I will have to look into that. And my husband isn't just my sempai with swords, sensei considers him my sempai...period. I guess I just won't get it and I think asking how it works would be rude.
Needless to say, I have really appreciated everyone's imput. The different views have been pretty helpful. I have gotten some interesting thoughts as well as some things that I could look into reading now.
And your sensei is not Japanese, but trained with K Chiba and at the Hombu, right? Well, I did the same thing, but had probably the advantage of being able to discuss with him issues such as this face to face.
This might be hard for you to accept, but discussing such topics in a forum like this, with people who do not know your sensei from Adam, occasionally puts people in the position of having to accept what their sensei says, along with the realization that he or she can be wrong.