To prospective students
Thank you for your interest in the Catonsville Seido Karate program.
I'm very proud to be part of the World Seido Karate Organization, and to offer you the chance to join us. I know that you have many options for martial arts training; but I believe that Seido Karate offers something very special.
If what you're looking for is physical exercise, we offer that. Seido karate builds strength, stamina, and flexibilty. But so do many other martial arts programs - or you could join the gym, take aerobics and yoga classes and do some strength training, and you'd get most of the same benefit.
If you want to learn some self-defense skills, you'll do that if you train with us. Though if that's your main or only concern, you might just enroll in a self-defense class, or study a modern simplified art like Krav Maga. That's fine. (We occasionally offer classes in basic self-defense.)
But if you want to develop not just your body, but your mind and spirit - if you're ready to begin a deep training that can improve your whole life - then I know of no better way than Seido Karate.
In Japanese, this type of training is called "karate-do". The word "do" (pronounced "dough") means "way" or "path". It means karate as a way of life: not just punching and kicking, but training meant to enhance the practitioner's entire being. It's what I found in Seido Karate, and why I have continued my practice three decades.
The founder of Seido Karate, Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura, was a champion competitor, one of the best in the world - a national hero in Japan after his knockout victory over a Thai kickboxing champion. The style of karate he originally came to the U.S. to teach was very strong but in some ways very limited. It was only accessible to people who were already physically strong. When he met a handicapped man who wanted to train, Kaicho Nakamura had a sort of awakening experience, and began to devote himself to developing a karate way that could benefit everyone.
When I signed up for my first Seido Karate class at the White Marsh/Fullerton YMCA in 1985, I had no where it would take me. I didn't know that I would get to meet some of the best martial artists in the world - and wonderful ordinary karate students from around the globe. I didn't think that one day I would become an instructor, certainly not that I would get the opportunity to teach karate in Japan. I thought that I would get some exercise to develop my body; I didn't know that I would get training that would develop my heart as well.
So I invite you to try Seido Karate for yourself and see where it leads.
Maybe you'll decide it's not for you. Okay! Maybe we can help you find out what is right for you. There are other good martial arts programs around, and other paths of self-development.
Maybe you'll train with us a while, a few months or a few years, before moving on to other things. But you'll always take the lessons and benefits of training with you. I've met many people who no longer have the opportunity to train but still talk about how their time in Seido improved their lives.
Maybe you'll stay with us for a long time, reach black belt level, and really take in all that Seido has to offer. Maye you'll even begin teaching others. Wonderful!
And maybe one day, you'll find yourself in a far-off country, sharing an adventure with other members of the Seido family, bound together by the shared experience of the deep training of Seido Karate.
You never know where a simple decision like taking a karate class might lead you.
So come and find out! Osu!
Jun Shihan Tom Swiss
Catonsville Seido Karate