Seido karate has no-quit attitude

August 2nd, 2012

By Alan Clarke. Nelson Mail. Tuesday 3 July 2012

For 38 years, Andy Barber has been teaching Seido karate through his Nelson dojo. Thousands of students – ranging from preschool age to people in their 70s – have taken advantage of the presence of one of the most senior teachers in the world of the Seido style. Only three teachers anywhere in the world have his current ranking of Hanshi.

Barber started his karate journey in 1965, and says that at age 64 he is still learning.

“I can’t throw kicks as high as I used to, maybe, but that doesn’t matter. “You use what you’ve got. It’s about training, meditation; it just keeps going … that’s the joy of it. It’s an ongoing practice of self-improvement.”
While few of his students will get close to reaching his level of skill, he says Seido karate offers much to those who persevere.

Its anti-bullying programme is based on building confidence and self-esteem attributes as relevant today as they ever were. Unlike some karate styles, which he refers to as operating from “McDojos” – “`there’s instant food, and there’s instant karate, where you leap around wearing lycra and makeup” – Seido has maintained its traditional roots, he says.

“All train the same way, young and old, men and women. It’s a very safe style, built on respect, discipline and safety.”

A core philosophy taught at the dojo is “no quit”. “If you get hurt – no quit. If something goes wrong – no quit. If you lose your job – no quit. It all flows into the way you conduct your life. You start out using the physical body as a vehicle and you get to know and understand yourself better. “What comes is a strong spirit, strong life force. A strong spirit means – no quit.”

He says he can’t offer a credible guess at how many students his dojo has taught in its nearly four decades. “Just say thousands”.

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