"Everything changed when I started training Goju."
Chloe - Brown Belt
My name is Chloe and I started karate when I was nine years old in August of 2006. Now I am fourteen and I have changed so much since I started training in karate. Before I started karate I had very low self confidence and lived in fear of confrontation. Children picked on me in school and I didn’t do much about it. I was very attached to my mother and rarely ever left her side. I had a hard time making friends and didn’t have many of them either. Everything changed when I started training Goju. I made so many friends at the dojo. Every one was very friendly and made me feel welcome. My Sensei was so nice and funny. He is a tough teacher which is one of the things that makes him a great teacher. After joining karate I stood up for my self at school, was no longer scared of confrontation, made new friends inside and as well as outside my dojo, I was also able to detach myself from my mother, and lastly I built up my self confidence. In karate I flew up the ranks very quickly. I achieved the rank of purple belt in a little over a year. I am proud of all my achievements in Karate and plan to continue with it for the rest of my life.
" I love karate!!"
Patrick - White Belt
My name is Patrick and I like karate because its very fun and you get to hang out with your friends. I am a Goju warrior. In karate you have to work very hard. I love karate!!
"Karate has done a lot for me."
Anisa - Green Belt
Karate has helped me by learning how to defend myself. It has changed my life by having more confidence in myself and being stronger. Karate has done a lot for me. I like karate because it is fun, you meet new friends, and you help others. Karate is great to do and great to learn.
"This school has changed my life."
Asaf - Purple Belt
My name is Asaf. Gojo karate has given me confidence in myself. It has helped me socialize more with people. Seigi Dai Dojo has helped me and my family feel more at home. I feel more at home here because my brother and sister are in the class with me. I have made more friends since joining this school. This school has changed my life.
"It is rare to meet a man with good character, fighting skill and teaching ability in one package."
Jim - Parent & Black-Belt
My name is Jim and have been affiliated with Seigi Dai Dojo since 7/25/06. During this time period, I have been surrounded by some great people and an outstanding teacher. I am a father of two children, Patrick 7 and Chloe 11. They are both students of the dojo. I too am a student and am 42 years old.
As a parent, I’ve had the joy of watching my kids work with other students in the dojo to improve themselves. I have witnessed children with low self esteem and poor self confidence become transformed through the guidance of Sensei John Benedict. My daughter Chloe was a meek and non-confrontational child. Before entering karate, I remember Chloe clinging to her mother’s side afraid of aggressive children and had little self confidence. Participating in karate has raised Chloe’s belief in herself, taught her awareness, to speak up for herself and physically defend herself if necessary. As a father I am concerned about protecting my daughter. As much as I would like to, I cannot be around her 24 hours a day. Sensei (John Benedict) has given her the tools and attitude to have when her parents aren’t around to protect her. She has also become much more physically fit. As a parent, I still worry about my daughter but am much more at ease that Chloe can handle herself when I am not around.
As I mentioned earlier, I am also a student of the school. When I first came to the dojo to watch a class, I had no intention of joining the school. I was a karate student at a different school when I was in my twenties and was more interested in looking for a karate school for my kids. When I was around Sensei I could see his love of karate and could feel his larger than life presence. I could tell that this man was a serious warrior. He convinced me that I could still do karate. A few weeks later, I joined the school and have enjoyed the experience. Two of the highlights have been competing in sparring at tournaments and meeting my Sensei’s teacher, Tony Lau who is Hanshi to me. Being 42 years old and being able to compete against people half my age with success is quite fun and exciting. My Sensei’s training has given me an edge in these sparring competitions. I’ve had good results and a riveting experience. During one of the tournaments my Sensei matched me up with a black belt in the over 40 division. My rank was green at the time which is considered much lower in the karate world. I ended up winning the match. I was proud of this accomplishment and I give the credit to the training I received. The second highlight was being able to meet Hanshi. I would equate this with meeting a very famous person. On his rare visits, I try to absorb as much knowledge as possible and just enjoy his presence. He is a true karate and kung fu legend. I feel lucky to have been able to meet him.
I’d like to say a few words about my Sensei. Sensei is a man totally dedicated to karate. He carries out his business with the highest degree of integrity and principle. He is not in this for the money. He does this because Karate is his passion. His dojo rules are in place for the safety of all his students and to avoid misunderstandings. Schools with many colored belts and degrees that are always looking for fees are not acting in your best interest. Sensei takes a personal interest in all his students. He expects them to behave appropriately, do well in school and to be respectful of others. It is rare to meet a man with good character, fighting skill and teaching ability in one package. I feel lucky to have met him and to be part of his dojo.
"a hardcore, dedicated and sincere teacher"
Jason - Yellow Belt
My name is Jason. I have been training Goju for about two years. I bounced around from many styles and could never find exactly what I was looking for. To be honest, I didn't exactly know what I was looking for. That was until I began training Goju with my Sensei. My Sensei from the beginning was welcoming and a very proud Teacher, which is exactly what makes him so great today and even forever. Our Sensei teaches his students with pride and dignity. All of us, kids and adults, are walking proof of that. I am very proud to say that I am a Goju karate martial artist and even more proud to say that I am my Sensei's student. If anyone is looking for a hardcore, dedicated and sincere teacher and dojo brothers, then Seitouha Goju Ryu is the perfect place for you, not to mention a second family to all of the present students.
"This system does transform people ...
you found the right place."
Stephanie - Purple Belt
Joining Karate was a difficult decision for me. Not many people think a person over 40 should start learning Karate. Learning about martial arts was always intriguing to me, just never had the time to do it. I was looking for a place to learn how to defend myself, get some exercise, and gain more confidence in myself.
I went to one of Sensei Benedict’s classes and observed. The class was organized and the moves looked like something I could do. The cost of the classes was also reasonable. So, I decided to try it.
So far I have achieved the rank of purple belt, which is an intermediate level. In addition, I participated in tournaments and earned over 22 trophies.
It has been a journey in self discovery as well as learning martial arts techniques.
• Learning how your body moves and increase your level of awareness. For example, can you feel the tip of your right index finger right now? It is this awareness that makes you more observant of the world around you. Look around you to see people’s posture, see their faces, and see what they are wearing. All these things gives you hints about what they are feeling, what they are thinking, and what kind of person are they. This information will assist you in anticipating actions, and be able to put you in a better position to achieve your goals.
o These skills have also assisted me in the business world to move forward.
• Supportive atmosphere. The Dojo Sensei John Benedict created has an atmosphere where you can learn martial arts, gain self confidence, observe and contribute to the Seitouha GoJu system. This system does transform people. I have seen kids come in and within 6 months to a year change dramatically. They are more focused, and confident in themselves. They also learn the value of helping others achieve by becoming a team. Everyone has the ability to contribute to the class. We all bring something unique with us.
• The classes have lots of variety. I learn our style of Karate by doing different exercises. He makes the classes’ fun and challenging so each one is interesting.
So if you are looking for a good workout, and to transform your body to be stronger and healthier – you found the right place.
If you are looking to learn traditional martial arts that use techniques that can be used by all ages – you found the right place.
If you are looking to build self confidence, and become more focused – you found the right place.
If you are looking to improve yourself as a person and continue to learn how you can help others – you found the right place.
"I thank you Sensei, for everything"
Michael Soto, student of the 281 Broadway Dojo
I started training in Kyokushin Karate at the age of 8 years old. After 2 years, I left and began training in Northern Hung Gar Kung Fu under an elderly Chinese man named Master Wu. I spent the next 3 years with him learning a lot, however, as most children do in there early teens, I became bored and needed something more challenging. I found a rough and tumble Karate school teaching Goju Ryu Karate down the street from my home in Brooklyn. I decided to check out a class. I was instantly enamored. These guys and girls I might add, were tough, in every sense of the word. This was the first time I met John Benedict, only a brown belt then. I quickly joined the school and began training everyday. I developed a strong connection to John and tried to emulate his dedication and his ferocity. He guided me over the next 12 years. When I received my yellow belt, John gave me his original yellow belt--when I was promoted to the rank of Brown Belt, once again John gave me his original Brown Belt. He taught me many things while I trained there, most importantly life lessons. Reflecting on my life in the Martial Arts, I can recall many lessons. Some I've dismissed and others I've embraced. One lesson that has carried me throughout many obstacles in my life is the understanding of having, "Silent Power". Learning that true strength comes from controlling one's self ... that is how one becomes immovable ... the true strength of Sanchin ... to be truly grounded--that power comes from within. I learned this lesson early in my Goju training, but only recently understood it's truth. All that I am, and all that I will ever be I owe to Martial Art and the great instructors I've been fortunate enough to study under. Sensei John Benedict; as early as a brown belt, started shaping and molding me into the man I am today imparting in me his experience, knowledge and passion for Goju. What greater gift can one give ... What greater gift can one receive? I thank you Sensei, for everything. My life in Martial Arts has not stopped, it couldn't possibly. I've continued on this path and for the past 14 years I've dedicated my life to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It's by no means a substitute for Goju Ryu Karate, rather I consider it more of an extension. It's another leg of my journey ... my Budo. No matter where I go in life, I will always look at myself as a Goju Warrior.
"Even the most ridged Makiwara still has some give in it" - Soto
"you taught me not to give up and to be confident"
Joe - Purple Belt
Click on the icon to read Joe's letter from boot camp:
28 Colt Court, Ronkonkoma, Long Island, NY | Tel. 516-381-9660