Seattle Seido Karate is an affiliated branch of the World Seido Karate Organization. It offers instruction following the standard Seido Juku curriculum taught by all affiliated dojos of The World Seido Karate Organization. The instructor, Jun Shihan Tom Tanaka, 6th dan, is a student of Tadashi Nakamura, the director of Seido Karate. Jun Shihan Tanaka has been teaching karate in Seattle since 1983 at the Downtown YMCA, Northshore YMCA,the new Dale Turner YMCA in Shoreline the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington, and the Washington Athletic Club.
Sei Shihan Tanaka is the designated Branch Chief of The World Seido Karate Organization for the Pacific Northwest Region, and directs operations and oversees instruction at all locations and affiliates in this area. All other Seattle Seido instructors and assistants have trained under Sei Shihan Tanaka, as well as training under Kaicho Nakamura's supervision at Seido Honbu in New York, and all instructors have received their black belt rankings from Kaicho Nakamura in New York.
Seido karate, like other forms of karate, is based on percussive technique. It utilizes strikes to an opponent using various parts of ones body against vulnerable areas from different angles. Like most but not all styles of karate, falling technique, take downs, and joint locks are also incorporated. These are considered secondary however. Seido karate includes many traditional and new kata (prearranged forms.) Traditional technique and form is not rejected by Seido karate.
Seido karate also incorporates formal adaptations of classical technique to instruct the student in tackling self defense and one on one fighting in a modern setting. these adaptations include prearranged pair exercises and short forms based exclusively on adapted fighting technique.
There are five belt rankings beginning with white belt. Each ranking has a specific set of skills and forms required before advancing in rank to a higher level. Techniques and forms of higher levels are not taught until the student has reached that level.
Beginners are always given a private orientation and introductory lesson. Separate lessons continue until they are comfortable with the basics. Then they are integrated into the general class.
Seido karate holds that individual self-improvement is the most important goal and that this should be approached from the physical as well as the mental and emotional side. Since it is not our exclusive purpose to train fighters, students of any age and physical condition may train at a pace that is suitable for their schedules and personal goals. Our class atmosphere is friendly and relaxed while remaining focused.
Uniforms, training gear, and official Seido instruction videos and books are available through Jun Shihan Tanaka. It is not necessary to have a uniform at first, however it will be required eventually.
In the interests of safety there is no free style sparring until students acquire the control and experience necessary at intermediate levels. Non-contact sparring exercises begin as soon as students have a minimal foundation of basics, usually two to four months. However, actual sparring practice begins at green belt level. Safety is a primary concern and sparring is never meant to be a simulation of real street combat. Therefore different sets of parameters are set for sparring. For example if contact is allowed then targets and techniques have to be restricted. If no targets or techniques are restricted then contact is not permitted. In this way students learn the full range of self-defense skills without risking training injuries.
Occasionally special seminars in practical self-defense are held. All Seido techniques are easily adapted for self-defense. By acquiring technique students learn how to generate greater physical power.