The teaching of Martial Arts has historically followed the cultural traditions of Teacher-Disciple Apprenticeship. Students are trained in a strictly hierarchical system by a Master-Instructor: Guru (Teacher) in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Nepalese and Malay, Sensei in Japanese, Sabom-nim in Korean, Guro in Tagalog, Kalari Gurukkal or Kalari Asan in Malayalam; Asaan in Tamil; Achan in Thai; Sayain Burmese; Shifu (Pinyin, lit. Master/ father) in Mandarin. The instructor is expected to directly supervise their students’ training and the students are expected to memorize and recite as closely as possible the rules and basic training routines of the school.
In the warrior Kshatriya caste of South Asia, martial traditions were studied as a part of the Dharma (duty) of the caste. The senior teachers were called Gurus and taught Martial Arts at the Gurukul (traditional school) to the shishyas (students). Thus theGurukul is like the traditional Japanese Dojo (hall of the way, a place where Martial Arts are practiced).
Furthermore, the preservation of Martial Arts requires many years of teaching and learning at the hand of a good instructor, or Guru, to pass on the art even to a single generation. Given these circumstances, many Martial Arts from previous Eras have not been passed down to the following generation. Deviation from the traditional process has led to the degeneration of the noble heritage of Martial Arts. Therefore, it is our duty to maintain tradition and follow the ancient and time honored rules under the guidance of a good instructor in the traditional way of learning. This is our solemn pledge in the Kyokushin Karate Gurukul.