• Intense fun for all ages.

  • Serious study. Friendly faces.

  • Skilled. Technical. Amazing.

Seha Karate

A Little History

Our dojo was founded in 1987. We offer classes for adults (men and women), junior students and Soaring Eagles (4 & 5yr. olds). Our students learn Karate basics (including stances, blocks, strikes, kicks, kata, technique) with a strong emphasis on self-defense. We have traditional classes as well as sparring classes, summer camps, weekend events and birthday parties. We also offer fitness classes at the dojo – Cage Fitness – 30 min. of intense (as intense as you wish to make it!) interval training targeting upper body, lower body and core.


Come and Join Us

Adult Classes

A great workout with great people.

Karate, no matter the age, is beneficial. Most people only see karate as self defense, but the martial arts is much more than that. It teaches you goal setting, discipline, confidence, as well being good exercise. Here's a testimony from one of our adult Black Belts: "I chose Anne and David for a lot of reasons. The best reason was one that I didn't learn till after we started. I have known several people with kids that have taken a different style whose rise to different belt levels was all based on longevity. I have always been taught that you were rewarded after you earned it, not because you paid for it. And at SEHA, you earn every accomplishment. The best reason though, the reason I've stayed with David and Anne and the reason I send everyone to them, is the caring and compassion that Anne and David display. They treat everyone like they are their children, not just students. Belonging to the School of Empty Hand Arts dojo family is an honor and privilege. It builds bonds and friendship that will last a lifetime. That is why I stayed with it." - P. Hill 

Join us for our adult class today!

Youth Classes

Now actively enrolling..

SEHA teaches students as young as 4 years old both in after-school programs as well as at the dojo. All of the instructors at SEHA emphasize respect, focus, and most importantly, the two key-phrases of our youth program: 1) Karate is for helping, not hurting. and 2) Karate stays in karate class.

A testimony from one of our Karate Moms: "Anyone who knows us knows how grateful we are to be a part of the SEHA family! We truly feel that our two sons are learning from the best of the best...and the lessons they are learning are things that they carry outside of the dojo and into the 'real world.' Improving focus in school classes was the initial reason we began over 5 years ago. That has definitely happened, but the benefits have been so much greater than that. The values and lessons that they teach echo those of our own family. We have all made life long friendships with some amazing people (adults and children alike) with whom we might not have otherwise met. The Senseis are kind and compassionate while at the same time, teaching the students to always strive to improve. There's a reason why people drive from all different corners of the Charleston area to study and train here. The School of Empty Hand Art really is that special of a place." - K. Dingee

Join us for our adult class today!

Dojo News


The Dojo will be closed December 22, 2017 - January 2, 2018



Our Team

Learn about the Instructors

Sensei David Pettus

Sensei  was born in Charleston, SC. He pursued a degree in history and philosophy at the College of Charleston. He began training in the martial arts in 1973 and knew then he had found his passion. Since that time he has worked with many young people as well as adults. In 1987 he founded his own dojo – School of Empty Hand Art. He has also taken Karate to area schools allowing students to attend class who may not have had another opportunity to discover Martial Arts. He has often said, “I don't dread Mondays and I don’t look forward to Fridays because I love what I do!"

Sensei Anne Pettus

Sensei Anne was born in Florence, SC and migrated to Charleston in the early 70’s. She received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education from the College of Charleston and taught for seventeen years in the Charleston schools. She began training in the martial arts in the early 80’s earning a black belt in 1986. In 1997 she began teaching Karate full time and continues to do what she loves – teaching.

Sensei Sarah Allen

Sensei Sarah has been studying with Sensei and Sensei Anne since she was 7 years old. In high school, she began teaching at the dojo and summer Karate camps. Sensei Sarah fell in love with teaching and currently teaches middle school math in Mt. Pleasant.  She also continues to work with Karate students during summer Karate camps.

Sempai Drake Bartlett

Drake has been practicing karate with the SEHA dojo for over 10  years.  He has been teaching martial arts for several years. Drake attends the University of SC Beaufort campus.  He is studying to become a school teacher.  

Sensei Loring Ward

Sensei Loring has been studying with Sensei and Senei Anne since she was in 1st grade. She has been a long time lover of both karate and soccer. She is a 3rd grade teacher at First Baptist School. She also coaches a girls James Island traveling soccer team.

Sempai Masson Letissier

Masson has been practicing karate with the SEHA dojo ever since kindergarten. His two loves are karate and soccer. Masson has been teaching martial arts for several years and enjoys working with younger karate students. Masson now attends the University of South Carolina in Columbia and returns to the dojo as often as possible.


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