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Because Seikido is based on older martial arts, the curriculum is set out in components that reflect the traditions and teaching procedures established by those foundation arts. The training methods follow protocols which are similar to those practised in most martial arts schools throughout the world. They are rooted in Asian philosophy and cultural traditions of etiquette and behaviour which have been laid down by martial arts masters over centuries. They are practised out of respect for the masters who devoted their lives to developing not only the fighting aspects of the various martial arts but the ethical principles which guide their practices. Seikido students can enter practically any martial arts school in the world and feel at home, confident in their knowledge of generally accepted rules of behaviour. Seikido students can attend other martial arts schools throughout the world, understand the instructions, and generally maintain their ranking.
Seikido instruction is standardized according to sanctioned rankings, with all branch schools utilizing the same requirements for student advancement. The traditional grading system of Korean Tae Kwon Do, which requires ten steps to Black Belt, is maintained as the basis for the belt rankings.
Just as there are four seasons of the year, Seikido training can be divided into four main components, which complement each other but form individual aspects of a complete system. These are grouped as:
1. Conditioning, which represents the winter, when the ground (the raw material), is being prepared for the new growth:
2. Patterns, which represents the time of new growth and development as the plants grow in the spring:
3. Sparring, which is a dramatic and flamboyant expression of proficiency, like the full bloom of summer:
4. Self-Defence, which represents the maturity of the art, the quiet self confidence that comes with understanding, as with the harvesting in abundance of the crop in the fall.
Terminology: Japanese and Korean words you're likely to hear in Seikido. Be sure to pay attention to learn these for your belt gradings.