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Local dojo re-opens doors after major renovation

DARLINGTON: The Australian headquarters of Seido Karate has recently re-opened its doors after a major renovation, and this month launched its full program of classes. After 21 years in the area the dojo has become a local institution, with 320 students and satellite programs at Crown Street Public School, Newtown Public School, the International Grammar School and North Sydney Demonstration School.

Kigami Biraki ceremony at the dojo Photo: Sean Beehan
Kigami Biraki ceremony at the dojo Photo: Sean Beehan

Head Instructors Sei Shihan Ino Maquirang and Kyoshi Leigh Maquirang manage the dojo, and have more than 60 years of martial arts training experience between them. Sei Shihan Ino trained under Kaicho Tadaski Nakamura, the founder and chairman of the World Seido Karate Organization, in New York.

Sei Shihan Ino said, “Seido is a traditional form of karate which focuses on physical exercise and self-defense, but it is more than that. It focuses on the mind and spirit, and helps people grow and develop as individuals.”

Eleven-year-old junior black belt Pear, who goes to school in Erskineville, has trained in Seido karate since she was 4. She said, “I like training Seido because I have lots of friends who train with me, and it isn’t scary.” Senpei Pear recently travelled to Japan with a group of Seido students for an international karate tournament, placing second in kumite (sparring) points and kata.

Junior brown belt student Jack, from Camperdown, said, “Karate is fun, and I get to meet new people.” Senpai Kyra, 17, said, “I enjoy the community, Seido is almost like a second family.”

Sei Shihan Ino said, “When we first moved to Chippendale it reminded me of the area around New York University around Greenwich Village, NYC, where I was raised. We first trained in church halls, and in 2005 we bought the dojo space in Abercrombie Street.

“The building was being used as a makeshift office, and the students and teachers did most of the first renovations ourselves – pulling up old carpet and laying floorboards, using secondhand mirrors from a local gym. The latest renovations have taken five years to complete and secure the future for the club here in Darlington.”

This author began training at Seido in her 20s. “I had always wanted to try out a martial art. Karate challenges your fitness, flexibility and coordination, but what I like most about Seido is that it reflects a philosophy that martial arts should be accessible to everyone. I have had the opportunity to train with and teach students from ages 4 to 70. I also love how many women and girls we have as students and senior teachers. It is a rare and special community club to be part of.”

Students interested in trying out a trial class for free can visit the Seido Juku website at https://seidojuku.com.au. Follow Seido Juku Karate Australia on Facebook.

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