Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan with Virginia Dojo Members 2015

A Simple Karate Lesson that Took me 4 Decades to Understand

One of the first things my instructor (now an Internationally Renown Karate Grandmaster and recognized by the Japanese Government as an Okinawan Intangible Cultural Treasure for his Karate Teaching, Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan) showed me for self defense was to put my back supporting foot into position before worrying about a punch or kick hurtling towards me to modify my beautiful face or body. (Ok, even my mother may not have thought me the most beautiful baby, and the body has now definitely taken on a Smurf-like body) A simple concept and basic thought. I recently realized that while I adapted that only to the movements and applications he specifically taught me and failed to adapt it to the rest of my self defense movements.

Everyone studying martial arts claims they are doing self defense. That is true when responding to kicking and punching.  Yet if you have ever been in a fight you quickly understand that what you practice in the dojo or a tournament is far from what happens in a real fight where your opponent is attempting to modify your good looks.

Maybe you will get a chance to get into a fighting position. It seldom happens, but, maybe you are lucky. After one of you throw a punch or two you suddenly will be grappling, tugging, pulling, throwing, while punching and kicking. Do you practice this? The self defense applications found in traditional Okinawan Karate Kata address all of these scenarios.

Sensei Iha always stresses that if you face an attack on the left or a grab/push/pull, you place your right foot into position first. This positions your body so you can grab and break/dislocate an attacking arm or leg. If you are just turning to block a punch then this isnt’ necessary. It simply isn’t necessary.

So after 4 decades I finally realized that I was only doing the opening kata moves for self defense responses and the rest of the katas were done for sport/tournament type punching or kicking responses, rather than throwing a body or breaking an arm or leg, or putting someone in a head lock.

i have gone through all 27 kata and modified my transitions so that my back foot is in place before I even begin to worry about my hips and hands as I a

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m thinking about grappling defense with each move rather than striking defenses.

This completely changed my self defense karate. It will change yours, too.

If you don’t understand this come try 1 Week of Classes for Free. I don’t care if you do some other style. This will set you on a completely different karate path.

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

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Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, Karate Master, 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.

   

Roberto focuses on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA. Many call the Alexandria Karate Dojo a 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 Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

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

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Improve Your Life! Get Fit with 1 Week of Free Outdoor Karate Classes and Avoid the Virus

We held Outdoor Karate Classes in 13 Degree Wind Chill Weather. Now that it is warming up again, we will still hold outdoor classes to avoid the Virus ensuring everyone’s safety. A couple students wanted to hold class indoors despite the guidance from the Virginia Department of Health’s Covid Guidance. Yet that would expose all of us to possible virus contaigion. We decided to continue outdoors. Winter Outdoor Training is surprisingly envigorating and refreshing!

Outdoor classes are a unique opportunity to learn martial arts while getting some fresh air, too! Plus you have fun with your masked friends at 10′ distance.

We practice in a large parking lot with great lighting. So we have plenty of room for you to try class even if it is dark outside. The only time we revert to virtual/zoom classes is when it rains.

How effective can training at 10′ distance really be? Great Question! I doubted its effectiveness. Yet we discovered that we can learn the moves, improve our reaction time, even at 10′ and still get a great workout. We are just missing the opportunity to block a punch with our face, or a kick with our groin and of course the opportunity to throw each other on the floor. As more of us get innoculate it seems these opportunites will become more available.

Since we are at 10′ distance this is unique chance for women and men to develop self defense skills without fear of getting hurt in class. Even during regular times we focus on controls so that few people get hurt by other members.

Come try a Free Week of Classes!

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Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, Karate Master, 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.

   

Roberto focuses on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA. Many call the Alexandria Karate Dojo a 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 Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

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

Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan

Your Unique Chance to Attend a Seminar by 10th Degree, Grand Master, Seikichi Iha!

This is your unique chance to participate in a Self Defense Karate Seminar by Internationally Renown Okinawan Karate Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan Seminar on March 19 from 6 to 8:30 PM.

Robert Roberto Curtis, 8th Dan
Roberto Curtis, Virginia Karate Dojo, Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association

 

You want to participate in this event. because You will learn: Kata applications and Bunkai. Plus he will lead you in many of his unique self defense drills.

Sign Up Here and Purchase Your Ticket Now:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-beikoku-shidokan-karatedo-virtual-spring-seminar-tickets-144015298635?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=strongmail&utm-term=listing

You can attend at home via Zoom, or after purchasing your ticket you can participate with the Virginia Dojo – Alexandria Karate Dojo as we will set up outdoor training in the parking lot at 6416 Grovedale Dr. Alexandria, VA 22310.

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, Karate Master, 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.

   

Roberto focuses on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA. Many call the Alexandria Karate Dojo a 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 Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

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

 

alexandria karate dojo

How to Practice Karate in Alexandria During the Pandemic

Even under needed Pandemic restrictions, we can still practice Karate in Alexandria without fear of virus contagion. While we can’t get uncomfortably close to punch, kick, and block each other given the 10′ social distancing guidelines we can still practice karate and improve our skills. This also means we won’t unknowingly block a fist or foot with our face either!

We hold karate classes outdoors in a parking lot. Everyone wears a mask and maintains a 10′ distance from other karate class members. With the change of hour, it gets dark much sooner yet luckily we have outstanding lighting in our parking lot. It is cold, too. Until you start moving during karate class then everyone begins shedding jackets to work out only in their karate gis (uniforms). When it rains we do remote classes.

We also screen all classes via Zoom for members to join remotely! We also have a few additional remote classes available. Remote classes also permit our members in Ireland and Colombia to join in classes.

Karate Dojo- Learn to Use your Kata against attacks.

Whether outdoors or on-line through remote classes, we can practice, correct and improve kata (programmed movements), kumite (partner drills) and bunkai (performing kata while others attack you).

These two options work surprisingly well.  Try a Free Week of Classes to prove to yourself! You don’t have to sit on the sofa eating potato chips contemplating your expanding belly.

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, Karate Master, 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.

   

Roberto 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 Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

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