What is an Uchideshi? An ‘inside’ or ‘special’ student, one who lives and breathes aikido every day, someone who has been deemed earnest enough by the Sensei to warrant individual and intensive training.
Originally in Japan the Uchideshi would live with the Sensei, most often at the dojo itself, he would cook and clean for the Sensei, dedicating himself to observing and anticipating the needs and desires of the Sensei, almost before his teacher was aware of those needs and desires.
He would train rigorously every day and would therefore progress at a more rapid rate than students who attended ‘regular’ classes. That was then, what happens now though you may ask, here in the UK?
At the Stafford based dojo of Jay Savery the answer is quite clear, you will as far as possible follow the traditional path, except you won’t live at the dojo and you’ll have time to work or attend college. Other than that your main focus will be expected to be the dojo, your Sensei and your fellow students.
Your training will be more intensive than student who only attend one or two classes a week, so you would expect to progress at a much faster rate. You will teach other students under the watchful eye of Jay Savery Sensei as this demonstrates not only your dedication to Yoshinkan Aikido and the dojo but also how well you are assimilating your own lessons.
In other martial arts dojos (and being an Uchideshi is not confined to aikido) the situation would be similar, dedication is required and without it you will fail.
The life of an Uchideshi brings rewards beyond the rapid progress in your chosen martial art however because it’s also a personal journey of discovery, a journey into ones own inner landscape where you will find and battle your own personal demons.
We’re talking about the things that hold you back in life, fear of failure, self-consciousness, low self esteem, that sort of thing. The life of an Uchideshi is designed to teach you to overcome those internal fears, to stand tall without being a braggart, to protect others as well as yourself, to be in other words the best you can be.
In return you become like a member of the family, your Sensei is there to help and advise wherever possible, to nurture your strengths and help you overcome your weaknesses. Being an Uchideshi is not something you do it’s something you become and even after your formal training is over, you would still be a ‘special’ student to your Sensei.
The author of this article has expertise in Martial arts Stafford. The articles on Yoshinkan Uchideshi training reveals the author’s knowledge on the same. The author has written many articles on Yoshinkan Aikido as well.