Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura
Kaicho Nakamura began his karate training in 1953 at age eleven. His first experiences were in the Goju style under the instruction of Kei Miyagi Sensei, the son of the founder of the style. In 1956, Nakamura began studying with Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, and in 1959, he earned his shodan (1st Dan) rank. At the time, he was the youngest Kyokushin student in Japan to receive a black belt.
In 1961, at age nineteen, Nakamura debuted on the tournament scene with a first place triumph in the All-Japan Student Open Karate Championship. The following year, Nakamura became a Japanese national hero by knocking out a Thai kickboxing champion in a match to determine which nation had the superior martial art. Nakamura would win many more tournaments throughout his competition career.
Around this time, Nakamura also began teaching karate to others. He served as the chief instructor at Camp Zama, a U.S. military base near Tokyo, from 1961 to 1965 and coached the Toho Medical University karate team for 3 years. While earning his 7th dan in Kyokushin Karate, Nakamura also served as the chief instructor at the Kyokushin Karate Honbu in Tokyo.
In 1966, Nakamura was personally selected by Masutatsu Oyama to help bring the true spirit of karate to America. That year, Nakamura moved to New York City and began teaching Kyokushin Karate at a small dojo in Brooklyn. He served as the American head of Kyokushin Karate for a decade and trained and developed many skilled students in that period.
In 1976, Nakamura respectfully withdrew from Kyokushin Karate. The same year, he established the World Seido Karate Organization, which reflected his own beliefs about the true meaning of karate. Nakamura created Seido--which means "sincere way" in Japanese - to develop complete individuals, ones committed to improving themselves and their communities. With the principles of love, respect, and obedience as the foundation of Seido Karate, Nakamura ensured that his students would develop spiritually and morally, as well as physically.
Today, Seido Karate is an international organization with thriving branches in eighteen countries and has more than 20,000 students worldwide. Seido's New York Honbu (Headquarters) is one of the largest martial arts schools in the world and has approximately fifty black belts training on an average day. More importantly, Seido represents the personal ideal of Kaicho Nakamura that karate can help individuals to better understand themselves and others. Seido Karate programs around the world continue Nakamura's vision and help to develop individuals who make significant contributions to their communities and to society at large. While performing many duties as the chairman of the World Seido Karate Organization and the Seido Juku Benefit Foundation, Kaicho Nakamura is first and foremost an instructor of karate. He continues to teach classes at the Seido Honbu and also frequently conducts seminars and gives lectures. He remains committed to assisting others to reach their full human potential, as both karateka and individuals.
For more information about Kaicho Nakamura, please read his autobiography, The Human Face of Karate.