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Old 03-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #32
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,240
Re: It's getting annoying..

Hanna, I think, at least here in the United States, that we use the term sempai differently than in Japanese culture. Here I understand the term to mean someone who is senior and sets an example for those who are junior, a role model of sorts. My limited understanding is that in Japan a sempai is one who essentiall "adopts" a junior and guides that person's development. From my perspective, I can't understand how an individual can turn off his role as sempai and just be another student, any more than I can understand a formal leader of an organization ignoring his obligation as a leader to become just one of the troops. Are we using the term differently?

I don't speak to Mr. Santana's character. I am simply observing that his attitude towards training with beginners is quite likely obvious to them and counter-productive to their training and to the well-being of the dojo. In my opinion it would be better to not take on the role of training them, or change his attitude towards them. It is difficult enough to start training in this art without the added burden of feeling unwelcome and a trial to be borne. His annoyance is one issue, and his personal need for more substantial training is another. They are two different things, and he can accomplish his personal goals in other ways, without demonstrating the negative behavior of being annoyed.

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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