View Full Version : Tell us about your sensei

Gil Gillespie
25th July 2000, 02:22
On another thread I read a member refer to his sensei as "a dream come true." I treasure that relationship with my sensei and look forward to its continuing evolution. Since he is a member of this forum I will only say that he has been responsible for some of the finest moments of my adult life, often when he was unaware of it, often when he was. Showing me the light in budo and painstakingly teaching me waza and kokoro is only part. He embodies what it's all about. Plus he held my daughter when she was 10 days old.

This site is populated with so many accomplished budoka, so many old heads. Many have had many senseis. Take a moment here, should you choose, and share a vignette, or anecdote, or full portrait of that sensei who changed your life, who lit the flame that both illuminates your Path and fires your spirit.

26th July 2000, 00:47
Hi Gil,

As you probably know by now, I train in an eclectic sytle of Korean Karate and Self-Defense. We incorporate the basics of 'old style' Korean Karate (Shotokan-'lite), Judo and Tomiki and Yoshikan Aikido in what we do.

The non-profit style was created (forgive the preamble, I'm getting to the point)by the Founder of the Horangi Taekwondo Dojang, Kyosah Robert G. Zychski. This remarkable man was ranked in Chi Do Kwan Korean Karate, Judo and Tomiki Aikido. He retired 8 years ago, after serving as the Director, Chief Instructor and Founder of the school.

Kyosah, was the term we referred to him by, and he told us that it was like calling him 'sensei' in a Japanese based system. For 20 years this extraodinary man toiled as a bank vice-president by day and was a master of the martial arts in the evening. He charged a nominal fee and the entire amount collected was used to 'rent' space in the basement gym of a local Salvation Army Building.

I'm told Kyosah also held a Ph.d from NYU, and for 20 years he appeared EVERY evening to not only open the school, but to teach. This amazing man created an atmosphere of learning in a discplined manner, which fostered respect not only for him and the school, but for each student also.

Kyosah very often worked us out and then walked up and down the ranks of students, pointing out one after another and saying things like: "You had a beer earlier today", or "You ate sweets before you came down", or so forth. He would teach and then talk about how what he was doing related to life and then he would occassionally speak on a topic of human behavior. Later, some of the students would remark that, that situation Kyosah referred to applied to them that day, or recently in their personal or professional lives. It was 'almost' like he could read minds. He injected his classes with the philosphical and taught us, well before it was popular, to 'think out of the box'.

His real presence was seen on the mats, the man moved and performed techniques with the movements of a master. Even as he aged he performed with grace, style, power and yet with seemingly no effort. This remarkable man retired too soon, but we are fortunate to be studying under his student of over 20 years: Mr. james Robison, who has suceeded Mr. Zychski.

just thought I'd share a few thoughts on a great teacher!