Sensei Darian Stokes

Head Instructor/Executive Director/Certified Coach (USA Judo)

Sensei Stokes

Sensei Darian Stokes has been studying judo for over 25 years. A 5th degree Black Belt in Judo and a 3rd degree Black Belt in Neko-Ryu Goshin Jitsu, Sensei Stokes has won championships in North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Virginia, Maryland and Nevada.Sensei Stokes is dedicated to building communities by giving guidance to young people. He is an adoptive father and a foster parent. His experience includes working as a correctional officer, a counselor, and as a Family Support Coordinator and Mentor. Sensei Stokes founded the Bushido Judo School in Durham in 1995 to address the growing concerns about our youth. Sensei Stokes was also featured in the Durham Newspaper "The Herald Sun" for working with students in the "Kids Get Fit" Scholarship program and for one of his national and Judo International Champions over the past 13 years. He has three students in the United States Judo Association Hall of Fame for 2004, 2007 and 2009 as Outstanding Junior male competitors for North Carolina. His student Austin Cook is ranked nationally and is now training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. One of his students, at war in Iraq, honored him with news that Sensei's teachings saved his life in real life combat. Sensei Stokes won the 2010 "Selfless Sensei" contest, hosted by Karate Depot, out of approximately 300 entries.
Last modified on Saturday, 26 July 2014 16:02


  • "In an age where commercialism seems to rule in the Martial Arts space and the true values of the Martial Arts are getting blurred Bushido Judo School holds true to the age old traditions of Honor, Respect and Discipline."

    -Andres Andreu
  • "Bushido Judo School has changed my life not only as a competitive athletes point of view but as an overall person. I have come to understand my self and gain much knowledge on how to control myself. Bushido's instructors are very caring and not only willing to help with judo but in all aspects of everyday life. Bushido isn't just a school it becomes your family."

    -Chris Elias
  • There's a few good places in Raleigh for martial arts, but I travel 40 mins to Bushido in Durham, because they're a competitive Judo club with the perfect balance of play-rough practice and fun-loving attitude.

    -Matt D'Avanzo
  • For the past two years, my six year old son had been asking to take martial arts classes. Being new to the area, we began visiting different dojos. A friend recommended that we visit Bushido. From the moment I met Sensei Stokes I was impressed with his interactions with the children in the class. My son joined, and a week later, I joined as well. The instructors and fellow students are exceptionally helpful. My son and I both enjoy the classes immensely, and my younger daughter now wants to join us.

    -Joe Zakszewski