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Old 07-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #26
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Canada
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Quote:
Dear Basia,
As Henry said Aikido is Budo. Being in an Aikido environment is not the same as being in a golf club, tennis club or in a work environment.In matters of addressing the teacher I have always used a formal address eg sensei to my teachers.If someone was in the service of Queen Elizabeth would the person be likely to address her as Lizzy/Queenie/Beth or whatever?I hardly think so.Do you think that White House staff call the President Mr President or Obama?
May I also point out that the current Doshu was known as Waka Sensei prior to his fathers demise.Prior to his fathers demise was he addressed by his colleagues as Moriteru??
Cheers, Joe.
Sorry, are you agreeing with me or disagreeing?

I was responding to the story about the students getting angry at being asked to call a teacher Sensei instead of using his first name. I.e., if someone asks you not to use their first name, or to use a title, or to use a specific version of their name, I'm suggesting you generally should do as they ask.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:01 AM   #27
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: South Korea, Yongin
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

All the teachers I met in Japan from Omura / Shirata / Ueshiba / Shioda / Sugano and even the Soke of a Jujutsu school I studied at were always called sensei. School teachers are also all sensei, and as I was a school teacher at some point, some of my sensei even called me sensei sometimes, which I thought rather funny. I never heard anyone called Shihan until recently, usually when they refer to someone teaching at Honbu. To me it looks like someone made a decision and said hey, make sure to call everyone at Honbu shihan from now on, and so they do.

In Korea, everyone who teaches marital arts is called Sabeom (Shihan), and in ordinary school it would be Seonseng (Sensei).

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #28
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Sorry, are you agreeing with me or disagreeing?

I was responding to the story about the students getting angry at being asked to call a teacher Sensei instead of using his first name. I.e., if someone asks you not to use their first name, or to use a title, or to use a specific version of their name, I'm suggesting you generally should do as they ask.
Dear Basia,
I neither agree /disagree with you.I simply state my own viewpoint.As far a a student getting angry about clling his instructor Sensei, if this person was in my venue, he /she would be out on their ear.The dog wags the tail not a case of the tail wagging the dog.The teacher calls the shots not the student.So if a teacher wishes to be addressed as sensei and the other party is unhappy about this, the student can move out .This is my take on things. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #29
JP3
 
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Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Graham asked, " I'm also interested if some teacher who says 'call me John' gets upset when a respectful student calls him Sensei."

Since I'm a John, I'll answer... nope. The student who calls me sensei as a habit/practice is an ex-milatary career guy (Coast Guard) so maybe that's his reason, I don't know. Doesn't bother me, though it has made other students uncomfortable, when they've been calling me by my first name, and here he comes in with a more-formal Sensei. Makes them feel slightly itchy.

The ones who think "that way" about respect and showing respect tend to use "sir," or "Ma'am," in my experience. The ones who don't think "that way" about speaking/showing respect in that spoken fashion tend to not use names on the mat all, except perhaps to the training partner of the moment. The respect is there however, it is palpable.

My experience, anyway.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:59 PM   #30
JP3
 
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Here's something interesting from Yamata Sensei from the Interview of same on the term "Shihan."

(Interview link found in the Aikido and Budo Thread.)

Q: ", what do You think Sensei about the shihan system?"

Yamata Sensei: "I don’t know how this system started but again because of this system, Aikikai has a lot of troubles. Shihan is not a title. It is a different way of saying “Sensei” in Japanese, but with a little more respect. So you could be a Shihan to your students. If you were a little bit older, and your students respected you a lot, they would call you a shihan instead of a sensei. That is all! It is not a title. That is why it is the only certificate that Aikikai doesn’t charge for. It is free." [laughs]

Now... that's funny. And, cynical. But, very realistic/practical.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #31
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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England
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
Graham asked, " I'm also interested if some teacher who says 'call me John' gets upset when a respectful student calls him Sensei."

Since I'm a John, I'll answer... nope. The student who calls me sensei as a habit/practice is an ex-milatary career guy (Coast Guard) so maybe that's his reason, I don't know. Doesn't bother me, though it has made other students uncomfortable, when they've been calling me by my first name, and here he comes in with a more-formal Sensei. Makes them feel slightly itchy.

The ones who think "that way" about respect and showing respect tend to use "sir," or "Ma'am," in my experience. The ones who don't think "that way" about speaking/showing respect in that spoken fashion tend to not use names on the mat all, except perhaps to the training partner of the moment. The respect is there however, it is palpable.

My experience, anyway.
Nice. Makes sense too. Just goes to show it's more to do with respect than any words really.

Made me think of cultural differences too. Personally I like to immerse myself into the culture of something I am learning or doing. Made me recall a time I visited a famous Japanese teacher with a student. Whilst the student entered the dojo and proceeded to watch I stayed at the door. When he came back to enquire why I wasn't coming in I told him to just follow what I do. He did, the class stopped and a student was immediately sent to ask me to enter. Meanwhile, on visiting a friends class it was more him turning with a 'Yo.....what's happening dude?'

Peace.G.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #32
JP3
 
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Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
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Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.

Graham said, "Meanwhile, on visiting a friends class it was more him turning with a 'Yo.....what's happening dude?'"

Yes, that's my class. Southeast Texas, southern hospitality and a "different" kind of respect and formality.

I don't see so well, so the ears have picked up in that way they do. I've been on the mat with my class, and I can recall a conversation from my dojo last week where one of my shodans I'm working with will say after a correction/suggestion by me, "Whoa! thank's, man! That really helped!" and there's no hint of disrespect intended or taken.

Meanwhile across the mat, a 1st kyu brown belt speaking to a new white belt is saying, "The way Sensei Powell wishes for us to do this to start out is like this..." [demonstrates] "but, when you see him do it later, I can't do it the way Sensei does, but it looks all flowy and stuff, more like ..." [demonstrates] Reply from white belt: "So, when Mr. Powell does things, he does them differently from how he wants us to do them?" [laughter from brown belt] "Well, Sensei says that we'll get there in our own time, he just took a long time and bounced off a lot of sharp edges to get where he is, but I can tell it's working."

The second one had enough "Sensei" and "Mr." in it to make me feel a little ... odd, as I don't insist on that sort of thing. It just wasn't how I was brought up. I was taught that it was courteous to offer your first name to people when you met them, and it was courteous to remember theirs and use it as it meant that you valued them as people. Rather than disrespect, it WAS respect to do so.

Now... I did spend a sting in traditional and American taekwondo in the kick-punch days, and the Korean traditions, as carried into the States have a serious edge of respect-police and title-gestapo, I can honestly report that. But, while I was in it with everyone else, it was no big deal to refer to everyone as Mr. Such and Ms. so-and-so, though it was interesting to be expected to call some whiz-bang 8 year old black belt "Mr." Just seemed weird and a bit comical, but the kid was fantastically gifted, so perhaps he did earn it and was worthy? Above my pay grade.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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