Re: Sempai and Kohai - The Ultimate Transmission
Interesting reading and a good view on the standard Japanese system : )
I think it works ok for the Japanese but not so great for the foreigner stumbling into their heirarchy. Respect should be given to all but the system fails if the Sempai is only really a sempai due to age or because they started in one dojo first. The really good thing about the relationship is it can help to continue and maintain one teachers way...but usually only that. Most dojo's in Japan are closed and very few step outside into others so things can become a little boxed and restraining in that way.
I personally had a much better learning experience when I was in the UK...free to travel to up to 6 or more dojo's in a week. Quickly things become apparent beyond what someone can say or show in the traditonal limited manner. That said if you do truly have a teacher of a high level then it's good to stay and absorb and let the politics that can happen wash by : )
All the best