Merritt Island Okinawan Karate School & Dojo | (321) 459-3000


Shorin-Ryu Karate History



Master Ansei Ueshiro performing a flying kick.

Master Ansei Ueshiro performing a flying kick.

We are the Okinawan Karate Dojo of Merritt Island, Florida, a Shorin-Ryu Karate school serving Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and Rockledge, Florida for the last 22 years.

The roots of Shorin-Ryu Karate come from Okinawa, where Karate originated. The style was brought here in 1962 by Master Ansei Ueshiro. When he first arrived in the US he changed the name of his style Matsubashi Ryu to Shorin-Ryu Karate USA and never looked back. Ansei Ueshiro created a legacy that continues to be the largest group of Shroin-Ryu practitioner’s worldwide!

The Merritt Island Dojo owner, Sensei Judy, ran a school with Master Ansei Ueshiro for 10 years in NYC and opened this school, on S. Tropical Trail, in 1992. Her husband Don Barnhart is the chief instructor and holds the rank of 6th dan and title of Kyoshi .

The word karate means “empty hand”. Originally developed to punch through bamboo armor and defend against swords. If my back is against the wall then here are my weapons, my empty hands.

If you are looking for a fantastic family fitness program that teaches, respect, discipline in a traditional style martial arts in the U.S. then you will love the Merritt Island Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Dojo! We welcome men, women and children and to encourage more women to join, Sensei Judy is offering a free, once a week women’s program, to acquaint more females to this ancient art form that is a path to a stress free life!