By Glenn Catania, shidoshi
The true joy of training is not for your teacher, but for yourself. Many times students tend to put a little less than their all into the practice of a technique, then really turn it on when they notice their teacher is watching. Why? Ask yourself. We all need that feeling of a pat on the back or hearing "good job."
However, it is more important to know for ourselves that we have done something correctly. Our teachers are there to guide us, not to hand us our ability or praise. They take us on a train and show us the different stops along the way (kata). It is not the job of your sensei to teach you how to drive the engine (budo), but to help you learn it in your own way. You decide what you want to get out of it, and how much coal to put in the furnace.
Few things can compare to the bond between teacher and student. It is a very special relationship. A good teacher has a very caring attitude for you. He works towards giving you everything you want out of training, but the true responsibility is yours. The greatest compliment you can give your Sensei is truly to do the best you can every time. Put the lessons they give you to work in every turn you take of a waza, both as the defender and as attacker. Take responsibility for your own advancement, and you will advance more and more.