Recently a sempai of mine suddenly showed up at our dojo, after disappearing from aikido for several years. Apparently he moved to another country and did other martial arts and sports. He was a shodan when he left the art and I think I was 2nd kyu back then.
Anyway, last week he joined the class which I was leading - I'm a nidan now - and he didn't seem to mind that I am now higher ranking than him. He did give a few pointers to his partners during the class but more or less he just trained like any member of the class. He performed excellently, like he never stopped practicing. He says he didn't do any aikido since he left our dojo and I guess he's just one of those freaks who are athletically gifted. He was always a very good aikidoka, known in our organization for his technical skill.
How do I handle this rather strange sempai-kohai relationship? He is my sempai when I was his student but now I am higher ranking than him.
He says he will be attending every Tuesday, which happens to be my scheduled class. Do I let him teach the class? Frankly, his skills are still far better than mine and I feel intimidated to be teaching a class with him in it. I'm kinda hoping he attends the classes taught by the head of our dojo (who's a godan), but then I do enjoy training with him. It's always a learning experience practicing with him.
Should I "enforce" my rank? So far he's been very respectful to me and defers to me on the mat.
How should I go about this?
Since he is apparently ok with you teaching class, just go along with it. Don't be intimidated; just teach!