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Shido Kan Hosting 10th Degree Black Belt

Highest ranking Okinawan master in the US to celebrate 80th birthday in Mahwah; community is invited to the party

This Saturday, is hosting the highest ranking Okinawan master in the United States.

Seikichi Iha, a tenth-degree Shido Kan black belt who now lives in Michigan but is originally from Japan, is coming to Mahwah for a celebration. Shido Kan owner Mitch Cooperman said Iha will be celebrating his 80th birthday at the karate studio Saturday night.

“He comes to visit us once a year,” Cooperman said. “It is a big deal, because he really helps bring the history of Shido Kan to our studio. And, he is a great example for our students. He has such a high ranking, but is very relaxed and has a sweet personality. It shows how karate can be used as an agent for peace, not violence.”

Iha runs a karate school in Michigan that serves as the headquarters for 30 schools around the globe. His school’s website explains his karate philosophy:

It is Iha Sensei's hope that with the help of their training in karate-do, his students can learn to cope with any situation, be persistent, face problems with courage, take care of themselves, to realize their optimum potential and to feel good about themselves. He frequently tells his students that "Friendship and cooperation are the most important part of karate."

Cooperman said most of his 203 students will attend the birthday party Saturday night. The event is also open to karate enthusiasts in the communty. It runs from 7 to 11 p.m.

Have a question or a news tip? Email the editor Jessica Mazzola at jessica.mazzola@patch.com. Or, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your email inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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