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327 North Eric Drive
Palatine, IL, 60067
United States


Illinois Shotokan Karate Clubs is the Chicago Suburb's Top Karate School. Classes are taught through the Park District and by experienced instructors. 



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JOHN DIPASQUALE, the founder and Chief Instructor of Illinois Shotokan Karate Clubs, holds the rank of Sichi-Dan (7th degree black belt). Mr. DiPasquale is highly regarded in the Martial Arts Community serving in the following positions at the National and International level.

  • President of USA Karate, which is the National Governing Body for Karate in the United States

  • Executive Commitee World Karate Federation

  • Vice President of Pan American Karate Federation

  • Regional Director of North America World Shotokan Karate-Do Association

He was a member of the U.S. Karate Team for eight years and a Coach of the U.S.A. National Team for five years. Mr. DiPasquale won the National Championship four times and the U.S. team trial three times. On a state level, he won the title of State champion eight consecutive years.

Mr. DiPasquale’s first love is teaching others, which in turn has lead to several International, National and State Champions. He is a former faculty member for A.C.E.P. (American Coaches Effectiveness Program).




LIZ PICHIOTTI began training in 1979. Currently she holds the rank of San-Dan (3rd degree black belt), and has the distinction of being ISKC’s first female black belt. From 1981-1985 she was the Illinois State Kumite Champion and has competed at various National and International Competitions. She has been teaching since 1982 and she was instrumental in the development of the Pre-Karate Program.

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DAVE STRAZA has been training in Shotokan Karate since 1990. He is a black belt in Shotokan and Tang Soo Do. He has been teaching for the ISKC since 1994 and was the 1995 and 1997 “Instructor of the Year”. Mr. Straza has competed extensively in individual and team kumite (sparring), winning 1st place in Team Kumite in the 1996, 1997 & 1998 USA-NKF National Championships. He also took 1st place in the individual kumite at the 1998 AAU World Championships.




BRIAN MERTEL is a San Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) and has been training with ISKC since 1986. He began teaching in 1996, becoming a full-time instructor in 2002.  Mertel has won 9 consecutive gold medals in the Men’s Sr. Kumite division at the U.S. Nationals; was a gold medal winner at the 2005 Shotokan World Championships; placed 5th at the 2008 WKF World Championships in Japan; and won a gold medal at the 2009 Pan American Championships. Mr. Mertel was also elected and is a current Athlete Representative to the United States Olympic Committee.





PREDRAG BAJIC began his karate training in 1987. He currently holds the belt rank of Yon Dan (4th degree black belt). Since 1995 he has been a member of the Serbian National Team for both karate and Kumite. A few of his accomplishments include: 13 time National Champion; 16 individual Senior Kumite medals including 2003 Balkan Champion; 2002 University European Champion; and 2000 Mediterranean Champion. In 2009 Mr. Bajic won the Gold Medal and was named World Champion at the Shotokan World Championships in Cancun, Mexico. Mr. Bajic also possesses a national coaching license, a referee certificate and is a member of ISKC’s coaching staff for the Competition Team.




DOMINIC NOIA is a Yon Dan (4th Degree Black Belt) and has been training since 1987. He has been competing since he was 14 years old. He has competed both nationally and internationally, taking 3rd place in Kumite at the 1998 AASU World Championships. Mr. Noia was a member of the USA Team that placed second in the 2003 Shotokan World Championships. He is presently on the coaching staff for the ISKC Elite Kata Team.






PAUL STURM has been training since 1983 and is a Yon Dan (4th Degree Black Belt). He started teaching full-time in 1989. Mr. Sturm was the State Kata Champion in 1990 & 1991 as well as 1st Place Team Kata winner at the 1995 USA Team Trials and National Championships. In 2001 he was National Senior Male Kata Champion. Mr. Sturm’s positive teaching style makes him a favorite among students young and old.






PRAYAG PATEL began his training with ISKC in 1994 and instructing at the age of 17. He enjoys teaching all aspects of karate, making his classes well rounded and balanced. Mr. Patel’s experience in teaching and training under many different instructors gives him knowledge of a wide variety of exercises and techniques.






JUAN OSHIRO began his training in karate in Peru at the age of 5 with his Sensei, Carlos Sanchez Colina. Later, Mr. Oshiro started teaching with him at his dojo in Huarag, Peru and began working with students from many different countries. He began teaching for ISKC in 2003; and enjoys teaching young children and working on the importance of fundamentals.







STEPHEN WAIL started training in martial arts when he was 13 years old. While at student at Western Illinois University he received his black belt and completed the Karate Instructor Training Course there. After graduating from WIU in 2001, Mr. Wail began teaching and training with ISKC. He has competed both nationally & internationally, earning a silver medal at the 2000 Nationals in Kumite.




ANDY SANTOS is a San-Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) and began training with ISKC in 1981. He starting teaching karate in 1990. Mr. Santos is a 6-time National Champion and has competed in several International events including two Pan-American Championships and the 2005 World Shotokan Championships. Mr. Santos is a Certified Strength Coach and a Full-Time Instructor for the Illinois Shotokan Karate Club.






NOAH FRISVOLD is a 2nd Degree Black Belt has has been training with ISKC since 1998.  He started teaching in 2003 and became a full time instructor in 2012.  Mr. Frisvold has competed locally and nationally and has been a member of the United States kata and kumite team.  He was a silver medalist at the Nationals and a bronze medalist at the 2009 World Shotokan Championship both in individual kumite and team kumite.






JONATHAN PETERS is a Ni Dan (2nd Degree Black Belt) and has been training with ISKC since 2001. He has been competing locally and nationally since the age of 10, and internationally since the age of 15. He has been a member of the USA Pan American team and the USA World Shotokan Team. Along with training and competing, he also coaches our junior athletes. He started teaching in 2007 and became a full time instructor in 2015.  



ERIC TORNABENE began his training with ISKC in 2001 when he was 7 years old. Sensei is a 2nd Degree Black Belt and enjoys teaching karate because he likes combining everything he has learned from his previous Sensei’s to make his own classes well-rounded and fun. Sensei Tornabene continues to compete nationally and is an ISKC coach for our young athletes.

RYAN BROWN is a Ni Dan (2nd Degree Black Belt) and has been training with ISKC since 2002. Sensei Brown has competed locally and nationally since he was an orange belt. He is currently studying Exercise Science at Carthage College and hopes to apply his knowledge to help his karate students. Sensei Brown’s focus is to improve the students kata and kumite to ensure that their training is well-rounded. He enjoys teaching all age levels and ranks and encourages his students to be the best karate students they can be.