New Grandmasters


Green Belt
Oct 9, 2012
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I've been training in martial arts for at least 60 years and teaching for about 48 years. I've been awarded a few titles over the decades, while not attached to a certain rank, a rank level was a prerequisite to attaining them and not everyone with that rank received a title. While I NEVER asked for any of these I also - call it lack of confidence - always felt I didn't deserved them. During annual clinics my superiors shocked me when my name was called out to come forward. My first thoughts were, "oh hell, what have I messed up now". Several years back I, along with another long term sensei, received the title of "Hanshi" and were told we were recognized as "grandmasters". I have never been very formal as a teacher and didn't mind being called by my first name. But in class many used either "sensei" or "sir".

I do personally know a "sensei" who has promoted himself and what rank he claims now I'm unaware of. I was taught that the only person(s) allowed to promote or bestow titles were one's superiors. I will say some (a very few) absolutely are rightfully deserving of what rank they claim, Ed Parker comes to mind. Some will just ask their students if they agree with whatever self-promoted rank they assume. One does not do that as students will, of course, go along with whatever their sensei says.

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