Kyoshi 7th Dan and Sensei 4th Dan

Gordon BasingerSherry Basinger


Sharon Basinger Sensei

Continuous Training


Favorite Quotes

R. Gordon Basinger Sensei


Newspaper Article and Obituary


Continuous training:  Basinger Sensei is very fortunate to have frequent opportunities to personally study with her teacher Grand Master, Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan (right).  Plus, she has never missed any of his annual National Training Seminars in Lansing, Michigan.  The priceless benefits are passed on to her students.  Sensei Iha also conducts training seminars at Karate STL at least once a year.Sharon Basinger & Katsuya Miyahira  

Basinger Sensei was honored to train with Sensei Iha's teacher, late Grand Master Katsuya Miyahira (1918-2010), during his 1996 Lansing, Michigan visit, and at his dojo (left) when competing in the 1997 televised Okinawa Karate & Kobudo (weapons) World Tournament where she reached the finals in her division.  Over 2,000 competitors from 50 countries commemorated the grand opening of the impressive Kenritsu BudokanBudokan (Okinawa Prefectural Hall of Martial Arts - right).  She then coached in the 2009 Okinawa Traditional Karatedo World Tournament, performed in demonstrations and trained in the masters' seminars.  Basinger was also a proud participant in the 2014 Okinawa Shorinryu Karate & Kobudo Seminar & Memorial Demonstration, honoring the life of Miyahira Sensei.  She again traveled to Okinawa in 2019, along with about 200 Beikoku Shidokan students, to celebrate the 88th birthday/year (Tookachi) of her teacher, Sensei Iha.  During that trip, she was honored to participate in the historical reenactment of the 1938 photo of Gusukuma Sensei teaching his students in the courtyard of Shuri Castle. 

Background:  Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Basinger Sensei's initial martial arts training was Judo and Matsubayashiryu Karate as a teenager, neither of which was continued to black belt.  Later in life while living in Dallas, Texas, she began studying Shidokan Shorinryu Karatedo.  She and her husband returned home in 1995 and, fully sanctioned by Iha Sensei, opened their Shidokan dojo in Maryland Heights, Missouri -- first at Westport Athletic Club, then Pattonville School District, then Maryland Heights Centre.  Since May, 2020, she teaches at her home dojo.  Among her previous careers:  Licensed Missouri (commercial) real estate broker; commercial and multi-family residential property manager; commercial interior remodeler/designer.  She has one daughter from a previous marriage.  And her deceased husband, Gordon, gave her four step-daughters.  She enjoys meditating, reading, gardening, traveling and spending time with family (not necessarily in that order).   

Some Favorite Quotes:*
  1. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.
  2. Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.
  3. It takes more courage to walk away than to stay and fight.
  4. The surest way to reveal one's character is not through adversity but by giving them power.  
  5. The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge. 
  6. We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
  7. Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.
  8. The barriers of human achievement lie only in the mind.
  9. If your hand goes forth, withhold your anger.  If your anger goes forth, withhold your hand.
  10. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
  11. Self-defense is meeting an attack with only enough force to stop the attack and escape.  When the defender overpowers the attacker, then continues, the defender becomes the attacker.
  12. One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
*  Due to conflicting claims, authors have not been assigned to the above quotes.
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Tragically, Karate STL's Gordon Basinger, died of complications from cancer on December 27, 2002, at age 62.  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.  He had previously trained in Kenpo, later Tae Kwon Do.  Then he and his wife began training in Shidokan Shorinryu Karate in 1989 in Dallas, Texas.  Upon returning home to St. Louis in 1995, the Basingers opened their Shidokan dojo and initially shared in the teaching.  The demands of his business began to somewhat limit his availability in the dojo but when possible he offered time and support until illness further restricted him.  Before his death the Basingers trained and were promoted through the ranks together to 4th Dan.

Background:  Sensei Gordon Basinger was born in Arkansas, where he also attended college and received a degree in psychology.  He resided in St. Louis, Missouri, most of his adult life.  He was an esteemed member of the aviation industry for over 30 years -- starting as an aircraft mechanic, then avionics technician, pilot, flight instructor, commercial airline pilot, and eventually president of his own international aircraft sales businesses.  He was also accomplished in athletics including football through college, scuba diving, tennis and racquetball.

Basinger's relentless illness began in the 1960s with Lyme Disease.*  Since Lyme Disease was unknown in the medical community, he went untreated after consulting many specialists over the years, and even checked into Mayo Clinic in the 1970s, attempting to understand his symptoms, all to no avail.  By the time he was finally diagnosed and treatment was accessible, the disease had crossed the blood-brain barrier thereby advancing beyond the possibility of a cure.  His immune system became severely compromised and, therefore, paved the way for cancer to take hold which was diagnosed in 1997.  He underwent various procedures and two years of chemo-therapy, resulting in remission.  In May, 2002, his cancer returned and was soon diagnosed as terminal, even after additional chemo-therapy.  Sensei Sharon Basinger asks people to spread awareness about this insidious disease.  If symptoms (see below) are not ignored, it now can be cured if treated early.  She hopes to save others from helplessly watching the suffering and deterioration of a loved one.

Karate STL student Kristina Carpenter, then age 14, said, "No one is ever gone until they are forgotten."  If true, he will be with us forever.  He lives on in the memory of those who respected, admired and loved him.  The lives he touched are drastically enhanced for having known him.
* Lyme Disease symptoms are varied and unpredictable, including flu-like symptoms and possibly a "bulls-eye" rash at the onset, possibly progressing to facial paralysis, intermittent and often debilitating joint, muscle and skin pain; extreme fatigue; heart and nervous system problems; vision, hearing, taste and swallowing problems; insomnia; nausea; muscle/joint degeneration; a recurring non-contagious skin rash which can be welt-like and circular.  It is contracted by a bite from a very tiny, easily undetectable, deer tick...and believed to be greatly underreported.  For more info, go to or the CDC.
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R.G. Basinger obit

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