CHRONOLOGY OF KARATE STL
7, 1995 - Six months after returning home to St. Louis (after living 11
years in Dallas, Texas) Sharon and Gordon Basinger, Senseis held a Men and
Women's Self-defense class at Westport Athletic Club located in Midwest St.
Louis County, Maryland Heights, Missouri, to determine if there was
sufficient local interest to warrant opening a dojo. Only 5
people enrolled; however, the Basingers were not deterred.
11, 1995 - Authorized and sanctioned by Head Master Seikichi Iha, the
Basingers opened their Shidokan dojo at Westport Athletic Club.
In the first 12-week session, 23 students enrolled (15
adults in Wednesday/Saturday classes, and 8 kids age 7-11 in the
17, 1996 - Pattonville School District designated Sharon Basinger as
its karate instructor. 14 students (10 children age
7-11, and 4 adults) enrolled in the first Tuesday/Thursday 6-week
session at Pattonville Heights Middle School, Maryland Heights,
October 29, 1996 - First
3-hour Women's Self-defense class at Pattonville Learning Center, St.
Ann, Missouri. 7 women enrolled.
September 17, 1998 - Age 4-6 karate began at Pattonville Hts. 31 enrolled.
August 25, 2000 - Final karate class at Westport Athletic Club. Shortly thereafter, WAC closed permanently.
22, 2000 - Karate STL was elevated from Fuku Shibu (sub-branch) to Shibu (branch) 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.
1, 2001 - The City of Maryland Heights contacted Sharon Basinger requesting an interview which resulted in her becoming their karate teacher at Maryland Heights Centre.
January 16, 2002 - Age 4-6 karate began at Maryland Hts. 10 enrolled.
12, 2002 - Adult karate began at Maryland Hts.
December 27, 2002 - Karate STL's Gordon Basinger at age 62, died of complications from cancer.
2003 - After taking some time off after her husband's death, Sensei Basinger resumed her position as Karate STL Chief Instructor,
and continues to hold karate class four to five days per week, as well
as periodic self-defense classes, for Pattonville and Maryland Hts.
January 29, 2005 -
Upon the recommendation of Jennifer Barnes (later Van Dyke), who had recently
attended a Pattonville Women's Self-defense class,
the first such class was held at Maryland
Hts. Both were led by Sensei Basinger.
- Even though Sensei Basinger
continued with teaching, supervision and rank testing, as Stephanie
Faulkingham advanced in rank and became more experienced, Sensei
Basinger offered her progressively more teaching opportunities over the
years at Maryland Heights Centre location in order to further her
September 22, 2007 - First 3-hour, age 8-14, Youth Self-defense class at Maryland Hts. 13 enrolled.
September 19, 2009 - First age 4-7, 'Don't Talk To
That Stranger' class at Maryland Hts. 10 enrolled.
January 26, 2010 - After-school youth self-defense seminars
(separately for groups of kindergarten through 2nd grade, and grades 3
through 5) -- first was held at Pattonville's Willow Brook School in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
August 1, 2010 - First annual family picnic at Vago Park in Maryland
Hts. About 60 attended.
12 &13, 2010 - The 15th anniversary of Sensei Basinger teaching in St. Louis was celebrated at
Pattonville Heights Middle School gym in Maryland Hts. There was an elaborate student demonstration consisting
of 50+ students from both locations, and 100+ spectators. Grand
Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan, as well as some out-of-town
guests, were in attendance. More about the anniversary celebration.
13, 2011 - First afternoon week-long, 1-1/2
hours per day, youth self-defense seminar for K- 5th
grade at Pattonville's Drummond School in
St. Ann, Missouri. 7 enrolled.
September 10, 2011 - Karate STL's first
St. Louis area branch dojo The Arch Shidokan Karate was opened in St.
Peters, Missouri. Classes are held within Club Fitness.
Instructor is Karate STL student, Ameer Syed, Sensei 3rd
Dan. He began his training with Sensei Basingeri in June of 2003, and
over the years taught and assisted in progressively more karate
classes. He eventually advanced in rank and experience in
preparation to become instructor at his own branch dojo.
2013 - The Arch Shidokan Karate, Ameer Syed,
Sensei 3rd Dan,
Instructor, was elevated from probationary to certified Fuku Shibu dojo
by Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan. Fuku Shibu dojos are under the
direct supervision of their Shibu dojo director (Sensei Basinger).
Ameer was presented with his dojo's certificate at the next
National Training Seminar in Lansing, Michigan.
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 Sensei Basinger
November of 2003. In November 2005, Sensei Basinger very
gradually began allowing her (rank was a Brown Tip, 3rd Kyu) some controlled and monitored teaching
opportunities at Maryland Heights Center. Sensei Basinger, continued to teach, support, and
prepare her over the years. Then as Stephanie progressed in
rank and experience, Sensei Basinger ultimately gave her that location.
January 20, 2014 - Karate STL entered the world of social networking. Our dojo page can be accessed here:
2015 - Gateway Shidokan Karate, Stephanie Faulkingham,
Instructor, at Sensei Basinger's recommendation, was elevated from probationary (see Jan 13, 2014 & Nov 2005 above) to Fuku Shibu dojo
by Seikichi Iha, Hanshi 10th Dan. Fuku Shibu dojos are under the
direct supervision of their Sensei/Shibu dojo director (Sensei Basinger at the time).
- Sharon Basinger
Sensei, now teaches at her home dojo in Maryland Heights, MO.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teaching schedules, classes and
procedures had to be modified to keep her students safe from
Covid-19. She retired from Pattonville School District but NOT
from teaching karate and
self-defense. Basinger began
teaching in the St. Louis area in 1995.
- 5 years (1995-2000) at Westport Athletic Club (now closed).
- 13 years (2001-2014) at Maryland Heights Community Center (“MH”).
- 24 years (1996-2020) at Pattonville School District (“PV”).
- (2020-present) at Basinger Sensei's home dojo
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. Sensei Basinger sincerely wishes the very best for
Gateway in the future.