank of 1st Dan (Shodan), and Karate STL's Chief Instructor and Missouri Shibu Director, Sharon Basinger Sensei was promoted to the rank of 5th Dan (Godan).  Sensei had an additional stripe embroidered onto her deceased husband's 4th Dan obi (belt), so that she could wear it to honor him.  Congratulations, Ameer and Sensei!


MARCH 18, 2006, in Lansing, Michigan, Kristina Carpenter -- was promoted from Junior Black Belt to the rank of 1st Dan (Adult Shodan Black Belt).  Congratulations, Kristina!

 
DECEMBER 30, 2005, Shidokan Israel's head instructor, Amit Michaeli took Michal to be his wife in Jerusalem, Israel.  It was truly our pleasure meeting and training with Amit at Karate STL during his April-May, 2001, stay in St. Louis.  His sensei is Paul Snader from the Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Shidokan Dojo.  Congratulations and the very best of our wishes go to Amit and Michal!



FEBRUARY 13, 2005 - Twenty-three Karate STL students participated in a karate demonstration at the "Celebrate the World” International Festival held at Maryland Heights Center.  The students did an exceptional job of exhibiting their skills, and made Basinger Sensei extremely proud to be their teacher.  The festival featured music, dance, folk art and crafts, demonstrations, children’s activities and food from around the world.  Among the many countries represented were Japan, Bulgaria, Kenya, India, Greece, Brazil, Peru, Bosnia, Mexico, Philippines and more.


JANUARY 9, 2005 - Congratulations to Kate and George Fortier on the birth of their son, George IV!  The Fortiers also have two daughters, Eleanor (5/16/01) and Theresa (10/19/02).  George III holds the rank of 2nd Dan at Karate STL.
 

NOVEMBER 30, 2004, in St. Louis, Missouri, Krystal Carpenter was promoted to the rank of Junior Black Belt.  Congratulations, Krystal!

As of SEPTEMBER 27, 2004, Joel D. Hubbard is in no way affiliated with, and any of his previous ranks are revoked by:  Okinawa Shorinryu Karatedo Association and its President/Director, Grand Master Katsuya Miyahira, Hanshi 10th Dan; Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association and its President/Director, Grand Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan; Karate STL and its Director/Chief Instructor, Sharon Basinger, Shihan 6th Dan.


MAY 24, 2004, Melissa Lonsberry from Lansing, Michigan, visited Karate STL.  We were all very pleased that Melissa was able to carve out some time from her business trip to train at our dojo.  It was a real pleasure meeting and training with her!


FEBRUARY 26, 2004, in St. Louis, Missouri, Candice Turner was promoted to the rank of Junior Black Belt.  Congratulations, Candice!


DECEMBER 5-7, 2003 - Basinger Sensei's budo friends, Caryl Akamichi and her students (Marie and Elaine) from Long Beach, California, and James Emery from Charlotte, North Carolina, visited Karate STL and attended a training seminar conducted by Grand Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan.  We always have a great time training and socializing with our karate family!  


JULY 4, 2003 - Congratulations to Lisa Humphrey on the birth of her son, Quinten!  Lisa is the daughter of Sharon Basinger, Missouri Shibu Director and Chief Instructor at Karate STL.



DECEMBER 27, 2002 - Tragically, Karate STL's Gordon Basinger Sensei died of complications from cancer at age 62.  Beloved husband of Sharon Basinger, he was also a highly regarded teacher and friend to many at Karate STL, as well as a respected member of the Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association.  
More about Gordon and Sharon Basinger.
 

MAY 17-20, 2002, Karate STL hosted a two-day training seminar including an open-to-the-public karate demonstration, all of which was conducted by Grand Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan, with assistance from Koichi Nakasone, 8th Dan from Okinawa.  Caryl Akamichi from Long Beach, California, traveled to St. Louis for the event.  Unable to participate in the seminar/demo, Frank Samples of the Hombu dojo in Lansing, trained at our dojo the following Tuesday.  It's always great spending time with our karate family.


NOVEMBER 14, 2001 - Congratulations to Bryan and Glenda Petrofsky on the birth of their second son, Aiden!  The Petrofskys' firstborn, Isaac, holds the distinction of being Karate STL's first "dojo baby" -- 2nd generation student.  Isaac and Aiden became Karate STL students upon reaching age 4.  Both parents are 1st Dans at Karate STL, where they met.


OCTOBER 1, 2001 - The City of Maryland Heights requested that Sharon Basinger begin teaching karate at Maryland Heights Center.


JULY 28, 2001 - Our beloved master Seikichi Iha was promoted to 10th Dan by his teacher, Grand Master Katsuya Miyahira on March 25, 2001, making Iha the highest ranking Okinawan master residing in the United States.  However, it was not publicly announced until July 28, 2001 at the Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo 25th Anniversary Celebration in East Lansing, Michigan. The announcement drew an immensely enthusiastic standing ovation of friends, family and hundreds of his students (including several from Karate STL) who were present.  Iha's rank is certified by the Okinawa Shorinryu Karatedo Association, Okinawa, Japan.  Congratulations, Iha Sensei!


JULY 26, 2001 - Karate STL's Sharon and Gordon Basinger were promoted to 4th Dan (Yondan) in Lansing, Michigan, by Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan.  Congratulations, Basingers Sensei!


JUNE 2, 2001 in St. Louis, Missouri, Karate STL's Break-o-Rama was held.  A fun time was reportedly had by all and all boards were successfully broken with bare hands!  Congratulations to our winners for the most funds raised -- First prize winner: Jormond Burch.  Second prize winner:  Tom Lindell.  Third prize winner: Austin Schumann.  Prizes were presented in class Tuesday, June 12, 2001.  Sincere appreciation is extended to all fund-raising participants and their supportive families.  Thank you also to Brett Schumann for his time, effort and expertise in designing and constructing our unique and superb board-breaking stand.


APRIL 26, 2001, Basinger Sensei's budo friend from Lansing, Michigan, Ricardo Briones visited Karate STL.  Ricardo was her coach in August, 1997, at the Okinawa Karate and Kobudo World Tournament in which she was a competitor.  It was great having Ricardo at our St. Louis dojo!


OCTOBER 22, 2000 - Karate STL was elevated from Fuku Shibu to Shibu dojo status, by Head Master Seikichi Iha during his visit to St. Louis.  Shibu dojos are under the direct supervision, tutelage and guidance of Iha Sensei at the Hombu dojo in Lansing, Michigan.


NOVEMBER, 1997 - Karate STL's Sharon and Gordon Basinger were promoted to 3rd Dan (Sandan) in Lansing, Michigan, by Head Master Seikichi Iha.  Congratulations, Basingers Sensei!


AUGUST 17-29, 1997Basinger & Miyahira - Basinger Sensei made her exciting first-time trip to Okinawa, Japan, with her teacher Head Master Seikichi Iha, and a veryBudokan large group of fellow Beikoku Shidokan Association members.  Basinger Sensei and other Shidokan Shorinryu members proudly performed.  Basinger had the rare opportunity to compete in the momentous tournament where, to her proud surprise, she reached the finals in her division.  Over 2,000 competitors from 50 countries at the televised event commemorated the grand opening of the impressive Kenritsu Budokan (Okinawa Prefectural Hall of Martial Arts - right.  Also in attendance were countless Shidokan students from several countries and continents around the world including South America, Australia, Asia, Europe and Africa.   

Our North American group was also honored to visit and train with Iha Sensei's teacher Katsuya Miyahira (1918-2010) - (left, with Basinger Sensei), Hanshi 10th Dan and President of Okinawa Shorinryu Karatedo Association.  In addition to the Budokan and  Miyahira
Sensei's dojo, training was also held at other Okinawa dojos with distinguished Okinawan masters.  Among the sites visited were historic Shuri Castle, Shikinaen Royal Garden (18th century largest second residence for the Ryukyu royal families), the amazing Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in the Ocean Expo Park, an Ancient Okinawa Cultural Village, ancient masters' memorial sites, the beautiful but poignant Okinawa Cornerstone of Peace (over 200,000 names engraved in granite -- soldiers and civilians regardless of nationality -- of those who lost their lives in the 1945 World War II Battle of Okinawa).


SEPTEMBER 17, 1996 - Pattonville School District designated Sharon Basinger Sensei as its karate instructor.


OCTOBER 11, 1995 - Authorized and sanctioned by Head Master Seikichi Iha, 
Sharon and Gordon Basinger opened their dojo at Westport Athletic Club located in Midwest St. Louis County, Maryland Heights, Missouri.

  
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