Aldridge Karate Institute

Welcome to the

Aldridge Karate Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to get a black belt?

The answer to this is influenced by many factors. What is your level of commitment? How often do you attend class? How much do you practice outside of class? As with any activity the more effort you put forth the faster you will progress.

Past experience shows the average AKI student spends around 1,000 hours of class time to progress to the level of black belt.

I have past martial arts experience, can I keep my rank if I join the Aldridge Karate Institute?

Today “Martial Arts” has become a term that has a lot of different meanings depending on who you are talking to. School curriculums vary widely from non-aggressive health oriented practice to, non-contact exercise oriented practice to, sport oriented point competition practice to, full contact combat oriented practice. Even within the same style there will be differences in areas of emphasis and presentation from instructor to instructor.

For these reasons it is impossible to say that a rank from one school or style will directly translate to another. If a new student wishes to wear a rank earned at a previous school they may do so, however all the requirements to progress to the next rank (including any items missing up to the current rank) must be satisfied before being issued an invitation to test.

We recommend that all new or returning students, regardless of rank, spend some time in the beginner’s class to be sure that they understand the basics that the rest of the curriculum is built around.

What style of karate do you teach?

The base curriculum at Aldridge Karate Institute is Okinawan Kempo. Kempo is a “hard” style art that has it’s roots in the Ryu Kyu islands. It provides a mix of grappling, striking techniques using both hands and feet as well as weapons such as the Bo, Sai and Tonfa. We also emphasize health aspects of training such as Qigong (Energy Work) and basics of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

Our curriculum is geared toward techniques for Personal Protection. We encourage students to broaden their skills through attendance of seminars and workshops here and at other schools.

How long have you been in business?

Aldridge Karate Institute is one of the oldest schools in Virginia, we have been in continuous operation since 1985. Our founder has taught as part of Parks and Recreation and YMCA programs as well as private clubs since 1976.

Why are your Adult and Children's classes held separately?

The focus and goals for the Children's class are different than for the Adult's class.

Children's classes will focus on movements of traditional karate to develop basic motor skills, self control and self confidence. Students will be exposed to a limited amount of martial arts history and the Japanese language.

In our Adult classes training is geared toward Personal protection and involves a level of contact that we do not recommend for small children. Most younger children do not possess the maturity and judgement to handle the level of techniques that are presented. Also a large part of our training involves subjects such as anatomy and Chinese medicine that younger children are not prepared to study.

Professor Aldridge can be contacted via e-mail at