"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

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If you have a question not covered in this blog feel free to send it to me at my email address, i.e. "snow" dot here "covered" dot here "bamboo" AT symbol here "gmail" dot here "com"

"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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When do you feel one has attained the ability to teach martial arts?

First, I believe wholeheartedly that a Sensei must be at the level of San-dan or higher. Since attaining a higher level belt is not all the difficult and is dependent on individual dojo and/or organization criteria it is not always indicative of Sensei material.

Being a Sensei in a traditional/classic dojo also requires so much more which would include a certain level of maturity that I would attach both an age and a years of experience where the experience encompasses things like; dojo experience, real life experience and teaching experience (under the guidance of a qualified teacher/sensei.).

I would say one must have between ten and twenty years experience. If they also want to teach self-defense they must have personal experience in that area as well (not just one or two encounters of social school yard type but a professional level encounter such as combat in military or police or prison officers, etc.)

If one is strictly practicing sport oriented martial arts then the criteria is the same but the experience needs only be in the sport oriented arena. Regardless, all Sensei must have from ten to twenty years and be at the ripe old age of thirty to age forty - minimum.


  1. I think the answer to your question depends on what you mean by 'teaching martial arts'. If you mean to become a fully fledged 'Sensei' in charge of a dojo/club and fully responsible for the training of the students then I agree with you that a minimum of 3rd dan/10years martial arts experience. However, even that doesn't guarantee you will make a good teacher.

    However, surely it is important that a prospective 'Sensei' gains teaching experience before taking on their own students? Teaching is as much an art form as martial arts and also needs skill acquisition and experience. This experience can start to be gained quite early on in ones martial arts journey in a controlled and supervised way. As the black belt student progresses with their own MA training and gains supervised teaching experience they can start to be trusted with occasionally teaching the class without supervision to gain confidence. By the time this student is ready to become an independent Sensei they will already have several years teaching experience.