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 50 years of experience in practicing and teaching martial arts. An expert in the use of oriental weapons, Nakamura has given numerous lectures and demonstrations in many countries around the world.
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 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, 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 seventh 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 who are 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 18 countries and has more than 20,000 students worldwide. Seido's New York Honbu is one of the largest martial arts schools in the world and has approximately 50 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 and to 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, teaching classes and meditation lectures at Seido Honbu and Seido’s Westchester County, NY branch, Johshin Honzan. He remains committed to assisting others to reach their full potential, as both karateka and individuals.
Thinking about the future and legacy of Seido, Kaicho officially gave his son, Akira Nakamura, the title of “Nidaime” (meaning successor in Japanese) in the fall of 2008. This was not a difficult decision for Kaicho as Nidaime has taught alongside him for over 15 years, has been involved in all important decisions for the organization, and continues to fully dedicate himself to Seido as a karateka and instructor.
This decision was solidified during 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 also gave his son the special rank of 8th degree black belt in recognition of his proficiency and knowledge of the Seido syllabus in its entirety. The ceremony signified his firm belief in Nidaime as a successor and also his achievements as a karateka.
For more information about Kaicho Nakamura, please read his autobiography, The Human Face of Karate.