What makes a good sensei/instructor

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 06, 2014 3:02 AM GMT
    The past few weeks I had the experience of training the class while our sensei was away for personal business. I'm only a Shodan as of last year and I have a few years ago before I earn my 3rd Dan and can technically qualify as a Sensei. In the meantime I do my best as a Senpai and try to help everyone on and off the dojo mat. What did you like/dislike about your sensei, and any tips for me to consider?
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Nov 07, 2014 6:13 PM GMT
    Hi, tmac. Congrats on your shodan. I'm more than happy to give you my .02$.

    Positive energy. I always enjoyed marital arts better under senseis that had that "good coach" vibe rather than the perpetual nitpickers. As a basically untalented guy practicing martial arts, it's really hard to have a day job with a type A boss and then have class under a type A sensei.

    Organization. Just having a good, well-thought through plan of what's going to happen for each session, and giving senior ranks some time and space to work out the things they know they need to work on.

    Personality Management / Creating a safe environment. Basically this is keeping the wannabe MMA fighters away from the grandmothers who are just in to learn a little self-defense or the 9-5ers like me who want to train and learn something cool, weeding out people who might hurt others and keeping those with injuries or infirmities safe. Just maintaining a safe environment. There's a big difference between YMCA self-defense and American Top Team, so a sensei should match prospective students accordingly.

    Guests. The best senseis I've had had close friendships with masters of other disciplines and had them come in for special classes from time to time. It was always great to have that fresh experience, different point of view, etc. and, I think made for more well-rounded students.

    Hope any of that helps though, as I read through it, I don't think I'm telling you anything you didn't already know.
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    Nov 19, 2014 2:50 AM GMT
    Thank you so much for your reply. I have a long way to go before i'm ready. I had a chance to take over training a few times, and i'm finding that balancing with pushing them to their limits during training without killing them lol. I compliment them when they do well, and privately inform them of improvements they could make. I have a criminal justice background and a very strong believer of self defense so I want to encourage people to bring their A game but I also want my dojo to be their home away from home. I'll have to find that balance too. I'm looking forward to that day icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 26, 2016 1:47 AM GMT
    My biggest pet peeve with one past sensei was that he constantly pushed for more from me when I felt I was giving everything I had already. It is good to encourage and try to push people to be their best, but this guy took it too far. It was frustrating for me and I really tried harder and harder to try to do what I was asked, and eventually it led to an injury. Just keep in mind that everyone has limits, and not everyone needs a drill sergeant.