In Japan there is a three year ‘task’ for monks during their training. During this time they must live by the kindness of their fellow man. They sit in places where people pass by and hold their cups out and beg without speaking.
One of the places they sit at is at crossroads. People pass by, toss a coin in the cup, and travel on. And, occasionally, people ask for instructions.
The monk merely extends his finger and points down the road. Thus is the definition of the word sensei: ‘He who points the way.’ This term has been used to describe people who are guiding others to a specific destination.
The unfortunate fact is that many martial arts instructors don’t understand this subtle history. Martial Arts have exploded across globe so fast that proper teachings have have fallen in disuse. Thus, many karate sensei teach more for the ‘domination factor’ than anything else.
Thus, the teaching method has been geared for the instructor who wishes to control people. But a real martial arts instructor isn’t concerned with controlling people; he teaches martial arts. There is a huge and vast difference that exists between these two things.
The fellow who teaches people is looking for money, to dominate, to make sure he is the leader of the pack. The fellow who teaches martial arts doesn’t care about being leader of the pack, he just wants to give information that will lead the student down the correct path. The question is…what is the correct path?
A martial art teacher with no real knowledge will point to trophies, to domination, to winning no matter what the cost. A martial art instructor who has not traveled the way himself will push people, demand discipline, and make people monkey see monkey do what he doesn’t really understand himself. A true Karate sensei presents the material, then gets out of the way.