Virginia Okinawan Karate

Virginia Okinawan Karate

5.0 (2)
Best of 2022
5 hires on
2 employees
28 years in business

About this pro

Discover the Art of natural movement reaction self defense karate. This is traditional, practical and proven effective Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate.  Natural movments enable the smaller and weaker to easily defend against larger and stronger attackers.  We cooperate with each other in class rather than compete so we improve our techniques every day.  Our small class size and beautiful new dojo (constructed by our members) evokes a serene sense of classes in an Okinawan Karate School.

Our members range in age from 70 to a few teens. Lose weight, reduce stress, improve self control, dramatically boost self defense skills, get beach body ready, and most importantly have FUN. People enter class with a smile and leave with a smile.

Our 8th degree instructor has 40+ years of experience teaching US Marines, US Embassy Security Officials, foreign security operatives, and people just like you.  Since 1979 Our instructor has trained directly with Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate, one of the most senior Okinawan Karate Grand Masters. Our school received awrds of Best Karate Instructor in the Washington DC Area, Best DC Martial Art and Best Alexandria Martial Art..

Our women's self defense instructor is a 3rd Degree in Karate and has many years of previous martial arts experience.

While we focus on adult instruction we do have a kids class along with a simultaneous parents/adult class, as well. Our children's instructor is a 3rd Degree black belt who loves teaching kids and adults the joy of karate movements.

Teaching effective self defense reactions using only natural movements and making friends through karate. Enjoy watching students improve their self confidence and control in a non-threatening, cooperative atmsophere.  Watching people's contented faces as they learn seemingly difficult, yet natural, self defense body movements.

Having fun is the main operator here for me and the members.

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Alexandria, VA 22310
Email verified
Phone verified

2 Reviews


  • James Hutton

    The best place to start your martial arts journey.

  • Alex Torres

    Alexander Torres reviewed Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo — 5 star February 6 at 10:00pm · In the short time that I have been training at Virginia Okinawan Karate, I've learned so much about kata and how every movement has a practical application. Sensei teaches in a fun, motivating way. The upper belts are always willing to stay around after class to help you. While my schedule is busy, every minute of training with Sensei and the class is invigorating and motivating. I've trained for more than 10 years in other styles and recently just came back to martial arts. I am so grateful to have found this place. I highly recommend training at Virginia Okinawan Karate. The class structure and curriculum is ideal for adult practitioners. You'll have fun and learn practical self defense skills.

Photos & Videos


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We go over a few of the basic techniques and start them in class with other students.  We progress intially through a few basic kata (formatted movements) and then have a senior student work with them while the class continues with kata.  The new student rejoins class when we start partner work so they begin to understand the self defense applicaitons of the technqiues they just learned.  This ensures that every day and in every class they learn and can apply effective self defense techniques.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

In 1979 after 10 years of martial arts ramblings I became a direct student of Grand Master Seikichi Iha and have trained with him ever since in Okinawan Shidokan Shorin Ryu.  

I worked through our system and attained the rank of 8th degree in 2016.  I attained the Kyoshi, Master Instructor, title and 7th Degree in 2008.

I also have a certificate in Martial Arts Fitness Instruction and a certificate in Self Defense Instruction.

During my overseas diplomatic assignments, I trained US Marines, US Embassy Security Officials, foreign security operatives and people like you in proven effective self defense applications.

I am a member of the MidWest Regional Shidokan Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Shidokan Black Belt Promotion Board.  I am also a member of the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Yes, we have an all-inclusive monthly membership fee that means you pay nothing extra for training equipment, belt promotions, or special classes.

We have generous discounts for Active Duty Military, Police and Firemen/women, students, and family members.

How did you get started teaching?

As a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to a remote rural area I had no one to practice karate with so I started teaching young people in my town and discovered I liked teaching and people liked learning with me. Upon returning to the United States I started grad school, plus I met and started training with Grand Master Seikichi Iha. When I finished my MS degree and moved to Washignton DC, my Sensei Iha told me to find students so I could continue to progress. When stationed overseas I would train US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security agents, and people like you. During US assignments I would always develop a cadre of dedicated students.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have trained active duty military, Secret Service, US Embassy Security Personnel, FBI, DEA, the police, foreign security personnel, and people just like you.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I am also proud to watch people develop their skills and improve their self control and self confidence.

I am very proud of witnessing my students overcome personal challenges to test for their Black Belt in front of the National Black Belt testing committee.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

First decide what you want from your training.  a. Do you want to compete and win trophies? If so search for another school. What we learn for self defense is prohibited in tournaments.   b.  If you want to learn the art of self-defense karate we will show how to quickly use what you learn.  c. Join us if you are interested in losing weight, boosting self control, improving self confidence, increasing flexibility or just want to learn the art of karate in a friendly, traditional Okinawan school.  

It is important you view the class you will take, hopefully try a few trial classes, to see how you feel about the classes, the members, and the instructor.

Avoid signing a long-term contract that locks you into multi-year payments.  While it is cheaper with a contract, after a month or so you may decide you are no longer interested.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What do you want to get out of karate?

What is your curriculum? Did you make it up or is it a national/international curriculum?

What is the payment schedule?