About Sensei Jim hamman
Sensei Jim Hamman is a thirteen-time State of Illinois karate champion, having brought home first- or second-place wins as a black belt in Shito-ryu. Sensei Hamman believes that all karate schools and instructors should have a passion for what they teach, and his passion is self-defense. Even though Sensei Hamman has competed in local, state, and national USANKF tournaments for many years and has coached students to win at national championships, he considers himself a self-defense instructor first. For Sensei Hamman, karate is all about respect: never throw the first punch, and always block and counter. The bunkai from all kata begins with a defensive move, never an attack. In Shitokai karate, we attack only when there is no other option.
"I had the privilege of being trained and influenced by several Shito-ryu senseis. Even though the technical requirements for Shitokai Shito-ryu (the kata, kihon, bunkai, and kumite) are the same for all dojos, different senseis will place emphasis on the difference aspects of karate. Sensei Doug Dennis, my first sensei, placed a high importance on self-defense. He believed that nobody should be put in a situation where they threatened or do not feel comfortable. Sensei Luis Alberte, my current sensei, places a high importance on technique and competition karate. It is his belief that competition is a good meter to find out how your students are doing against other schools or teams, and it is also a good gage to determine how they can grow and improve.
"Personally, I place a high importance on 'do' or the character attributes of the practitioner, like respect, confidence, focus, communication, and persistence. I believe the pillars of self-defense, competition, and character build both a better practitioner and a better person."
- Sensei Jim Hamman