Uchideshi means literally "inside student." We can compare this to the old system of apprenticeship in which the apprentice lived with a master artisan and his family in order to learn his trade. Present day democracy, with its emphasis on individual rights and mass education, discourages this kind of system. This accounts for many of the failures of would-be uchideshi I have observed over the years.
By becoming an uchideshi with a good teacher, you can learn to draw energy from inside yourself rather than relying on tricks for motivation. This is an essential quality for an uchideshi to acquire. You will need it at all ages in order to improve yourself constantly through training and teaching. By observing the daily life of an uchideshi, we may get a better understanding of this concept.
Before considering any technical instruction and training, the uchideshi must take care of countless dojo matters. Cleaning up, cooking, answering the phone, taking care of visitors, preparing the furo (bath), shopping, doing repairs, opening and closing the dojo, turning on and off the lights before and after classes— these are all part of the uchideshi's responsibilities. The uchideshi must constantly use imagination and common sense in order to solve all the unexpected problems that arise. In addition to that you must train daily (often on your own during the daytime), assist your teacher, teach classes, etc. By taking care of such daily tasks yourself, your teacher will be able to concentrate on more important matters, which will in turn benefit you.