Helping to Build a New Honbu.

You may know that the spiritual home and principle dojo of Seido Karate is based in New York, and is called Honbu. The building was sold recently by the landlord and must be vacated by the end of 2019. So for the first time in more than 40 years, Seido will need a new home.

Honbu History

Sei Shihan Roger outside our current HQ at West 23rd Street NYC

In 1976, Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura established Seido Juku and the World Seido Karate Honbu at 61 West 23rd Street in New York City. In “The Human Face of Karate,” Kaicho wrote, “Seido Juku was literally built on the understanding and cooperation of the pupils.” In the more than four decades since, thousands of karateka from around the world have come to be a part of the Seido family of dedicated students under Kaicho. They come to train at a dojo that is open seven days a week, with classes throughout the day and evening. They attend promotions and many special events, such as Kagami Biraki, Women’s Seminar, Black Belt Clinic, Inter-Dojo Tournament, and more. They also get to meet fellow members of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, and raise funds in support of programs for veterans, students with special needs, or those from challenging circumstances. Honbu is a very special place.

A New Home

Nidaime recently wrote to us

“We always say that your dojo is wherever you are, that it doesn’t matter whether we’re at the beach, on a grass field upstate at Gasshuku, or even at a tournament – your dojo is wherever you are.”

“What we can’t deny is that Honbu is a living, breathing thing that has absorbed the energies of all who have trained here, past and present, over the last 43 years. Our blood, sweat, and tears are on this very floor.”

Nidaime A. Nakamura – Vice Chairman World Seido Karate

The members of the organization must now reflect on the rich history of the space and appreciate our time left here to train and grow. But we must look to the future and bring the same energy and dedication to finding, securing, and building a new home for Seido Karate. This is not the first time Seido has relocated. Kaicho started at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, then moved to 14th Street in Manhattan before settling at our current location in the Chelsea section, an area where skyrocketing property values have made it very costly to operate.

Fundraising

After a very long and careful search, Nidaime has zeroed in on three specific commercial spaces near the present location on 23rd Street. Nidaime is consulting with an architect, a plumber, and contractors about the market costs associated with the relocation. Per those discussions, and discussions with the owners of these spaces, the preliminary estimated costs are as follows:

To aid in securing, building, and relocating to the new headquarters, our organization has started a $250,000 fundraising campaign.

“We can do this. But please don’t sit back and wait for the grand re-opening of Honbu on January 1, 2020,”

Nidaime wrote.

“We need each and every one of us to get it done. Thank you for your time and dedication to this effort.”

What did we do in the UK?

On Saturday 12 October 2019 nearly 50 students took part in a Kickathon at our dojo in Micklefield, High Wycombe. Accompanied by a pulsating drumbeat and led by Sei Shihan Roger Thyer-Jones, UK Branch Chief, the students achieved 100,000 kicks during the afternoon.

With sponsorship from individuals and company sponsors such as Talented Teachers and generous personal donations by Heads of our Chiswick dojo and students, we achieved a total of £2648.71 or $3404 US dollars. One special mention goes to junior student Richard Louttit who raised £127.71 by himself. A great effort.

The event was organised by Senpai Mark Terry and his team and supported by the local community who generously provided the students with excellent food at the end of the gruelling session.

Every bit helps and we are sure that Kaicho and Nidaime will appreciate the effort of all our students and supporters.

Sei Shihan Roger Thyer-Jones

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