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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6382
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:13 pm    Post subject: Don't call yourself sensei! Reply with quote

Great video from Jesse Encamp about the term "sensei". What are your thoughts on this?

I'm very lax in our school with titles and such. Possibly wrong but even my youngest students can use my first name and I go by "Miss Danielle" most of the time rather than use a title. I see a lot on Facebook and the like using their titles as part of their name which always seems strange to me... as don't your non-martial arts friends also interact with you on those platforms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pBt_wSAI0Q

As a teacher, how do you prefer your students to address you?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15327
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob. That's it. Bob. Just Bob. Plain Bob.

When it's formal, just Sensei. No Sensei Bob or Sensei Mitcham. When Soke and Dai-Soke were alive, it was Mitcham Sensei...which was quite funny to hear them say my last name...often because of that, it would be just Sensei, or quite a lot of pointing and gesturing.

Great thing about the name Bob is that no matter how you spell it...forwards...backwards...upside down...sideways...it's still Bob. I think my parents were trying to tell me something.




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ashworth
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 558
Location: UK
Styles: Kankoko No Ryu, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I genuinely don't think I get called anything, I run small classes and its obvious when someone wants to talk to me... occasionally I may have been called Sensei and I'm pretty sure I have just been called Ash a couple of times.
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Bulltahr
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 719
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Don't call yourself sensei! Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
I see a lot on Facebook and the like using their titles as part of their name which always seems strange to me... as don't your non-martial arts friends also interact with you on those platforms.



Either they are trying to promote themselves or they are probably a bit delusional. But it's pretty cheesy anyway that you look at it....
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28800
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In class, I prefer just Mr. Walker. I don't necessarily want any title attached to my rank put in front of it. Our organization is pretty strict on not allowing first names to be used, but outside of class, I prefer my first name, or at the least, just my last name with no title.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1855

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends a lot on the culture of the dojo one belongs to. Outside of Okinawa where the dojo culture is quite casual, many dojo’s have a very quasi-military style. Japan’s militarism at the time karate was introduced there and the fact that most first generation non-native instructors were also military men explains why it is so common for titles and rank to be insisted upon.

Personally, using “sir” always seemed unnecessary and misplaced without being in the military. The only forms of address in and out of the dojo was whatever they were in plain English or whatever language was used. A school teacher and a martial arts instructor were called the same thing: “Mr” or “Ms”. Anyone close to one’s age, used first names. I have trained under mostly Okinawan instructors and they have always been very casual with titles except for the regular forms of address “last-name+san” in Japanese. In Japan and Okinawa it’s normal, but in other places it’s normal to use what is usually used there in the local language.
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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 279


PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a hapkido place in my town and the owner is referred as "The supreme grandmaster"

As for me, I thought about this long and hard. This decision of mine also was influenced from being in boxing. My feeling is, I think that what Cobra Kai does in terms of terminology culture is the best because it works as a filtering process.

My personal experience is, often times, a foul mouthed individual with a lack of respect might want to join an art that lets him be himself which is an unpleasant individual.

But I feel that if I am called "sir" and "sensei" then its fair because its not overly grandiose. In a way sensei is teacher and not master and that would describe my occupation accurately. Sir means you respect me enough to surrender certain amount of social dynamics so that I can serve you by being your teacher and you as my student.


Also being called teacher is fine. That being said, I recently experienced a bit of situation which maybe potentially violent if I run to this person again.

So there is a chance that I might just opt for a casual culture and that in the near future, my teaching revolves around reality fighting which is creating scenarios with students experiencing loud screaming of profanities so that if they encounter it outside, they wont be shook up. This means that my teaching also has to reflect the psychology of the streets and so this means that the training culture has to be significantly altered and this includes if I am called by my first name or sensei.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15327
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's far to many pedestals in the MA for ones ego to stand upon. A MA should feel complete enough by being oneself without the labels and adorations pinned to ones chest.

“Honestly expressing yourself...it is very difficult to do. I mean it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling and then feel like pretty cool...or I can make all kind of phony things, you see what I mean, blinded by it or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself...now that, my friend, is very hard to do.” ― Bruce Lee



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