The Meaning of Our Karate Patches

* The Kanji on our left Chest:


This spells out Shidokan means “Warrior Way”, “Right Way”, “Heart Way” or “Gentleman’s Way”. One Japanese woman recently told me it meant Samurai Way. My preferred includes the complete exoteric meanings: Warrior Path.

The first character reads “Shi” interpreted as Heart, Central, Correct, Gentleman, Warrior or Samurai.
The second character you will see in many martial arts patches and names as “Do” means way or path.
The third character is also prevalent on many Martial Arts patches and names. “Kan” means place, refering to Dojo (a different character). The Japanese refer to “kan” as a restaurant or eating place.

* The colorful Beikoku Shidokan Symbol we wear on the left shoulder:

The red and black colors represent the intertwined aspirations of the highest belt ranks attainable in Shidokan Karate.  The black belt and the red belt for 9th and 10th Dans.

The circle represents nature’s circular movements in front of a balance or old-style weighing device used even today in small

Beikoku Shidokan Symbol
Beikoku Shidokan Symbol

Okinawan stores to weigh produce. Balances in stores are nearly all electrical now. So you may be unfamiliar with an old-style balance. The common American symbol of Justice is a blindfolded woman holding an old style balance in her hand.

The Beikoku Shidokan Symbol is very similar to Master Akiyoshi Shiroma’s Nishihara Shidokan Dojo.
Iha and Shiroma are cousins. Shiromas symbol has the Kanji “Nishihara Dojo” at the bottom where we have Beikoku Shidokan.

The Kanji at the bottom have some similar characters as those on our chest patch.
The first character is “Bei” meaning rice.
The second is “koku” representing country.
Did you know that “Beikoku” or Rice Country is what most Asian countries call the United States?
The following three kanji characters spell Shidokan.

So our patch represents American Shidokan. When Sensei Iha was promoted to 10th Degree in 2001 he named his style Beikoku Shidokan in honor of his instructor Katsuya Miyahira. Prior to that we just wore the Shidokan patch on our chest.

Want more history? See: