About our founder: Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura
Grand Master Tadashi Nakamura
Tadashi Nakamura is the founder and chairman of the World Seido Karate Organization. A world-renowned karateka, Nakamura is a ninth dan (degree) black belt with over 60 years of experience practicing and teaching martial arts.
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, he began studying with Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, and in 1959 he earned his shodan rank. At the time, he was the youngest Kyokushin student in Japan to earn 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, he 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, he also began teaching. 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 three years. While earning his seventh dan, Nakamura 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. He moved to New York City and began teaching at a small dojo in Brooklyn. He served as the American head of Kyokushin Karate for a decade, before respectfully withdrawing in 1976. The same year, he established the World Seido Karate Organization, which reflected his own beliefs about the true meaning of karate. With the principles of love, respect, and obedience as a foundation, Nakamura created Seido (“sincere way”) to ensure that his students would develop spiritually and morally, as well as physically. Today, Seido Karate has thriving branches in 18 countries with more than 20,000 students worldwide, and the New York Honbu is one of the largest martial arts schools in the world.
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, teaching classes and meditation lectures at Seido Honbu and Seido’s Westchester branch, Johshin Honzan. He remains committed to helping students reach their full potential, as both karateka and individuals.
Kaicho officially gave his son, Akira Nakamura, the title of “Nidaime” (meaning successor) in the fall of 2008. This was not a difficult decision for Kaicho as Nidaime had taught alongside him for over 15 years and was involved in all important decisions for the organization. This decision was solidified by a 2012 trip to Japan, during which Seido was invited by the Atsuta Jingu shrine in Nagoya to perform for their Budo god, a special invitation recognized by the Imperial Family of Japan. At this time, Kaicho presented Nidaime with the original ceremonial black belt that he had received 35 years before, and the special rank of 8th degree black belt in recognition of his proficiency as a karateka . The ceremony signified Kaicho’s firm belief in Nidaime as a successor.
For more information about Kaicho Nakamura, please read his autobiography, The Human Face of Karate.
Traditional Training, Made Accessible To All
A History of Seido Karate
This 2006 commemorative video series documents the life of Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura. From his introduction to martial arts as a child in Japan to his life-changing journey in the United States and the evolution of World Seido Karate-do. This Visual History of Seido is a true testament to the strength of the Seido family and all its many members around the world.