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Through the passionate study of traditional martial arts, the essence of "self discovery," begins with the realisation and the cultivation of the relationship between the student and the Sensei.

This traditional relationship forms the foundation in which the martial art is handed down from the Sensei to the student, indeed it is essential the student be mindful not to compromise this time honoured relationship.

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Knowing how to speak to and respond to the Sensei is something, which the student ought to refine, as the moment in time and study are shared between the student and their Sensei. We are reminded that the term "Sensei," has a deeper meaning other than that of "teacher." When we separate the word "Sensei" into two parts, we have the first part "Sen," and the second part "Sei."

The word "Sen" relates to, "previous/proceeding," the representation of "Sei," indeed is the birth of life or spiritual sincerity, this sincere meaning of "Sensei," demonstrates the depth of the culture, which the traditional title is associated with. Indeed a true Sensei is the "living source of the traditional art," which he/she represents. Throughout the years of traditional study under the guidance of my masters, I was told that, indeed the word "Sensei," has a deeper significance that, of " One who is spiritually born before another."

For the student to display their traditional etiquette before their Sensei as well as in the observation of others, then the correct courteous term of title should be made, this also demonstrates to others that the student understands the true significance of this time-honoured etiquette.

"The essence of self-discovery," within the traditional student is set in motion with the realisation of respect towards the Sensei, and the traditional martial art that is portrayed by the teachings and actions of the Sensei, as the student trains to gain a higher level of skill so to the student should seek improvement to polish and refine their manners.

Yours in the true spirit of Budo
Garry O'Connor
Hanshi Judan

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Courtesy © Takahashi-ha no Ryukyu - Shuri-te Karate-do

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