Saito-ha Shito-ryu Introduction
The inception of Saito-ha Shito-ryu was conceived with the blessing of Kenzo Mabuni, the late Soke of Seito Shito-ryu, and son of the founder of Shito-ryu Karate-do. So impressed was Mabuni Soke of Del Saito’s organizational skills, technical ability and moral values, that he was the only person ever to be permited to pursue his own vison of Shito-ryu independently, without the constraint of any of Mabuni Soke’s personal organizations. This gesture of trust and goodwill led to the creation of Saito-ha Shito-ryu.
Kazuo Sakai Shihan, General Secretary of the International Seito Shito-ryu Karate-do Organization says, “I know your case is an exception as you are the only person Soke Kenzo Mabuni permitted to belong to our organization without the need to follow the regulations of Shito-ryu Karate Do Kai and USA Shihan Kai”.
This decision was also augmented when Tsukasa Mabuni, the present Soke of Seito Shito-ryu and the Japan Karate-do Shihan Kai, gave Saito Shihan their blessing and fullest support. Upon notifying them of his intention to begin his own ha, Tsukasa Mabuni Soke and her Council members wrote, "We feel so sad to hear of your decision, but we respect and support your decision. As you know, the spirit of human-beings of Shito-ryu Karate is fully the same even though you have your own ha. It means we are the same field of karate forever, and would like to keep a good relationship with each other forever. So when you need our support or help, please contact us anytime."
On July 2, 2008 in Albany, New York, with the support of the TKFI Shihan Kai members, TKFI members, family and friends, and the endorsements of many respected martial arts masters and profesionals throughout the world, the lauching and official founding of Saito-ha Shito-ryu took place. To provide opportunities for others to participate, the Shihan Kai decided to hold ceremonies in Brazil, Oregon, Hawaii and Italy. These ceremonies honor Del Saito Soke’s commitment and many years of dedicated practice and service to Karate-do in a style that will truly be the cornerstone and pulse of the next century.
The founding of Saito-ha Shito-ryu Karate-do was a culmination of Del Saito’s life-long study of the art of traditional Shito-ryu Karate-do, a significant achievement of a life time. Through competent leadership and dedicated constituents, Saito-ha will prosper and benefit society for generations to come.
The mission of Saito-ha Shito-ryu Karate-do is to promote, preserve and educate those who wish to learn Shito-ryu and its traditions. It is to meet each challenge positively and seize each opportunity to teach and to provide hope, encouragement and good citizenship. Each dedicated student is asked to push aside negative agendas and egos that do not belong in our treasured martial art; rather learn to respect each other, work together and truly learn or teach with integrity, honor and outstanding character.
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