The Williamsburg shorinryu karate dojo is located in the Lightfoot shopping center in Williamsburg Virginia. The Lightfoot shopping center is located on Lightfoot rd (rt464) by the Williamsburg pottery. It is easily accessible from RT 60 and highway 64.
I was invited to train there when I was at a business conference in Williamsburg.
The head instructor is Renshi John Spence who is an amazing man. Renshi Spense is also a day time school teacher along with teaching karate class at night. To add to the amazing things Renshi does, he underwent double hip replacement surgery a few years ago. This man is in his forties, with double replacement hip, is an inspiration for anyone. He is extremely physical fit and can deliver high powerful kicks that can embarrass the most developed karate practitioner.
His dojo is set up in very traditional Okinawa karate style. It has bamboo flooring. One wall contains all of the karate kobudus (weapons), the other has mirrors. The dojo is separated from the parent waiting area with viewing windows. In the back of the dojo, Renshi has an area of traditional okinowian training materials, such as chechis (concrete weights in a stick), makakawas (punching boards), vases, and a few hanging banana bags.
I was only fortunate enough to train in one of Renshi’s class. This was a mixed teen and adult class. He had approximately 12 students and about 3 black belt assistances. We started by training with the chechis. This was an education for me. At first you look at these wooden poles with a small amount of concrete at the end and you think it’s pretty light. However, the power of leverage and repetition makes these very powerful weights. We then trained with partners to develop our forearms and legs by practicing some basic Yokosuka drills.
After this is was time to do some kata. We did four kihon katas. They were a little different from the kihons I was familiar with even though I train in the same style. After that we practiced some bunkai of the passi sho kata by diverting kicks from our partners.
After we were done with class, Renshi introduced me to the class. All of his students came to me very respectfully, shook my hand and thanked me for training with them.
I can not speak on behalf of pricing and scheduling since I was only there for the one class. But based on what I saw and the respect his students have, whatever Renshi charges, its worth it. These young men received lots of personal attention along with a great amount of physical activity. They display all of the respect that a student of karate should.
I was very impressed and left after one class with an education and an increased desire.