Seido Karate Northland, Wellington Dojo first class was held on March 6, 2017 in the Main Hall of the Northland Memorial Community Centre. At that class there was only Kyoshi Garry (Sensei at the time) and Phoebe Yee who according to her father her martial arts goal at the time was “To be the next Lucy Lui”. For a short period it was only Phoebe and I, until Dana Hassidi and Esera Chung became regular training students.
The first ever grading was held on 26 June 2017, with Phoebe and Esera grading to Blue Belt. With a large contingent from Seido Lower Hutt and Seido Wellington Dojos and Kyoshi Debbie Di Leva (one of Kyoshi Garry’s first karate instructors) in attendance to mark and celebrate this milestone.
By the end of the 2017, there were only 5 students training regularly: Phoebe, Esera, Dana, Flynn Lucas and Ben Hassidi. So these students received a lot of personal instruction especially when Kyoshi Bruce Millard would also come to classes and share his vast syllabus knowledge.
An additional venue and training night was sought in February 2020, due to the growth and increasing needs of the students i.e. provide a dedicated sparring class. Thank you Otari School for allowing us to use their main hall Feb – June 2020. However this school hall became too small for purpose, with more students successfully grading to Green Belt and a new and larger venue was found. Sparring classes moved to the larger hall space at Otari Parish Hall, July 2020.
Fast forward to September 2021, there is currently 30 students training regularly at the Seido Karate Northland, Wellington Dojo. While we may be the newest Seido Karate club in the Wellington region, we have definitely punched above our weight in terms of tournament success at a regional, North Island and international stage. At the World Seido Karate Organisation Festival in Sydney, April 2019, 7/8 dojo members were awarded at least one medal for placing in the top 3 in their respective events i.e. kata, weapons kata and kumite. The highlight for this dojo from a results perspective: Esera winning the Lightweight Collegiate title and Phoebe winning the Open Lightweight Women title despite only being 15 years at the time.
Seido Karate Northland, Wellington students have been well represented at the Greater Wellington region Seido Karate Dojo activities such as: attending other dojo general and Shodan grading’s, beach training’s, tournaments and karate camps.
Since February 2019, students from this dojo have trained in classes at Seido Karate Upper Hutt Dojo on a monthly basis, this has lead to a mutual monthly exchange classes between the two dojos.
Seido Karate Northland, Wellington Dojo is part of the World Seido Karate Organization founded by Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura, and is affiliated to Hanshi Renzie Hanham, Branch Chief of Christchurch Shibu Dojo and Sei Shihan Ben Otang, Branch Chief of Seido Wellington Dojo.
There are Seido Karate dojos located throughout Australia, the United States of America, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom. There are also Seido Karate dojos located in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sweden, Italy, France, Costa Rica and India.