Love, Respect, Sincerity

When talking about Seido Juku, the martial art he created, Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura offers a number of core elements in The Human Face of Karate. The book tells his story of his early practice of karate and outlines how he came to create Seido.

He includes his critique of early Japanese martial arts and how, when he arrived to the United States, he faced a need to leave the art he had known in order to create the art he imagined. Seido resulted.

Seido is an art with the core elements of love, respect, and sincerity even while it features the physical and technical aspects of other Japanese martial arts. These three pieces feature widely in Kaicho’s work, in the pursuit on the path, in the striving with patience which occurs for persons practicing the art.

As he says, at certain points along one’s way, a person has to choose which path – in karate as in life – which road that person will walk. Kaicho made choices in his life, choices that included, at times, the difficulties of leaving. He came and went. He arrived and departed. He started and ended.

When he created Seido, he wanted to ensure to create a martial art that had the strength and physical aspects but that had a different core. Love was the core. Respect was the core. Sincerity was the core.

I draw upon my practice of Seido in a number of ways these days, and will continue to, but I’m returning to these three lately. What is the most loving thing to do? How would this act express my respect for my own humanity or for another’s? Given this act, what do I most respect, cherish, and value? How would I gauge my sincerity? To what move am I committed? If I were to listen to what I just did, would I hear love?

Whatever they mean for you, these three words, I hope you find them in your life and journey. Sometimes, it’s easy to find one but hard to find the others. I commend them to you. May you, as we say, strive with patience.

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