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Checking With Other Sensei

From time to time, a student might request to join my dojo when he already trains with another sensei. In such cases, I will ask the student to obtain his sensei's permission first and add that I will have to call the sensei to discuss the situation before the student can begin to train with me. I might even arrange a lunch with the sensei first.

Sometimes, this presents a problem for the student. However, it would be very rude for me to allow a student who already has a sensei to train with me without the proper courtesies, particularly if the sensei is my senior (in any style or of any art). If the student refuses to get permission, I simply will not accept him.

Sometimes, the other sensei will be happy and give his blessing. I will be careful, however, never to contradict anything that the student was taught. I will also be very slow to promote the student in my style irrespective of his other rank. I will require the student to wear a white belt for at least a year, again irrespective of his other rank.

Actually, the style I teach is very unusual and the results of the body dynamics we teach are very noticeable. It is hard for most students to turn this off in their other class, and this can present a problem. It would be rude for the student to move our way in his other class. Again, this would reflect negatively on me and my dojo.

Please be very careful to observe all the necessary courtesies if you decide to train with two sensei.


Charles C. Goodin