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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: If There's No Other Instructors, What then!?!? Reply with quote

The initials of CI are well known to many students of the MA. For the most, if not all of the time, there's only one individual at any said MA schools that those initials belong to. Oftentimes, this very same individual is also the owner/operator of said MA school; a dual administrative position.

CI are the usual initials of most MA schools Chief Instructor. The CI is the Head Honcho...Top Dog...Where the Buck Stops...Large and in Charge...The Big Cheese...The Big Wheel...The Enchilada...The Big Kahuna...The High Muckamuck...The Boss!!

The CI runs the entire school; wall to wall...door to door...floor to ceiling without any ambiguity whatsoever. Everyone, student(s) AND non-student(s) answer to the CI no matter the issue...no matter what. If it can be named and it concerns that particular school, then the CI is the final authority...without question(s)!!

What's the initials of the instructor, whom's the sole instructor of said MA school??

Perhaps that type of individual might carry a sole initial for being the sole instructor...like..."I", for Instructor or "S" for Sensei or any other appropriate initial.

Seems quite presumptuous of that sole Instructor to be addressed as the CI, when she/he are that schools one and only instructor...no one
else...nobody...zero...zip...zilch...nada. Albeit, it's just a label...just some initials...just an arbitrary whim...just an ego boost.

To be addressed as the CI, shouldn't there be, like, other instructors, for example, for the CI to direct/supervise as needed?!!?

After all, as the saying goes..."A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk."

Your thoughts, please!!




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The Pred
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 329

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if there is only one instructor then Sensei is fine. (Then again if the only instructor is also the owner as you said, he/she can call themselves anything they want). But yes, once that instructor trains and has other instructors then that person automatically becomes a CI.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1714

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not simply be called “teacher” or whatever equivalent? For larger schools with more than one instructor it will certainly become obvious who everyone will look to as a reference for martial arts techniques and directing/running the school.

When training in Okinawa the “chief instructor” is just whoever is in charge of a dojo. Usually called “sensei” or teacher and the most senior dan grade is called Shihan or “assisting instructor”. Running a dojo and having students(with approval and permission) makes one an “full instructor”.

However, when training at the hombu dojo, the “grandmaster” or head of the lineage is refered to as sensei by everyone because the dojo belongs to that instructor and all others are students.

Small dojo’s/schools really have no use for titles like “Chief Instructor”. It makes everything more complicated than necessary and can create much friction. Nobody is ever forced or coerced into training in a given school and neither is anyone held there against their wishes. The school owner or whoever started the school decides how to teach, what to teach and everything else about how things are done. Students and other instructors if any must follow or else they are free to seek instruction and training elsewhere.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I call everyone by their first name; I prefer it that way because it clears the air of any stuffiness. Titles always have their place, but not in any great abundances every second of the day/night; formality has to be toned as low as possible. After all, the knowledge and experience is far more important than how one should be addressed.

Sensei or CI or GM or O/O, or half a dozen other labels can easily be replaced by just using first names...Bob...I like that, after all, it's my name. CI/Kaicho/Sensei are nothing more than labels. Formality can be misunderstood and stringently out of place if used to allow whomever to beat their chests in superiority over others.

I have to tone down the stuffiness in my own dojo and at the Hombu by setting the tone right from the start. When formality calls for it, even then, the stuffiness has to be aired out as quick as possible. Ego has no place on and off the floor.

I understand that using first names can be a sign of disrespect of some degree; but that tone too has to be set for an acceptable reason; formality can be viewed as a sign of disrespect.

Titles like President or Vice-President or Chairman of the Board or Chief Executive Officer or Commander or Lt. Commander or Private or Judge or Your Honor or Your Majesty or Sergeant, all have their place, and must be adhered to for their own reasons. First names usages might not be acceptable at any time within those disciplines whatsoever, because it's the right thing to do.

The usages of MA respectful labels, however used, is the right thing to do as long as its the air of respect. If I allow first names, and someone else finds it inappropriate, then that person needs to remember that this is my dojo, and I set the tone, not anyone else and/or culture does whatsoever.

CI, a lot of the time, is just used here by myself because most MAists recognize it as the one who's large and in charge that I'm referring to/about.



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1714

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It makes sense to follow whatever the general interpersonal relationship codes call for wherever one might be. That or the personal preference of whoever is being addressed. This is common sense everywhere, not just in a martial arts school context.

In some cultures peers call eachother by first name, but in others hierarchy is so important that everyone must know who is senior to whom and there are words or “title” forms of address that are used and even expected. It is however a rare and strange thing for anyone to expect or demand being called “Chief something or other” or even just “mister”
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
It makes sense to follow whatever the general interpersonal relationship codes call for wherever one might be. That or the personal preference of whoever is being addressed. This is common sense everywhere, not just in a martial arts school context.

In some cultures peers call each other by first name, but in others hierarchy is so important that everyone must know who is senior to whom and there are words or “title” forms of address that are used and even expected. It is however a rare and strange thing for anyone to expect or demand being called “Chief something or other” or even just “mister”

Solid post!!

No one should ever be forced to do anything for any reason(s), I wholeheartedly agree. If called upon by something other than the formal title, there shouldn't ever be any disciplinary action leveled whatsoever...but fortunately it does occur more often than not.

Whenever a person considers themselves more important than the core of the art, then it's time to close the doors forthwith. Self-aggrandizement is the bane of existence found in more MA than not, in which seeps into the pours of a many MA schools; just look at the pageantry exhibited throughout the MA world nowadays: despicable!!



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Last edited by sensei8 on Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27701
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone has to start somewhere, and every school has to start somewhere, and with someone in charge, even if it is the only person of authority present.

We've used the terms Chief Instructor or Head Instructor. Typically, the instructor that founds the school is the Chief Instructor, whether or not they have any subordinate instructors.

Now, if it was me, and I was the only black belt instructor at my school, I'd probably just refer to myself as "the instructor," until I got some more instructor help.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2359
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This reminds me of a situation at a job I had a while back. We were printing business cards for the staff, and they had me fill in my title. I asked my boss “If I’m the only athletic trainer, am I the head athletic trainer? Or am I just the athletic trainer?” I got a blank stare for what seemed like several minutes. I was told “everyone before you was the head athletic trainer, so I guess you are too.”

So I signed everything official that needed my title and signature with “head athletic trainer.” Every time, I chuckled and wanted to write “head of a staff of 1” but I never ended up doing it.

Edit: my boss’s further rationale was there’s always a head coach even if there aren’t any assistant coaches on a particular team, so I was the head athletic trainer.

Another college offered to give me the title of associate athletic trainer (meaning second in line) instead of a pay raise. I told them “you can give me the title of supreme athletic trainer or head training room garbage man for all I care; neither one’s going to put food on the table.” They didn’t like that. I sent my resume to 5 places right after that meeting. A month later I started a job 10 miles away making $10k more. God I wish that could happen again
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Fat Cobra
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 148
Location: Fort Drum, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about, "Exalted Leader?"
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it's not the title, but the how and what that person does with it. After all, it's just a title...just words...to do with it as we feel fit; quality of the titles usage. Even then, it's really no ones business how a title is used, if at all!!

I'm of the mind to eliminate every single title listed in our By-Laws, so that there's no chance of anyone getting a big head. And over what? A title!? Which has absolutely nothing to do with what Shindokan is about in the first place.

Then again, in organizations, titles give into the existing chain of command. Imagine what the military would be like without a chain of command, for example. Anarchy, possible!!

In retail, there's President, Vice-President, Zone/Group Vice-President, Regional Manager, District Manager, Area Manager, Store Manager, Assistant Managers by 3 levels, and associates; sub-Managers exist, like, Senior Human Resources Director and Senior Loss Prevention Director, in which other departments exist through the chain of command.

In a dojo!? Not so much. Bob!! That's a cool title!!

Why do we/I have to go to the Hombu?? Why do we/I feel obligated to use Japanese titles or the like, and not just Headquarters. Doesn't make the building and/or what's happening inside much more official/important. Everyone inside knows who's in charge and who's not.

I continue to use CI and the like because that's what we were taught by Saitou Sensei and Takahashi Sensei; a habit that's stuck with us all for these many years. "Ask the CI?"..."The CI is the Chief Instructor"..."The CI enforces the curriculum"..."Sorry, the CI isn't here right now"..."Who's the CI?", so on and so forth.

We get in the habits we're taught!!

So, If a dojo, wait, a MA school, has only one teacher, then, out of habit, we name that sole instructor...CI...out of habit...and don't even give it one thought at all...and it's acceptable/understood/recognized. Then, on the other side of the coin, some feel inferior, so much so, that having a title makes them feel more adequately important.




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