View Full Version : relationships

29th October 2000, 02:50
so, what do you think the 'right' relationship between teacher and student is?

Nick Porter

John Lindsey
29th October 2000, 02:03
and honesty.

29th October 2000, 06:22
Great replies, but personally, I would add: Trust.

29th October 2000, 09:54
I believe Nick said so in the topic post, though some may not see it.

It should be as any other school, the relationship is that of teacher and student. Loyalty, etc., is nice and all, but shouldn't it be a two-way street? I see this often, "Be loyal to one's teacher" but rarely the other way around.


Rolling Elbow
29th October 2000, 16:06

29th October 2000, 19:07
I agree, it avoids the 'you will respect me and love me and adore me even though I mock you and hit you' attitude... the senior should not have to respect the junior, but he should be loyal, and at least somewhat caring...

Nick Porter

Steve Williams
29th October 2000, 19:25
A teacher should be: Guide, confidant and friend.

This should be seen by both student and by teacher.

I also think that respect is a two way street.

Thomas Wahl
30th October 2000, 07:08
Hi folks!

I would like to describe the relationship betwenn teacher and student as a kind of "Big Brother". No I don't speak about the novell, and I don't speak about webcam's in the locker-rooms :laugh: .....
It is a friendship like you have it to someone who went already abit more along the road. Someone who has more knowledge and guides you!
By this way You understand the feelings of your students better. They will be more open. It helps them to overcome problems, which maybe block them to learn more. It is more likely, that they ask you for a solution in their problems. This is a sign of trust!

Gil Gillespie
30th October 2000, 12:10
Everything above re: teacher & student is on the money. I must take issue with the post that the sempai does not have to respect his kohai. As I tell our white belts new people are not only the life blood of the dojo but of the entire art as well. As sempai we've been on The Path a little longer, that's all. We have no ingrained right to denigrate or pummel our kohai. We're not, after all, pledging them into "Animal House."

Others can and will take issue here, but it all goes back to "how you were raised." When I first came out to train the active involvement of my sempais and their obvious pleasure in my progress was an unexpected rewarding facet of training. Our dojo is thus a community and so are the other great ones I've visited. This in no way precludes hard training, strong budo tradition, or even shugyo.

30th October 2000, 13:47
Like any other relationship, the most critical component is mutual understanding and equal levels of expectation. It is a contract, if you will. No matter how egalitarian, or how obtuse and skewed the actual relationship may be from a third party perspective, the parties should be clear on the roles and responsibilities of each party.

So, what we think should be present in a good teacher-student relationship may or may not fit with what others define, or even say in public.

So, you could have a relationship that is totally controlled by the teacher, which could border on a cult or some other form of realationship that most of us would consider abusive. There could also be the situation where the teacher gives over all control to the student, i.e. the student gets to make their study a self-guided tour. While I doubt that anyone posting here would see these as healthy examples of a teacher-student relationship - I submit to you that if the expectations are equal, even if the balance of the respective roles is not equal, then the relationship could be considered ideal.

But seriously folks...

I'm curious to know what people think about the relative responsibilities of each party.

I tell my students that it is my responsibility to teach them, and keep them safe from harm while training. But, I also tell them that as they progress, it is their responsibility to help me keep other students from harm, by being a good training partner. It is remarkable to see how prospective students respond to this. Some will will "light up" at the prospect of developing a community of mutual support in the dojo. Others cower at the thought of having to "share the load" as it were. It seems to keep the folks that "just want to be fed information" away from the dojo. I am fine with that, although my bank account suffers for it.

While it keeps the dojo small, I think it helps to develop the proper heart in those that remain.

Anyone care to comment on their own perspective, as opposed to what you think is the "ideal"?

My $.02,

30th October 2000, 21:59
Originally posted by Gil Gillespie
Everything above re: teacher & student is on the money. I must take issue with the post that the sempai does not have to respect his kohai. As I tell our white belts new people are not only the life blood of the dojo but of the entire art as well.

The sempai does not have to respect the kohai, but I feel that the sempai (as stated, Big Brother) should support his kohai (little brother) and try to do what's best for him and his training.

That's just my opinion, of course... too often relationships fail because there is no support from the teacher, which leads to a lack of respect from student.

And it goes downhill from there.


Nick Porter

George Hyde
9th November 2000, 15:13
Hi All,

I agree with much of what has been said above re: the required basic elements of the teacher/student relationship.

I find that a good way to maintain a healthy productive relationship with my students is to remember that I myself am, and always will be, a student.

I ensure that they understand that whilst I attend regular classes with my own sensei, I do not approach the classes I teach in the exclusive roll of conduit between my teacher and them. They understand that in teaching, I learn. The junior members of the class also understand that the same applies to their immediate seniors in my class. As a result, whilst due deference to experience is freely given, the overall emphasis of teacher - student, shifts to an environment of mutual learning.


Claire Bartlett
9th November 2000, 19:09
Hi All,
I have to agree with much of what is posted, especially Mr. Hyde's comments. However, I take exception to the sempai does not have to respect to kohai. That focus is extremely narrow and assumes that experience outside the Dojo (ie. life) isn't relevant. Many students at my Dojo are older than our Sensei therefore we have "travelled father along the path" and have experience and wisdom that only comes with time and having done it. As far as I'm concerned everyone I encounter has something to teach me. From the 4 year old who has to let go of Mom or Dad to do a class, to the 50 plus guy who keeps up with teenagers. My own relationship with my Sensei is constantly evolving, but the roots are courtesy and respect so how can the fruit be bad :smilejapa

10th November 2000, 00:33
FAITH: made up of trust and respect

10th November 2000, 10:41
Originally posted by Gil Gillespie:

We have no ingrained right to denigrate or pummel our kohai. We're not, after all, pledging them into "Animal House."

I agree, but "Animal House" was one of the better examples of respecting the newbies and the seniors. After all, "Bluto" had all ready seven years in undergraduate school. Such a waste. (hehe):shot:


24th November 2000, 05:39
my instructor is one of my best friends, and respect and loyalty and all that jargon go both ways, but the guy is no role model, i know that, in reality hes just another guy.

24th November 2000, 06:14
My idea of a Teacher - Student relationship did not come from my first Sensei because of the fact it was my father...

But I believe that a good relationship between the two should be:

Respect on both side.

Without these no one will benefit from the training.
I believe that just as the student is loyal to the teacher and the Dojo, so should the teacher be loyal to the students.
Beacuse with out them he/she wouldn't be a teacher...

Just me 2 cents worth....

24th November 2000, 10:41
Hi, Ninjanick,
Welcome to these pages!:wave:
Please sign your posts with your full name, as that is policy here. You can configure the signature box for this, then forget it.

Most put their teachers on big pedestals, worship h/her, then wonder if they are in a cult or martial art. Most of the time it is the instructor's fault when it happens, but some need someone in their lives, and the MA instructor seems a good choice. You are right about your instructor, Nick.