Martial Arts: This Is What Sensei Means

In the martial arts we often see the word sensei interpreted as a teacher, but just what does this word mean?

And how does it relate to the understanding of our martial arts training?

For sake of ease, perhaps it has been redefined or generalized as teacher as often a sensei will be leading or directing a martial arts class, although often this can also be done by the senior students in the class with the sensei observing.

Classically, the word sensei means one born before, or one who has gone before in the martial arts.

Does this mean master, grandmaster, or the best martial artist?

It means one who has some more experience on the martial path compared to you, and one who is going to impart that path to you, and help your development in the martial arts.

That is the meaning and place of sensei in the martial arts.

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Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial art of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo.

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art.

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed to the group here: