In order for any organization to succeed, it must be able to fulfill a need and live up to and/or exceed expectations re: that need. It is no different for a successful Dojo to have and to fulfill their own expectations.
Expectations for a successful Dojo work both ways – between the Sensei and Student, and Student and Sensei.
The Sensei’s expectation of students is varied and individual to each person but generally, your Sensei expects students to attend classes regularly, always be respectful to others, train hard, maintain good hygiene (clean gi, trimmed nails, etc.), assist with dojo maintenance, attend dojo sponsored events and seminars, assist others in and out of the dojo and wear their rank with humility at all times.
We are also expected to pay our dues. As much as our Sensei loves to teach, the hard reality is that bills still must be paid and without dues, there is no dojo for us to train in.
As students in the martial arts, what do we expect of our Sensei(s) and our own dojo?
Well, we expect up to date training in whatever style we train in. We are led by example.
We expect our Sensei to give us enough information that we can ingest comfortably without being over taught and then given more to work on when we are ready. We expect our Sensei to know us well enough to care about just what we need AND when to receive it.
We also expect to train in a safe environment free from worry of being injured.
We expect our Sensei to maintain his training, always raising that bar for us. We expect our Sensei to give corrections respectfully and then reward our dedication to training with timely advancements.
Your Sensei truly enjoys the responsibility of providing thoughtful, insightful training and he/she takes their expectations seriously.
Expectations are a two way street and if we all understand those expectations, our path to martial arts success will be well worth the sweat and the time we put in.
Sensei Gary Christensen – Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo