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  • Renshi vs. Sensei.

    What's the difference between using Renshi or Sensei? I was looking at the Edingburgh kendo clubs list of terms and noticed these are both listed as instructor. When whould you use each and why? Thanks.

  • #2
    Renshi is one of the three instructor certifications (renshi, kyoshi, hanshi) and refers to a particular title the person has, whereas sensei is a more generic term. Typically, like a rank, you would never use it in addressing the instructor. You would use it in reference (eg "this is X-sensei, he is rokudan renshi") but when addressing the person you would just say "sensei" or "X-sensei".

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    • #3
      Exactly. Except, i believe the exact term would be Assistant Instructor.

      Renshi - Assistant Instructor.
      Kyoshi - Instructor.
      Hanshi - Master. (As in techincal mastery of the art)

      (These are called, ' shogo' rank i believe.)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Taisaburo
        Exactly. Except, i believe the exact term would be Assistant Instructor.

        Renshi - Assistant Instructor.
        Kyoshi - Instructor.
        Hanshi - Master. (As in techincal mastery of the art)

        (These are called, ' shogo' rank i believe.)
        I somehow believe that those shogo should not be considered as assistant instructor etc. They are given to reflect ones achievement and contribution in kendo. Though I would think master is pretty good term for hanshi, assigning assistant instructor/ instructor to renshi / kyoshi is not quite appropriate. Any other opinions?

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        • #5
          Well as you can't get renshi these days until after rokudan, I don't think renshi is really assistant instructor. I think "master instructor" might be closer but that's not really it. Kyoshi I think is like "instructor of instructors". The translation of hanshi means "exemplary/model person", so in awarding hanshi they are saying "this is a person you can model your whole life after", not just kendo. None of them are about technical mastery - that's what the dan-I are about. Shogo are about contribution to kendo, teaching ability, all-round-good-guyness, that sort of thing. And in certain federations, a sizable fee.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
            The translation of hanshi means "exemplary/model person", so in awarding hanshi they are saying "this is a person you can model your whole life after", not just kendo. None of them are about technical mastery - that's what the dan-I are about. Shogo are about contribution to kendo, teaching ability, all-round-good-guyness, that sort of thing. And in certain federations, a sizable fee.
            hmmm
            is being an alcoolic one of the thing we want to model our life on....?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kendokamax
              hmmm
              is being an alcoolic one of the thing we want to model our life on....?

              It has been said that a true warrior/martial artist is

              A fighter

              An artist

              and a Drunk!!!

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              • #8
                Thanks for the info folks.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kendokamax
                  hmmm
                  is being an alcoolic one of the thing we want to model our life on....?
                  I've been trying my very best!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yakesumi
                    I somehow believe that those shogo should not be considered as assistant instructor etc. They are given to reflect ones achievement and contribution in kendo. Though I would think master is pretty good term for hanshi, assigning assistant instructor/ instructor to renshi / kyoshi is not quite appropriate. Any other opinions?
                    Once in a while a student asks me about dan versus shogo. I use the academic analogy of degree versus faculty rank.

                    One's dan is like the degree you hold (BS, MS, PhD). Renshi, kyoshi, and hanshi are like academic rank, assistant professor of Kendo, associate professor of kendo, and full professor of Kendo, respectively.

                    The analogy holds reasonably well. Generally speaking, just as one cannot be hanshi without being 8 dan, one cannot become full professor without a PhD.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
                      Well as you can't get renshi these days until after rokudan, I don't think renshi is really assistant instructor. I think "master instructor" might be closer but that's not really it. Kyoshi I think is like "instructor of instructors". The translation of hanshi means "exemplary/model person", so in awarding hanshi they are saying "this is a person you can model your whole life after", not just kendo.
                      Are you trying to describe yourself Neil? lol

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JByrd
                        The analogy holds reasonably well. Generally speaking, just as one cannot be hanshi without being 8 dan, one cannot become full professor without a PhD.
                        Yeah, but then you'd have to say you can be assistant prof with a bachelor's degree, associate with a masters. And lots of people are PhD/full prof but very very few hanshi hachidan. But in terms of getting the general gist of the dan/shogo thing it's a workable analogy.

                        Originally posted by Optomitrist
                        Are you trying to describe yourself Neil? lol
                        Gawd no. But I do think as you work your way up the ranks you have to think in terms of being an example, at least in terms of your kendo. It's one of the things that distinguishes the upper ranks - not just technical proficiency, but beautiful, teaching kendo fit to serve as an example to students.

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