Seido’s three fundamental principles are respect, love, and obedience. These are represented by the three circles in the center of the Seido emblem. They embody a way, or do (pronounced “dough”), of being in everyday life, and are essential to a healthy and productive practice of the martial arts.
If we truly have respect for others, we will inevitably treat them with courtesy and equanimity. It is when we do not have respect for others that we become angry with them and engage in destructive action. This lack of respect for others is related to a lack of respect for ourselves. Karate, through the practice of Zen meditation, makes us look at ourselves; if we do this sincerely, we find our beautiful, truly human core. When we see ourselves clearly, not with vain love or callous self-indulgence, but with a healthy respect, we inevitably see others the same way.
In Seido karate, love grows out of respect; the two go hand in hand. Love, founded on a genuine compassion for others, is something we should train ourselves to extend freely. When we love freely, we can give and share everything, and need hold on to nothing: our hands can be empty. Karate, incidentally, means “empty hand.”
In the basic sense, obedience signifies being obedient to the rules and regulations of the dojo and the organization. This is not out of a blind, military mind-set, but out of commitment to training and developing oneself. Obedience also means maintaining humility and keeping one’s ego in check. We should also be obedient to the laws of our community and society.