Read what our students think about us
Below you will find reviews and testimonials from current and former Virginia Okinawa Karate Dojo students and their parents in Alexandria, VA.
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"Collaborative, safe and fun place to learn karate! Great mix of structure/form and practical applications. Classes almost every evening and on the weekends, so there's a class that fits your schedule."
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.
Whether you are a new martial arts practitioner or an experienced martial artists, you'll learn techniques that will empower you in traditional Okinawan self-defense karate. I've trained for more than a year at this karate dojo and love it. With every class you learn something new. You'll be challenged physically and intellectually with the curriculum. More importantly, the members of this school encourage working together. It's not about competition. It focuses on cooperation so that everyone gets better. This has been and continues to be one of the most positive experiences I've had since moving to Virginia. You'll feel empowered, confident, and skilled with every day of training.
"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."
Roberto is one of the best teachers around to help you develop physical and mental strength. The environment is family friendly and welcoming to people of all sizes and gender. This karate dojo is under the leadership of Grandmaster Sense Iha, who is one of best Karatega alive. Nough said... If you are ready to explore your potentials, this may be the right door for you. In any event, it doesn't cost a penny to try out 3 classes for free. Need more assurance, call Roberto or visit and talk to one of his students.
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.
"I have been practicing Okinawan shorin-ryu karate for the last 19 years in Colombia, Argentina and the US. I've known Sensei Curtis for 14 years; his guidance and teaching will definitely take your current skills to the next level.
This style of karate is great for all ages, through the practice of kata, bunkais and kumites, you'll continuously improve your martial arts skills while making great friends. What I particularly like about Shidokan, is that through the proper techniques you'll be able to to defend yourself regardless of your opponent's age or size. Sensei Iha (Sensei Roberto's sensei) is currently 88 years old, and his moves are simply flawless and completely effortless. Nobody can get close to him. Try out some classes and you'll not be disappointed."
"I am 27 and had never done karate before. I had always wanted to try it but was afraid I was too old and starting to late in life. I was wrong. Sensei Roberto is amazing teacher who is patient and understanding every step of the way. I not only learned technique but practical application to help me defend my self, if I ever needed to, in many different situations. Not only was Sensei Roberto fantastic but so where all the other students, always willing to take extra time to work with me.
If you are new to karate I greatly recommend this dojo. If you have been doing karate for a while and are looking for a new dojo I still recommend this dojo. You get traditional Okinawan karate with a wonderful skilled instructor."
I have joined the Dojo about 5 years ago. This is one of the best decisions of my life. Sensei is experienced, knowledgeable and makes Karate fun to learn. All we learn is focused on practicing Karate while learning self-defense. Karate is practiced in a safe manner and fellow students are friendly and always willing to help with the learning process. I have improved my overall health and Karate has given me more confidence. I can only highly recommend Virginia Okinawa Karate Dojo.
You trained with the rest, now train with the Best! A life long journey in a friendly atmosphere coupled with practical self defense applications. After training with us, you can stop buying the videos and books and learn first hand karate applications of kata. Sensei (our Karate Instructor) and students alike are genuine and not "ballers." No matter your age, just show up and train. You won't be disappointed.
Make friends with Karate. Great place to learn karate. Sensei is the best. Extremely experienced, knowledgeable and a great teacher. Classes are fun in a superb environment. I am learning Karate, having fun, getting in shape and also making lots of friends. "
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