What is Grit, why are kids missing it? Why do they need it?

Grit is defined as perseverance through challenges. Grit will determine who is or isn’t a quitter, kids who develop true grit have a higher sense of self-esteem and confidence.
In America children developed self-esteem and leadership skills through sports and other activities. However children have lost interest in physical activities and have instead started to rely on their phones, tablets and computers for entertainment and socialization. This reliance on the mobile devices has resulted in children who have become overweight and frankly out of shape due to lack of physical exercise and poor diets. I recently that the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Department of Cardiology reported that 91% of U.S. children score poorly on diet standards, and less than 1/2 of boys & 1/3 of girls in elementary school are getting the daily recommended exercise. High school students should be getting about 60 minutes of physical activity per day sadly less than 8% of U.S. teens meet the minimum requirements and some studies show it to be even lower.
How can you get your child on a better path to health and well being. Karate training not only strengthens the body, it develops coordination, balance and self-esteem & perseverance all this is summed up as Grit!
OBI Karate has a program just for these children. The first 3 weeks is only $29.99 and the uniform is included. Each month there after it is only $80 & class meets 2 days per week. Our program for the children focuses on karate through fitness . To learn more call 757-499-4474 or email obibudo@gmail.com

OPEN HOUSE – 50 years teaching Karate

Two days we are hosting an open house for OBI Karate School ( Martial Arts ) of Virginia Beach.

50 years ago, then 4th degree Sensei Noel Smith returned from  Okinawa where he not only trained under Shugoru Nakazato but also lived for 6 years, to open OBI Karate school.  Now 50 years later he has earned his 8th degree black belt and still teaching karate in Virginia Beach as it was taught to him.

Throughout his karate career he served as Head coach of the United States AAU taking teams to compete in Europe and Asia.  He coached many notable martial artist.  In the US, he was the division chairman for the State of Virginia all while still training his students at OBI Karate school of Virginia.

Under Sensei Nakazato he learned what he likes to call the ‘True Intent of Karate’ and this is what he teaches, the logic as it was taught to him.  Sensei Smith teaches the WHY of the karate as well as the HOW.   For Sensei Smith there is much more to Karate than just Blocking, Kicking & Punching, it is a philosophy of life, of mind and body.   This philosophy was not only taught to him in the Dojo  but he immersed himself in the Okinawan culture, he teaches these concepts to his students.

Please visit us March 12 and 13 between 12 and 3pm to tour our newly updated Dojo, to learn what it is to train in the Traditional Way.
See our Facebook page for more information –> FACEBOOK 


Best regards,

OBI Karate school of Virginia



Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Karate

Children diagnosed with ADHD seem to be unable to pay attention for a prolong period of time and may also be appear to be ‘hyperactive’ and act impulsivly.

Karate training, or Martial arts, may actually help a child or adult who has symptoms of ADHD ( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ) by immersing the student in a structured disapline

Lets look at some of the ways that Karate training may help a child who has systems of ADHD.

Children with ADHD fixate on the ‘NOW’ giving little thought to what has happened or what may happen.   Doing mundane activities such as reading or homework results in their lost of interest and a lack of focus.   Karate classes are mentally and physically intense requiring the student to think about what they are doing “NOW” while doing a physicall activity, because they are thinking about their next move and their body position, posture, position of hands and feet they are exercising the brain, teaching the brain to focus on completing a task, but working towards the next belt level which is a focus on the future.   The combination of thinking and doing in Karate seems  to help children strengthen neural networks in the brain.

 Improved Self-Control

The practice of karate is more than simply blocking, punching and kicking.   The student must control how and where he punches, how he steps and repositions his body in kata.   He must show respect to his fellow students and instructors with a bow.   Durring class the student is required to hold a position in a kata without moving, or stand silently while being spoken to.   We have seen children with ADHD improve their self-control not only in the dojo but in their everyday lives.

Increased coordination

Karate training requires a great deal of concentration to control the body, as the mind tells the body to move to the next position, the body has to become stronger and more flexible to quickly comply within the rules that are required ( posture, position of hands, and feet, etc. ) as the student works towards improving his moves he is increasing his coordination.

All this boils down to …

Focus and attention is the ultimate goal of a child with ADHD.  Focus on the task at hand and give it the proper amount of attention to improve, because we focus heavily on Kata training, the student has to remember sequences, this focuses their attention on what they are doing .

Karate for children with ADHD is more than about punching and kicking it actually serves as a thearapy to help them learn to control, cope and work with thier ADHD

Enroll your child in a free introductory class —> LEARN MORE


Other resources

Exercise Is ADHD Medication

Martial Arts and ADD/ADHD

OBI Budo Academy of Virginia


Karate for Kids in Virginia Beach
Teaching Children, Kids and Teenagers between the ages of 8 and 15 years of age

O.B.I. Budo Academy of Virginia since 1968

Training Kids in the Art Of Karate-Do

Karate for Kids in Virginia Beach
Teaching Children, Kids and Teenagers between the ages of 8 and 15 years of age

Kids and Teenagers benefit immensely  from the study of Martial Arts ( Karate-do ) as it provides a foundation that they will carry with them for their entire life.  Here we have enumerated several key benefits for children and teenagers to learn Karate.

We teach a style of Karate called Okinawan Shorin-ryu.  The curriculum of Shorin-ryu teaches the student both Open Handed martial arts called Karate and weapons called Kobudo.   Both require the student to develop great skill, control, patience as well as coordination.   While they practice Karate and eventually Kobudo they will find they are also exercising their thinking too and will begin to apply their lessons in their every day life.

our kids learn control For example.  Karate isn’t learned in a day or even years, it is a life time endeavor, we become better and better as the days move forward.   Students learn Karate through the study of Kata, a predetermined set of moves.   To learn all of our kata’s takes time and dedication as well as many corrections until the student can move to the next kata.   As they practice kata, moving in stances and other exercises their legs will hurt from being used, they will learn to breathe correctly while doing difficult movements.  Through all this they will learn perseverance and in the end will move to their next Kata, and eventually a new belt.

Getting to the next step, be it a kata, belt or attaining the privilege tokids karate - self-esteem, coordination begin learning a weapon are all goals.  Your child can’t go to the next step until they have satisfied the requirements of the previous.

Through Kata training, sparring and drills your child will learn both coordination and control.  They will eventually be able to control not only their bodies but also their behavior and emotions particularly when they are under stress.  On key lesson to be learned from Kata is timing, it is ok to wait to punch or block the same lesson can be applied to talking out of turn and listening to someone.

Our program will teach your child how to move his body with purposeful intent,  to control his walk and posture.  Furthermore, it will strengthen his body.

This is a traditional Okinawan system which means we not only training in a traditional ‘fighting art’ but we also speak in the same words and extend respect to our seniors.  In many cases the student must learn to humble themselves to show respect.   This in turn results in increased Self-Esteem and self respect.

Sign your child up for 3 months at $195  includes their basic uniform ( GI)

Sign up here: —–> 3 MONTHS FOR $195

If you have any questions call 757-499-4474 or email: obibudo@gmail.com

Kids develop strength, coordination and self-esteem when learning karate

Goal setting is apart of Karate and business

Setting goals in business, life and school is an important tool to learn.  Karate, is unique among many ‘sports’ and activities that you or your child can learn because it teaches goal setting on a number of levels.   Some of these levels are more obvious than others.

When a student first begins learning karate, our goal isn’t to make him a fighting machine.  Our Goal is to teach him to control his body,  build coordination through the practice of Kata.  The student sees his progression through karate by the color of the belt he wears around his waist.  This is one goal, getting to the next belt, and is the most obvious goal

Kata’s are predefined series of blocks, punches, kicks and stances designed to develop the student physically, strengthening the legs,  back, arms and to teach breathing.  They also teach proper position of arms for blocks and punches.  But to progress from one kata to the next the student needs to do more than simply memorize the movements.  He has to execute the movement as if he is really facing an opponent.

The first Kata a student learns is Nachi Ichidan, his goal is to learn all 14 Kata’s but is initial objective is to learn the first Kata so that he can progress to the 2nd, 3rd and so on.

We also train in Weapons, for our school weapon training is not separate from open hand training.  To us, they go hand in hand.  But again, for a student to learn his first weapon, generally the Bo – a six foot staff – he has to at the very least be on his fourth kata.

It is very important that every student have personal goals, to learn the next Kata, then the next Kata, to learn weapon(s),  to earn his next belt.   Personal goals may include gaining or losing weight, going from 15 push ups to 25 push ups.  Execute 10 great kicks instead of the 5 great kicks.

Achieving the goals listed above in the dojo are lessons, and these lessons and can be applied to business, school and life too.  This is one way of Budo.

3 weeks for only 29.99

Are you like most people today, time has passed by you and now your feel out of shape?  It seems like only last year your pants had a 32″ waist line, now you can manage to get into a 46″ waist line.  You know you have to do something physical to get your body moving to burn of those calories and get your muscles moving but you just keep putting if off for whatever reason.

We have a deal for you, traditional Okinawan Karate exercises every major muscle group in your body,  due to our low stances, posture you will burn many calories, strengthen your body and lose weight.

For only
$29.99 You get 3 weeks
of training & a Uniform

What do you have to lose, a few pounds and a few inches around your waist?  

This is an amazing offer!  Many schools charge upwards of $195 per month!  We have been teaching since 1968, and we are confident in what we do and we want you to experience it.

After the 3 weeks classes are just  $100 per month
Call us at 757-499-4474 or Email us at ObiBudo@gmail.com

This program is only available to students 17 and over,  if you have a child  between 8 and 16 please send us an email for more information.



Hands before feet.

As karate-ka most of us are more interested in properly controlling our bodies, to get the most potential out of each move be it a block, punch, kick or step.  We also know through training in Kata that a block, punch, kick or step involves more than just the body part that is moving.

The stomach muscles are key to moving the body from one position to the other.  The transition to a block, to deliver a strong block the stomach must be engaged and flexed to deliver your entire body weight, a punch requires the same stomach muscles to be effective in transferring your body weight into your opponent.  But, watching so many YouTube Videos it seems few Karate-ka are doing this.   Instead speed is used to make up for the lack of power that comes from the stomach.

What is missing?  While watching the Videos, it seems that the end product.  The Block, Kick, Punch is delivered before the feet settle, in other words the feet haven’t planted, so there is no ‘anchor’ that allows the stomach to flex or push against to transfer or deliver the power.

So, when working Kata, or other sparring training series remember feet first then hands.


Our Junior classes look like karate because it is ..

Is your child learning what looks like karate, is it really karate?

O.B.I Karate school now has Junior classes available to children between the ages of 8 and 14 years of age.  Our goal is to teach traditional Okinawan Karate by starting out with fundamentals of our art and slowly progressing forward.   Karate is an individual endeavor so each students progresses at their own pace.

When you visit us the first thing that will be obvious is that we train our juniors, our class is a full hour long, 60 minutes, not 45 minutes like most others.  In addition only a small portion of the class is dedicated to warm ups, the remainder of the class focuses on blocks, stances, kicks, punches, kata, series etc.  Contrast this with most schools where the juniors spend a large portion of their time rolling on the ground, doing duck walks, jumping jacks, running around the floor.   All this is ok if you just want your child to burn off energy, but I would think you have them enrolled in a martial art to learn martial arts.

I was recently at a training camp in D.C. when one of the higher rank Kyoshi, in Tae Kwon Do this would be likened to a ‘grand master’ said to us, and I paraphrase, “It might look like karate, but it isn’t karate” .  I ask you, do you want to your child to learn a side kick or block that looks nice, but that has no technique and at the end of the day has little to no effectiveness?  This is what he meant.

Don’t be fooled by schools that only focus on annual contracts, the quality has to be there, the logic in what they are doing has to be there.  Okinawan karate is taught based on one simple question “Why”.  Why do we block this way, kick this way?  We must understand the reason behind what we are doing, how we are positioning our body, feet, torso, arms etc, it isn’t important how we get there.  Most schools have never been taught the why and can therefore only teach the how.  How we punch, kick or block but the logic is missing and without the logic the student has an empty cup.  When we ask one who has never been taught the WHY, we are likely to hear an answer such as “this is how I was taught”, or “this is how we have always done it”.  Karate training is both physical and logical.

Even if your pre-teen or teen has taken martial arts, or is enrolled now bring them by for a free trial class.  I am sure you, and your child will see a huge difference.

Martial Art Calendar: Free Event Calendar for martial art

Do you have a martial art event that you would like the world to know about?  We have launched an open calendar for the entire martial arts community – It is free to use.

The calendar is located at:  http://events.virginiashorinryu.com/

We ask that some very simple rules are followed.

  1.  Martial art events only
  2. No personal posts
  3. other rules may be applied as time go on