Starr’s Black Belt Academy practices a traditional Okinawan style of Karate. Operated by founder and Chief Instructor Hanshi Thomas L. Starr.  Hanshi Starr has been involved in the martial arts for over 40 years, beginning study at the age of 12.  He has owned and operated his own school for over 30 years and taught self-defense and after school programs for 20 years.  His principle Dojo is located in Greenville, NY.

Hanshi Starr currently teaches two martial arts programs:

  • Traditional Okinawan Kobudo weapons study and
  • Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate


In 2006 Starr was promoted to 6th Dan when he received the title of Shihan. This promotion was through Shihan Paul Fracchia through the Matsukazi Shito Ryu Karate Organization. Starr has trained in several karate systems, expanding his knowledge and teaching methods by exposure to not one, but many professional karate instructors by sharing experiences, self-defense techniques, and philosophies.  It was this drive to learn that led him to the teachings of Grandmaster Masaji Taira Sensei.  Starr has dedicated the last 7 years to the study of Taira Sensei’s principles.

On June 2, 2013, Starr was promoted to his 7th Dan under the United States Shihan Kai Organization. The Asian Instructor title is “Kyoshi”, which means Professor – Master Instructor.

Hanshi Starr is affiliated with and an Administrator and Board Member of the US Shihan Kai Organization and Kyusho National for higher ranks of all traditional organizations to learn and grow in their education of the martial arts. Any instructor or higher rank interested, please feel free to contact me at