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Old 08-11-2009, 10:44 AM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: Sempai/Kohai Relationship in Aikido

{devil's advocate hat on}
Does it have to manifest exactly as it does in Japan for us to appropriate the words as something a little different from junior/senior?
Where I train the dojo culture has a several decades long history of using the terms to describe a chain of support and responsibility. I think that when newbies are told that is what "sempai/kohei" means, it has meaning beyond the English words "junior/senior" which in most contexts bear no inherent relationship. So while we are not using the Japanese terms to describe the full relationship as it exists in Japan, it becomes a useful jargon, if you will, so students understand it as something special within the dojo context, just as we use other Japanese language terms.
YMMV
{devil's advocate hat off}

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 08-11-2009 at 10:44 AM. Reason: clarity I hope

Janet Rosen
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