Stratford Karate

Group Photo Training during pandemic (photo by Rick Hathaway)

Welcome! 2021!

Stratford Karate is a martial arts group in northern Virginia, USA. We have been teaching as part of the Falls Church Community Center for over 20 years and teach martial arts (Tang Soo Do) specializing in the basics -- we are not training future assassins. We balance respectful formality and fun as we all learn traditional martial arts. Classes are open to students of all knowledge and experience levels. During this pandemic, we have only older students and are keeping our distance which results in some practical differences in our martial arts. However, we do continue to meet and train while looking forward to the resumption of normal training practices after this pandemic.

Stratford Test Picture

Our Classes for Winter-Spring 2021

Classes start Monday, 25 January 2021 and run until 24 May. Classes are:

Monday                 Thursday              
Japanese Swordsmanship
6:15-7:15pm at the Rec Center

Intermediate + Advanced Karate
7:30-9:00pm at the Rec Center
Intermediate / Advanced Karate
7:30-9:00pm at Mount Daniel Elementary School

To register for any of our classes, click here.                                              (Classes with kids, pre-pandemic.)


Which Class to Sign Up For?

First time students (of any age) and students from other martial arts programs with a year or so experience, are advised to register for the beginning class. This winter-spring, we're offering an adult beginning class. If appropriate, we will suggest attending the advanced class without any need to change the registration. The advanced class is for students promoted several times in Tang Soo Do, i.e., at approximately middle of the advancement toward earning a black belt. The advanced class is for students approaching the black belt level in Tang Soo Do. We also offer a Black Belt class where Tang Soo Do and individuals holding black belts in other styles are encouraged to bring their own experiences to share with other students.

Uniforms are not required for beginning students but are recommended for continuing students and expected for advanced students. We have wholesale sources for uniforms and equipment. The uniforms cost approximately $25 and are available from the instructors.

Our Style and Instructors

Stratford Promotion Picture Our instructors all have earned black belts in the traditional Korean style of Tang Soo Do. This is very similar to the more famous Tae Kwon Do ("TKD"). The primary difference is that TKD is a more stand-up fighting art and sport focused on kicks and punches. Tang Soo Do is more a martial art with balanced use of hands, feet, elbows, kicks, etc. The study of Tang Soo Do also includes traditional katas/forms and hand-to-hand self-defense arts. We use a smaller number of belts of similar color that other arts employ. Students begin as white belts, then yellow/gold, then green. Our senior belts are blue, brown, and black. Dr. Kennedy was awarded his black belt by Dr. Robert Suggs in 1982 and has been teaching for nearly 30 years. Mr. Hathaway also earned his black belt from Dr. Suggs and has been teaching for 20+ years. Dr. Kennedy, Mr. Hathaway, & Doc Phillips currently hold the rank of Sa Dan (4th degree). Mr. David Hacker and Ms. Carol Luten are Sam Dan (3rd degree). Other black belts and senior students often contribute in teaching the classes. Senior students are encouraged to visit other instructors' classes to learn a wide breadth of techniques.