virginia okinawan karate


Alexandria Self Defense Karate Classes: Outdoor Classs Benefits

The Pandemic is a challenge for all of us. However, we meet that challenge by holding outdoor classes that many attend remotely. Initially, we modified our schedule yet we are back to nearly the same schedule as before the pandemic holding Okinawan Karate Self Defense Classes outside in the parking lot instead of in the dojo.

Members actually like the outdoor classes! While keeping you safer from Covid-19 infection you also enjoy the weather and learn self defense foot transitions. What?

Everyone works on their back stances. We do Ukiashi-dachi that is longer than the sport type Neko-dachi used in sport karate. Plus our stances are more upright.

What is the story with transitions? In self defense karate you must imagine that you are grabbing or holding someone with your hikite (pulling hand) and transition to throw them or dislocate or injure their arm or shoulder. You can only do this properly by moving your back supporting foot into the position you are moving into so your hips can provide the force you need. Sport karate swivels on the balls of the feet (sometimes heels) at the same time as your hands come into position.  This is fast, nice to look at, graceful. Great for sparring and Kumite. Yet if you are holding onto someone’s hand/arm/shoulder or someone is holding onto you, this move doesn’t work.

Try it for yourself to determine what works for you. If you are sparring at a distance from your partner either works. Yet if you are holding onto your partner you need to put your back food into position then rotate your hips and your hands follow. Other people can’t resist your movement unless they have much more mass than you.

Need to see it in action? Come join us in class.

Outdoor and Remote Classes 7 PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and 9 AM Saturday. Women’s Class 6 PM Thursday. Advanced Class 9 AM Sunday.

Remote only Classes: Noon Tuesday and 7 PM Wednesday. (Denise Teaches)



Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo


Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, awarded by Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu. Roberto began his martial arts journey in 1969 and started training with Sensei Iha in 1979.  He continues to train with Sensei Iha and is now one of Iha’s senior students.


He focuses on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA. Many call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches proven effective often brutal, pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction. While the applications may be brutal we ensure classes are both safe and fun.  See examples of traditional Kata, Kumite, & Bunkai here.

Roberto is a member of the Mid-West Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teachers in Alexandria” 2020:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017;

“Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018;

“Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019; and “Best of” in 2018 and 2019

Virginia Dojo, 6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310