The relationship of a sensei of the dojo is very difficult to define, as it encompasses many varying aspects of life. The Sensei must flow through the student in many levels of communication and reach to the far corners of the student’s life. A sensei is sometimes a father and also at times, even a mother; an adviser, and a chastiser. A sensei, though different, is the same as everyone else. He is human in a controlled way and deserves respect for he has travelled long upon the Do (the way).
A Sensei should be a good teacher conveying at the correct time the appropriate knowledge in the best possible way and manner to the student and must be able to see the student and their problems, as they never can –impartially. A sensei shows no favor, indeed a progression is attained, and he becomes harder on those that progress. He is kind but firm to the beginner on the path.
The Sensei advises, in an appropriate manner in the inner spiritual aspects of the art and always a friendly ear, who listens properly, as they tend to categorise him into either a teacher or a friend. He is neither, but both and more. He sees a student in a free way, unmoved by external face or appearance and he helps in the best way befitting a student. If this is to be hard, he is so, to be soft, then he is so. But always in the best manner for the student, for the Sensei’s heart is forever with them.
Often a Sensei may test his students by taking views diagrammatically opposed to theirs and then study their reactions.Silence is often the best form of praise that a Sensei will give to his students he will note what effects the students in and out of the dojo, how he/she acts to his/her friends, his/her family, and work and will act upon the students accordingly.
The Sensei will put forth untruths to see if they are accepted, say nothing when he should speak volumes. He is king when there is no apparent reason. He may be tyrannous or compassionate, but through all these externals, his heart is still for them. He listens when they speak but can see the inner reason for their speech; he is unmoved but can move. The Sensei is forever active, even in a subdued way. He gives while others take and asks no reward save proficiency of mind and body. He is sad, sometimes happy, let down and often abused, but forever holds the way for that is his life.
Through outsides may change, the Sensei does not, through he can adapt at will completely, the inward ideals and principles are always there. He persists when there is no apparent reason. That is why he is Sensei. On the average, it takes 2,000 students to produce one worthwhile Sensei. If you have one, take care of him
Robert M. Dalgleish (November 6, 1942 – July 6, 1978)