My father grew up as our country was coming out of the Great Depression and fighting World War II. He could sometimes be stern and always demanded that his children respect their elders. This included quickly obeying adults and addressing them formally with a heavy dose of sirs and ma'am's. When I entered the service at 18, I only had to add a salute to my greetings.
I think of myself as a relatively serene individual who's not quick to anger. My Achilles' heel in this regard is being shown a lack of respect. There's very likely some ego at play here but I believe it's mostly a desire to be treated with courtesy and civility.
When I began training jujitsu a number of years ago, I did so with some new friends. Over the years, I have made many more friends inside the dojo. The traditional Japanese dojo requires a show of respect to each other, your Sempai and Sensei. Given my upbringing and military background, I have always felt comfortable abiding by this norm.
What has proved to be more complex is the different settings one interacts with dojo mates and the changes in rank.
One of our black belts is a now long-time friend and, at one time, a peer at work. We supported each other through many trials, shared numerous beers and choked each other countless times. Being typical guys, we've also trashed each other in typical guy fashion. No ribbing is too cruel. No level of mocking and derision is off limits. Prior to his promotion, this 'mental cruelty' sometimes carried over into the dojo. It was part of toughening ourselves. With his promotion black belt, his position and expectations changed and our behavior toward him needed to as well.
At times, it has been unclear whether there's an inside and outside of the dojo. Is he my Sempai when we're having a beer on a Saturday night? When we're doing non-jujitsu training? When we're texting outside class?
At this point, I've decided that it's sometimes too difficult to make those differentiations and that I will be respectful at all times (although I may fall off the wagon on occasion and text him that he's a butthead).