Our Lineage

Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo

We trace our karate lineage back directly to the recognized written source of Okinawan karate. Historical documents prior to this date were thought to have been mostly destroyed during the Battle for Okinawa during WWII. 

Sokon Matsumura (1809-99)

The personal body guard to the last three Okinawan Kings who named his self defense techniques Shuri-te. Shuri being the Okinawan capital. Te meaning hand. Another name used is Sui-de, or "our hand". Matsamura was also widely known as Bushi Matsamura, or Warrior Matsamura.   

Anko Itosu (1831-1915)
One of Matsamura's most famous students. He also studied with Gusukuma (unrelated to the one mentioned below) He also used the name of his karate as: Shuri te (Shuri hand) and taught:

Shinpan (Shiroma) Gusukuma (1890-1954) 

A school teacher and acupuncturist. 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) 

Known as the ultimate karate expert on Okinawa and taught a wide range of students. Many of his students developed their own karate schools. Chibana called his karate: "Kobayashi", yet others called it "Shorin ryu".

Katsuya Miyahira (1918-2010) 

Studied longer with Chibana than any other student. In 1948 Miyahira named his karate school or dojo: Shidokan. Shidokan means "Warrior Way", "Right Way", "Heart Way" or "Gentleman's Way". Miyahira was one of 5 people Chibana promoted to 9th Dan. Chibana relinquished his karate association duties to Miyahira before his death. Miyahira was promoted to 10th Dan by the Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate Association.

Seikichi Iha, Hanshi, 10th Degree

Katsuya Miyahira's senior student. 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 long after Miyahira's death. (See photo below)

Iha began his karate studies with his uncle and then with Shinpan (Shiroma) Gusakuma in 1950. When Gusukuma died in 1954 he then began studying at the Shidokan Karate Dojo with Katsuya Miyahira.

Seikichi Iha received his 10th Degree in 2001. Iha began teaching in the Original Okinawan Karate school/dojo in 1975 in Lansing, Michigan and continues to teach there even today. Upon receiving his 10th Dan he named his Association Beikoku Shidokan. Beikoku meaning American, so it means American Shidokan.   

Robert Roberto Curtis,Kyoshi, 8th Dan

Began studying martial arts in 1969.  He studied judo, Shorinkan Shorin Ryu karate, Shotokan Karate and Kung Fu.  He studying with Seikichi Iha in 1979 and continues to do so.  During long-term assignments stationed overseas as a Foregin Service Officer (Diplomat) he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people like you.  When stationed in the Washington, DC area he always built a cadre of dedicated karate students.  Retired from the Foreign Service he now focuses on teaching proven-effective adult focused self defense karate.
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call/text: 703-310-9596
or email: virginiadojo@gmail.com
Seikichi Iha, Robert Roberto Curtis, Katsuya Miyahira

The Philosophy of Okinawan Self Defense Karate
per Grand Master Seikichi Iha: 

"Traditional Okinawan Self Defense Karate stresses peace, harmony, and the respect for others over competition. Perfection of character and self control are of utmost importance in self defense."

Grand Master Seikichi Iha stresses that self defense karate focuses on: 
            - Friendship, 
            - Cooperation, and 
            - Learning.

Robert Roberto Curtis and Seikichi Iha
Alexandria, VA Karate Seminar - 2016
Kanji hanging in Katsuya Miyahira's Dojo that inspired karateka for decades:
"Buddha Heart (with) Demon Hands"
The Beikoku Shidokan Symbol

The red and black colors represent the intertwined aspirations of the highest belt ranks attainable in Shidokan Karate.  The black belt and the red belt for 9th and 10th Dans.

The circle represents nature's circular movements in front of a balance used even today in small stores to weigh produce.
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