Stratford Karate

Group Photo 2018 Memorial Day parade (photo by Ann Conanan)


Stratford Karate is a martial arts group in northern Virginia, USA. We have been teaching martial arts (Tang Soo Do), for over 35 years and specialize in basic "karate"--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. We frequently have students of several belt levels and ages learning together. Parents are invited to join our classes with their children. To keep costs down, uniforms are not required for beginning students but are expected for continuing students. For safety reasons, protective sparring equipment is required for advanced students. (We do not let students spar, i.e., fight, until they have demonstrated proper control.)

Stratford Test Picture

Our Classes for Summer 2019

Classes officially start Saturday, 3 June at Falls Church Rec Center. Classes are:

Monday           Thursday         Saturday        

Stratford Karate

To register for any of our classes, click here.


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 PictureOur 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.