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Michigan Heritage Awards

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Photo of Seikichi Iha

Seikichi Iha
2008 awardee, Lansing (Ingham County), Shido-kan karate-do

Seikichi Iha was born in Okinawa in 1932. He came to Los Angeles in 1967 and to Lansing in 1974. He has devoted his entire adult life to the study and teaching of Shido-kan Karate-do.

Seikichi Iha was introduced to karate at an early age by a family member, and, in 1950 at the age of 17, he began formal study with Shinpan Gusukuma, a student of the noted teacher Anko Itosu. Since the death of Shinpan Gusukuma in 1954, Seikichi Iha's teacher and mentor has been Katsuya Miyahira, a master teacher and recipient of the highest honor in Japanese martial arts. Seikichi Iha, himself, was awarded the rank of master teacher in 2001. He has achieved and maintained the highest level of skill and at 75 he continues to grow in his understanding and teaching of the principles of Shido-kan Karate-do. He has been a school (dojo) owner since 1967 and has taught over a thousand students-some studying with him for 20-30 years-in the Lansing community. As director of the Beikoku Shido-kan Karate-do Association, he has taught and performed throughout the U. S., Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Brazil, and Argentina. Students from around the world visit his dojo.

The Lansing community has benefited from Seikichi Iha's teaching of self-preservation through healthy practice of movement arts and self-defense. His longtime motto is "friendship, cooperation and learning." He is an active member of the Michigan Okinawan Association and supporter of Okinawan folk dance. He also has given many free public demonstrations at schools and community events. Seikichi Iha, a master of Shido-kan Karate-do, is honored with a Michigan Heritage Award for his exemplary and consistent commitment to the passing on of this old traditional form of Okinawan martial art.

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