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Sensei Luis A. Taboada

Sensei Luis A. Taboada began his training in Shotokan Karate in 1970 at Lima, Peru under the instruction of Sensei Wayo Salas, the Pan American World Champion at the time. Luis achieved his Black Belt in five years.

Sensei Taboada continued training in the martial art of Shotokan for over 10 years throughout Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. He received his 2nd and 3rd degree Black Belts in the Philippines under the direction of Sensei Kunio Sasaki, himself a 7th Degree Black Belt. Sensei Taboada earned his 4th and 5th Degree Black Belts under the instruction of World Karate Champion, Sensei Marcos Moron Novaro.

Sensei Taboada has a direct lineage in the traditional Shotokan style. He and his teachers have all studied under Masters Masatoshi Nakayama and Hidetaka Nishiyama, both students of Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan Karate) and both considered pioneers of Japanese Traditional Karate.

Given his philosophy that no martial arts style is complete, Sensei Taboada also trained in Aikido and Judo while living in Asia. He incorporates elements of these into his teaching, providing his students with a well-rounded experience.

Sensei Taboada  won top placements in numerous national and international competitions. He has owned and operated L.T. Martial Arts in Ringwood, NJ since 1993.


“True karate is this: that in daily life one’s mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility, and that in critical times,
one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice.”
– Gichin Funakoshi

Master Funakoshi’s Philosophy
Character development is an integral part of the study of Shotokan Karate. Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate, which form the foundations of the art. Within these twenty principles, based heavily on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan.  The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. It was Master Funakoshi’s belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the karateka would improve their person.

1. Karate-do begins with courtesy and ends with rei.
2. There is no first strike in karate.
3. Karate is an aid to justice.
4. First know yourself before attempting to know others.
5. Spirit first, technique second.
6. Always be ready to release your mind.
7. Accidents arise from negligence.
8. Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo.
9. It will take your entire life to learn karate, there is no limit.
10. Put your everyday living into karate and you will find “Myo” (subtle secrets).
11. Karate is like boiling water, if you do not heat it constantly, it will cool.
12. Do not think that you have to win, think rather that you do not have to lose.
13. Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
14. The outcome of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength.
15. Think of your opponents hands and feet as swords.
16. When you leave home, think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you.
17. Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced.
18. Practicing a kata exactly is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.
19. Do not forget to correctly apply: strength and weakness of power, stretching and contraction of the body, and slowness and speed of techniques.
20. Always think and devise ways to live the precepts of karate-do every day.

The Dojo Kun

The Dojo Kun represents the underlying principles of Master Funakoshi’s philosophy for training in the dojo.  It is usually posted on a wall in the dojo, and some Shotokan clubs recite the Dojo Kun at the beginning and/or end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.

Seek Perfection of Character.
Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto.

Be Faithful.
Hitotsu! Makato no michi o mamoru koto.

Hitotsu! Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto.

Respect others.
Hitotsu! Reigi o omonsuru koto.

Refrain from violent behavior.
Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto.