15 July, 2012

Confused or Suspicious?

Great post about the use of titles over at Ryoho Goju Ryu blog:


It got me thinking, however.  It would be safe to assume that most people using these terms do so on purpose, with some intention of proving themselves greater than they are.  "I am headmaster Grand Kancho of Watchamacallit Ryu."  Rarely, in my experience, does one with the goods have a need to proclaim it as such.  Somewhat suspicious...

On the other hand, I am sure I am guilty of using Japanese terms out of context or inappropriately.  I never thought that Sempai/Senpai was limited to a single student.  In our dojo, we have several Sempai and a few Kohai.  It is based on rank, partly, but also on sticking around and helping out and such.  I am sure this is not the intended or original use.  But like many terms in English, I wonder at which point modern usage overrides traditional use.  There are untold number of words that no longer have the same meaning.  Doom is one that comes to mind - look up the original meaning and you will be surprised.

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