It was Abbe Sensei's teaching - It never changed. - students were referred to as Mr or Ms.
If anyone came in my dojo using first names they would be out quicker than they came in.
I remember teaching Ken Cottier when he was beginner in Liverpool. He was a Judoka with Fred Wainwright Sensei - Ken didn't have any problems with calling myself and Ken Williams Sensei each time we visited.
I always liked Ken Cottier and invited him as a guest to the `Kenshiro Abbe Memorial Event` in 2005 at Crystal Palace - London.
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
Thank you for your reply!
Exactly as I remember Ken Cottier - polite and even formal towards other people. He had no problem whatsoever addressing Aikido instructors as sensei. But as for himself he never insisted on it.
By calling the students Mr. and Ms, Abbe sensei followed in effect the same custom as in Japan, where everyone is addressed with family name and "san".
Of course this Japanese kind of formal politeness was not much different then the European culture of that time (fifties?).
But European culture has changed dramatically and it shows its effect on the Aikido dojo..
I was wondering if you would be willing to share some of your thoughts on this?
If I understand it correctly students and teachers are still addressed in the same formal way in your dojo? How about the teachers that have been educated in your dojo - are they less formal?.