Karate is a martial art that has been around for many years. It has a long, rich history and is still practised today.
To an outsider, it seems like a simple physical activity that promotes self-defence training.
However, karate goes much beyond that.
On top of that, it is a system that promotes great philosophical teachings as well as emotional, physical, and mental nuances.
One of the most integral parts of karate training is the bond formed between the student and the teacher.
Karate teachers are respected and revered because of their experience and knowledge, and they are responsible for passing these lessons on to their students.
So, if you are enthusiastic about karate and want to start learning or teaching, then it is vital to fully understand the role of the karate teacher, including what they are called and what experience they can bring to the table.
This will be helpful when it comes to choosing the right instructor and teaching you how to be a good one. Read on for more!
What Is The Right Term For A Karate Teacher?
The traditional term for a karate teacher is Sensei. Sensei is a Japanese word and when translated it means “elder” or “the one who has gone before.”
However, the meaning is slightly different when it comes to the context of karate. Here, the term sensei means “guide” or “teacher.”
In your karate lessons, your teacher is supposed to guide you in the right direction.
There can be one or more sensei in a dojo, and all teachers will report to the head sensei.
Sometimes the teacher in your dojo will be known as the shihan, which means “master of masters.”
What Is The Role Of A Sensei?
Let’s check out the role of the sensei in further detail:
- Trains students in karate
- Offers life lessons and guidance
- Watchful of students in order to correct any mistakes
Teaching the students the correct form and technique for karate is not the only responsibility of the sensei.
Their responsibilities extend to showing students a good way of life that is related to the discipline, on top of the core teachings and philosophy of the discipline.
A sensei will have spent many years, and even decades, perfecting the discipline and gaining experience, which all students can benefit from.
On top of that, sensei’s usually have many years of teaching experience, which has turned teaching karate into an art.
Senseis can act as confidantes, friends, or even parents for their students.
They must set an example for all of them not just in their understanding and practice of karate, but in terms of how they live their own lives and how the wisdom and teaching of karate influences their decision making.
So, a sensei must set a good example both inside and outside of the dojo.
What Are The Advantages Of One-On-One Training?
There are a plethora of benefits that a student can gain from one-on-one training with their sensei.
Inside the dojo, your sensei will help you work through many techniques and forms, starting from simple moves and eventually venturing into more complex ones.
The sensei will empahsize the importance of getting the basic technique right.
There are a lot of intricacies when it comes to the basics that can go wrong very easily. So, your sensei will stick with you to ensure these details are taken care of properly.
Eventually, this will result in your having a solid technique and excellent form!
Additionally, there is an advantage of one-on-one training when it comes to the kata. Like with other aspects of the art, it is important to follow the lead of your sensei.
Like with basic techniques, learning various katas can be difficult, so your sensei will be very important here for guiding you in your kata and pointing out when you do something wrong with your technique or form.
However, training in a group can be just as helpful and important and training one-on-one.
Here, students can act as a positive support system for one another and push each other to maintain their determination and excel.
As well as teaching you, your sensei will make sure you are not putting too much pressure and stress on yourself, or others.
While some competitiveness is good and healthy, too much can’t stop things from being friendly, which is what you do not want.
How To Pick The Right Sensei
Choosing the right sensei all depends on your reason for practising the martial art in the first place.
If you are more of a casual attender of the dojo, just wanting to pick up a new hobby or keep fit, then you can probably keep things casual when looking for a sensei, too.
It may be more beneficial for you to not attend solely karate classes, but attend a class that implements karate into other types of training.
If you do want to learn karate in the more traditional way, start competing in competitive events, or have more knowledge of self defence, then you should pick a school that follows the philosophies and values that karate upholds.
In terms of the teacher, you should seek out a sensei who has a great reputation and many years of experience, in terms of teaching and combat.
Other things to remember are the peer group.
You will be training with the same people at the same school for hopefully many years, so it is important to ensure these are people that you get along with and that you are compatible with in terms of training and sparring.
Luckily, there are many schools out there that will allow you to trial classes, so don’t be afraid to do this in order to find the perfect school for you.
Karate teachers are called sensei.
They are responsible for not only teaching you how to perfect your technique and form, how to spar well, and how to keep motivated, but they are also responsible for teaching you the wisdom, philosophies, and morals that karate upholds.