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Becoming a member of the teaching staff at the dojo is a monumental step in Shindoryu. All teachers are asked by their sensei to accept a teaching position in the dojo. It is an honor not always extended to all students. An even rarer occurrence is a student who is promoted to Kohai at the rank of Ikkyu. So what are the major characteristics that the sensei will be looking for in an Ikkyu Kohai. There are basically three main aspects about a perspective student upon which the sensei will base his/her judgment.

1) ATTITUDE:    When you come to class are you ready to work hard without complaint or running your mouth? How do you react when a teacher corrects you? Do you make excuses or do you say "Yes, Sensei!" and get back to working on your technique. How mature do you carry yourself in class? Do you goof off and giggle or are you serious about improving yourself? Remember, you may have your stuff together most of the time but when you don't that's what will stick out in the sensei's mind.  Take a good long look at how you act in class and how you train. If you think it is a little silly or inappropriate it is probably worse than you think.

2) PATIENCE:    Teaching other people takes a great deal of patience and tactfulness. Are you patient with yourself? Are you patient with your partners? Have you ever bugged the sensei wondering when you can test for your next rank? Are you sure that you thoroughly pay attention to instruction before you begin working on your techniques? Again, rate yourself and then multiply it by 2 and that's likely how you come off to others.

3) DEDICATION:    Are you truly dedicated not only to yourself but to others in the dojo? Do you just float into practice any old time or do you have a deal with yourself to make so many per week? Are you ever late without just cause? Is you uniform kept clean and properly tied, or does it look like you slept in it? These questions, and those like them, reflect how dedicated you are to Shindoryu. The sensei has antennae that pick up on these aspects of you and they determine the worthiness of being a kohai that the sensei sees you possessing. As before, self-rating will help you to realize if you are falling short of the mark.

These are the main three aspects of your training that show how good of a teacher you are likely to be. Notice that talent and knowledge of technique are not along this list, mainly because if you have a proper attitude, patience and show yourself to be dedicated your techniques will be polished easily.  Remember, as always (especially as you approach Ikkyu) you are constantly being evaluated by the sensei according to these three criteria. If you become an Ikkyu and are not asked to take the Kohai exam, there is no doubt-- you have been found to be lacking in one or more of these areas.