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What is a Sensei?

Onegaishimasu Parents and students,

What is a Sensei?

A somewhat North Americanized translation refers to Sensei as a teacher, moreover, a highly respected teacher, and in many cases that definition would be accurate, because that is in fact what Senseis are, they are teachers.

The definition from Japanese lore is a humble one and is referenced as; “One who has walked the path before us” In essence a guide, a guide along the path of karate, and of life. In our lives there are, and will be many along the way, but we will only remember the very few special ones. We revere, and remember those that truly make a difference in our lives, and in the lives of those we love. The ones that leave a lasting impression.

You may have heard me say this before….”You do the things a Black belt does, and act like a Black belt long before you ever wear one.” and much like becoming a Black belt, you do the things, and act the way a Sensei does, long before you ever are ever referenced as one. This is especially true in Sensei Dk’s case. He has been doing everything a Sensei does for quite awhile, so for many of us it may feel as though nothing changes…..Which is AS IT SHOULD BE, and here’s why…..

Sensei is a responsibility one grows into through earning of trust and respect, rather than having the title cast upon oneself. Clearly there is a difference, and HUGE one. Anyone can be called Sensei, but only someone who has earned trust, and you find inspiration from can truly be though of as one.

The title of “Sensei" is something that is earned through years of hard work and training, combined with an insatiable quest for continuous and never ending improvement (CANI). It comes from doing the things most people just will not do. Most ordinary people do not earn Black belts, and certainly never earn the responsibility of being a Sensei. Sensei Dk is far from ordinary!!

More importantly, it isn’t solely a distinction of one’s skills as a karate-ka, although that is a very important component, more importantly, being a Sensei comes from what you do for others. It comes from self sacrifice, selfless service, and total dedication to not only your students, but your community, and dojo as well. It comes from the HEART!! Clearly Sensei Dk has EARNED this distinction many fold, in every action, in his selfless service, and in his character, in every moment of every day.

At Keiko Dojo we are blessed to have so many talented, and exceptional instructors who genuinely care for the development of your child, and it is my hope that one day they too will earn the title of Sensei.

There is no greater reward for a teacher or Sensei than to watch those in their charge become more than they themselves ever thought they could be, realize their dreams and aspirations, and in doing so surpass them in their teachings.

Having said that….Please join me in congratulating Sensei DK.

Have an amazing day


Keiko Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here……………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!” AND ON VERY RARE OCCASIONS ..WE CREATE SENSEIS TOO!!

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