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Lucy
10-27-2006, 09:11 AM
It's so embarassing, but I'm really attracted to this Yudansha. I would never act on it, for fear that it would ruin the great dynamics we enjoy in our dojo. But It's hard for me to look at this person w/out blushing, and frequently I feel uncomfortable in techniques. Will time help me get over it? I think I would rather leave the school than talk to anyone about it, but it's such a good school!

Any advice?

Eric Webber
10-27-2006, 10:33 AM
Dojo relationships can be a very grey area. Talk to your sensei about it, see what he/she thinks of dojo relationships, cohai/sempai intimacy, etc. If you don't think you can talk to your sensei about it, it probably is not a good thing (on several levels). Sometimes just waiting it out and getting to know the person better off the mat can help you decide what to do, as well. Good luck.

Ron Tisdale
10-27-2006, 10:57 AM
Focus on training, that is what you are at the dojo for. If something else nice should happen, fine, but don't push.

Pretty much the same advice no matter where you are, in'it?

Best,
Ron

James Davis
10-27-2006, 11:08 AM
When class is OVER, bait the hook. If he doesn't like what he sees, you go home with no fish.

If he refuses, then you can leave your tackle box at home and still enjoy the swimming. :)

RoyK
10-27-2006, 02:11 PM
If you don't think you can talk to your sensei about it, it probably is not a good thing (on several levels).


Offtopic : Why is it not a good thing? Do you find that having that kind of communication is beneficial to the study?

For the topic: I've read in Ellis Amdur's book something about relationships across ranks, and the dangers involved. I don't know what your rank is compared to him, but I know that I've been in a relationship where I looked up to the person and haven't got the same attitude back, and the other way around. Both relationships weren't very pleasent, so be careful.

Eric Webber
10-27-2006, 02:52 PM
Hi Roy,

I think that it is important to be able to trust your sensei, in the realm of technical aikido as well as other areas of your life, for the fullest experience of being together in this journey. I think it is more difficult to study with a teacher you do not trust and/or respect on a personal level and still try to trust him/her with your physical safety on the mat. If aikido was merely a physical practice I would have a different opinion, but I do not consider it as such, and therefore expect a certain amount of trustworthiness out of my teachers.

Amelia Smith
10-27-2006, 03:42 PM
I certainly don't think you need to talk to your sensei about it. Just because you don't want to confess all to your sensei doesn't mean that you don't trust him/her.

I've had my share of crushes in the dojo, and then some. As you get to know the object of your crush, you'll probably let him or her know how you feel, eventually. Just don't expect your feelings to be reciprocated. My on-the-mat crushes have mellowed over time, and I don't think they've been detrimental to my practice (maybe to my social life, but that's another matter!). On the contrary, having a crush on someone at the dojo kept me showing up through many of the frustrating times when I felt like I wasn't progressing, or my technique was falling apart, etc.

In the long run, in my experience, it's no big deal, and all part of the journey.

Lorien Lowe
10-27-2006, 10:40 PM
Wait. More than anything else, this needs time. If you are new to aikido, getting used to the close, personal one-on-one contact can be a little overwhelming - especially when a good-looking sempai is clearly happy to see you and train with you. Non-sexual, physical friendships are possible in the dojo, but for the average westerner it's a new experience. In addition, it's easy for falling in love with aikido to be confused with falling in love with the sempai with that incredible ukemi who looks soooo ....good in a hakama. :)
Wait until you've become familiar with the dojo, with aikido, and with the sempai in question.

-LK

xuzen
10-28-2006, 02:39 AM
I thought this thread was about some awesome noobs crushing a yudansha with some awesome PINS or IMMOBILIZATIONS... oh well never mind.

Boon.

ian
10-28-2006, 09:54 AM
Yeh, I thought it had some physical crushing pain involved. Unfortunately this could be a worse affliction. I would certainly agree with Ron, that the dojo is for training. Also, women have a tendency to be attracted to powerful men, so it may just be his role that you are attracted to. I think, as said before, you 'bait the hook'. If the bait is taken, meet them in a completely different social situation where you can see other aspects of their character.

I did have a dojo relationship many many years ago and I have no regrets about it - it never interferred with our training, and indeed I look back quite whistfully on that time even now :rolleyes:

(PS the roll eyes is suppossed to be whistful, not sarchastic, but thats the closest thing I can do. I hope it the two aren't confused when I make those facial expressions myself)

Been there
10-28-2006, 10:57 PM
A few things to consider:
1. is he married or does he have a girlfriend? This may not be immediately apparent. I trained with one guy for 3 years (not someone I found interesting "that way") before I found out he was married. He just never, ever talked about his wife, and she never came to dojo social events.

2. How long have you been training at this school? Weeks, months, years? If only a short time, you may find your feelings change in a couple months or even less time.

3. Dan-ranked people that flirt with the newer students are not necessarily good candidates, especially if there is a pattern of this.

4. This is more or less the same situation as being attracted to someone in your office that is of higher status than you.

5. what kind of person are they OUTSIDE the dojo?

Hanna B
10-29-2006, 12:14 AM
Why would there be anything more embarrasing with a crush on a yudansha than on other men?

Ask him out - off mat. If he does not accept, then train as usual. Maybe the two of you will avoid each other for a time, that is OK.

RoyK
10-29-2006, 10:19 AM
Hi Roy,

I think that it is important to be able to trust your sensei, in the realm of technical aikido as well as other areas of your life, for the fullest experience of being together in this journey. I think it is more difficult to study with a teacher you do not trust and/or respect on a personal level and still try to trust him/her with your physical safety on the mat. If aikido was merely a physical practice I would have a different opinion, but I do not consider it as such, and therefore expect a certain amount of trustworthiness out of my teachers.

Thanks for the answer. I was asking because I feel I have a communications problem with my Sensei, in that we don't really relate off the mat, and I was wondering if it should be a reason enough to seek out a different instructor. But that's for a whole different topic... Thanks.

daniel loughlin
10-29-2006, 10:27 AM
thought that the :ai: in :ai: :ki: :do: stood for love??
just a thought

deepsoup
10-29-2006, 11:11 AM
thought that the :ai: in :ai: :ki: :do: stood for love??
Nah, thats just a load of tree-hugging hippy crap. :p

Qatana
10-29-2006, 11:23 AM
. Also, women have a tendency to be attracted to powerful men, )

What a crock. PEOPLE are attracted to Presence. Generally a "higher -ranked" person has more personal Presence and that makes them attractive. My mom had it. She wasnt a martial artist or a man and People treated her like some kind of Star.
In my experience there is that attractiveness in most people who work at developing themselves,and is not necessarily sexual or romantic but sometimes we have trouble identifying what we found attractive about that person. This is why religious figures get themselves into trouble..
Having said that, I do have a strong physical attraction to one of the yudansha at my dojo. And he is married and there is absolutely Nothing that can be done about it but to be aware that this is my training partner and this is my training.Eventually the "crush" part of it does go away.

Adam Huss
10-30-2006, 10:39 PM
To Mr. Sean Orchard...as far as I've been taught, Ai most closely means "to fit together" and the kanji represents a lid fitting on a jar.
To "Lucy" Good luck with your situation! It can be tough, this dojo crush type of thing. In my experience, if a dojo relationship does not work out, one of the two people will no longer be a member of that dojo. I really can't give you any good advice, but good luck and I hope everything works out for you!
Cheers!
~Huss

Ketsan
10-31-2006, 03:48 AM
To Mr. Sean Orchard...as far as I've been taught, Ai most closely means "to fit together" and the kanji represents a lid fitting on a jar.
To "Lucy" Good luck with your situation! It can be tough, this dojo crush type of thing. In my experience, if a dojo relationship does not work out, one of the two people will no longer be a member of that dojo. I really can't give you any good advice, but good luck and I hope everything works out for you!
Cheers!
~Huss

Fit them together with the mat! :D

Yann Golanski
10-31-2006, 04:08 AM
Nah, thats just a load of tree-hugging hippy crap. :p

Wow, I am still amazed at how many folks over here do not get sacasm. Ah well, does it make it more fun that way?

At least we are not Spartans... Talk about relationships in the dojo there! For those who do not know: Read Persian Fire by Tom Holland or The Spartans by Paul Cartledge or 300 by Frank Miller.

/cannot wait for 300, the movie, to come out.

uhoh!
10-31-2006, 04:27 AM
Along similar lines, I find my sensi's (adult) daughter attractive.

"DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON" ;)

Bridge
10-31-2006, 07:11 AM
Wow, I am still amazed at how many folks over here do not get sacasm. Ah well, does it make it more fun that way?



Any excuse to knock hippies, I'm totally in favour of. :D

Anonymous
10-31-2006, 08:17 AM
I'd say be careful, but not too careful!

I met my wife on the mat...

Nick Simpson
10-31-2006, 05:40 PM
thought this thread was about some awesome noobs crushing a yudansha with some awesome PINS or IMMOBILIZATIONS...

Along similar lines, I find my sensi's (adult) daughter attractive.

"DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON"

Thanks guys, you made me laugh ;)

Hanna B
11-01-2006, 01:01 AM
What a crock. PEOPLE are attracted to Presence.

There are many things to attraction. Both women and men are more often attracted to people who, if in a relation, would mean the man is the one with higher formal or informal status - it is a general pattern in our society. You find more male yudansha dating female beginners than the other way around, and quite a few male doctors marrying their nurses or secretaries while the female doctors prefer to marry others doctors etc etc.

Becoming the girlfriend of, for instance, one of the instructors in the dojo unevitably changes a woman's informal status in said dojo. That is not entirely good, not at all. When the relationship is over, one falls down again - and that can be very hard to take, maybe especially the discovery that you for all this time have not been treated as yourself but as X's girlfriend. A man does not "borrow" some of his girlfriends or wifes status in the same way. Mrs Steward will rise to the status of Mr Steward, but not the other way around. These things comlicate things sometimes and relationships in the dojo have made many people stop their training. However, all these things are general to our society and not more lethal in aikido context than others.

Ecosamurai
11-01-2006, 08:40 AM
Becoming the girlfriend of, for instance, one of the instructors in the dojo unevitably changes a woman's informal status in said dojo. That is not entirely good, not at all. When the relationship is over, one falls down again.

Met my girlfriend in the dojo (my last three actually for that matter, should probably get off the mat and get out more hehe), she will in the near future become my wife. I am her aikido instructor which is how we met. Our relationship on the mat is of teacher and student, off the mat it is not.

As to her status in the dojo, it is elevated above my other students but only because of these two things:

1) She's the one who trains the most with us on the mat and rarely misses an opportunity to practice.
2) Because of her dedication to practice she has the most experience and has advanced in rank quicker than all my other students.

For both of these reasons alone she would be my senior student regardless of being my girlfriend. I would go so far as to say that she's not my senior student because she's my girlfriend but rather she's my girlfriend because she's my senior student, no one else could possibly comprehend why I spend so much time and effort practicing aikido except someone who does the same thing :)

As to the original post of this thread I'd simply say this: Ask yourself if you're coming to aikido for the practice of aikido or to see the object of your crush. I've seen over the years a few people who didn't really want to go to the dojo to learn aikido but rather to find a girlfriend/boyfriend, and they tend not to continue training. Which is fine, there's nothing wrong with that but it may become important once your crush resolves itself (one way or another).

Mike

Ron Tisdale
11-01-2006, 08:52 AM
Wasn't there a thread on Aikido-L many eons ago about "hakama hookers"? While I think that term is extremely derogatory, it can also capture a certain portion of the population. I think one of the worst things an aspiring female trainee can do is to put herself in that category. This goes ditto and in spades for the men who take advantage of that (interesting that there is no corresponding "hakama john" appellation, isn't it??).

Best,
Ron

Danger!
11-01-2006, 12:29 PM
This is a tricky one - the guy might be tempted to take advantage of you, then drop you when he's had his fill.

This is not unheard of.

Be extremely cautious, and find out what he wants. What you want, while of great importance to you, may be of no consequence to him.

Been there, done that, got the entire collection of T-shirts :(

Harrumph
11-06-2006, 12:32 AM
Re women "borrowing" the guy's status: I prefer to earn my own status... someone else can have the guy.

Well, if the guy is interesting for other reasons, that's a different story.

RoyK
11-07-2006, 06:22 AM
I was recently at a position when I witnessed a senior female student giving her instructor a kiss on the cheek that quickly sided to the side of his lips. she was the worst black belt on the mat, made me wonder what's going on there...

Nick Simpson
11-07-2006, 10:23 AM
I was recently at a position when I witnessed a senior female student giving her instructor a kiss on the cheek that quickly sided to the side of his lips. she was the worst black belt on the mat, made me wonder what's going on there...

Sex?

ian
11-07-2006, 10:44 AM
There are many things to attraction. Both women and men are more often attracted to people who, if in a relation, would mean the man is the one with higher formal or informal status - it is a general pattern in our society.

Really this is a reply to Jo. In most primate societies men form the main power hierarchy and women form a secondary power hierarchy, usually through their attatchment to a high status male. OK, its extrapolation to suggest humans are the same, but men in powerful positions tend to have more sexual partners than average but the same is not true of powerful women. (Basically men and women aren't the same - completely different sexual strategies apply, partly because women are always sure their childern are their own whereas men never can be). I agree with what you are saying Hannah, and also admit that human societies are far more complex. But jo, male and female hierarchies are very very different.

Also reminds me of an interesting survey done about a year ago in the UK where women responded to a poll saying that almost all the women said that there should be equal pay (between men and women) but they also said in the same poll, that they preferred their partners to be earning more than them. This is an obvious biological case of forcing increased competition in men.

Hanna B
11-07-2006, 01:04 PM
And this is in reply to Ian.

In most primate societies men form the main power hierarchy and women form a secondary power hierarchy, usually through their attatchment to a high status male.

That kind of reasoning is c-r-a-p, honestly. No need going to other primates when we can study humans, since that kind of extrapolation might carry a long long way from reality. I wouldn't be surprised if that kind of animal data is severely outdated, too. People used to read all kinds of stuff into animal behaviour, based on their view of human society. For instance the "leader stallion" in a flock of horses was the concept, right? but now people have found that it really seems to be a bunch of female horses that take the decisions... (OK that is only what a friend told me so I don't have the source - but neither have you, I guess.)

I agree that in Western societies there to a certain extent exist separate male and female hierarchies even in an aikido dojo - probably more so than in many other contexts, because of the changing rooms. I also agree that they somewhat differ, and that a female's place in the hierarchy is somewhat dependent on what man they have a relationship to. I see no need to go to other species to explain this, though, and also I see no way of knowing to which extent this is biological - if at all. In this area so much crap is written and recirculated.

Ron Tisdale
11-07-2006, 01:14 PM
I'm not sure...but I think he meant primitive...as in most primitive societies. Otherwise he probably would have used male and female instead of men and women.

In many of the societies I had view to in East Africa, you could clearly see the delineation between the sexes as described. And the women had some very effective ways of over-ruling the men when needed. And there were women who stood outside of the norm quite successfully, though they were very rare.

There were even societies that were matrilineal, and some that had changed to patrilineal, but had myths recalling other wise.

Can you guess how the change happened? All the men conspired, and got all the female leaders pregnant at the same time! Then while they were giving birth, the men just took over. ;)

Best,
Ron (I think I may need to remember that one...)

PS just kidding...

Hanna B
11-07-2006, 01:26 PM
I'm not sure...but I think he meant primitive...as in most primitive societies.

Considering "OK, its extrapolation to suggest humans are the same" I think you are probably wrong.

Ron Tisdale
11-07-2006, 02:05 PM
You may be right...BAD IAN...

Just Kidding...

Ron

j0nharris
11-07-2006, 03:11 PM
I started training 11 years ago, & after being at the dojo a few months, I asked another student out, who had started training about the same time.
We've been married a little more than 9 years, & I have no regrets (says the guy whose wife is looking over his shoulder) .
I've also known guys in the dojo -- mostly younger -- who try to date just about every new woman who comes along, which can be a little icky to watch at times... .
I would agree with whoever said ti get to know him off the mat, & then see if he'd like to go out sometime.

Qatana
11-07-2006, 11:12 PM
Perhaps my concept of Presence is what others think of as "power". It certainly Is powerful,so that those who actively develop their ability to be Present simply are the ones who become powerful. Maybe we mean the same thing with different terminology.
And yeah, I've read some anthropological studies too.

anyway, back to the topic- my sensei has been married to a former student for about 30 years, and his sensei is married to a current student. Sometimes dojo relationships work.

Yann Golanski
11-08-2006, 01:54 AM
Relationships sometimes work and sometimes not. Whether it's with mates, chance meeting or Aikido. Listen to your head and not your heart and you may not go too wrong -- easier said that done though.

mut
11-10-2006, 05:18 AM
if you have a crush on someone then ask them out, life is to short to worry, polotics is all mans opinion, .you have nothing to lose and everthing to gain. its better to regret something you have done than something you havent, go for it. :) :ai:

BeenThere
11-11-2006, 12:04 AM
I started dating a higher raked person after being in my dojo for a couple of weeks. It lasted 1.5 years and ended ugly. Neither of us left the dojo. I never want to put my friends through that again (nor myself). I am currently seeing someone who does not do Aikido, which is nice. It's a part of my life that I can use as a personal "sanctuary."

Steve Mullen
11-17-2006, 06:48 PM
Shihan, Sensei, Sempai, Kohai, Yudansha, Mudansha, we are all just people in the end. What if the person you are with joins aikido after you have started dating them, should you be expected to stop dating them just because you train together, just enjoy it for as long as you can. I would imagine that gettig to beat the hell out of each other a few times a week would help a relationship :p

xuzen
11-18-2006, 12:57 AM
Did I ever mention I crush yudansha on a regular basis...kami shiho, tate shiho, yoko shiho....etc etc. :p :p :p

mriehle
11-20-2006, 05:46 PM
As an instructor: I'm amused by these attractions because of their inevitability, but I discourage action on them.

As a student: I see all too often people forming little mutual admiration societies and excluding other students.

As a father who's daughter trains: I dislike watching her fall all over herself to train with "that cute guy". (Okay, she's fifteen and I know she'll get over this stage, but I'm still inclined to toss the potential boyfriend around just a little more roughly than I ought to. :grr: :cool: )

In addition I know of one local instructor who's had more than a few issues with his female students. He's been called a womanizer by several people that I know. I have an opinion on the accuracy of this accusation, but I feel it would be inappropriate for me to share it.

And, define "crush".

Aikido can be a very emotional art, IME. Combine that with the sheer physicalness of the art and of course you're going to find yourself interested in training partners for some extracurricular training. What you do about it depends a lot on the level and kind of the attraction. And your character.

Which is why you need to define "crush".

As an instructor I've had female students fall all over themselves to be nice to me and make their interest very clear. But it isn't real, it isn't about me, it's about The Sensei. The Sensei is not a real person, he's a mythical being who happens to look like me to this person at the moment and is actually interested in them (I'm not). Sooner or later they either quit Aikido or get over it and notice my feet of clay. Some of them become friends, others are too bothered by their previous issues with The Sensei to want to be around me.

Best thing I can do is pretend it isn't happening on the mat and avoid too much interaction with them off the mat. I quickly learned that even being friendly can be construed as encouragement. I also discovered that it's easy to fall into a trap of actually encouraging the behavior - hey, it feels good to have someone admire you even if it is for all the wrong reasons. :blush:

But I've seen women do something similar to other yudansha. Not often, fortunately, but it's uncomfortable for everyone involved. And if you pursue it and it's the wrong kind of crush you are going to create continuing awkwardness for you and the object of your crush.

Without going into a lot of detail, women who do this generally have a lot in common with each other, IME. The one detail I will point out is that as a rule these women are attracted to the symbol, not the man.

For the record, the men I see pursuing women on the mat tend to be completely unconcerned about rank; their interest seems more to do with the actual femaleness of their targets. I think, though, that they are also attracted to the symbol rather than the woman.

I've also seen people who were clearly attracted to each other on the mat keep a tight lid on it - at least during class - and there was never an awkward moment that I was aware of. It's probably selfish of me, but I prefer this. I wonder, too, if this doesn't indicate a more honest attraction.

Krista DeCoste
11-21-2006, 09:49 AM
I'm just picking up on the word embarassed used by Lucy to describe how she felt about this crush. Don't leave the dojo because of a crush. Crushes are normal, a sign of your vitality. Embrace this crush as a positive sign of your vitality then get clear in your head about what your intentions are...having a crush does not require action or apology.

Sameboat
11-24-2006, 11:14 PM
I was (am) in the same situation. How I handled it was to accept the fact that I was attracted, but not act on it on the mat. Instead, I approached him off the mat and it grew from there. The pitfall is when you unintentionally play favorites (instead of training with others) or bringing the relationship to the mat or inside the dojo, which is potentially uncomfortable for others.

So I do not believe there is anything wrong with going for it, but it's just making sure you keep your head. The dojo is the dojo and the relationship, I believe, is a personal matter not part of it. You should not bring your relationship dynamic inside and the dojo should not influence the choices you make outside of it.

Basically, have a dojo sphere and a private sphere. That's my two cents and it has worked out for me. : )

Chiburi
11-30-2006, 10:14 PM
I'm really glad that Mr. Riehle made the distinction between himself and The Sensei. When you've trained under an instructor for awhile, and hold nothing less than absolute respect, then you idolize him/her. Sensei can be confused with Sensei. Personally, I've never had the problem of crushing on my Sensei. He's trained me since I was little.
Anyone hear the quote "to a child, Mother is God"? For me, God was Sensei. He's always been my perfect, unattainable, unreachable idol.
When I see him, on occasion, out of dojo, I still address him as Sensei, instead of his name, because I know Sensei, not him.
Relationships in the dojo...I'm torn about. Lots of people have found their partners on the mats, and many married couples train together, without being partial to their significant other. However, with the younger students, teenagers for example, it can cause severe problems. I've always avoided such relationships in the dojo because most people that age, not all, but most, are either immature enough the handle it, or don't know how to handle it.
It all depends on the person.
In "Lucy's" case, if she has her heart set on pursuing the yudansha, I would start out as friends out of the dojo, to know the person instead of sempai.

sinead
12-05-2006, 02:59 PM
I have wondered about this phenomena and have one poorly developed theory. I feel that in the beginning it is easy to confuse the love of aikido with the love of a skilled aikidoka. Our brain tries to make sense of this love by attaching it to a person who can, potentially, return this love and validate our sense of self. I am not trying to knock relationships which have developed in the dojo and are sincere, loving and fulfilling, these are great and the best of luck to anyone involved in same. I do feel, however, that jumping into intimate relationships within the dojo can be harmful to the evolution of the individual practitioners. Having said that, I have had some lovely crushes which have given me pleasant day dreams, all natural, nice and I think a compliment to the inspiration, harmless fun as long as its kept in context. But that's just a personal view and very subjective.

No serial dating here
12-07-2006, 01:21 PM
I started at a new dojo and fell hard for one of the students. The feeling was mutual, the whole affair was fast and short and ended in tears - on my half anyway, but we were both focussed enough on aikido that neither of us left. It's better now, and I'm currently harbouring feelings for a friend who is a more senior student at the dojo. While I don't regret the previous fling, it's making me cautious about this one. This guy is one of my best friends and training partners - he takes great ukemi - and that's more important to me than snagging a boyfriend.

mriehle
12-07-2006, 03:25 PM
Two things on this thread have been bugging me. One of them I'm responsible for. So...

Hakama Hookers

I guess I missed that thread. It is pretty derogatory and - I think - wrong. Hakama groupies might be more accurate. IME, people who do this are star struck in the same way that groupies for rock stars are.

It may seem silly to someone else, but it's not silly to them.

The Sensei

FWIW: I see this phenomenon pop up in all kinds of contexts. The idea seems to go that The Sensei is somehow the embodiment of al things righteous and good. Sometimes to the point of endowing The Sensei with superhuman or even God like powers.

I can only speak for myself on this one, but I can't teach someone who regards me like that. For one thing I could never live up to that image. For another they don't actually pay attention very well. They're too busy being impressed.

Fortunately it's an uncommon - if not rare - phenomenon. Mostly it's new students who do this and most of them get over it pretty quickly.

Both things speak to an unrealistic idea about the object of the phenomenon. The yudansha who is "perfect" or The Sensei as superhuman both need some working on in the mind of the student who sees them in this way.

That was my real point in my previous message: if your crush is one of these two kinds of things you should step on it hard. Pursuing it can only lead to grief.

michael_rath
12-12-2006, 08:06 PM
Addressing the attraction. It's totally understandable. My wife told me about a guy she was in a play with and that fact that he was a good looking guy who could act was very attractive to her. I saw the guy and I've seen pictures of her previous boyfriends and this guy wasn't anything as far as looks were concerned (I'm not saying anything about this guys looks, it's just to make a point ;) ) but his ability to act and his love for acting attracted her most of all. So it's not so crazy for some one to get a crush on some one shares an interest with you and is very good at it.
Let's face it when a girl I knew was good at sparring and would invite me over for a UFC pay-per-view that was my kind of chic :D .

The martial arts are about self-discipline and self-control as much as it is about being able to put some one down with little effort after seperating his shoudler and elbow from their joints. Use the aspect of your discipline and your control and do what you believe is going to be the right choice. Just bare in mind (I can't remember if you said he was your instructor or not so I'm sorry just bare with me) if he is your instructor that if your relationship ends badly you may need to find another dojo, or deal with being uncomfortable for the rest of your time there, especially if he gets married or starts seeing another woman. Or you may have to deal with the embarsement of asking and being rejected.
If he is not your instructor the same facets still exsist, but they should be easier to get over since your both adults. No matter what the situation your both just people who share an interest in aikido and who better to throw around then a boyfreind ;) .

Michael

Princess Rose
12-13-2006, 04:06 PM
[QUOTE=Jo Adell] In my experience there is that attractiveness in most people who work at developing themselves,and is not necessarily sexual or romantic but sometimes we have trouble identifying what we found attractive about that person.

Ok first of all, I was totally attracted to this thread because I thought it was about crushing pain and all that lol :o

But I think there is a huge deal to be said for having a crush on Aikido not on people. I personally have a crush on Ken Nisson Sensei (I believe he is 70 years old). Obviously, it is not a real crush, but more of an admiration for this person and what he teaches. There is a 40 year old guy in my home dojo who has the same crush on Nisson Sensei.

That being said, your crush may not have anything to do with Aikido. Actually the reverse happened to me. About 2 or so years ago a new student about my age had a crush on me (I only know because he told me). We actually dated for a year and broke up last spring. As hard as I tried to be friends with him and treat him just like everybody else there was something unavoidably different. However, thatís just me. This experience taught me that I have to look outside the dojo for my relationships (or lack there of). On the other hand, dating within the dojo is the thing to do for some people. I know a few couples in my home dojo who use Aikido as a great activity to participate in together. That is just something you have to discover for yourself. Weather dating another Aikidoka is what you want, or if it just makes training awkward.

Either way good luck

Princess Rose
12-13-2006, 04:18 PM
As a father who's daughter trains: I dislike watching her fall all over herself to train with "that cute guy". (Okay, she's fifteen and I know she'll get over this stage, but I'm still inclined to toss the potential boyfriend around just a little more roughly than I ought to. :grr: :cool: )

Ok one more thing. The older men in my dojo all seem to think they are my father so every boy who was potentially interested in me or vice versa pretty much got the snot kicked out of him. It was really annoying. evileyes

Kevin Wilbanks
12-13-2006, 07:56 PM
It seems to me that many people here must be pretty cynical about love or looking for something superficial in a relationship. The possibility of some awkwardness at the dojo for a few hours per week at some indefinite future time, not having quite as much fun with your favorite uke if things don't work out... these sound like exceedingly weak disincentives to doing something that one hopes will be truly worthwhile. I wouldn't even bother pursuing a relationship with someone if piddly concerns like that were enough to thwart me.

Personally, about the only things I ever truly regretted in life were things that I did or did not do in relation to someone I loved. I doubt anyone ever bemoaned the fact that they failed to follow an arbitrary personal dating rule on their death bed, but love lost or chances not taken are a common theme in this situation.

My advice to anyone with this type of "problem" is to seize the moment. Life is short and people with whom you can genuinely connect and become intimate are rare. Anything worthwhile involves taking risks, and the kind of risks being discussed so somberly here sound like utter trifles to me, compared to the potential rewards. Even more important is the bigger picture: if you allow yourself to be cowed by this kind of minor risk, you are in for a very staid, boring life.

mriehle
12-13-2006, 08:31 PM
...every boy who was potentially interested in me or vice versa pretty much got the snot kicked out of him. It was really annoying. evileyes

So my daughter tells me. :D

Frequently. :D

(I'm actually not as bad as all that. I managed to not slam the kid who was taking her to the formal the next night during jiyu waza on Friday. I was downright nice. :cool: )

Princess Rose
12-14-2006, 12:39 AM
(I'm actually not as bad as all that. I managed to not slam the kid who was taking her to the formal the next night during jiyu waza on Friday. I was downright nice. :cool: )

Funny

I actually like the older guys looking out for me. I know if I ever needed them theyíd be there to help me in a heartbeat. To be honest they are really the truest forms of friends even more so than people my age. I think that is one of the best parts about Aikido. Even if you donít want to date the other Aikidoka (and it would be pretty hard for me since NO ONE is my age) you do form the greatest friendship relationships ever. Iím 19 and I have many people over the age of 40 who I consider to be my best friends. And really I spend more time on the mat with those people than I do off the mat ďhanging outĒ (yeah Iím an Aiki nerd). Off topic a little :D

da2el.ni4na
12-15-2006, 01:23 PM
I felt compelled to write on this thread because a) I felt that the degree of risk isn't being very acknowledged (although I did see various people posting, "I've done it. It was messy...") and b) the reason for and potential consequences of the risk aren't being discussed. However I will say I am thinking more specifically of cases involving new students and dojo members who have been around long enough to feel they are part of the dojo, maybe a year or more.

Probably everyone considers themselves to be rational and capable of objectivity. The thing is, when we slip into irrationality or subjectivity, *we don't notice*. When a new person joins the dojo, they face the job of assimilating all of the implicit, unsaid aspects of the individual dojo culture as well as all of the explicit aspects. For new people the impact of an encouraging word or gentle hand is *greater* than it is for someone who has settled down. This may sound condescending, but a new person may not have the most accurate picture of how much he/she is feeling insecure and in what ways he/she is responding to reinforcements, good and bad, positive and negative. (I am not saying that anybody develops perfect self-insight or that developed people live a risk-free existence.) If a dojo member sees a starry-eyed beginner and feels good or proud of him/herself, that is natural *but* the person with more experience, by virtue of having settled in more, has the onus of noticing that that starry-eyed-ness may be specific to the stage that one or both parties are currently in, and that the new person is the more vulnerable one, the one with less power. To say that the new person is his/her own person and that everything is equal is to ignore some significant details.

As for potential consequences, how will they pratice together if they're in a relationship? What happens if they break up? What happens when one has an unpleasant experience with another dojo member? Do they care if others around them are affected. including "feeling icky"? At times that we have our wits about us we may be able to say we'll to whatever is rational, mature, etc. but when we are in the midst of something the we have not foreseen nor prepared for (i.e. you can foresee a storm but whether you're properly prepared is different), it's a different story.

Kevin Wilbanks
12-15-2006, 05:09 PM
Sorry Daniel, but those risks and consequences sound like exactly the kind of bupkus I was talking about. We aren't talking about getting killed or maimed, going to prison, or ending up homeless and destitute here. Weighing the potential rewards of a good relationship versus the vague possibility of "feeling icky", a few people having "unpleasant experiences" or whatnot is a no-brainer. These consequences are trivial even in comparison to the standard emotional risks most of us take when engaging in any relationship that could possibly fail at some point. If you are unwilling to undertake risks this small, you aren't ready for any relationship, no matter where you met the person.

It might be different if we are talking about 'dating' in the sense of being a player-type just looking for a few cheap shags with no emotional involvement. Then I'd be inclined to advise such a person not to play this sort of dating game in the dojo. To me this simply falls into the category of obnoxious behavior.

I also don't buy that stuff about the dire pitfalls of "unequal power" in relationships. I think this line of thinking is a bunch of nonsense cooked up by prissy, anti-sex PC types. The power is always unequal in relationships, sometimes more than others. For some people the inequality of station or power between them and the other is exactly what they like, on both sides. Heck, some people like to be spanked, peed upon... just a couple PG13 examples. Humans are a passionate, messy lot whose tastes range so widely that the whole idea of trying to make them follow narrow, do-gooder rules, especially when it comes to sex and love, is just silly.

Princess Rose
12-15-2006, 10:10 PM
Ok my thoughts should probably be ignored because I still think boys have cooties, however, I just wanted to say I really agree with Dan. Small welcoming gestures are really taken to heart more by beginners. People need to really look within themselves to discover weather they are attracted to the person or just the person on the mat. Something to add is that when dojo relationships end, it sometimes puts the lower ranking person in a compromising position. Even though we practice Aikido and should try to get along and love everyone no matter if they hurt you yata yata yata, the fact is that we are human and sometimes you just canít stand to see each other. In that instance the lower ranking person may feel as if they should quit Aikido or find another school. They may even feel ostracized and think that everyone else is on the higher ranking personís ďsideĒ simply because he/she has been in the dojo longer and cemented close relationships. This is not to say that relationships can NEVER end well, just that SOMETIMES this can happen. And I donít think anybody is saying definitely donít go for it, just be careful and be aware of the bad things that COULD happen. That is true of all relationships.

Lucy Smith
12-18-2006, 01:44 AM
i cant believe i finally made it to the page!! it wasnt working for ages!!
well i too have a crush lol, but the guy in question is in the adults class, so LUCKILY i havent trained with him much... coz i just cant... lol
i woluld say wait... i mean it'd be very embarrasing if you break up to continue to train together..

deepsoup
12-18-2006, 09:02 AM
i mean it'd be very embarrasing if you break up to continue to train together..

A bit embarrassing, certainly, but these things pass. Have you read Kevin Willbanks' post above?

Sometimes its worth sticking your neck out a little bit, as I can prove to you in only 4 words: "Chuck and Emily Gordon".

Mike Grant
12-18-2006, 09:43 AM
This (and the thread about 'people I don't want to learn from') is typical of what happens when you make it too easy for women to start training.

And, as an aside, also provides a good indication of why putting women in front line combat units also doesn't work.

For a third stab at political correctness, something that's almost as pathetc is couples who always train together.

Just get over it and get on with your training. Sort out your personal issues off the mat and away from the dojo. End of story.

Qatana
12-18-2006, 10:36 AM
Gee Mike, please tell us more.

mriehle
12-18-2006, 11:08 AM
See, I just think we're all over-thinking it.

The points we all appear to agree on (I think):


Relationships in the dojo can be complicated, but aren't always.
When a dojo relationship doesn't work out, it's awkward.
Dojo relationships which do work out can be very worthwhile.
A crush doesn't guarantee a relationship.


Where there seems to be some disagreement is on how big the risks actually are, what "awkward" actually means if things go badly.

Here's the thing: it's a risk and like all other risks evaluating it takes a bit of prescience. In other words: you have to decide for yourself. There is no real analyzing of the situation, there is only looking at other such situations and then making the decision based on - ultimately - your gut feel for the situation.

By definition it's an emotional decision. Your emotions - tempered by reason - must guide you.

Too much thinking will probably only make things worse.

Mike Grant
12-18-2006, 11:19 AM
Gee Mike, please tell us more.

I'm told that www.handbag.com is an excellent resource if this kind of thing really bothers you. :cool:

mriehle
12-18-2006, 03:34 PM
Hey, Mike, maybe you could tone it down a bit?

Hanna B
12-18-2006, 06:29 PM
Do we have a troll in here?

Mike Grant
12-19-2006, 02:33 AM
Do we have a troll in here?

Michael always struck me as a serious poster but I guess you're entitled to your opinion.

Am I the only person on this thread who thinks he's studying a martial art and not joining a social club/dating agency?

Personal problems like this have no place in the dojo.

mriehle
12-19-2006, 01:15 PM
Michael always struck me as a serious poster but I guess you're entitled to your opinion.

Uh, okay, thanks, I guess. :confused:

Am I the only person on this thread who thinks he's studying a martial art and not joining a social club/dating agency?

Right. Okay.

First of all, just because what we are doing is training in a martial art does not mean there will be no social issues. Nor does it mean that the social issues are unimportant. The original poster is having a social issue and needs (or needed) help. Her original issue brings up all kinds of other related issues.

So discussing these is a problem? Why?

The thing is, these can have a very real impact on your training. You can't simply ignore them and hope they'll go away. Correctly dealing with them - even if that means putting them aside, which is not the same as ignoring them - is important to making sure you are getting the training you come to the dojo for.

But, more importantly, these are important issues to some people. Making light (or even making fun) of them is really inappropriate. I've certainly been guilty of being flippant at times, but I make a point of apologizing when I realize I've done so.

The "handbag.com" comment was, I think, a little over the top. I've been on the mat with Jo Adell and I have enormous respect for her. What's more, I know her teacher and I know him to be a very sincere and accomplished Aikidoka.

Personal problems like this have no place in the dojo.

There are a lot of places where personal problems have no place but they intrude in any case. Simply dismissing them as unimportant is never the answer. Someone who finds themselves in such a situation needs to deal with it in a constructive and appropriate manner.

Someone who has little or no experience with such a situation may need or at least want help with required decisions. I feel like Aikiweb - especially the anonymous forums - should be a place where they can ask for that help without fear of being ridiculed or belittled. :(

aikidjoe
12-19-2006, 01:39 PM
I don't know if this has been mentioned in previous posts, but Ellis Amdur's book Dueling With O Sensei discusses relationships in the dojo a little. And it's a very interesting read with rich stories to boot.

Qatana
12-19-2006, 07:58 PM
Thank you Michael, that was Much better than I could have done! And thank you for complimenting my Sensei!

Mike Grant
12-20-2006, 02:33 AM
Uh, okay, thanks, I guess. :confused:



Right. Okay.

First of all, just because what we are doing is training in a martial art does not mean there will be no social issues. Nor does it mean that the social issues are unimportant. The original poster is having a social issue and needs (or needed) help. Her original issue brings up all kinds of other related issues.

So discussing these is a problem? Why?

The thing is, these can have a very real impact on your training. You can't simply ignore them and hope they'll go away. Correctly dealing with them - even if that means putting them aside, which is not the same as ignoring them - is important to making sure you are getting the training you come to the dojo for.

But, more importantly, these are important issues to some people. Making light (or even making fun) of them is really inappropriate. I've certainly been guilty of being flippant at times, but I make a point of apologizing when I realize I've done so.

The "handbag.com" comment was, I think, a little over the top. I've been on the mat with Jo Adell and I have enormous respect for her. What's more, I know her teacher and I know him to be a very sincere and accomplished Aikidoka.



There are a lot of places where personal problems have no place but they intrude in any case. Simply dismissing them as unimportant is never the answer. Someone who finds themselves in such a situation needs to deal with it in a constructive and appropriate manner.

Someone who has little or no experience with such a situation may need or at least want help with required decisions. I feel like Aikiweb - especially the anonymous forums - should be a place where they can ask for that help without fear of being ridiculed or belittled. :(

I didn't say that the 'social issues' were unimportant. I just said that they have no place in the dojo. If you think you're joining some kind of quasi-religious cult, or New Age pacificist movement, as opposed to participating in a martial art, then I suppose you might have a different perspective. The whole point of a martial art is that you do 'deal' with these things while you're training but you do it in a way that fosters self reliance and a 'martial' (for want of a better word) spirit. The fact that this kind of discussion is even taking place is an indication (once again, in my opinion) of something seriously wrong with the general practice of aikido as martial art.

The Ellis Amdur book, I believe, discusses mainly Bruce Klickstein. Sexual abuse of a minor hardly qualifies as a 'relationship' in my book but the Klickstein thing has been done to death many times before.

Qatana
12-20-2006, 09:17 AM
I'm still waiting to hear why it should be made more difficult for women to train.

Hanna B
12-20-2006, 09:20 AM
Maybe because there would be no such problem in a single-sex dojo... or maybe because all the women are in the dojo for the wrong reasons, i.e. for dating? That was the opinions of some of my ex-teachers reagarding the women who trained in Hombu Dojo in late 60s. "Their only reason to be there was trying to find a husband."

Of course, all the men are in the dojo for the right reason.

Ron Tisdale
12-20-2006, 09:29 AM
Of course, all the men are in the dojo for the right reason.

Yeah, right....tell me another good one. :)

B,
R

Fred Little
12-20-2006, 10:51 AM
Yeah, right....tell me another good one. :)

B,
R

Samurai culture was a model of heterosexual propriety.

FL

Ron Tisdale
12-20-2006, 10:53 AM
You spoiler! There is actually a really good movie about that...absolutely top notch. Can't remember the name of it to save my soul...

Best,
Ron

Kevin Wilbanks
12-20-2006, 11:06 AM
The english title is "Taboo": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213682/

Ron Tisdale
12-20-2006, 11:10 AM
Yep! That be the one...

B,
R

akiy
12-20-2006, 11:27 AM
Can we please return to the subject at hand and conduct ourselves in a more respectful manner?

Thank you,

-- Jun

Fred Little
12-20-2006, 01:06 PM
Can we please return to the subject at hand and conduct ourselves in a more respectful manner?

Thank you,

-- Jun

I wholeheartedly agree with Jun's expressed view.

My very slight remark was intended to make a broader point: the notion that confused agendas of desire which might complicate training are solely related to coed training is historically nonsensical.

Such confusions have been a well documented part of the Japanese "Do" or "Michi" for a millenium or more, and we do ourselves no service by wishing for a mythical golden age in which they simply did not exist.

With apologies for any offense my remark might have occasioned.

Regards,

FL

mriehle
12-20-2006, 01:38 PM
I didn't say that the 'social issues' were unimportant. I just said that they have no place in the dojo.

And I fundamentally agree with this statement, however:

There are a lot of places where personal problems have no place but they intrude in any case. Simply dismissing them as unimportant is never the answer. Someone who finds themselves in such a situation needs to deal with it in a constructive and appropriate manner.

I stand by this statement.

Just because something shouldn't happen does not mean it won't happen. And I don't see this as gender linked in any way. Humans are humans and have personal issues. I fundamentally respect the person who recognizes they have a personal issue - like a crush on someone in the dojo - and that they need to go carefully in dealing with it. Maybe even realizing they need help.

As to the subject of this thread: it's possible, I think, that all that needs to be said has been said. It is, as Jun points out, in danger of becoming extremely disrespectful. I'm therefore going to not post again on this thread. If you'd like to continue this discussion I'll be happy to address it in private messages. Up to a point.

Mike Grant
12-21-2006, 04:07 AM
Maybe because there would be no such problem in a single-sex dojo... or maybe because all the women are in the dojo for the wrong reasons, i.e. for dating? That was the opinions of some of my ex-teachers reagarding the women who trained in Hombu Dojo in late 60s. "Their only reason to be there was trying to find a husband."

Of course, all the men are in the dojo for the right reason.

Did you succeed in finding a husband?

If you'd been Norwegian (as opposed to Swedish), your comment about trolls would have been perfect.

Rone-I'm glad you enjoyed your film...

Combat_vet
12-28-2006, 03:19 PM
This (and the thread about 'people I don't want to learn from') is typical of what happens when you make it too easy for women to start training.

And, as an aside, also provides a good indication of why putting women in front line combat units also doesn't work.

For a third stab at political correctness, something that's almost as pathetc is couples who always train together.

Just get over it and get on with your training. Sort out your personal issues off the mat and away from the dojo. End of story.

Interesting.

I have served in two desert wars and one in the Balkans; I have 1300 flying hours, including F15 and F16. The main problems I noticed were the men getting injured while drinking, or hitting each other over some testosterone driven insult. Men are more suited in what way exactly? And you have how much time in combat?

Relationships happen. Adults deal with them, in and out of the dojo. Women have proved themselves in combat already, we are not waiting for your agreement.

Josh Reyer
12-28-2006, 05:59 PM
Going back a few pages, this thread has really pushed me to the idea that Japanese is perhaps best left out of a non-Japanese dojo.

I can't imagine a Japanese aikidoka asking their sensei for advice about an on-mat crush. I suppose some people do, but not because the sensei is one's sensei but because they are one of probably many older people one might look to for advice. In Japanese society I think it would be more natural for the subject to come up while drinking with some sempai, but OTOH budo sempai/kohai relationships are not as strong in Japan as, say, college sempai/kohai, or work sempai/kohai relationships.

But the idea that the sensei is someone you should be able to trust with personal information and seek advice from, to me, goes right into what Michael was saying earlier about The Sensei. Granted, idolization of people in power happens even without Japanese titles, but I have the feeling they don't help. I think a true sensei-deshi relationship is virtually impossible outside of a Japanese context, and the title probably creates more misunderstanding than it promotes cross-cultural learning.

Fly by night
12-29-2006, 04:46 AM
Interesting.

I have served in two desert wars and one in the Balkans; I have 1300 flying hours, including F15 and F16. The main problems I noticed were the men getting injured while drinking, or hitting each other over some testosterone driven insult. Men are more suited in what way exactly? And you have how much time in combat?

Relationships happen. Adults deal with them, in and out of the dojo. Women have proved themselves in combat already, we are not waiting for your agreement.

Sorry, but we'll have to agree to disagree. I suppose to some extent it depends on your definition of 'combat'. Sitting in a metal tube 20,000 feet above the action and firing missiles at people who can't shoot back would be one definition and I agree that there's a no problem with women doing that.

I'd also agree that women have more than proved themselves in close surveillance and other forward intelligence related roles-I'm thinking here particularly about the SOE in WW II and a number of extremely brave and effective individuals who served with them. Nobody can question their courage and commitment. (before you ask, they're in their 80s now but I have met more than one of them).

BUT, have women proved themselves in a true ground combat infantry type role? Well, the Israelis tried it and the answer is a resounding no. OK, one or two individuals might be able to cut it once in a blue moon, but that's about it.

Yes I have experience and have seen the reduced standards and all the rest. No I don't count sitting in a metal tube and firing missiles at people who can't shoot back as 'combat'.

GI Jane, my friend, is a work of fiction.

Hanna B
12-29-2006, 10:17 AM
*cough* is this last deviation the kind of thing that belongs in the anonymous forum?

akiy
12-29-2006, 10:34 AM
Thread closed due to disrespectful comments and thread drift.

-- Jun