Will the Real Sensei Please Stand Up?-Exploring the Teacher Student Relationship in the Martial Arts

AikiCast Sensei Student podcast

In this episode of AikiCast Diamond Mining Friday, Blaine discusses the differences between a mere martial arts teacher and a true Sensei. Since the term Sensei connotes one who has ‘gone before’ the student, there is an understanding in eastern traditions that the Sensei was more than just a teacher. The Sensei student relationship was on par with the parent child relationship and highly respected in eastern cultures.

Blaine breaks down the 3 most common types of teachers found in most martial arts schools today.

1. The Guru or Master- This individual demands a certain level of respect at all times, doesnt interact with his or her students outside of the martial arts school, is not tolerant of questions, is disdainful of students seeking instruction outside of the instructors guidance, and quickly reprimands those who disobey or mess up.

2. The Respected Mentor- This individual commands respect based on the quality of their character and instruction. They interact with the students on and off the mat in a similar manner. They require a modicum of respect and teach ettiquette and martial rituals as tools for growth. The Respected Mentor is sought out by others in the community for their sound advice and rational approach. Students often look to this type of teacher for advice on topics not related to the martial arts training.

3. The Trainer or Coach- This individual places high emphasis on the physical training and cardio vascular benefits of martial arts. He or she is laid back and friendly and imposes very few, if any, rules or ettiquette on the students. Dues are somewhat optional and classes feel more like a group of friends getting together to sweat.

While each type of teacher has pros and cons, each student must choose what type of martial arts teacher he or she would like to learn from. In addition, each student must decide at some point what type of teacher she wants to become.

Give it a listen and see where you fall on the spectrum

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