Seike teaches survival and arts through martial arts


Photo by Qianzi Loo

Mr. Seike teaches self defense and discipline through various forms of martial arts

Nicole Ge, Staffer

Seike has trained in various kinds of martial arts for over twenty years, including karate, Shorinji Kenpo and Aikido. He has also studied mixed martial arts at the Shamrock Submission Fighting System, which was created by four-time UFC champion Frank Shamrock and is more cutthroat and effective than martial arts of Japanese origin. As the instructor and adviser of Martial Arts Club, he teaches students how to defend themselves while practicing discipline. Yet his reasons for training in martial arts contrast dramatically to those of his current students.

“I was getting beat up often not only at home but in my neighborhood,” Seike said. “Racism and bullying were an unavoidable part of my environment prompting me to join a martial art that enabled me to defend myself.”

By training in martial arts, Seike developed an essential skill he needed at the time: a way to survive and defend himself against bullies. Even though he still finds it challenging, he feels drawn toward the sport because it grants him the peace of mind that he can defend himself and protect others.

“Martial arts gave me some confidence but also taught me humility,” Seike said. “Although it keeps me more fit, flexible, stronger and more physically capable, it is much more about the battle within yourself than against others.”

However, his discovery of the artistic aspect of martial arts evoked appreciation and admiration not only for the sport’s functionality, but also for its beauty.

“My Aikido background taught me about the Samurai tradition,” Seike said. “Although it may not be practical, it is beautiful. Many martial arts styles are not modern, stress-tested and vetted against new world conditions, so they should be seen as an artistic pursuit. I think keeping these arts alive is important, just like dance or any tradition.”

“My Aikido background taught me about the Samurai tradition. Although it may not be practical, it is beautiful. Many martial arts styles are not modern, stress-tested and vetted against new world conditions, so they should be seen as an artistic pursuit.”

— Andrew Seike

Martial Arts Club classes consist of four revolving groups that delve into different aspects of martial arts: traditional, punching and sparring, kicking, and street survival. Students choose which activities they participate in, as the club hopes this will allow more students to experience the benefits from learning martial arts.

“Sometimes students are intimidated by martial arts,” Seike said. “Martial arts is more than just self defense or anything combative; it’s about discipline and  self-awareness.”

During the class, Seike not only instills techniques for students to use in self defense but also places emphasis on the importance of controlling the weight of punches and exercising caution when sparring against others.

“Mr. Seike taught me discipline and control,” senior Joshua Chu said. “When I first joined the club, I was aggressive and rather physical, even to those I cared about. I’d like to think that is no longer true because of Mr. Seike’s teachings.”

Students without martial arts experience join the club to destress or to have fun, and many choose to stay because of Seike’s teaching methods.

“Mr. Seike’s way of teaching is strong,” senior Leanna Fowler said. “It also isn’t demanding, which makes the learning process more fun.”

Seike has been an instructor at Lynbrook Martial Arts Club for 25 years, and during his time as an instructor at Lynbrook Martial Arts Club, Seike has concentrated on establishing ideals in his students that can be applied to daily life and mannerisms outside of martial arts.

“I stress cooperation, kindness, compassion, humility and open-mindedness,” Seike said. “Martial arts is for self-defense as a last resort—enjoyment and developing a healthy mindset always comes first.”