OBI Karate, one of the oldest Karate Schools in Virginia beach, was established by Sensei Noel Smith then 4th degree black belt. He had only one goal in mind, to teach the martial art of Karate-do as he learned it in Okinawa from Sensei Shugoro Nakazato to students in Virginia Beach.
Sensei Smith began his study of Kobayashi-te Okinawan Shorin-Ryu karate while stationed in Okinawa during the Vietnam war. Since the early 1970's the Dojo has produced many champion Karate-ka over the years, while focusing on traditional Shorin-ryu karate techniques and rooted in the Budo philosophy.
Our style of Karate is called Okinawan Kobayashi North American Shorinkan Shorin-Ryu and dates back more than 370 years with its origins in Okinawan Tode. This simplified chart below shows the direct linage from "Toko" to Sensie Noel Smith. During the years, Okinwans and Chinese shared their Martial arts with each other, refining it to create what is now called Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu. Becuase of the history and mixing of the Chinese and Okinawan arts, we are an original " Mixed Martial Art".
Satsunku Toko Sakugawa - 1733 ( OKinawan-Te )
Sokon Matsumura - 1848 ( Created Shuri-Te )
Yasutsune (Akon) Itotsu - 1870 - 1915
Chosin Chibana - 1886 - 1969 ( Renamed Shuri-Te to Shorin-Ryu )
Shugoro Nakazato - 1919 - Present
( Sensei Smith, while stationed in Okinawa during the Vietnam war, trained drectly under
Shugoro Nakazato. He was among a handful of other U.S. students who eventually earned
their credentials to teach Okinawan Shorin-Ryu in the US. )
It is our hope that you will stop by and visit our Karate Dojo and see how our style of teaching the martial art of Okinawan Shorin-ryu karate sets us apart from the other dojos. This site is designed to give you information about our dojo, style of Karate and our staff.
Traditional Karate originated from Okinawa which is a part of the Ryukan island chain which belongs to Japan and is the birthplace of Karate. OBI Karate School of Virginia Beach teaches this art the way it was intended to be taught mentally physically and spirituallyy (meaning yourself).
The Okinawans developed a hand way of fighting called Ti-gua in the Okinawan language called Hogan. During the Japanese rule the Japanese called it Kara-te The word
Karate which mean "empty" and "hand", so karate literally means "the art of the empty hand". Over the years Okinawa and China
have traded martial art knowledge, and have combined the Chinese martial art techniques with Okinawan martial arts to form the
modern day Shorin-ryu.
Okinawan Shorin-Ryu is a "hard style" martial art, meaning that there is a emphasis on physical conditioning. Shorin-Ryu requires a commitment from the student. Okinawan Shorin-Ryu does emphasize blocks, kicks and punches among other techniques. These techniques form the foundation for Kata, a predefined series fo blocks, kick, punches. It isn't enough to simply learn the moves, the student needs to understand what the moves are, sometimes a block can be strike or a strike can be a block.
The student, or Karateka, must study the bunkai of the kata. Bunkai means "break down" ("bun") and "understand" ("kai"). Kata Bunkai means "To break down and to understand the kata".
Students of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu as train in KUMITE controlled sparring with a partner. While participating in Kumite the students take turns learning defense and offensive techniques.
Through the practice of karate you will develop mental, physical and self discipline skills that can be utilized outside the Dojo as well as inside the Dojo.
We accept students as young as 8 years of age all the way through senior adult. When it
comes to children learning karate there is no hard and fast rule regarding age, it is truly based on
the childs ability to listen, take instruction and willingness to learn karate. So, before a child is
enrolled in karate he will, like any adult or teen, go through our introductory. During the introductory class
the student gets to see how we traing and if it is a fit for him. Furthermore, we also assess his ability on a number
of different key areas. If your child isn't ready to begin martial art training we will suggest other options
until he is mentally ready to beging his martial art training.
Get more information on our Children's Martial Art program
We offer Karate (Martial Arts) training to anyone who is interested in learning the true essence of Karate as it was taught to Sensei Smith in Okinawa.
Our students begin their journey learning Open Handed techniques, concepts and logic as they progress they will begin working in weapons. Unlike other schools weapons is not a secondary class it is a continuation of the open hand class.
We offer classes to those who are ready to learn Karate starting as young as 8 years old to Seniors. It is never to late to start learning Karate. Below are the two classes that we teach. Select the one that you are interested and sign up for your free 35 minute introductory course . We look forward to meeting and talking with you.
This program is intended for Teenagers who are atleast 16 years old and Adults. If this is the class you are interested in
Adult Karate Class page
OBI Karate School of Virginia Beach has been offering instruction and training in the martial art of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate since 1968. Shorin-ryu when taught as it was intended, is the most effective martial art system that exists, it isn't a modern blend designed for sport, it is a martial art that was developed by warriors.
We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, OBI Karate School
has produced champions in life as well as in the martial arts.
Headed by Noel Smith (Owner/ 8th Dan/ Kyoshi) and a staff of expert instructors, including Kyoshi 虚子 David Colaizzi (7th degree 七段 ), Sensei Melvin Forston, Sensei Percy Sambo and Sensei Glenn Graves. OBI Karate School offers martial art programs to strengthen the mind, spirit and body while teaching a very effective form of self defense.
Thank you for considering our school of Karate
We are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Juniors: Monday 5:20pm - 6:20pm
Advance: Monday 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Juniors: Wednesday 5:20pm - 6:20pm
Advance: Wednesday 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Juniors: Friday 5:20pm - 6:20pm
Advance: Friday 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuition is simple, we do not lock you into an annual contract.
Tuition is paid quarterly. Adults dues are $315 & Juniors are $255
Please note: Gi, Patches and Association dues are separate
|Day of Week||Open||Closed|
|Monday Kids ( 9 - 13 y/o)||5:00 PM||6:00 PM|
|Monday Adult class||6:30 PM||8:30 PM|
|Wednesday Kids ( 9 - 13 y/o)||5:00 PM||6:00 PM|
|Wednesday Adult class||6:30 PM||8:30 PM|
|Friday Kids ( 9 - 13 y/o)||5:00 PM||6:00 PM|
|Friday Adult class||6:30 PM||8:30 PM|
|Saturday*||11:00 AM||12:00 PM|
Our Instructors have spent many years devoted to training in the art of Karate and other martial arts and have attained a certain level of expertise to qualify them as teachers and also mentors. Through extensive testing, certification and tournament level competition, our staff has attained mastery in this martial art and now enjoy sharing their skill and passing it on to their students. Here are a few of OBI Karate School's instructors and other staff members, starting with Noel Smith:
Sean Schroeder ( Marketing ) E-mail
Noel Smith (Owner ) E-mail
Sensei Smith has owned and operated OBI Karate since 1968. In the mid 1970's he worked with the A.A.U to bring competitions to the Tidewater area. After several years, under his instruction the Dojo and his students became national and international champions.
Sensei Smith learned traditional Kobayashi Shorin-ryu in Okinawa while stationed. He returns to Okinawa on a regular basis to continue his training. For more information about the OBI Karate School staff or training programs, please contact us at 757-499-4474.
|These three styles evolved into the following variations|
( Style taught by OBI Karate School )
Among all of the active dojos in North American, OBI Karate School is one the first dojos to have joined
the association when it was started.
We have strived to continue the traditional teaching, logic and reality of the art.