Managing Like A Master Or At Least A Sensei

First let me state that I am not an expert at Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu or any other martial art, so I don’t need the Kobra Kai dojo at my door threatening to beat me up.

As the story goes; the student says to his master, “I know everything,” the master says “then you know nothing.”

If most of you have watched any one of the 42 karate kid movies, you are familiar with the DOJO, or school or place where you do “business.”

I have been to a few Dojo ’s; some are in the scariest part of town in an old rundown building that you probably should already have your black belt. As you enter any good Dojo, the one thing you will notice is the cleanliness and organization.  Everything in its place, clean mirrors, clean mats, it is just organized.  The interesting part is that there is no cleaning crew that spruces the place up for you, it is the students of the Dojo that take pride in the place of learning.  It is those-that-learn that clean.

Your Dojo is a reflection of Your Sensei.  Your Dojo is where you practice your trade, hone your skills and become a Student of the Art.  It is a place of learning, a place of pride, a place of belonging; it is a reflection of you!

So keep your Dojo (place of business) clean and organized 

A Sensei is Humble.  A Sensei knows the amount of work it takes at each level. He has respect for anyone who is going to get on the mat and hammer out the process.  A Sensei knows that no matter how much they know, no matter how much they learn there is always someone smarter and better than they are.  A Sensei appreciates the work, the time and the effort it takes to put mind, body, and spirit together to achieve your goals.  A Sensei has a great amount of respect for those that have handed down the ART  and by being humble they show the respect to those that have come before.

Stay humble.

A Sensei is quick to correct errors.  The Sensei wants to correct errors before their student develops bad habits.  He owes it to the student to not let them develop bad habits that will hurt them later.  It is the Sensei’s responsibility to his master and the master before that to make sure the student is a reflection of his work.  If the student fails the Sensei fails.

So be quick to correct problems. 

A Sensei is hard working.  Working with his students, working on himself.  Ever improving, ever learning.  The Sensei understands that he too is a student of the art and he must learn to teach.

So work hard on improving yourself.

A Sensei is there to push you, push you out of your comfort zone, beyond what you think your limits are.  To help you discover what your maximum potential is.  A Sensei Is not there to cause injury to you but to make sure you are pushed every day, so you grow.

So push your people to grow.

A Sensei wants to promote you.  A Sensei wants to promote you, he works on your skills and improves your ability to get you to the next rank.  His job is to make you better them himself so that you too can pass on the Art.

So work to promote your people, make them better than yourself.

A Sensei Is respectful and demands respect.  Respect keeps everyone working in a common direction.  If you disrespect your students how can they have respect for you or anyone else in the Dojo?  While you are at the Dojo, the goal is to learn and work, to stay focused and not get caught up in horseplay.  It is an Art, and it must be treated as such.

So be respectful and businesslike.

A Sensei is responsible for anyone that enters the Dojo.  To be part of a good Dojo there is an interview process to assure you are of a good character to be a member.  If you are a good member of the Dojo, you make everyone better and you are responsible for that.

Don’t let bad character into your Dojo.

Keep your rank to yourself in public. A good Dojo does not allow you to wear your rank outside of the Dojo.  What you are in the Dojo and your depth of knowledge is only for the Dojo.  The only thing others need to know is that you are a member just like everyone else is.  It’s about the Dojo, the members, and the Art, not your rank.

Remember it’s about your Dojo, not you.

Lastly, those that don’t understand the Art and are not willing to practice the Art do not need to know about the Art.  Those outside the Dojo will not understand what it takes, how much work it is and the sacrifices you give for the art.

Therefore you cannot explain it to them.  So you keep your skills to yourself.

So keep confidential stuff confidential.

In closing, I will tell you that much of my day to day activities are influenced by my martial arts training – stay humble, have respect, don’t allow bad behavior, push and grow your students, be quick to correct errors, promote your people, and never stop working on yourself.  It’s all about your Dojo and the people in it, in the end, it will be about the craft and how the individual respects it, use it for good and handing it down to well deserving students.