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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2070
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii,

My teacher doesnít call himself that nor refer to himself as such. We call him that and refer to him as such. Itís a title he was given by his teacher.

Funny coincidence, the other day a new-ish student in the dojo was asking about his title. He told him what it meant and immediately followed it with ďI miss the days when my title was sensei; I think thatís more appropriate. But Kaicho (his teacher) gave me this title and wants me to use it, so I do.Ē
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 1865


PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a semantic perspective, how words and meanings change, the word master in this day and age isn't going over very well with most people, better to down play, with some plain old fashioned modesty, than over inflating or overstating the obvious.

As the youngest son was once called master and those that owned slaves.

The term for master for a man then if a woman the term mistress should be used?
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1328
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
MatsuShinshii,

My teacher doesnít call himself that nor refer to himself as such. We call him that and refer to him as such. Itís a title he was given by his teacher.

Funny coincidence, the other day a new-ish student in the dojo was asking about his title. He told him what it meant and immediately followed it with ďI miss the days when my title was sensei; I think thatís more appropriate. But Kaicho (his teacher) gave me this title and wants me to use it, so I do.Ē


I understand that we use titles that our organization or those above us use to designate hierarchy within the ranks. Believe me I get it. We introduced the title of Shihan many years ago and it's gone rampant as a status symbol.

I personally do not use this title. I call myself one title and my students call me the same title. Shinshiii (teacher). I see no reason to call myself anything else except maybe student.

I think most titles serve one purpose... to bolter ones ego.

Sorry I'm a bit opinionated and set in my ways. Not much gray area in my views and I tend to express them even though it goes against the grain at times and no one asked for them in the first place.

I totally understand your point. I also understand that some titles are forced based on the organizations wants rather than the individuals.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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Bulltahr
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 514
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recognition of effort is a strong trait in the human psyche. Titles provide this. Modesty is a virtue I believe and I see plenty of this in MA.
Macho egos would not survive long in our dojo.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1646

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason why there is an issue or problems with the usage of titles in martial arts is that people will misinterpret their meaning and significance. Very often the title/rank is in a language not spoken by those who hold or use it. Other times a translation is used such as ďmasterĒ, which causes more issues because this is not an accurate equivalent of the original.

The word also has connotations that the original(Japanese, Chinese, Korean et cetera) does not. Martial arts titles express only the knowledge of the holder and whether or not the person is teaching. It has nothing to do with having any sort of authority over others or special social status beyond what any other teacher would have.

It makes more sense to compare martial arts titles/ranks with academic degrees. If A and B both have have a Doctorate, but only B teaches, B would be called Professor by students and would only have some type of authority whenever and wherever B is teaching. Aís title would be limited to formal interactions in a professional context.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2070
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
JR 137 wrote:
MatsuShinshii,

My teacher doesnít call himself that nor refer to himself as such. We call him that and refer to him as such. Itís a title he was given by his teacher.

Funny coincidence, the other day a new-ish student in the dojo was asking about his title. He told him what it meant and immediately followed it with ďI miss the days when my title was sensei; I think thatís more appropriate. But Kaicho (his teacher) gave me this title and wants me to use it, so I do.Ē


I understand that we use titles that our organization or those above us use to designate hierarchy within the ranks. Believe me I get it. We introduced the title of Shihan many years ago and it's gone rampant as a status symbol.

I personally do not use this title. I call myself one title and my students call me the same title. Shinshiii (teacher). I see no reason to call myself anything else except maybe student.

I think most titles serve one purpose... to bolter ones ego.

Sorry I'm a bit opinionated and set in my ways. Not much gray area in my views and I tend to express them even though it goes against the grain at times and no one asked for them in the first place.

I totally understand your point. I also understand that some titles are forced based on the organizations wants rather than the individuals.


Up until relatively recently (10-15 years), Iím pretty sure there were only 3 official titles in Seido - Sensei, Shihan Dai, and Shihan. Iím assuming Kaicho too, but thatís the head of the organizationís title. Senpai was used, but it wasnít tied to any specific rank or the like.

According to my teacher, as the organization grew and people started advancing in rank, Nakamura wanted to recognize and distinguish his upper-most students. His top 3 students have been with him for over 50 years, and he wanted a special way to show them the respect they deserved. He didnít want everyone addressing and referring to people like them in the same way that they did with others who havenít put in the time and dedication they did.

At their heart, titles are a way to honor someone. The downside to that of course, is some people give themselves a title and demand to be respected without actually earning it, and/or trying to make people think theyíre someone theyíre not. Just as with a rank, a title doesnít make nor define the person; the person defines the title/rank. Iíve got no problem calling my teacher shuseki shihan. Heís earned it. I think heís genuinely humbled and honored to have been given and earned that title from his teacher, but I know heíd be the same guy without any of it. If he wasnít the same guy without it, I wouldnít be his student for very long.

Please not thereís no angry, mean, defensive tone intended in my language here. Re-reading it, I think it might be interpreted that way.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1328
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
MatsuShinshii wrote:
JR 137 wrote:
MatsuShinshii,

My teacher doesnít call himself that nor refer to himself as such. We call him that and refer to him as such. Itís a title he was given by his teacher.

Funny coincidence, the other day a new-ish student in the dojo was asking about his title. He told him what it meant and immediately followed it with ďI miss the days when my title was sensei; I think thatís more appropriate. But Kaicho (his teacher) gave me this title and wants me to use it, so I do.Ē


I understand that we use titles that our organization or those above us use to designate hierarchy within the ranks. Believe me I get it. We introduced the title of Shihan many years ago and it's gone rampant as a status symbol.

I personally do not use this title. I call myself one title and my students call me the same title. Shinshiii (teacher). I see no reason to call myself anything else except maybe student.

I think most titles serve one purpose... to bolter ones ego.

Sorry I'm a bit opinionated and set in my ways. Not much gray area in my views and I tend to express them even though it goes against the grain at times and no one asked for them in the first place.

I totally understand your point. I also understand that some titles are forced based on the organizations wants rather than the individuals.


Up until relatively recently (10-15 years), Iím pretty sure there were only 3 official titles in Seido - Sensei, Shihan Dai, and Shihan. Iím assuming Kaicho too, but thatís the head of the organizationís title. Senpai was used, but it wasnít tied to any specific rank or the like.

According to my teacher, as the organization grew and people started advancing in rank, Nakamura wanted to recognize and distinguish his upper-most students. His top 3 students have been with him for over 50 years, and he wanted a special way to show them the respect they deserved. He didnít want everyone addressing and referring to people like them in the same way that they did with others who havenít put in the time and dedication they did.

At their heart, titles are a way to honor someone. The downside to that of course, is some people give themselves a title and demand to be respected without actually earning it, and/or trying to make people think theyíre someone theyíre not. Just as with a rank, a title doesnít make nor define the person; the person defines the title/rank. Iíve got no problem calling my teacher shuseki shihan. Heís earned it. I think heís genuinely humbled and honored to have been given and earned that title from his teacher, but I know heíd be the same guy without any of it. If he wasnít the same guy without it, I wouldnít be his student for very long.

Please not thereís no angry, mean, defensive tone intended in my language here. Re-reading it, I think it might be interpreted that way.


Not at all and I understand your point.

I guess that is my problem with titles, to many people that do not deserve them, haven't earned them, do not understand the meaning of them, and abuse them are the ones using them. I have no issue with a teacher of the arts with 50 years in calling themselves whatever they wish to. However I find it ludicrous that someone that has less than half of that same experience holding the same title.

I have no problem with titles in general. Sensei, Shinshii, Shihan, and the like are usually titles that define the role one plays in the organization as a teacher. I'm cool with that even though I prefer to just be called Shinshii (teacher).

My issue primarily is with the term/title of master. For one I think it's abused and over used and like I have stated previously I personally do not feel that you can ever master the art and thus by it's very definition be called a Master.

Most titles, especially those from other cultures are misinterpreted and grossly over used by westerners as a way to elevate them or set them apart from everyone else.

Have you ever notice how many titles have sprung up over the past 20 or 30 years? It used to be Sensei was a revered title. Now it's been lowered because so many others have been placed above it.

I have heard many titles that 20 or 30 years ago no one even knew existed. Instead of just Sensei (Shinshii) and O'Sensei (O'Shinshii) there is Tashi, Shidoin, Jun-Shidoin, Shihan, Dai Shihan, Soke, Kaiso, Kancho, DojoCho, Sosei, Sempai, Dai Sempai, Shodai Soke, Shidoin, Fuku Shidoin, Master, Grand Master, Meijin, Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi to name the ones I could remember and found on a quick google search.

I guess I have the same problem with too many titles as I do with too many belts. Just how many belts and titles does one art need?

To me this degrades their meaning when you have a title for every step someone takes up the proverbial martial arts ladder. It's the same thing with grades(belts) and how they are degraded due to being added in with the other 100 belts to the extent that a Yudansha grade no longer means anything other than "just another belt".

I get it but I guess I just don't like it. Personal opinion and nothing more.

And like you I mean no malice or anger, just one mans opinion for what that is worth.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 13843
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wholeheartedly agree with both of you, JR 37 and MatsuShinshii across the board.

I do believe that both my Soke and Dai-Soke knew perfectly what any title meant, and they both were very adamant about not awarding them to just award them for grins and giggles.

Our titles have surfaced, and then said title would disappear, and then sometime later, that title might resurface; some might stay forever, and some might be shelved. All at the discretion of Soke and Dai-Soke!!

Titles, like ranks, are immaterial next to knowledge and experience. Push us consider you, well, you better get really use to remaining said whatever until the end of time.

"Did you come to learn or did you come for toys!!" ~ Soke Saitou



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Last edited by sensei8 on Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1328
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well since it's almost Christmas can I choose the toys now and the training later?

I do like toys and I've been a good boy all year! Stop laughing. No really.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 13843
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Well since it's almost Christmas can I choose the toys now and the training later?

I do like toys and I've been a good boy all year! Stop laughing. No really.

OK...I'm trying to stop laughing...really...I am...but right now, I'm laughing quite out loud right now.


ROFL ROFL
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