Published by Russell Kelley, Sensei · 18 September 2022
During a student’s first class they are taught that the word “Sensei” means “teacher”, but is this an accurate definition. The Japanese word “Sensei” does vaguely translate into English as “teacher”, I say vaguely because that is a very basic meaning to the word that has a more in depth meaning to it. So, what is this more in depth meaning to the word Sensei?To find the answer you need to look at the person who we call Sensei. Well, easy thing to notice is that everyone we call Sensei is a black belt. All black belts when they first became a student of the martial arts started as a white belt. After many years of training, learning, practicing, and study they moved their way up through the ranks.All black belts have experienced similar, if not the same, challenges and difficulties when learning new techniques while at the same time attempting to become more proficient in the techniques they already know. So, black belts have experienced everything that a student has experienced, currently experiencing, and will experience. Since this is the case, a black belt has the knowledge and experience to help students overcome their challenges.The deeper meaning to the word Sensei is that it means “one who has gone before”.When you hear the word Sensei, or calling someone Sensei you know that it means “teacher” but that it also means something a lot more. A person that has been where you are now and can guide you through the process of learning the martial arts and overcoming challenges.