Our senior instructor, Robert Roberto Curtis, 8th Degree, Shidokan Kyoshi (Master Instructor), became a direct student of now Grand Master Seikichi Iha in 1979 and is now one of his senior students. Roberto began his martial arts journey in 1969 practicing Judo, Kung Fu, Shotokan, Goju Ryu, and Shorinkan karate. He taught classes and gave seminars throughout Europe and South America and accompanied Grand Master Seikichi Iha on trips to South America and Okinawa. Roberto is a member of the East Coast Regional Beikoku Shidokan Black Belt Testing Committee as well as the National Black Belt Testing Committee. He teaches self-defense seminars and is sought out for individual or small group self defense training to provide proven effective self defense applications found in other martial arts styles. While he teaches nearly all classes, if one of the other instructors is teaching class rest assured that they all have 20+ years experience training in karate and at least 10+ years experience training in Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate ensuring you will train in the gentle art of Okinawan Karate.
Why Choose Virginia Okinawa Karate Dojo?
Natural Body Movement Self-Defense for Women and Men
Natural Body Movements, rather than strength, is the basis for near effortless self defense. From the first class you discover how to use your natural body movements for proven effective self defense regardless of your size! This is equally effective for small women and large, muscular men, too. As we age we accumulate injuries (knees, hips, ankles, back, neck, shoulders, etc.) that often prevent us from participating in competitive sports. Yet with our natural body movement training you discover how to work around your own body’s limitations so you can train right along with the rest of the class and few will even know you have chronic injuries or limitations.
Fun, Friendly Small Class sizes with Outstanding Caring Instructors
Who knew you could still have fun as an adult! Members smile as they enter class and are still smiling and joking when they leave. Our small class size permits our friendly Beikoku Shidokan Certified Instructors to identify and assist your specific self defense training needs for improved learning and performance.
Make Friends with Karate!
LISTEN TO WHAT OUR HAPPY MEMBERS ARE SAYING
I am a new student at VA Okinawa Karate and I already feel right at home. Though I studied Okinawan karate when I was younger, it had been over 20 years since I had been in a dojo. In most ways, it was like starting over. Everyone has been very patient and encouraging. I have never felt like I had to prove myself or earn a place in the school. My instructors and classmates want me to succeed and learn. We work together to grow no matter what color belt we wear. I highly recommend VA Okinawa Karate Dojo if you want to start Karate for the first time or come back to resume your journey.
When I moved to Virginia, I spent years searching for a dojo that taught more than kicking and punching. Sensei Roberto teaches practical applications of traditional Okinawan karate techniques -- joint locks, throws, pressure points (and yes, percussion/kicking and punching) -- that anyone can use regardless of size or gender. Because they rely on natural body movements and not physical strength.
The dojo is a warm, friendly community. Everyone comes to learn and to help each other learn. This isn't a dojo about competing and being the best. It's about learning and getting better together.
"This is a real dojo for those searching for a true home to learn martial arts. When I say real I mean a serious environment, not gimmicky, where the lessons are aimed towards self defense and the Sensei is an actual teacher, not one past their prime who wears their belt for looks. I mean no disrespect towards other teachers but there are those who rely on belt color more so than fitness to gain respect. Here, Sensei Roberto is a classic master: he teaches the classes himself, there is no contract, there is no testing fee, and they use no pads, head gear or gloves in their practice -- it's the real deal. But don't get me wrong. Although this school is mature and most students here are upper belts, they are a convivial crowd with warmth and true appreciation for each other. They welcomed me immediately and were great hosts to all that joined after. They have plenty to pull rank for but no one does. That is because Sensai doesn't. He is open and approachable and earnestly just wants to teach karate. Okinawan style rocks, btw. You'll get an immediate sense of all this upon your first class and then you'll know like me."