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Old 02-21-2011, 02:24 PM   #51
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,002
Re: Who to call "Sensei"?

In my dojo we tend to call everyone by their first name except for our chief instructor; we call him sensei. I rarely refer to him by his first name.... just seems weird.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #52
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 906
Re: Who to call "Sensei"?

We really don't use the word sensei much in the dojo. We just call the person teaching by their name although if we are being more formal we may refer to the teacher as sensei when addressing them. But generally they prefer we not use the title. LOL I think they are still getting used to it since the dojo is still fairly young. If we have a seminar of course we always refer to the instructor as sensei when on the mat. And to be honest I don't think I can even talk to Mary Heiny sensei off the mat without addressing her as sensei, when she is visiting us... just seems wrong somehow.

There are only two teachers in my dojo that I refer to, in my heart, as My sensei. You really can't separate the two in terms of one is my sensei and one is a sensei....they complement one another so perfectly it is like two halves of a whole.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #53
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Re: Who to call "Sensei"?

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
How do you figure that? It just means "teacher", it's how Japanese schoolteachers are called. You surely don't think every elementary school can only have one sensei? This is getting a little too "Highlander" for me.
I am only speaking as far as commmon sense here goes - the senior instructor, or the owner of the dojo, is customary called Sensei here. Actually it must not figured out - once you attend the dojo it easily spotted the person wh is to be the 'Sensei' in this "common sense" setting.

As for settings that are no longer common sense, I already said who is the Sensei then, for me :-)
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:14 AM   #54
john.burn's Avatar
Dojo: Chishin Dojo
Location: Coventry
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
United Kingdom
Re: Who to call "Sensei"?

We tend to call anyone teaching sensei but only at the time they're teaching, so if i'm teaching I'll get called sensei, if someone else is teaching then I'm just John even if it's 'my' class and I ask someone to show something - they're referred to as sensei and I'm John again until the class moves on.

Some people call me it all the time, even off the mat which is a little funny and feels very weird to me... One of the guys from the club came over to my house one night to have a chat and just hang out - he bowed to me when I answered the front door and said hi sensei and bowed when he left. Still makes me laugh and he still does it.

It just feels right to refer to a Japanese teacher on and off the mat as sensei, but not a western teacher for whatever reason. Just feels awkward. There have been exceptions mind you - with Bill Smith and Haydn Foster then it always felt right to refer to them as sensei.

Best Regards,

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Old 02-22-2011, 01:03 PM   #55
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,249
Re: Who to call "Sensei"?

Marvin Rayla wrote: View Post
i am confused who to call sensei.. and how do we know the instructor is a sensei? 'cause i might be mistaken calling someone a sensei and if he's not..


consider my english..
Call everyone Sensei. Thier reaction will give you insight into their personality.

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