Jeff Marsten 7/30/89
Question “A” 5th Dan exam
The attitude required for instructing kendo.
The attitude of the sensei encompasses many facets of the student-teacher relationship all at once. The sensei must be a leader and an example of correct thinking and correct behavior both inside and outside the dojo. He must always demonstrate that he is trying hard to do his best. If you are doing the best you can then no one can expect more from you but it is always necessary to reach deeper and keep learning. The sensei continues to learn because the students will teach him as he teaches them. Just as it takes 2 people to practice kendo the teaching is a shared experience. Ken & Michi, it is through constantly striving to improve your michi that the sensei will learn and lead. If you teach kendo you are responsible for how your students turn out, you must bring out the best in each student through hard training and a good example of life. If a student’s behavior is poor than the sensei is responsible to correct him and change his behavior.
Kendo is not a sport in which you try to beat someone and win a trophy. Kendo is a way of life to try and develop yourself. When you have a match you are responsible whether you win or lose because you are your opponent. When you lose it is because you need more training but should never consider your partner as someone to beat, you must constantly test yourself to strive to be better and continue progress throughout your kendo life.
I found this the other day in the book The Sword of No-Sword which I had pulled out to re-read a couple parts. I shared it with my students who thought I should publish it here.