About The Following Blog

The following blog has been written purely for those wanting a first hand knowledge of what it is like to step into the dojo for the first time as a complete beginner as a Martial Artist. Through practising a Martial Art, you will gain many things such as self-confidence, self-respect and life-long and good friends. I hope this helps you to see into an amazing world of which you have never seen before and that I have had the privilege of belonging to and knowing.
Although I have not put my name or any name to this blog, it does deserve a dedication- a dedication to those who help people to train, who teach, reassure and most important of all- those who never give up, no matter how many times they hit the ground or a mental brick wall, with themselves or others. But above all- those who are ready to begin their own journey, it begins with one step….

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chapter 72: What is the difference between a Sensei and a Senpai?

Yet another strange random blog post. What is the difference between a Sensei and a Senpai? A good question I think. This is something I have been pondering over the last few weeks following a few training sessions.

What started this train of thought was that one night at the beginner's class I was addressed by my name and then 'Sensei'. Perhaps I should explain that at this class I am the highest grade after Sensei, so I guess it seemed sensible by my classmate to address me as such, especially as I was helping to teach.

But my first thought was 'Arrgh-No! I am not a Sensei'. I then explained that I wasn't a Sensei, but since I knew this person liked to follow etiquette I suggested Senpai instead.

Again, this happened at another class the following week with another classmate (who is a lower grade than me) who was very insistent that they address me as 'Sensei'. Their point was that because I was taking the first part of the class as Sensei was talking to a parent (we had just finished the kids class before hand) I was teaching and therefore was 'Sensei' not 'Senpai'.

I would just like to say that I try and encourage people to use my first name only on the mat. If they are insistent on following etiquette, I try and encourage them to use 'Senpai' but only in place of 'Sensei'.

I'm not sure what to think to be honest. I try and help lower grades where ever I can, and indeed at a grading this week I had someone come and personally thank me for the help I had given them. But I am not sure if this makes me Senpai, or just a helpful higher grade.

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