Kendo is michi é“. Kendo practice, one’s support of kendo events, and being a part of the daily dojo activity are all a critical part of kendo. Kendo is a benefit to yourself and your students if it is done with a continuing effort to apply oneself fully to all aspects of practice. One’s understanding of kendo is constantly changing. When a new student starts to practice they know nothing, as they train they develop understanding. Then understanding changes with continuing practice and matures so that the kenshi realizes that there is much they do not know about kendo.
This cycle repeats over the years of training so that understanding increases and a realization of one’s lack of understanding continues. To me the role of a kendo sensei is to facilitate their students and their own progress in this manner using correct, and logical kendo theory. Without a good sensei the student can easily get lost on the way.
A sensei is responsible for guiding and supporting their students’ development along this kendo michi. A sensei has to study deeply to develop a full, correct, and complete understanding of kendo for himself so that they can then transmit this method and understanding to their students. Together the sensei and the student work on gaining understanding, which leads to a comprehension of what is still unknown and the process or cycle repeats.
A kendo teacher needs to find the best way to transmit proper kendo skill, manners, and procedures to their students. This requires continual work and applied study so that his knowledge is substantial and supports correct tadashi kendo.
Finally, a kendo sensei has a responsibility to participate and help his local dojo, regional federation, and national organization to the best of his ability. By giving back to the kendo community one is able to realize self accomplishment and satisfaction.
Robert Stroud Sensei