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.