Sensei Perfetti started the Cortland school in 1997 with four students. It has since grown to more than 20 beginners and 15 advanced students. Presently holding the rank of Go-dan (5th degree black belt), Sensei Perfetti has been training for over 20 years directly under Sensei Seikichi Iha, Hanshi, Jyu-dan (10th degree black belt), in Okinawan Shorin-ryu Shido-kan karate.
Children and adults are able to train twice a week at the Cortland and Elmira YWCAs. Classes are taught in a safe and non-competitive environment, with emphasis on kata, body conditioning and concentration.
Original Okinawan Karate has a lineage that can be traced back almost 200 years. All students are expected to uphold the standards and ideals set forth in Sensei's Goals of Karate:
- To strive for perfection of character
- To defend the paths of truth
- To foster the spirit of effort
- To honor and respect one's fellows
- To guard against impetuous courage
Students are also encouraged to participate in Sensei Iha's National Training Seminar, held every July at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. This is a wonderful opportunity to train with many Shido-kan stylists from around the world.
The dojo is a member of the Beikoku Shido-kan Association (official seal shown below). Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan USA, the Association is overseen by Sensei Iha and encompasses active members training in dojos throughout North America and Europe. Iha Sensei's often-stated goal is the continuous promotion of friendship and cooperation among all students of karate-do. Only through this can one truly practice and grow.