Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.
Makes sense. I used to see the same thing with Nidai Doshu. On the one hand, Kuroiwa sensei would tell me how Doshu, then "Waka sensei," would get drunk and try to grab the butts of the bar maids, and they'd carry him home singing. With that background, establishing a little formality and distance would be essential.
And on the other hand, he referred to Tomiki sensei as Tomiki-san, stating that he shouldn't call what he did "aikido."