The Role of Sempai
My thoughts today rest upon the role of the senior students in a dojo. These thoughts arrive mostly from my insecurities as to how to approach two of my training partners in our dojo. The two are now on their second year of training with us (we are a college dojo) and come from other disciplines, which is welcomed. They do seem to still look to how to make our techniques hurt to indicate their reliability. I, personally, fear that the approach that they take discourages some students from continuing to train with us.
My fellow sempai and I do what we can to keep these two from training only with each other and from leading the newer students into potentially dangerous habits and behavior. We encourgae the two of them to be lighter-hearted and to use less strength in their technique, though their competition oriented mindset does make it difficult to explain our motivations with the Aikido philosophy.
Any suggestions in how we can reach these two? Our sensei is great and understanding, though with our status as a Univertity dojo it is sometimes difficult to enforce (self-)discipline. I hope to hear from you all.