Demon Hands Buddha Heart in Alexandria Karate Dojo
I took a picture of this scroll in Sensei Katsuya Miyahria’s dojo when I visited in 2018. I had seen it in old pictures of movies from his dojo but I didn’t know what was written on it. Before visiting the dojo I starting looking up the meaning and checking to ensure my interpretation was correct. This scroll is still hanging in Katsuya Miyahira’s dojo near the ceiling while facing the Dojo Shoman (front). This scroll inspired hundreds, thousands of Shidokan karate practitioners in Miyahira’s dojo for decades.
This saying represents so well not only Sensei Miyahira and Sensei Iha. But I trained with, and had many discussions in Spanish, with Shoei Miyazato, 10th Dan who developed the Shidokan Dojo and Association in Cordoba, Argentina, as well as, Koichi Nakazone, 9th Dan, now heading up Sui De (the old Okinawan name for Karate). They both trained with Miyahira in his dojo. All four of them represented the scroll’s Kanji: “Demon Hands, Buddha Heart”. They are/were all strong and powerful karateka, yet extremely humble and gentle people, too. People to admire and attempt to emulate.
The words really inspire me. Isn’t this what we are all trying to develop with our karate training? I hope these kanji inspire you as they do me.
Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo
Roberto began studying martial arts in 1969 at Michigan State University. He studied Judo, Kung Fu and various styles of Karate. He started studying with now Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu in 1979 upon returning to MSU from Paraguay for graduate studies. He continues to train with Sensei Iha until now and is one of Iha’s senior students.
During Roberto’s long-term overseas assignments stationed as a Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat), he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people just like you. When stationed in the Washington, DC area he also always built a cadre of dedicated Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate students. Now retired from the Foreign Service he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA.
Roberto’s Northern Virginia karate students convinced him to rent a more permanent location for his Karate instruction instead of wandering from building to building renting out space on an hourly basis in School gymnasiums and Churchs. In 2017 he and his students decided upon a unique space in an Alexandria office condominium complex. His students have built the office into an outstanding training space evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo. In addition to karate training in Alexandria, many students drop by just to meditate, or for Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Feel Free to drop by even if just to see the dojo space!
Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking.
Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:
“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017.
“Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018
“Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019
“Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019
In addition to English, Roberto speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and some Guarani, Portuguese and Japanese.
6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310