What is a Sensei?
What follows is a statement from the point of view of my Sensei Pavao Piacun.
The relation of the Sensei to the Dojo is difficult to explain, because it involves many aspects of life.
By many different kinds of communication, the Sensei has to penetrate the soul of his students and to advance to the most distant aspects of their life. The Sensei is father, but sometimes also mother, giving advice and punishment. The Sensei, although being different, is still like everyone else. He is a human being who keeps control of his actions and deserves regard for being on the way since a long time already. The Sensei should be a good teacher. This means, that he imparts knowledge on the right time and in the best possible way. He has to be capable to observe his students and their problems like they by their own would never be able to. Many thousands of students are needed to become a good Sensei.
Many misunderstand the role of the Sensei, for they consider him a teacher, friend or similar. The Sensei looks at his students in an impartial way, independently of their appearance and assists them in all conscience.
If toughness is needed, he rules by severity, when softness is required, then he acts mildly. The Sensei always chooses the best procedure for his students, for his heart is always with them. Improvement is achieved only due to the Sensei; everyone should be aware of that. The Sensei is always Sensei, even outside of the Dojo. For the by him attained way cannot be restricted to a place, a time or an environment.
The Sensei doesn’t favour anybody. To better students he is even more severe. To newcomers on the way he is friendly but firm. In the corresponding manner he refers to the inner and spiritual aspects of the art and is amicably affiliated to his students. The Sensei holds views to the contrary of his students. Thus he tests them and observes their reactions. He praises nobody. The highest praise in Karate Do is silence. The Sensei will notice how the students behave inside and outside of the Dojo to strangers and on the job and will act accordingly. He will intersperse untruths in order to check if the students will take them. He will be silent when he should scream. The Sensei listens when the students speak, but he also understands the reasons for their speech. He is stubborn but nevertheless mentally mobile.
He is always active, even when he acts passively. He gives when others take. He doesn’t ask for gifts, but looks after the development of body and spirit. Sometimes he is sad, sometimes unhappy, often lonesome and deceived, but he always stays on the way, for he is the way. Even if his appearance changes, the Sensei himself doesn’t. He is able to completely accommodate to anything, but keeps his ideals in himself.
You have a Sensei like that? Then take care of him. The injustice can never defeat the principle; the principle never defeats the law; the law can never defeat the strength; the strength never defeats the spirit.