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Old 06-28-2013, 04:17 PM   #14
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 642
Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Calling Chiba Sensei Sensei or Chiba Sensei -dont we all call him this?While I know both his forename and surname I always refer him as Sensei in conversation with him . In correspondence by letter I address him as Chiba Sensei.As part of the student/teacher relationship one must avoid over familiarity . Even while being taught by juniors at courses I address the the teacher as Sensei , not Bill , Fred or Mabel.Some people call Chiba Sensei {usually in printed matter} 'Chiba' .Most disrespectful in my opinion.Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe

We go back a long time my friend, you mention disrespect, I don't remember if I ever told you the following story ?

In 1967 I was assistant to Chiba Sensei - It was the first day of a week long summer school, I was on the mat taking preparation when Chiba Sensei called me into his changing room, he said " Mr Ellis - the northern students are good students, but they are too familiar " - I asked Sensei to explain.
he said that a group of students would slap him on the back and call him Kazuo - I had never come across this kind of conduct before, so I told Sensei not to worry and I would talk to the whole class before he came on the mat. I thought this would be a simple matter of explaining etiquette. As I advised the class that no one should refer to Sensei by his Christian name, one guy stands up as a spoke person for a particular group, he states that they will not change their ways, he also added that he worked for a national company and called his CEO `` Bill`` - I told him that if he did not know the difference between Budo and Business he should not be on this mat. Now, I have a munity on my hands - instead of a polite chat, I ended up telling the mutineers that if I heard any one of them refer to Chiba Sensei in any disrespectful way, I would personally take the offenders off the mat and batter some sense in to them. only then did they calm down - Chiba Sensei approved, but I don't think the offenders ever forgave me, even to this day

Henry Ellis
Co-author ` Positive Aikido `
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