Uchi Deshi literally means Inside Student. Undertaking such a role in the Dojo is to make a commitment not only to the teacher in a master / apprentice relationship, but to dedicate oneself to the Dojo as a whole. It is a grueling task where a person learns to put the needs of their teacher and other Dojo members before their own.
Before undertaking any technical instruction or doing actual training, the uchi deshi will be required to take care of numerous dojo chores. Cleaning up, cooking, answering the phone, taking care of visitors, sweeping, mopping, cleaning toilets, shopping, doing repairs, opening and closing the dojo, and assisting in the office are all part of the uchi deshi’s responsibilities.
The uchi deshi must constantly use imagination and common sense in order to solve all the unexpected problems that arise. In addition to that, they must train daily (often on their own during the day-time), assist the teacher, teach classes, etc. By taking care of such daily tasks themselves, the teacher will be able to concentrate on more important matters, which will in turn benefit the uchi deshi and the Dojo in general. Uchi deshi must be available anytime the teacher needs them. This can result in great learning opportunities, particularly if another teacher is visiting, when traveling with the teacher, or when the teacher simply needs a partner for his own practise.
Budo teachers are well known for their unpredictability. The teacher can change his mind on anything without notice. The uchi deshi’s mental flexibility is constantly tested to its limits. This can be aggravated by physical fatigue, lack of sleep, or injuries. An uchi deshi will be aware that such training provides an opportunity to forge themselves through humility.
The Kenshinryu Head Teacher has taken only five uchi deshi since 1991 so there is certainly no guarantee of acceptance. The applicant will go through a trial period and a series of interviews and tests to determine their suitability for the role. Uchi deshi is not restricted to males only. The training is highly physical however and the applicant will require a great deal of physical toughness and mental / emotional discipline.
For those applying from interstate or overseas, the relocation may prove pointless if the applicant does not successfully negotiate the trial period. We would recommend very serious consideration be given to such an application. Experience in Aikido would be a distinct advantage. Even so, what the applicant believes they know will be of no importance in this role.
Absolutely no terms or conditions are negotiable – the Dojo is not a democracy and the focus is one hundred percent on responsibilities as opposed to rights. Course periods less than one year will not be considered. An application for three to five years would be looked upon more favourably. We also recommend that the prospective applicant research the role of uchi deshi very considerably.