Thread: Uchi Deshi?
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:23 AM   #8
pezalinski's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Harvard (IL)
Location: harvard, IL
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 159
Cool Re: Uchi Deshi?

A few thoughts for you to consider:

An uchi-deshi and his/her sensei have a special relationship. The student is raising their level of commitment to the utmost degree -- it is a commitment on the part of the student to attend every class, accompany the sensei to every seminar, and do everything within their power to do whatever their sensei asks of them, from living in and maintaining the dojo to caring for sensei's needs (hot tea, clean socks, arranging for transportation, taking ukemi under any and all circumstances....). In return, the sensei has a commitment to mold that student, through training, special classes and additional personal instruction. The uchi-deshi learns how a dojo is run, from the inside, and gets a unique perspective on how the sensei handles his/her responsibilities. And usually assists in instruction, either as an uke or as a teacher, under sensei's direct supervision.

This is not for everyone. In my experience (I was a deshi for a while), one has to give up or postpone involvement in any outside interests other than aikido, eating, sleeping. Work becomes a lesser priority -- if you have time for outside work at all. Ditto any personal relationships. You are responsible for your own upkeep and meals-- so unless you have an independent source of income, 100% deshi-hood is an impossibility.

Some dojos have a part-time deshi program -- i.e., whenever the dojo is open, your presence is required, but when it is closed, you are free; not a live-in arrangement. That's the kind of program I was a part of. It allowed me to hold a job, until work required me to travel more than my deshi responsibilities would allow, and then I had to leave the deshi program.

And, as my sensei told me, you can attend all of the classes, seminars, and events and be as committed to aikido and the dojo as an uchi-deshi, without actually commiting to a deshi program. You can have a life, and Aikido, too.

A little danger is a knowledge thing...

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