To Shihan Vassie and Mika,
Seiwakai members who are bounded by strong ties gathered from around the world. Those who participated came from not only the United States and Canada, but also from as far away as South Africa and Hungary.
The fact that we were able to hold an instructors only seminar made me very grateful and I am especially thankful to the representative leaders who led the seminar.
Although the three year hiatus caused misunderstandings, due to this seminar many people were able to restore and create bonds by sharing our thoughts and feelings. This really reaffirmed the importance of communication for not just me but everyone.
Seiwakai has spread all over the world. I would like to especially thank Leo, Garmit and Vassie who have made significant contributions in Seiwakai’s spread and development.
Currently, after Leo, my colleague Vassie has done a spectacular job taking leadership in the organization and assisting me.
It has become the twelfth year that I have succeeded the late Tasaki Shihan. I understand best that I am unable to do some things as well as Tasaki Shihan.
During this time, I was able to nurture and guide many instructors and high ranking members of Seiwakai. This is because Tasaki Shihan was a master of kumite, so the strong students were not able to rank up easily.
Tasaki Shihan made me meet many other Senseis and provided me the opportunity to learn Kata. This has become the way and inspiration for me to learn Kata.
We can cover 5th dan up to kumite, however 6th dan and above is judged by form, so everyone who is strong at kumite had a hard time.
My sensei knew best that I could not teach in the same way, so he chose a different path for me wherein I studied Kata for 20 years.
Therefore, Kata became my property and my teaching style. My sensei passed away seeing my development in this way.
Seeing how many overseas students are active as instructors, I do not think the path Sensei chose for me was wrong. He was right in his decision.
From now on, the time has come for Vassie and I to nurture and develop the next leaders of the association.
Although it will be a harsh and arduous road, we have to create someone with strong will and mental strength who can endure anything.
I’d like to address a phrase that embodies the spirit of Seiwakai: “Shingi Fudo” 「信義不動」. This means to follow and believe without hesitation in something you have decided upon.
Believing is a skill and way of life that only the strong can achieve.
藤原聖一 (Fujiwara Seichi)