The founder of Traditional Karate-do Federation International and Saito-ha Shito-ryu, Del Saito, was born in 1948, in the town of Wailuku, Maui. As a young boy he began training in the art of Judo, under the instructons of Sensei Palimo. A year later he began Karate training with Sensei Al Kahalekulu, a student of Sensei Tommy Morita, who studied under Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose Soke of Kumamoto, Japan. In the early '70s he studied with Sensei Chuzo Kotaka, a student of Sensei Genryu Kimura and Shogo Kuniba Soke. After several years serving as Sensei Kotaka's National Director, Saito began to learn Seito Shito-ryu from Master Kenzo Mabuni, the son of Kenwa Mabuni, founder of Shito-ryu.
Del Saito is one of the most highly respected Karate instructors today, and his expertise in Shito-ryu Karate-do has made a great impact on many Karate practitioners throughout the world. Saito Soke continues his martial arts journey as a committed leader who doesn't allow politics to influence his teaching philosophy of Karate-do to all those that seek his guidance.
Saito was presented the Hanshi degree from Kenzo Soke, the highest teaching title of his style. He was also given permission by Kenzo Mabuni to continue his understanding of Shito-ryu while providing him with a direct line to him.
For many years Saito served as National Director for the International Karate Federation of Hawaii, and National Executive Director for Karate for the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States.
Inducted into the International Karate Hall of Fame in 1994, he has also won numerous awards for his leadership and dedication in martial arts as well as for other sports.
In addition, Del Saito has credentials in film choreographing and organizes several Karate Championships each year.
Forty-five years of teaching Karate has led to a strong traditionalist approach with an openness to new ideas and concepts for growth. Teaching Karate for more than technique, he attempts to help people find themselves, to discover their creativity and their capacity for overall growth through Karate. He believes that there is much growth in each person and sees his purpose as that of nourishing the seed so that his student's potential may be reached. His understanding of Karatedo is to preserve the true essence of the art by maintaining a committed spirit to preserve human decency with Godliness, honesty, trustworthiness, humility, understanding, compassion bravery, fairness, discipline and commitment.
Saito Soke lives in the beautiful city of Grants Pass, where he maintains the honbu dojo for his International organization. He attributes his success to his faith in God, the leadership of his Shihan Kai, the Grants Pass business community and close friends and family throughout the world.
"Karate-do is a special vehicle that can help restore the positive values of our world and Karate practitioners can have a great impact for the betterment of mankind."