Kohai – Sempai – Sensei
Elite mental programme – Lesson 6
Kohai / Sempai / Sensei
Kohai means junior, whilst Sempai means senior. This relationship is very important in martial arts, making students like family, with everyone having older or younger brothers and sisters. Sempai help Kohai by modelling the correct behaviour, training with them, showing them the correct way to train, under the watchful eye of Sensei. While Kohai watch the Sempai in training to see the sensei’s teaching in practice.
Sensei is often mis translated as teacher or instructor. But it actually means “one who came before”. The one who is further down the way. A good Sensei is a teacher or instructor but a great Sensei is more then that, being a motivator, mentor, parent, psychologists, priest, personal trainer, dietician.
The difference between a student and a Sensei is not personality or skill set it’s flight time, they have thousands more hours on the mats then you. A Sensei has travelled the path your on, he knows the pitfalls and perils, they’ve learnt the lessons your learning, they’ve trained harder then you and climbed the mountain you think you can’t climb. The open secret to success in the martial arts, practice, practice, practice, no mystery to mastery, just flight time