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All Students Deserve The Best Sensei

Most students are very lucky to have their Sensei.  Ideally, the student tries very hard and is taught by a sincere and skilled Sensei.  Of course, not every student tries hard.  Many students quit after a sort time.  Even if a student trains for 5 years, that is basically just an introduction to Karate.  It takes many years to learn the basics and many more to learn the advanced aspects of the art.  Many of us say that Karate requires a lifetime of training -- and even then there is more to learn.

One of the saddest things I see, as a Karate instructor, is a sincere student who has trained for many years but seems to have gained only the most basic understanding of the art.  Sometimes I think to myself, "That student deserved a better instructor."  That is a  very hard and sad thing to think or say.  But I do see this. Honestly, I see it more than I want to admit.

When I get a new student, I want to teach him to the best of my ability, with no limits.  I will teach him for as long as I can.  As long as he tries, I will try.  I will do my very best to show him the the basics, body dynamics, applications, advanced techniques... -- everything I know.  I will also try to constantly improve myself so that I will be the best Sensei I can be.

Once I help the student to "ignite" or become a self-aware and self-motivated Karate student, I will also try to get out of his way.  I will be there to help, but will encourage his own self discovery and growth.

Every student deserves this.  Every student deserves an instructor who will try his best, without limits.  Every student deserves an instructor who is honest, who loves the art, and who lives it in his daily life.  Every student deserves an instructor who can help him to grow in the art -- and not become stuck or frozen at a beginner's or incomplete level.

It is extremely sad to me when a student deserves a better instructor than he had -- especially if the instructor took the student for granted or did not try himself.

Taking a student is a great responsibility.  It is not about tuition or enrollment.  It is a lifelong commitment.  Taking a student can be like having a child.  Many of us train with our Sensei for decades.  They become part of our families and lives.

It is easy to talk about lazy or unmotivated students.  But it is hard to talk about instructors who do not try hard enough for their students, or who care more about how many students they have rather than how far they help their students to progress.

All students deserve the very best Sensei.


Charles C. Goodin