There seems to be a lack of respect or appreciation these days for past Teachers or Sensei that have taught or guided people along the way. If someone has been your Sensei or Mentor for a period of time then one should be grateful!
Even though my training in the Martial Arts has inevitably changed over the years, I am as deeply appreciative and respectful as ever for the teachings that I have received from each and every one of my Sensei. The many lessons in both Budo and life that I have learned from each of them and the precious time and teachings that they have so selflessly shared with me has been invaluable, and I will always be thankful and in debt to them. I don’t throw the term Sensei around lightly either like some do, no I don’t. I would say that unless you’ve been a close inner student of a Teacher for anything less than say five years, then they are not really your Sensei. Also, to call a Martial Artist or Karate Ka a Sensei who has less than around fifteen years training behind them, just kind of lacks understanding.
I liken my different Sensei to my father and my uncles, each of which may have differing experiences, viewpoints and advice to offer me, each though are/were still sharing a common goal. Which is having my/your best interests at heart. What is surprising though is how many Martial Artists quickly forget those who have helped them out or guided them along the way, especially so once they start teaching themselves or if they go off in a different direction.
True Karate for me is all about the direct quality guidance that one has received over many years under a Sensei of worth and the close relationships formed. I tend to call it in Dojo training under a Teacher, or I like it to being inside their family. So of course, your Sensei should be both looked after and respected. All the supposed big name dropping, the one-day courses attended, or talk of people being the best around or most impressive really means nothing of worth as far as studying true Karate goes.
I wish to dedicate this post to all of my Teachers be they past or present, whilst also remembering my first Karate Teacher and Sensei, as in Sensei Cyril Cummins pictured above who passed away last year 1938-2017. So many memories and valuable lessons that I am still learning from.
I will leave you with the very own words of Sensei Cyril Cummins “Never Give Up and Never Give In”!