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Shotokan Karate Tora Dojo

Chuck Billo — Head Instructor

The practice of Basics refines your individual techniques.


‘Practice makes perfect’ is very true.  By Black Belt stage, you will have performed thousands of -e.g., front snap kicks- into the air with each leg.

This kick will become as natural as walking.  Each technique must be ingrained so that it becomes ‘automatic’ and seems instinctual.


Each technique must also be exactingly correct.  If you never learn to tighten your foot for the snap kick and strike somebody’s shin with a dead, loose foot, you’ll probably hurt your own foot more.  This is only one example. 

Any Karate technique can be done correctly and effectively, or disastrously wrong.  Success only comes through diligence and patience.


After stretching and the formal beginning of a class, Basics (KIHON) are the first exercises.  Exam Basics are most often practiced, but sometimes a special exercise designed to emphasize a technique or eliminate a common error is done.  Students will also line up in front of a punching bag once in awhile, to try out their techniques, full speed and full power, and gain a practical understanding.  Clear and fast thinking is also emphasized.  Speed exercises give students a snappier response time.  Those skills exported can help you avoid an accident.


Even Black Belts will regularly go back to their first, most fundamental lessons. This is important for remembering and reinforcing the foundations upon which every technique is built.  Even Black Belts can be seen with hands on their hips, striding across the dojo, reviewing their first lessons in stance stepping transitions from time to time.


At Shotokan Karate Tora Dojo, basic falling and throwing is also practiced. Your training is not complete if you have no clue how to minimize harm when thrown to the ground, or how to proceed when thrown.

Mats are used for softer landings.