What is a Karate Sensei Trying to Teach?

Not many people understand what a real Karate sensei is trying to teach. Too often people sign up for a karate lesson, learn to bow and call the teacher Sensei, and don’t even know what the word means. This is true not just of karate, but of other martial arts, such as Kenpo or Kung Fu. To understand what the word sensei means, however, is to change the student’s mind about what the martial arts are all about.

In Japan there is a three year ‘task’ for monks during their training. During this time they must live by the kindness of their fellow man. They sit in places where people pass by and hold their cups out and beg without speaking.

One of the places for these monks is at crossroads. People travel by, flip a coin in the cup, and walk on. And, occasionally, people ask where a destination is.

The monk, who after a time of living in such a manner looks rather shabby, merely extends his finger and points down the road. Thus, the word sensei means: ‘He who points the way.’ And this term has been taken and used by people who are guiding others to a specific destination.

Now, the unfortunate fact is that many martial arts instructors don’t understand this. Martial Arts have exploded across civilization so fast that proper teachings have been all but forgotten. Thus, many karate sensei are in it solely for the ‘domination factor.’

Thus, real teachings are put aside, and the teaching method has been geared for the person who wishes to control people. But a real martial arts teacher doesn’t control people; he teaches martial arts. And there is a huge and vast difference between these two things.

The fellow who teaches people is looking for money, to dominate, to make sure he is the leader of the pack. The fellow who teaches martial arts doesn’t care about being leader of the pack, he just wants to give information that will lead the student down the correct path. The question is…what is the correct path?

A martial art teacher who lacks understanding will point to trophies, to being in charge, to winning no matter what the cost is. A martial art instructor who has not journeyed upon the way himself will push people, call for discipline, and make people monkey see monkey do what he is showing them, no matter that he doesn’t understand it himself. A true Karate sensei gives the teachings, then removes himself from the path of the student.

Fortunately, there is a course that is not monkey see monkey do, but actually works the way old time martial arts instruction. Karate sensei everywhere, if they want to be true to the art, should look to the Martial Arts Instructor Course at Free Martial Arts Online.

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