Who exactly is my Senior in Kenpo?
I mean, am I the typical Lone Wolf who should know better and speak in hushed tones before those, um, seniors?
That was two questions, sorry.
"I am I said, and no on cared, and no one heard at all, not even the chair..." Thank you that guy who used to write songs for the Monkeys!
I feel in Kenpo we have lost sight of respect in many situations. Our seniors are those who have come before us in the art. In traditional arts with the belt system any rank 5th or above is honorary. Basically it is above rank. It is all about respect for seniority at that point. In the arts today there are little kids with tons of stripes, so rank is not a good indicator. It is tough though, because some have been in the art for many years but haven't dedicated their life to the art like many of us have. I look to two things for knowing my seniors. I see all of the people who were promoted to 7th or above by Mr. Parker as a senior in the art, and all of us should be a student of one of them, or down the lineage of one of them. I also see anyone with many years in the art who I want to study under as my senior.
That being said, I believe we should treat everyone with respect. I tell even my youth students I would prefer they offer their spot in line to someone else before fighting over the spot to the right. Start with respect, showing respect is the best way to earn it. If we always go in assuming we can learn from others, we will always grow.