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Okinawa Karate and Cultural Center Reviews

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Matthew Persil

Master Folta is a fantastic teacher that really cares about his students' progress and their wellbeing, and is very enthusiastic about imparting authentic traditional Uechi-ryu karate from Okinawa, Japan to every person that comes to train.

Mark Salum

I started my Uechi Ryu Karate training in Okinawa and am now continuing under Sensei Nestor Folta. The training he gives is exactly the same as I received when I trained in Japan; challenging, powerful, effective, and authentic. True to its Okinawan roots.

Kelly Legos - Confidence
We recently signed up both our children (ages 8 and 10) at Okinawa Karate and Cultural center and could not be more pleased. Master Folta strikes an amazing balance of patience, motivation, education and discipline. They are learning so much and I’m already seeing changes in their confidence. Looking forward to seeing where they go from here:)
Lola McCray - High Standards
My two sons took karate classes with Master Folta for many years. He is the most amazing instructor you can wish for. His influence on his students are way beyond karate. Discipline, respect, responsibility, leadership, and many other important character skills are big part of his classes. He has high standards and pushes his students to be their best. He deeply cares about all his students and treats them with love and respect. We love Master Folta and are forever grateful.
Tom Persil - 17 Years - Highly Recommend Master Folta
I have been a student of Master Folta's for at least 17 years, and I am pleased to highly recommend him and his dojo (school). I first encountered Master Folta when my wife had signed my teenage son up for "Traditional Karate - Uechi Ryu" through the Fairfax County Parks. Her choice of class, based on convenience, turned out to be extremely fortuitous. I could tell quickly that Master Folta was an excellent instructor. My son begged me to join him, but I wasn't sure, as the style was different from Tae Kwon Do. However, once I saw a black belt exam under Master Folta, I could see the logical progression of training and skills offered by the traditional style of Uechi Ryu. I signed up, and I've been with Master Folta ever since.

I have studied martial arts off and on since I was in elementary school, and I eventually reached 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do before leaving that school in part due to poor instruction at the upper ranks. Through all those experiences, I had learned to quickly distinguish a great instructor from a poor one and a great school from a poor one. I had a mental list of criteria for what defined a great school, and Master Folta's Academy exceeds all of them:
1) Quality of instruction - Does the instructor notice and correct minor and seemingly innocuous errors in technique. Not only does Master Folta do this, but he teaches his students to see things for themselves.
2) Ranks are earned, not given away - Under Master Folta, one does not gain a rank by going to a certain number of classes or being at the school for so much time. Master has clear requirements for each rank, and one must demonstrate those requirements in front of a test board before being promoted. It is a tremendous source boost of self-esteem when one receives a rank that one has truly earned.
3) Values - This is more than just promising to use karate only for self defense. It is about learning to set and meet goals, developing character, and improving one's health and well-being. Indeed, Master Folta will insist that when one is doing these things, one is practicing Karate.
4) Culture - I sincerely believe that one can not truly study martial arts without learning about the culture from which it came. Master Folta has been amazing at sharing Okinawan culture with his students, and his students enjoy rich cultural experiences that few other Karate students get to enjoy. The opening of the Okinawa Cultural Center furthers connection between his students, Okinawan Culture, and the the Okinawan community in the DC area. Master Folta organizes gatherings to celebrate traditional Okinawan festivals, such as his recent "bonenkai" or "forget the year" gathering.
6) Heritage - A teacher's bona fides are always important, and Master Folta learned from Uechi Kanei Sensei, the son of the founder of Uechi Ryu. Master Folta's training comes from the very origin and heart of the style, and he works hard to adhere to the traditional Karate as practiced in Japan. Master Folta maintains close relations with the Uechi family to this day.
6) Family - Do students just show up to class, or is there something more? Master Folta encourages his students to be part of something larger than just the class. Students become close friends. We have a group that goes out regularly after evening classes for fellowship and fun. Most rewarding is that I have seen students grow up and have been invited to their weddings.

My son? He graduated high school, went off to college, and then off to chase his fortune. He eventually moved back to the area a couple years ago, and he went back to study with Master Folta. Even after all these years, I am blessed to be able to take classes with my son.
Nevin Sherlock - Great Decision!
I don't usually write online reviews, but we've been so impressed with Master Folta that I had to make an exception. I never had any experience with karate, but a year ago, I signed up my elementary age son for one of Master Folta's Uechi Ryu karate classes. Watching the class practice, it looked like fun. I saw a few other families taking classes together, so next session, I signed myself up too. It was a great decision! I already feel stronger, more flexible, and have more energy. Best of all, karate is something we can share as a family!

PS - If you're like me and wonder whether you're in good enough physical shape to keep up, don't worry. Master Folta knows how to challenge and encourage us without pushing too hard. Consider giving it a tr
Ganesh Krishnamoorthy - Same as World Headquarters, Okinawa, Japan
In 2011, I was looking for a traditional karate school in the DC metro area. I researched many school systems and found that Master Folta's karate school was traditional. I have been studying karate since then and have a third-degree black belt. Master Folta Karate School is not just a karate school; and it is more like a family. I have traveled with Master Folta to Okinawa, Japan, and Uechi Ryu World Headquarters a couple of times to study karate. It was a fantastic trip, a lifetime experience, and I experienced Okinawan culture. I saw no difference between Master Folta's teaching and Soke's (head of Uechi Ryu) teaching at the Uechi Ryu world headquarters in Okinawa, Japan. He carried and preserved his school's traditional karate teaching system, the same as in Uechi Ryu world headquarters, Okinawa, Japan. I had an opportunity to meet Master Folta's wife's family there. They had adopted his students as their family and had a wonderful time with his family. This is not just a karate school; it is like a family and a lifelong journey.

If you are looking for a traditional, authentic, good karate school, this is where you should be.
Bob Paskow - Real Deal
If you are looking for a great place to learn traditional Karate, then there is no better place than the Okinawa Karate and Cultural Center. Master Nestor Folta is the real deal. Trained in Okinawa and a world champion in Uechi Ryu, he teaches a traditional martial art that is practical for self-defense and physical fitness for any skill level or age. The requirements for each belt rank are well-defined, and those who have worked to senior levels are top-notch.

I first met Master Folta in 2006 and was lucky to have learned from him and his skillful team of senior students. Those lessons have stayed with me to this day. I highly recommend the Okinawa Karate and Cultural Center and the study of Uechi Ryu to anyone who has ever considered learning Karate.
Ashley Qin - Inspring and Amazing
I have been studying karate in Master Folta's school since I was in elementary school, and it's been such an integral part of my growth. I've learned much more than traditional Uechi Ryu karate and self defense; Master Folta has also allowed me to experience Okinawan culture, and teach me many life skills - building confidence, learning perseverance, focus, discipline, and to lead a healthy life. Mental, physical, and spiritual - I've gained something in all three from learning Uechi Ryu karate here.

This school is a welcoming community filled with many inspiring and amazing people, and I'm forever appreciative of the opportunities and experiences that I've been able to have thanks to Master Folta.
Thomas Merryman

Master Folta is more than a dedicated practitioners of traditional Okinawa Karate. He is an accomplished competitor and instructor. His school is a great family environment where he and his wifes detailed approach is noticeable at every turn. His cultural center and course offerings are more than just martial arts and is an excellent place to learn the culture (music and dance) of Okinawa.

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summer offer *Parents are also welcome to attend our kids & teen classes!