Rank recognition.

thetruth

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In western society if an instructor has a legitimate rank in an art then is it necessary for people to refer to them in regards to that rank outside of the MA school environment and is it disrespectful to refer to them by their name if they want to be called sir or sensei? If you don't even study their art do you feel you should refer to them this way also? I know some people in the arts who will refer to any teacher of any art as mister and try and correct people if they dont. I am big on instructors who outside of the school are just known by their 1st names and don't want any undue attention. They still seem to garner the same respect inside their schools as those anal about title.

Any thoughts???

Cheers
Sam:asian:
 
My instructor was always addressed as Sensei by his students no matter where they net him. Heck I did not even know his first name for a year till I heard a different instructor call him by name.

I personally think Mr./Miss/Mrs. is good outside of the school or even the first name if that is appropriate for the place and occasion
 
Outside of the school -- using foreign terms to address your instructor makes you seem silly. I can deal with "Mr/Mrs/Miss" type titles. I don't have a problem with first names, if they're relative peers outside the training hall and it's proper for the situation. Personally -- my students generally may call me by my first name, as I called my teacher by his. I'm not at all a fan of calling them by an academic title like professor outside the training hall unless it's a legitimate title.

Here's a related question. You're talking with someone about their martial arts teacher. Should you use "sensei" or "guru"?
 
I use Mr., etc. unless I know that instructor then I may use Guru., etc.
 
In western society if an instructor has a legitimate rank in an art then is it necessary for people to refer to them in regards to that rank outside of the MA school environment and is it disrespectful to refer to them by their name if they want to be called sir or sensei? If you don't even study their art do you feel you should refer to them this way also? I know some people in the arts who will refer to any teacher of any art as mister and try and correct people if they dont. I am big on instructors who outside of the school are just known by their 1st names and don't want any undue attention. They still seem to garner the same respect inside their schools as those anal about title.

Any thoughts???

Cheers
Sam:asian:

I don't think it's what you say as much as how you say it. I always referred to my CMA instructors as "Sifu", but I call my FMA instructors by their first name. In the way I talk to them, I always try to show respect. If I didn't respect them, I wouldn't train under them.

As for teachers of other systems, when in martial arts circles, I address them using their titles, "sensei","sifu", "guro" and so on, unless they are very old friends. Outside of the martial arts, I address them as Mr., Mrs., etc., or by first name depending on age and how well I know them. In todays diverse world, I think you need to be a bit more flexible, and consider the intent behind the words.
 
I feel that it is a sign of respect but should not be expected outside of the dojo. I tell my students to call me by my first name if the are adults or by Mr. and my last name if they are children. I think that if you as an instructor are a good role model your students sometimes feel compelled to call you by your title because they respect you but I do not think that they should be required to do so.
One of my instructors, an Okinawan by birth, would not allow you to call him anything but Mr. and his last name. He said it was improper to be called by his title outside of the dojo.
IMO it is ok to call your instructor by his title but I don't think that he should require you to do so outside of the dojo. I think ego plays a role with instructors that would require this.
 
I am on first name with all my instructors. Titles are for cermony or adressing teachers you don`t know. Using "Sensei" outside the dojo is silly in the extreme.

I think I have mentioned the guy who trained with us because he wanted to "get good enough to compete in the Kumite". Personally I think he must have watched the movie Bloodsport a few too many times. A grown man too, not a kid as you may think.
Anyway this guy spotted our head instructor at the local mall one day and shouted "HELLOOOO SEEENSEEEIII!!". She did not appreciate it one bit :duh:
 
When in class I call my teacher Sifu or Mr. but outside of class I call him by his first name. I think it sounds silly to address someone as sifu or sensei while out eating dinner or out at a strip club. People around would tend to look at you all silly. Also this would be advertising that you knew martial arts and might get you a challange fight (epecially if at a bar).
 
I always refer to those with senoirity to me (in the martial arts) with their title-unless they say otherwise. I never call someone by their first name, until I have asked permission.

As a MA'st with a title-always in the dojang is expected. Although, even my close friend refer to me with my title in casual visits (sometimes) and I usally alway correct them by saying I am off the clock and not in my uniform. They say, "We respect you and you have earned it." I usally blush and say thanks, but call me Tim. I never allow my students to call me by my first name. I think it blurs the lines.

I am not hung up on the Title, as much as, trying my best to be a man people can respect for all my sacrifices and dedication, also how I treat others.
 
Here's a related question. You're talking with someone about their martial arts teacher. Should you use "sensei" or "guru"?

Well, my Pencak Silat teacher said that 'guru' is the indonesian equivalent of 'sensei'... However, he doesn't want to be called 'guru' - he wants us to use his first name. I don't know exactly why, but, personally, I think it's a bit awkward to say 'guru' to someone. After all, it has also this 'sect leader' connotation... (imagine yourself telling your friends 'you know, my guru said yesterday...' - wouldn't they think you got into some weird sect?)

So I'd use 'sensei' when speaking about a teacher of the japanese martial arts and 'guru' when talking about a teacher of the indonesian martial arts...
 
I personally think it's ludicrous to refer to someone as "sensei" outside the school, but I have no problem doing so if that individual expects it.
 
..and is it disrespectful to refer to them by their name if they want to be called sir or sensei?
Anyone who expects to be called sensei does not understand the use of the term, much like someone who uses it on a business card, or as part of a chat forum username.
 
I am uncomfortable with titles in or out of class nowadays beyond "Mister" or "Miss", awesomely cool forum nickname notwithstanding.:) When I was younger I thought that they were all terribly important and a completly indispensible part of martial arts training. Now, not so much.

I personally I wouldn't train under someone that insisted on being referred to by some title outside of class.That amount of respect must be earned and the fact that a person desires it, eliminates them from the running from having it in my eyes. We are enagaged in a hobby/sport. Save the cult leader crap for a different group of tourists.

Mark

P.S.

Papa Smurf being the obvious exception to the above comments, of course.
 
Well for me I call everybody Sir or Mam all the time, until they ask me to call them by there name so it does not brother me about that. Now if they want me to call them Master or GM or Sensei then that is a problem we are outside the school having dinner we are friend and associates not student and Master.
 
It depends on the system and the individual. I usually refer to senior instructors as sir/mr/ms until told otherwise. Generally, I do not like using foreign or master titles.

For me, I would prefer people to call me by my first name. As I teach in my instructor's school, I must abide by his wishes. So students usually refer to me as Mr. Zoran, Mr. Sevic, or Mr. Z.
 
In western society if an instructor has a legitimate rank in an art then is it necessary for people to refer to them in regards to that rank outside of the MA school environment and is it disrespectful to refer to them by their name if they want to be called sir or sensei? If you don't even study their art do you feel you should refer to them this way also? I know some people in the arts who will refer to any teacher of any art as mister and try and correct people if they dont. I am big on instructors who outside of the school are just known by their 1st names and don't want any undue attention. They still seem to garner the same respect inside their schools as those anal about title.

Any thoughts???

Cheers
Sam:asian:


For me I prefer Rich out side of class and this includes off the matts and still in the school. On the Matts who ever is in front of the class gets a sir or mame no matter their rank. If they are a white belt asked to demonstrate something, I will still call them sir to get their attention or to speak and even help them if they are struggling. It is a simple respect given to everyone.

Now I have had the priviledge to train with some top notch people and with titles as well.

Remy Presas was Profesor to many. He did teach in the PI (* physical education *) but I preferred sir after I got to know him. At first it was Grandmaster this or Grandmaster that. Even out of class or school or seminar. He once stopped me (* I was about 20 *) and told me the following, "Rich, do not call me Grandmaster out of a school. Do not call me anything with 'Grand' in it at all. The women might think I am too old." He then smiled and winked at me. After that it was Remy out of the training area. Many thought I was disrespecting him. But I was following his wishes.

I also trained with Ted Buot. I and his other students call him Manong Ted. Manong best translates to Uncle in English but it can also be senior/older/respected person of the family/community. I do not speak Cebuano so, I do not claim to have the full cultural context. This was done out of respect for him. If someone said Ted, he would answer. It was not an ego thing with him.

If people call me by some title outside of any martial arts training I usually will punch them (* friendly *) and tell them no. It is Rich. Even though I find it pretentous for me, I understand othe people may have other ideas and other students may have other desires or ideas and want to fall into that type of situation. If that is what they are happy with no problem. just do not expect me to follow the same rules. ;)
 
I have three masters, and after 31 years, I still call all three of them Sifu or Sigung. Even in public, I show them that respect. Although I have a certain title myself, when I hear it I always think of my teachers. I am from the old school, so I will still say sihing or sidei in class. These days, not the respect or the respect demanded that there used to be. But, even at tournaments, I will bow to others who are not teachers of mine if they are higher ranked, out of respect.
 
Papa Smurf being the obvious exception to the above comments, of course.

You prefer being called Papa Smurf by your students? LOL!
papa.png
:lfao:
 
I feel that it is a sign of respect but should not be expected outside of the dojo. I tell my students to call me by my first name if the are adults or by Mr. and my last name if they are children. I think that if you as an instructor are a good role model your students sometimes feel compelled to call you by your title because they respect you but I do not think that they should be required to do so.
One of my instructors, an Okinawan by birth, would not allow you to call him anything but Mr. and his last name. He said it was improper to be called by his title outside of the dojo.
IMO it is ok to call your instructor by his title but I don't think that he should require you to do so outside of the dojo. I think ego plays a role with instructors that would require this.


Ditto. If the instructor is demanding respect then he is probably not worthy of it.
 

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