Seido Karate: Serious Martial Arts Training
"Technique rather than Strength; Spirit rather than Technique"
Seido Karate is integrated training of the body, mind, and spirit. Progressive training methods allow anyone to participate - we strongly believe that the benefits of Karate training should be available to anyone, including those with disabilities.
Karate for Everyone!
Students of Seido Karate include men and women, young children and senior citizens, champion athletes and the physically disabled. The goal is self-improvement, not competition with others.
The primary goal of Seido Karate is the development of a strong mind and spirit. Karate practice and meditation help you develop a calm, focused mind, capable of thinking more clearly. Also, the challenge of training builds "Bushido Spirit" - a non-quitting spirit, a special kind of self-discipline that can be applied to every aspect of your life, whether at home, at school, or at work.
Of course, the very foundation of Karate is self-defense. Seido training teaches you to use your whole body as a weapon. More importantly, it gives you awareness of how to avoid unsafe situations; self-confidence that can keep you from being targeted by those intent on violence; and a fighting spirit that can carry you through danger.
Seido Karate builds strength, stamina, flexibility, and coordination - a complete physical fitness program. It includes cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, and progressive flexibility exercises.
World Seido Karate Organization
Catonsville Seido Karate is part of the World Seido Karate Organization. With over one hundred schools on six continents, the World Seido Karate Organization unites thousands of students in a family dedicated to the practice of karate as a means both to enrich their own lives, and to contribute to their larger communities.
"In Seido it is also not enough to be just a good fighter, you should also become a good person. We try to develop good character, a strong non-quitting spirit, humility and sense of mutual respect. In this way Seido is a karate for everyone, not just the strong. Our karate helps all students – men, women, the young and even seniors. In this way karate helps you in life, in your job and with relationships. This is also why we have special programs for the handicapped. Everyone benefits." -- Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura
The name "Seido" means "Sincere Way". It comes from the Chuyo (Confucius's book "The Middle Path", or "The Doctrine of the Mean"), which says
Sincerity is the way of heaven.
To follow this sincerely
Is the way of mankind
Seido Karate is aimed at helping us live with sincerity; to throw away the traps of fear and false ego, and develop compassion and true inner strength.
The Seido philosophy is encapsulated in three words: sonkei (respect), ai (love), and jujun (obedience, in the sense of protection or being prepared to yield). These three principles are represented as the three circles within the plum blossom logo of Seido Juku.
Between Japan and the West there is something of a cultural and linguistic gap, and words that have a certain connotation in one culture many have a quite different one in translation. To best understand the meaning of "Respect, Love, and Obedience", it is important to place these words in their proper context. Kaicho Nakamura writes in his autobiography, The Human Face of Karate:
"As my ideas of Ningen [human] Karate crystallized, the following words rose up in me with irresistible force - Respect, Love, Obedience. I became convinced that these words should form the basis for the Seido Juku philosophy.
"Actually, these words were in a congratulatory letter my mother send to me after my marriage. She wrote, "Each day I pray for both of you. I want you to live a long life, without regrets, respecting each other, nurturing your love for one another, and always holding feelings of obedience to each other."
"These words were written in a direct, natural manner, but when I read them I felt immensely relieved. Each word struck a responsive chord, and a feeling of purity swept over me.
"I felt that Respect, Love, and Obedience were words of great significance that permeated all aspects of my life - my family life, my work, and my social life.
"It is precisely because of respect and love that feelings of obedience develop in a person. The Japanese word for `obedience' carries the meaning of protection, or being prepared to yield.
"This word admirably expresses the feelings of mutual understanding and encouragement that are born of respect and love. Mother's words were simple, yet their resonance, and the order in which they were written, are, I feel, irreplaceable.
"When the situation arose in which I had to choose a symbol for Seido Juku, I had no hesitation in using these three words."
The respect, love, and obedience of the Seido philosophy are simply the foundations of good human relationships. Respect is the outer expression, the forms and habits we acquire that lead to inner change, the action that makes the inner feelings meaningful. Love is compassion, a recognition of the fundamental sameness of human experience. Obedience is the constant trimming away of false ego, being responsive to the needs of others. Together, they form the means for a rich, full, honest life - a sincere way of being.