Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Shift from student to sensei

Everyone's practice of the martial arts is filled with growth and change ... with transition. There are transitions that lots and lots of people make - like the transition from white belt to yellow belt.  Then there are transitions that very few practitioners make - like the transition from student to sensei. Of course, any good sensei will always remain a student of the art, but not every student becomes a sensei.  The sensei is a student - plus something.
How does that transition happen?  There are probably as many paths as there are people who have made that journey.
  • Some people knew from the very beginning of their training that they wanted to teach, and they actively pursued that role.
  • Some students move and there is no sensei near their new home, so they become the defacto neighborhood sensei.
  • Sometimes the sensei moves away and a student is left to fill his role, keeping things running.
  • Sometimes a student seeks out a sensei who otherwise would not be teaching.
What other paths have you seen people take to transition from student to sensei?
Do you have any helpful hints to ease the growing pains for students trying to make this transition to sensei?
Patrick Parker
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