Mr. Valvona holds the rank of 5th degree black belt and has been involved in Shotokan Karate for over 45 years. His particular involvement has been with the Japanese style of Shotokan as compared to the American style. Although he has been an instructor for over 20 years he continues to also be a student. Through personalized training and seminars, his approach to techniques has evolved in concert with the latest refinements of the Japanese style as practiced by the Japan Karate Association (JKA).
1972 – 1975 Began training with the Japan Karate Federation Instructor: David G. Kostinchuck, 5th Dan, Detroit, Michigan Chief Instructor: Takashi Sasaki, 8th Dan, Tokyo, Japan
1975 Traveled to Japan for one month extensive training.
1975 – 1990 Trained with the Japanese Shotokan Karate Association, Detroit, Michigan Chief Instructor: James V. Morrone, Jr., 7th Dan, Detroit, Michigan
1990 – Present Training with World Karate Federation, 5th Dan. Private Instructor: Mirek Standowicz, Chesterfield, Michigan.
1990 - Present Associated with Gina Ragazzo, 6th Dan, President and Founder of Koitalia, Latina, Italy
He has attended numerous International Shotokan Karate Federation Master Camps in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He has been a student at many seminars conducted by high level instructors such as:
- Masatoshi Nakayama, Chief Instructor Japan Karate Association 9th Dan
- Hidetaka Nishiyama, Chief Instructor Japan Karate Association 8th Dan
- Teruyuki Okazaki, Chief Instructor, International Shotokan Karate Federation, 8th Dan
- Yutakata Yaguchi, International Shotokan Karate Federation 8th Dan
- Takayuki Mikami, International Shotokan Karate Federation 7th Dan
- Shojiro Koyama, International Shotokan Karate Federation 7th Dan
- Shigeru Takashina, International Shotokan Karate Federation 7th Dan
- Ray Dalke, American Japanese Karate Association, 7th Dan
- Vince Morris, Kissaki-Kai Karate Do, 8th Dan
- Shojiro Sugiyama, Japan Karate Association 6th Dan
- Falah Kanani, International Traditional Karate Federation, 5th Dan.
- Akio Tama Shiro, International Seitokan Association, WKF 2nd World Kata Champion, 4th Dan
Bill Wallace, Six time World Champion
Scott Langley, World Traditional Karate Organization, 6th Dan.
Founder and Head Instructor of the Shotokan Karate Federation of Michigan since 1983, Forum Fitness Center, 34250 Ford Road, Westland, MI 48185. 734-729-7000 as well as Head Instructor for the Lil\' Dragon and Dragon programs at various satellite locations