Martial Art School of Virginia

Shorin-ryu Shorinkan

Shōrin-ryū (少林流) is one of the major modern Okinawan martial art systems,and is one of the oldest. Sensei Choshin Chibana learned Shuri-te from Akon Itotsu & renamed it to Shorin-ryu in 1933, he used the characters 少林, pronounced "shōrin" in Japanese and Shaolin in Chinese.

Virginia Beach Karate School

OBI Karate, one of the oldest martial art 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 Lineage

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
Noel Smith Hachidan 八段

( 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. )

See For more information on our history

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.

Virginia beach karate school, Virginia Shorin-ryu

What is Traditional Okinawan Karate?

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.

Who do we train?

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

Get Started With OBI Karate

We offer two programs: Adults & Juniors

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 visit the
Adult Karate Class page

This program is intended for Children as young as 8 years old to 16 years of age. If this is the class you are interesed in visit the
Juniors Karate Class page

School Information, Who we are.

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.  

Kyoshi David Kusanku Shorin-ryu ( Shichidan 七段 )

Ethan Schroeder, 13 year old Orange Belt. Pinan Yondan

Offers and promotions

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


Contact OBI Karate School of Virginia Beach

Call or Email Us:


OBI Karate School Hours

Our Business Hours are posted below and are subject to change without notice. Please contact us to verify that we are open before scheduling a visit to our facility. OBI Karate School may offer training outside of these posted Hours of Operation under certain circumstances. Calendar: View our full school schedule and events that we are hosting or attending
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
Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday Kids ( 9 - 13 y/o) 5:00 PM 6:00 PM
Wednesday Adult class 6:30 PM 8:30 PM
Thursday CLOSED
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

*Saturday is less formal and is currently designated as a day for "review"

Our Staff

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.

Lineage of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate:

North American Shorin-ry Shorinkan Kyoshis (7th & 8th) Dan

Original Okinawan
Open Hand fighting System:  TE

Okinawan TE Split into 3 distinct styles

[ Shorei-Ryu ]

[ Shorin-Ryu ]

A type of Wrestling
like Sumo 

These three styles evolved into the following variations
( Style taught by OBI Karate School )


Matasumura Orthodox
Sakugawa Kanga "Tode Sakugawa" ( 1733 - 1815)
Style:  Tode

Matsumura Sokon (Refered to as the Miyamoto Musashi of Okinawa)

Anko Itosu ( 1831-1915)
Named the style  Shuri-te

Chosin Chibana  (1885 - 1969) 
Renamed Shuri-Te to Shorin-Ryu to distinguish it from other styles.
Shorin-Ryu also means Shaolin

Nakazato Shugoro (born August 14, 1919 to present)
Sakugawa Kanga known by many in Okinawa as Tode Sakugawa was the student of Peichin Takahara who was an Okinawan monk. Tode Sakugawa trainied under Takahara for about 6 years. Sakugawa then under Kusanku after the urging of Peichin, Kusanku was a Chinese master of Ch'uan Fa. After another 6 years he became an expert and earned the nickname of "Tode" Sakugawa  (Sakugawa "Chinese Hand" ).  Sakugawa most infamous student was Matsumura Sokon Chosin Chibana called the style Shorin-ryu mainly to distinguish it from the other styles that were being modified from the original teachings of Anko Itoso.  Shorin-Ryu is one of the major modern Okinawan martial arts and is one of the oldest  styles of karate.  

Shorin-Ryu karate traces it self to Shuri-Te which in turn Shuri-Te traces its origin to "Te".  In the beginning Te was the primary open handed system in Okinawa and eventually TE branched off into Naha-Te ( Shorei-Ryu), Shuri-Te ( Shorin-Ryu) and Tomari. From Naha-Te comes the styles Goju-Ryu and Uechi-Ryu and from Shuri-Te comes Kobayashi-Ryu, Matsubashi-Ryu, Shobayashi-Ryu adn Matsaumura Orthodox

We are a proud member of the Shorin-ryu Shorinkan Association

United States Shorin-ryu Shorinkan Association

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.

Affiliated with: Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan Kobayashi-Te

  • Noel Smith (8th Dan) Chief Instructor of OBI Karate
  • Renshi David Colaizzi - Shichidan 七段
  • Renshi Gene Adkins - Godan 五段
  • Sensei Melvin Fortson - Sandan 参段/三
  • Sensei Percy Sambo - Sandan 参段/三
  • Sensei Glen- Sandan 参段/三
  • Sensei Sean Schroeder - Shodan 初段
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