The Heartland Dojo was established by Sensei Mike Oliveri in April of 2019.

Photo of Sensei Oliveri
Mike Oliveri, Sensei, Sandan

Sensei Oliveri began his training at the Academy of Okinawan Karate in 2007 under Shihan Joseph Walker, a Shuri-ryu Chief Instructor. He taught for the Academy for four years, and was promoted to Sandan (3rd-degree black belt) in January, 2020. Sensei Oliveri also has over 18 years of experience in education, and he is currently the Technology Director for the Roanoke-Benson school district.

Patrick Oliveri started training under his father in 2015 and currently holds the rank of Ikkyu, or first-degree brown belt. Patrick frequently assists in the dojo, serving both as a training resource for adults and an inspiration for the younger students. He is the dojo’s dai senpai, or senior student. He is preparing to take his black belt test in 2022.

Our philosophy is there’s a place for everyone in karate and in our dojo. We follow the principle of kaizen, or continuous improvement. Our goal is always forward, to be better today than we were yesterday. By following the way or path of karate, our goal is also to improve our character, not just our physical ability.

Each student is encouraged to progress at their own speed and to their own ability, so students of all ages, fitness levels, and athletic ability are encouraged to participate. One is never too old or out of shape to get started, and children who are often frustrated by team sports find success in martial arts training.