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Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo's Lineage
goes back to the 1800s

Beikoku Shidokan Karate Lineage
 Seikichi Iha
Roberto Curtis
Katsuya Miyahira
 Sensei Seikichi Iha stresses 
that karate focuses on: 
            - Friendship, 
            - Cooperation, and 
            - Learning.
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The long history of Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate reportedly goes back to the 1400s when three states of Okinawa unify into the Ryukyu Kingdom under King Sho Hashi of Chuzan. Three karate styles develop which, much later in the 1900's, became known by the names: "Sui-te" (also called "Shuri-te" or "Sui-di"-from Shuri, the capitol); "Nafa-tee" (also called "Naha-te" or "Nafa-di" - from Naha City); "Tumaii-tee" (also called "Tomari-te" or "Tumai-di" - from Tomari Village). Yet much of the historical documentation was destroyed during WWII.  So we focus on only documented karate history from the 1800s on "Sui-te".

The father of traditional karate: Sokon Matsumura (1809-99), a personal body guard to the last three Okinawan Kings named his defense techniques Shuri-te. Shuri being the Okinawan capital. Te meaning hand. Another name used is Sui-de, or "our hand".   

Anko Itosu (1831-1915) was one of Matsamura's most famous students.  Studies emerged that Matsamura may not have liked Itosu very much so he studied with Gusukuma (unrelated to the one mentioned below)  He named his karate: Shuri te (Shuri hand) and taught:

Shinpan (Shiroma) Gusukuma (1890-1954) was a school teacher and acupunturist.  He was well known for his sturdy, powerful karate even though he was small in stature.  Okinawan Shuri-te evolved from Gusukuma's senior students.

Choshin Chibana (1886-1969) taught a wide range of students who went on to develop other karate schools. Chibana called his karate: "Kobayashi", yet others called it "Shorin ryu".

Katsuya Miyahira, Hanshi, 10th Degree (1918-2010) studied longer with Chibana than any other student. He took over Chibana's duties and in 1948 named his karate school or dojo: Shidokan.  Shidokan means "Warrior Way", "Right Way", "Heart Way" or "Gentleman's Way". 

Seikichi Iha, Hanshi, 10th Degree, began his karate studies with his uncle and then with Shinpan (Shiroma) Gusakuma in 1950. When Gusukuma died in 1954 he then began studying Karate with Katsuya Miyahira.

Seikichi Iha received his 10th Degree in 2001.  He began teaching in the Original Okinawan Karate school/dojo in 1975.  Upon receiving his 10th Dan he named his Association Beikoku Shidokan.  Beikoku meaning American, so it means American Shidokan.  Seikichi Iha was the senior student in Katsuya Miyahira's dojo.  Iha Sensei's name is still listed in rank order right after Katsuya Miyahira's name in the Shidokan Dojo Rank Board in Okinawa as of 2017.
The Philosophy of Okinawan Karate
per Seikichi Iha: Traditional Okinawan Karate stresses peace, harmony, and the respect for others over competition. Perfection of character and self control are of utmost importance in self defense. 

Virginia okinawan karate dojo members
The Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo reports directly to Grand Master Seikichi Iha, Hanshi, 10th Dan, an internationally reknown Okinawan Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate Master and one of the senior-most Karate Masters in Okinawa. We follow his Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu curriculum. Sensei Iha visits us in Alexandria at least once per year and we attend his seminars throughout North America and Asia.

Our senior instructor, Robert Roberto Curtis, 8th Degree, Kyoshi, has been a direct student of Seikichi Iha since 1979. He began his martial arts journey in 1969 practicing Judo, Kung Fu, Shotokan and Shorinkan karate before beginning training directly with Sensei Iha. During long term overseas diplomatic assignments he taught karate self defense to US Embassy Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives and people like you.

Robert Roberto Curtis 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 and to provide proven effectives self defense applications found in other martial arts styles' katas and movements. 

We focus on proven effective self-defense karate applications.  Surviving an unexpected violent encounter while learning the beautiful, gentle art of Okinawan Karate body movements motivates our training.  Big egos, trophies and competition are for other schools. 

We welcome black belts and students from other karate and martial arts styles. 

Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo

Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Degree, and Roberto Curtis, 8th Degree
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virginia okinawan karate dojo shidokan shorinryu kata bunkai
Sign in Katsuya Miyahira's Shidokan Dojo that has inspired thousands over the decades to develop:
"Buddha Heart, Demon Hands"
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Listing of Members by Rank in Katsuya Miyahira's Dojo Still Reads
Right to Left: 
10th Dan:
Miyahira Katsuya
Iha Seikichia

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