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A Seido life in Northcliff

NORTHCLIFF – Along with being taught self-defence greater emphasis is put on self-defence against elements like one's own weaknesses.


if you could get more from karate than just physical conditioning? What if you could learn the martial art and still cultivate a positive character through it?

According to George Wang, head instructor of Johannesburg Seido Karate, this is all possible. Having been training for the past 48 years, Wang started karate when he was child.

He jokingly added that growing up, he wanted to be part of something that required him to wear long trousers, due to a scar he had on his leg. “This worked out well for me, I did do other styles before I came across Seido.”
He added that through this martial art not only did he learn along the way that he liked the discipline, good health benefits behind it, and the philosophy behind it as the more he would learn, indirect life lessons were taken in too.
“We learn to be sincere, honest and truthful, these are principals I live by.”

Black-belt students practise their stances. Photo: Neo Phashe

The dojo he leads recently relocated to Northcliff and it was there that Northcliff Melville Times met with Wang. On this evening class started promptly at 6pm, each student dressed in their white Karate Gi with the only aspect telling each one apart being the colour of their belts. A stoic man with a great presence, it is Wang’s humility that governs the respect he so effortlessly receives from those around him. The dojo has students who are as young as four years old to those who are well in their 70s.

It was during that night’s session that he explained Seido leans more towards the traditional side of karate. “We teach basic techniques and philosophy and although we are contact style we promote safety first.”
He went on to say their syllabus is very vast and their beliefs are well rounded. Since the advent of sports like mixed martial arts, Wang thinks that karate has waned a bit, but thinks karate is much like classical ballet, in that although dance forms get mixed, there will always be people who gravitate towards classical ballet.
“People still have need for karate and for what the art actually provides and I would like to think we offer more depth into it because when people try to combine too many things they lose the essence. We practise on a set international syllabus that works and has worked for decades.”

Students of all ages take part in Seido Karate. Photo: Neo Phashe

Along with being taught self-defence, greater emphasis is put on self-defence against elements like one’s own weaknesses. “We teach people to be confident within themselves, and should someone be hurtful towards you, you are able to brush it off, it is self-defence in its entirety, guarding against emotional and psychological attacks.”
Even with all the time Wang has spent taking part in the martial art, he still learns more from each student with each passing day.

He hopes the dojo will continue to perpetuate the teachings of what they do, “If society actually practised what we practise, the world would be a better place.”

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