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Anonymous
05-06-2013, 12:01 AM
Just looking for some advice or if anyone has experienced the same thing?
I've been practicing a number of years in a rather small close knit dojo. I developed a friendship with my Sensei off the mat. Nothing inappropriate in any way, and nothing that I think would affect our student/teacher relationship on the mat. One day, Sensei started treating me with a sort of cold distance. No conversation outside of Aikido or the weather. There was no explanation for this behavior. I don't know if I did anything to make Sensei angry. I assumed for a while that Sensei had decided to stay more distant from students in general, but that wasn't true. Sensei has one student that is a best friend. They hang out together off the mat. On the mat in the advanced class (not the basics class), they often practice only with each other for most of the class.
I love Aikido, and I enjoy the company of just about everyone in the dojo. But, it is getting hard to come to class to get treated as an outsider by someone I once counted as a good friend, especially when that person is my teacher and not just another student. Sensei still teaches me on the mat, and doesn't treat me unkindly exactly. It just feels like I am being pushed away.
As a student, have you ever had a sensei treat you this way?
As a teacher, have you ever felt the need to distance yourself from a student, and why?

Chris Li
05-06-2013, 12:21 AM
As a student, have you ever had a sensei treat you this way?

You bet.


As a teacher, have you ever felt the need to distance yourself from a student, and why?

Nope.

I suspect that, as it would be with anybody else you know who suddenly starts acting this way, the best way to find out is just to ask them directly.

Relationships with a teacher aren't (or they shouldn't be) any different than relationships with anyone else, especially if this is all between adults.

Best,

Chris

Lorien Lowe
05-06-2013, 12:40 AM
I had the parents of a junior student suddenly start doing this once. They pulled their kid from my class with no warning other than a note saying that they would no longer be attending. No idea whatsoever what caused it; I wasn't doing anything, not even in private, that would cause me to suddenly start acting that way towards someone else: nothing to be ashamed of, and no false rumors that I knew of or have heard of since.

Marc Abrams
05-06-2013, 03:29 PM
Just looking for some advice or if anyone has experienced the same thing?
I've been practicing a number of years in a rather small close knit dojo. I developed a friendship with my Sensei off the mat. Nothing inappropriate in any way, and nothing that I think would affect our student/teacher relationship on the mat. One day, Sensei started treating me with a sort of cold distance. No conversation outside of Aikido or the weather. There was no explanation for this behavior. I don't know if I did anything to make Sensei angry. I assumed for a while that Sensei had decided to stay more distant from students in general, but that wasn't true. Sensei has one student that is a best friend. They hang out together off the mat. On the mat in the advanced class (not the basics class), they often practice only with each other for most of the class.
I love Aikido, and I enjoy the company of just about everyone in the dojo. But, it is getting hard to come to class to get treated as an outsider by someone I once counted as a good friend, especially when that person is my teacher and not just another student. Sensei still teaches me on the mat, and doesn't treat me unkindly exactly. It just feels like I am being pushed away.
As a student, have you ever had a sensei treat you this way?
As a teacher, have you ever felt the need to distance yourself from a student, and why?

The only answers that will be of any use to you will emerge from your direct, private conversation with your teacher. If our training is to help us learn how to better address and resolve interpersonal conflicts in our lives, then an opportunity awaits!

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

Anonymous
05-06-2013, 08:28 PM
To answer your question, we are both adults. Not kids by any means :) And I did approach Sensei about it a while ago. He said that No, I didn't do anything to make him angry, and more cryptically Perhaps it was best this way, and Maybe we need to work on my self-esteem.
I suspect that I actually did do something to make him behave this way. I don't think he values a more direct style of communication. My suspicion is that he thinks that he is protecting me from the truth and can quietly discard the unwanted friend while getting to keep the student. But, that is me guessing in the dark.
Unfortunately for me, it is by nature an unequal relationship. I have to take my cue from my sensei as to how the relationship goes. I feel like my only options are to accept my role as a student only or leave. What is hard about it for me is that it is a small dojo and I spend quite a bit of time there. To not be included in a social group within the dojo makes training there very lonely.
I always thought of Aikido as not just being the training and is more about the connections that are created through training. It just feels very hurtful to be excluded by the very person who taught me that.
Am I missing something? Should I not allow those connections to be broken? Or am I supposed to ignore how this behavior makes me feel and just shut up and train? Very confused.

beenthere
05-06-2013, 09:49 PM
Hi,

Many people experience this.
Being direct often does not help.
Make friends with other students if possible.
It is vital not to have your entire social life at the place you train.
Sensei are sometimes jerks. Even really good ones.and they make mistakes. Think of it as Ukemi practice. Just take the fall and keep training.

B

Pauliina Lievonen
05-07-2013, 05:29 AM
If you do have other options for training, it might be a good idea to look around. You might find a dojo with a more welcoming feel. Sometimes you get so used to how a group acts and behaves that you only see whether or not it's healthy after you leave. Anyway, even if you decide to stay, visiting other dojo from time to time is a great way to learn, so you have little to lose by doing that!

JJF
05-07-2013, 06:14 AM
I wonder.. could this sensei be romantically interested in you? Maybe the distancing is due to a misunderstanding / hurt feelings.

But.. all the others have good advice as well. If talking in the open about it dosen't help then just practice and try to find other friends to fill you social needs. Eventually something may be said, solve itself or in other ways become apparent. Until then - just focus on being a nice person, enjoy friends and train hard and in joyful spirit.

Good luck

JJ

PS: No.. I've never experienced anything like this.And I hope none of my students have.

Mary Eastland
05-07-2013, 06:48 AM
Action speaks louder than words. I would trust how I feel.

That being said, no matter how someone may seem we can't control them. We can, however, be who we are and make good choices for ourselves. By relaxing and thinking about what I need from a situation I can decide what to do based on what works for me.

Marc Abrams
05-07-2013, 08:01 AM
To answer your question, we are both adults. Not kids by any means :) And I did approach Sensei about it a while ago. He said that No, I didn't do anything to make him angry, and more cryptically Perhaps it was best this way, and Maybe we need to work on my self-esteem.
I suspect that I actually did do something to make him behave this way. I don't think he values a more direct style of communication. My suspicion is that he thinks that he is protecting me from the truth and can quietly discard the unwanted friend while getting to keep the student. But, that is me guessing in the dark.
Unfortunately for me, it is by nature an unequal relationship. I have to take my cue from my sensei as to how the relationship goes. I feel like my only options are to accept my role as a student only or leave. What is hard about it for me is that it is a small dojo and I spend quite a bit of time there. To not be included in a social group within the dojo makes training there very lonely.
I always thought of Aikido as not just being the training and is more about the connections that are created through training. It just feels very hurtful to be excluded by the very person who taught me that.
Am I missing something? Should I not allow those connections to be broken? Or am I supposed to ignore how this behavior makes me feel and just shut up and train? Very confused.

So let's look at the "answers" that emerge:

1) He says that you did not do something to make him angry and that maybe you need to work on your self-esteem= I will not answer you directly and prefer to displace blame on you and not address the 10 ton elephant in the room = passive-aggressive manner of addressing interpersonal conflicts. Is this the kind of model that you want to follow?
2) You recognize that it is a smal dojo and that this "world" has sub-groupings like all other other "worlds, and you are not in the "inner circle" at the moment. How much of why you are there is for the "Aikido" and how much for the "social"?
3) How would you like to manage the connections from the sub-group that you reside in?

This is a good starting point to begin to look deeper into what is happening to you at this dojo.

marc abrams

Anonymous
05-07-2013, 08:24 AM
Oh wow. I am clueless. I think I just put some things together. Thanks for the comments, they added some perspective.
He's married. His wife also practices. I am also married (happily!!). His wife has always been polite with me, but is often more friendly with other people than me. I often have an easier time making friends with men than women. I don't think there are any better men on the planet better than my husband, so affairs are a foreign concept for me. Never even crossed my mind.
Sensei has made some comments about how people will follow their highest ideals, not yours, so you shouldn't judge them based on your ideals.
Possibly, it was some combination of one or both of them fearing an affair. Ugh. I don't think of myself that way! The idea of me as some sort of temptress is laughable!
So now, how to deal with that? I'm a little obstinate, so I'm not sure I want to give up the dojo that I love over something so dumb. And there are my female kohai that I feel a responsibility to be an example for.
Hmmm, maybe I should talk about how ugly and smelly he is in front of his wife....Or I could constantly talk about how great my husband is....lol. Ideas??

Marc Abrams
05-07-2013, 09:21 AM
Oh wow. I am clueless. I think I just put some things together. Thanks for the comments, they added some perspective.
He's married. His wife also practices. I am also married (happily!!). His wife has always been polite with me, but is often more friendly with other people than me. I often have an easier time making friends with men than women. I don't think there are any better men on the planet better than my husband, so affairs are a foreign concept for me. Never even crossed my mind.
Sensei has made some comments about how people will follow their highest ideals, not yours, so you shouldn't judge them based on your ideals.
Possibly, it was some combination of one or both of them fearing an affair. Ugh. I don't think of myself that way! The idea of me as some sort of temptress is laughable!
So now, how to deal with that? I'm a little obstinate, so I'm not sure I want to give up the dojo that I love over something so dumb. And there are my female kohai that I feel a responsibility to be an example for.
Hmmm, maybe I should talk about how ugly and smelly he is in front of his wife....Or I could constantly talk about how great my husband is....lol. Ideas??

Sounds like you are doing a great job being you! Why change? Simply being aware of how you might be perceived by those in that dojo will enable you to connect with a greater degree of sincerity and accuracy! People have their own unique ways of responding to others. You sound like you are both sincere and direct. Great traits that can be expressed in Aikido and daily life.

marc abrams

lbb
05-07-2013, 09:24 AM
Unfortunately for me, it is by nature an unequal relationship. I have to take my cue from my sensei as to how the relationship goes. I feel like my only options are to accept my role as a student only or leave. What is hard about it for me is that it is a small dojo and I spend quite a bit of time there. To not be included in a social group within the dojo makes training there very lonely.
I always thought of Aikido as not just being the training and is more about the connections that are created through training. It just feels very hurtful to be excluded by the very person who taught me that.
Am I missing something? Should I not allow those connections to be broken? Or am I supposed to ignore how this behavior makes me feel and just shut up and train? Very confused.

My first advice would be to not think in terms of false dichotomies: it's either this, or it's that; I have choice A, or I have choice B. Focusing on what you perceive as your choices can blind you to other possibilities. And, in fact, I believe that one of your perceived choices is not available to you. You can't unilaterally create a relationship with someone if they don't want it, and that has nothing to do with who's the sensei and who's the student: every human being has autonomy, if they choose to exercise it, and can't be compelled to relate to you in the way that you want.

As for aikido being "more about the connections", that may be true for you, that you value the interpersonal relationships more than your training. Depending on how much more you value them, it could be a problem. I think that those who value their dojo primarily as a social outlet are bound to be disappointed eventually, and come to a place where their dojo fails them in that regard, simply because that's not the dojo's purpose, and it's not why others are there. I've seen a number of people go through this -- some were kind of isolated outside the dojo and may have been using it in an unhealthy way, others were as well-adjusted as anyone I know -- and eventually they all had to face the fact that they liked the dojo but didn't care so much about doing the aikido. If it's talking to your friends or going for beers afterwards that brings someone into the dojo, and not the training, it's probably not going to work out.

Lorien Lowe
05-08-2013, 04:20 AM
Oh wow. I am clueless. I think I just put some things together. Thanks for the comments, they added some perspective.
He's married. His wife also practices. I am also married (happily!!). His wife has always been polite with me, but is often more friendly with other people than me. I often have an easier time making friends with men than women. I don't think there are any better men on the planet better than my husband, so affairs are a foreign concept for me. Never even crossed my mind.
Sensei has made some comments about how people will follow their highest ideals, not yours, so you shouldn't judge them based on your ideals.
Possibly, it was some combination of one or both of them fearing an affair. Ugh. I don't think of myself that way! The idea of me as some sort of temptress is laughable!
So now, how to deal with that? I'm a little obstinate, so I'm not sure I want to give up the dojo that I love over something so dumb. And there are my female kohai that I feel a responsibility to be an example for.
Hmmm, maybe I should talk about how ugly and smelly he is in front of his wife....Or I could constantly talk about how great my husband is....lol. Ideas??
Insulting him probably isn't the best course, even if he isn't around when you do it. Actions speak louder than words; accept your position as a student, because regardless of the reason, he is uncomfortable with you being more than that. Make it clear that you're there primarily for the aikido... or start hanging out only when his wife is also present, or hang out with other students. Or get your husband on to the mat, too.

NagaBaba
05-08-2013, 10:13 AM
Your sensei is a very wise man. He acted in a way, you can still practice in his dojo and he still can be happily married. I know personally one woman who was expulsed from the dojo in similar situation. So as the wise sages from Himalaya advice “we do don’t touch perfection to improve it ” :)

Basia Halliop
05-08-2013, 10:51 PM
Who knows why he doesn't want to be as close friends anymore. Maybe it's to do with his marriage, maybe he just realized he was getting to be closer than he actually wanted to be or spending more time with you than he really wanted, or maybe there are other things going on in his life that means that he doesn't want to socialize so much. Either way, I think you kind of have to just respect it and keep being pleasant and training and accept that he doesn't want to be close friends for the moment (and maybe ever but really who knows). Give it some time, a couple of months I'd say, and if after some time you can't adjust to the new situation and enjoy your training then you can always consider if you still want to train there.

heathererandolph
05-09-2013, 12:00 PM
I am getting the feeling that he isn't being entirely honest with you. He says you need to work on your self-esteem? What does that mean??? If his wife is jealous, he could tell you that. Maybe he's not telling you that because she is also a student. The truth is, there is a lot that we don't know about even close friends. Sometimes they say certain situations bring out the statement "so now I know who my friends truly are." Friendship can be situational, sometimes, and sometimes situations change.

Going back to the self-esteem comment, I would ask him what that means. As a Sensei, he may be making a valid observation but I think you need more information on that. I wouldn't be too surprised if he wife is jealous, I mean if her man has a "special friendship" with a woman that may bother her. Ask yourself if the shoe was on the other foot, how would you feel?

You could try speaking to his wife, not on topic just try to get to know her a little better. Even though it's "nothing romantic" it's still time he may not be sharing with her, so perhaps this friendship was to the point where it isn't healthy for his marriage. It could be also that they are having problems, and this friendship is adding fuel to the fire. I'm sure what you're observing is correct, and his coldness shouldn't be taken as an active dislike. He obviously has great regard for you.

As far as being excluded from groups, that is worrisome. If you're being treated like an outcast that is truly unfortunate and wrong. Just try to hold on there, and usually in Aikido practice, things get better. There can always be things we just don't know. Be super respectful "yes Sensei, right away Sensei" and just be an exemplary student. Not cracking under pressure can be another thing that makes you great.

Robert Cowham
05-09-2013, 01:30 PM
People all have their own hangups (in my experience!) There are some people who are good at aikido and not so good at human relations, or indeed have rather strange(!) characters. In an extreme case, I know of a high ranking sensei who basically stopped teaching women - apparently his wife didn't like him having any physical contact with other women... More than a little frustrating for the various senior women in the organisation.

Similar to other's advice: keep your own centre, behave according to your own principles, keep an open mind and don't assume the blame for other's lack of insight, and be patient - the answer will appear in some form of another over time.

lbb
05-10-2013, 09:03 AM
Sounds like this man-woman stuff sure brings out the ugly in people.

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 12:20 PM
Anonymous, It could be a gender thing? I don't know.

just a thought out loud
05-16-2013, 01:37 PM
Most commonly sexual attraction is of the female student to the male sensei.Many women are attracted to men in positions of power and authority. Men know this and can exploit the position or handle it responsiblely. I have at least a dozen women or more develop a relationship for that reason. When they get too close I must put them at a distance. I am a sensei and have obligations as such and to all the other students. Usually I will not bring up the subject as I don't want to hurt feelings or feelings of rejection between us. I just place some distance between us which has always worked out. The credit is given to those women ro make that happen. Yes some odf those women are still my students today.

notimetologin
05-16-2013, 08:22 PM
I am curious, does "being distanced" because of boundary issues happen to men much? Men do get quite passionate and talk about fathers and sons and comrades and so on, and even share rooms:-) ! Distancing seems to happen to women a fairly often, in small ways and large, and I think has a larger impact on women's training than one might think. Male students many times have access and a comfort level with sensei that women students do not, and I think some women's passion for martial arts gets mistaken for passion for some guy, to their loss. Seems like there ought to be a better way to handle this, as there just aren't enough women teachers! I would really like to hear other women's thoughts on this. Maybe this should be a new thread, perhaps "not falling in love with sensei..."

just a thought out loud
05-17-2013, 11:06 AM
We are assuming the issue is of a romantic nature between the sensei and his female student. Maybe that isn't the situation. What if the reason for the relationship is some thing else? What ever the reason theiwr is a core dynamic between men and women. The female student should not take the actions of the sensei personally as explained in the book WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW MEN THINK AT WORK - FOR WOMEN ONLY IN THE WORK PLACE by Shaunti Feldhahn. This could help.

notimetologin
05-17-2013, 08:59 PM
I know a few teachers who just don't have personal friendships outside of class with any student. Beginning to see the point.
It is frustrating, as a woman, to be avoided as uke, for example for reasons that have nothing to do with training.

graham christian
05-18-2013, 02:40 PM
Man/Woman. Feelings. Mmmmmm. One good thing here is it can give you the opportunity to practice non resistance.

But onto the scene I would say this. There is a very simple, in fact too simple, rule that those who follow it don't have the problem or similar to what you describe. It can even be recognized colloquially by all and it's simply this: "Don't cross the line" I'm not even going to explain it as you all know what it means.

Problems come when you want to, or when the other wants to, or here's the important bit, when you don't trust yourself not to. Too simple. It's discipline and ethics really. One who don't trust themselves may then have to keep a distance and that's the discipline they put in but it's better they just understand its an uncross-able line full stop.

Too simple. You cross it and you are in another world, a different kind of relationship whether you justify it as 'things just happened or one thing led to another etc.'

Now the scene above may or may not be of this type of thing but may just be a wife feeling husband's getting too close to another and so Husband deciding not to be so close and friendly.

Bottom line is you are actually just talking about yourself really. Be comfortable with yourself and be comfortable and respect his decision or change of closeness for it as you have said is not harmful or even detrimental to his teaching you. That's my advice. Only then will things become clear.

Peace.G.

Lorien Lowe
05-18-2013, 11:00 PM
Most commonly sexual attraction is of the female student to the male sensei.Many women are attracted to men in positions of power and authority. Men know this and can exploit the position or handle it responsiblely. I have at least a dozen women or more develop a relationship for that reason. When they get too close I must put them at a distance. I am a sensei and have obligations as such and to all the other students. Usually I will not bring up the subject as I don't want to hurt feelings or feelings of rejection between us. I just place some distance between us which has always worked out. The credit is given to those women ro make that happen. Yes some odf those women are still my students today.

FWIW, after a few years I started having to put some distance between myself and junior men for the same reason (though I seem to have aged out of that now;). I think that some people are so enthralled by the art that they mistake it for enthrallment with the person who is teaching the art - i.e., 'Sensei is so amazing/such an amazing person!' instead of 'Aikido is so amazing!' It leads to the potential, if a relationship happens, to the junior student falling out of love with the sensei and thinking that the problem is still with the art, and losing their ability or desire to train at that dojo because of it. I don't think that we do our students any sort of a favor by allowing that sort of displacement, regardless of the genders involved.

Anonymous
05-21-2013, 12:16 AM
This has brought up a lot of interesting points. It seems that the man/woman thing is a common problem. Like I said, there has never been an attraction for me towards my Sensei. Admiration for skill, yes, and I'm old enough and mature enough to know the difference. Although, that doesn't mean that my enthusiasm for the art can't get mistaken by others for being attraction. :/
I think the hard thing is the expectation on my part of having a closer role with Sensei as one of the few yudansha at the dojo; starting to take on more responsibility, and helping with the newer students. I guess I expected that part of that meant being able to have open discussions with Sensei so that I know when he needs a class covered or if a new student is coming by or if a student needs help in a particular area. For whatever reason, Sensei doesn't include me in that kind of thing, and it's painful to stand by and watch other students get included in that way when he doesn't seem to be able to say more than Hello to me.
To a certain extent, I agree that it is more about the training and the dojo isn't meant to be a substitute for a social life. I've seen people come through that clearly want to just go get a beer after practice, and they never last. But, I think the best Aikido dojo's have a strong sense of community, with the students supporting the sensei and the sensei being caring and attentive towards the students. I think my dojo used to have that and it has been slowly turning into a place that is, unfortunately turning into a dojo with an impossibly small 'inner circle' and lots of brand new students that only stay for a short while.
BTW, I've also been practicing long enough to get really picky about where I practice. Not the best attitude, I know, but being small and not physically strong, I feel like it's justified. I like the other Sensei in the area, but their styles don't work well for me. The next closest Sensei that I like is farther than convenient commuting distance, but I am thinking about making the trek once a month or so.
I would like to eventually be good enough that I am able to teach, but I am starting to feel that just being female is a huge stumbling block. People talk about wanting more women in higher ranks in Aikido, but if this sort of misunderstanding is common between male sensei and female students, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that there are so few women sensei. I have a lot invested (time, blood, sweat, and tears :) in my dojo and I have been a lot more tenacious than many women would be in my position. How many women that could have been great at Aikido have simply left rather than put up with a similar situation??

Basia Halliop
05-21-2013, 08:57 AM
FWIW, I wouldn't necessarily assume it's the man/woman thing that's the problem if you don't have any particular reason for thinking that's the case. It's certainly possible and I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time, but there are so many possible interpersonal things that can get between two people that I'd be hesitant to fixate on one possibility without more to go on.

just a thought out loud
05-21-2013, 10:38 AM
I must apologize it was not fair to me to make assumptions. I was under the impression from reading previous posts by Anonymos and someone else that the conclusion was the sensei was attracted to Anonymous.

It maybe unfair tthe sensei isn't part of the discussion, so we have a oe sided discussion.

Now that the dynamics of the situation has changed and more information is on the table adds a new complex dimension to Anonymous' concerns.

Anonymous, braking into to what you allude to as the inner circle that you feel excluded from is something best brought to your sensei's attention. If you don't feel you get the answer you are looking for then it is time to move on. No sense in staying in a place that makes you uncomfortable and unhappy.

Facts state far less women are drawn to Aikido than men. There are more male run donors then famale. And not because women are inferior or are restricted from the opportunity. It is just a matter of
Interest. That means the likely hood of your next dojo is going to be male domiÓnate. That is the gender hazard.

I joined a female run crafts class / group with my wife. The class was all women
Talk about an inner circle and the issues that concern you where worse. The women eventually ran me out of the class. I was sad the women consired to so one such a thing with provacation, just because i was the only guy. That I was invading a women's club.

It seemed so hypocritical. Our first child was a year old and I wanted to share with my wife in preserving memories qith my wife. I was tjere to learn. To learn how to make a baby photo album and scrap book. But I was run off as I said. I understand your situation.According to
what you have said you have put in some time in the dojo and have a rapport with the sensei to be able to speak with him.

Just curious, why haven't brought this to the attention of your sensei right away? Are you uncomfortable to do so?

Lorien Lowe
05-22-2013, 07:47 PM
Hi Anonymous-
I hadn't picked up from your earlier posts that you're now being excluded from 'dojo business' circles that other people of your rank and status are not being excluded from; I think that's a more troublesome aspect, if I'm now understanding you correctly. Do you think that your relationship with Sensei at this point is also damaging his ability to teach you and/or your ability to learn?

I can understand why you wouldn't feel comfortable directly approaching him at this point, but maybe you could ask another yudansha to speak with him on your behalf. The only other options that come to mind would be to accept relative stagnation where you are, or to move to another dojo.

Anonymous
05-25-2013, 08:44 PM
To answer your questions, at first I stayed quiet and hoped it would pass. When I figured out that it wouldn't, I did bring it to Sensei's attention. I got no direct answers. Just a lot of vague responses about how this is how things should be. I let it go again. I tried to be patient and adapt to the new situation, again hoping that the situation would settle into something more comfortable for me. I love Aikido (the actual practice) and I feel attached to that dojo. Things kind of came to a head after Sensei made a number of underhanded comments off the mat that may not have been directed at me, but I took personally. I brought it up to Sensei again and was basically told to talk to my sempai about it and to not contact him directly any more. So here I am, talking to you guys
Maybe he has decided the only way to teach is to keep students at arms length (with exceptions :/ ) now. Maybe I did something that angered him somehow that he felt he had to do that but allowed me to stay on as a student. Maybe he has personal things going on and is unknowingly allowing that to affect things on the mat. I can't know because he won't tell me.
I don't think it is affecting how he teaches me. I do think it is affecting my ability to be taught by him. I take criticism personally and I get angry instead of being able to just listen.
I wish I was less attached to how people treat me, but I'm only human.
The answer has been staring at me and I don't want to acknowledge it. I flip-flop between deciding to stay and just train and deciding to leave. I'm wasting my time and his time by being there because I can't accept this change and keep learning. Maybe some people can do it, but I don't think I can learn from a Sensei that treats me like a stranger.

No Regrets
05-26-2013, 07:58 AM
You should just move on. As hard as it will be at first you will feel a lot better for it.

I have been following this discussion for a while now and have some thoughts for the OP and an experience to share.

I can understand how you feel because I once lost a very good friend and mentor in much the same way although this was before I got involved in martial arts. The issue was not mine, although I was made to feel like it was. It is very difficult for a woman to have a close friendship with a man and not have people think inappropriate things about the relationship. Especially if that woman is single. It is especially a problem if the man is married and his wife is not also a good friend. In my case I tried to become friends with my friends wife as well but was rebuffed and rejected. When I discovered that she actually thought that I was interested in her husband in that way I tried to make it clear that this was simply not true. I am a widow and have no desire to be involved in another relationship in that way. I have always been pretty open about saying so. I like my freedom and am not willing to give it up along with many aspects of my life that a relationship would impact.

To me, my freind was like an older brother and our conversations and friendship really helped me to grow as a person and to start to find some balance in my very confused life. The loss of that relationship was painful and difficult. But I moved on...eventually. And am much better off for it.

The way I see it, he did what he had to do in order to take care of his marriage. And really that had to be more important than our friendship. The issues that they had in their marriage were not of my making although perhaps my presence brought them into the open. It wasn't however my fault. I still miss having him in my life but I have made new, and in many ways better friends. Friends who see me for who I am, and don't assume that because I am a single woman that I am out chasing every nice guy I meet.

I have a pretty close relationship with another married couple now, but in this case both of them are good friends and neither of them is an insecure and possessive spouse who does not trust the other to have close friendships with the opposite sex. It is refreshingly uncomplicated.

It is a sad thing that here in 2013 an adult woman can still not have a friendship with an adult man be he attached or single, and there not be those who suspect her of being romantically interested in him. Even people who consider themselves more modern in their thinking and more open minded will still go down that road. Life is too short to waste any of your time with people who don't see you for who you are and accept that. If you constantly have to explain yourself to your friends in order to keep from loosing their friendship, you need better friends.

Stop wasting your time trying to hang onto something you can't have. :)

just a thought out loud
05-26-2013, 06:34 PM
Anonymous, interpersonal situations are always difficult. It is hard place to be in. Knowing that I like to keep a professional distance from my students. But that is me. Aikido dojos can be very intimate places. Intamate dojos then carry a risk of interpersonal relationships becoming uncomfortable for everyone. Or they can work out great. I my chioce is to keep it professional. Could that be an option? Your sensei is just not talking to you , it may be just the right opportunity.

just a thought out loud
05-26-2013, 08:05 PM
With a non-personal relationship with your sensei, the communication being matter of fact eliminates or lessens interpersonal distractions from training. Lots of people enjoy a dojo that is very personal where there is strong camaraderie and close friendships. But , I think there are the inherent hazards in any interpersonal relationships that we don't figure in because of the inherent nature of Aikido being so accepting. To be fair it applies to both student and teacher. Maybe you can develop from this some new approaches and thinking of the situation to continue with Aikido. Best wishes and good training.

Walkaway
06-21-2013, 06:33 PM
I agree with all who said to just walk away and put it behind you. Start fresh at a new dojo that has a healthier atmosphere.

It almost sounds as if it's your teacher who has the issues. Perhaps he found himself attracted to you, especially after time had passed and he and you had shared a comfortable and easy rapport. It starts that way. He may have started to have feelings, and then when he realized it he abruptly put the breaks on that rapport. But he also might not have known how to articulate this to you, and instead simply put up a wall. That is very common. It happens in workplaces and other interactive venues too.

If you do stay, probably the tension will never abate. Walk away. Start fresh.

Anonymous2
06-21-2013, 09:21 PM
This topic takes me back to my old dojo, where after having been friends with Sensei and his wife for many years, all of a sudden little things started to go south. Sensei would take deep offense at the most innocuous things I'd say, along with other strange and irrational actions and responses ranging from the simply odd to the totally bizarre. It escalated to him avoiding me completely to the point where he would work one on one with each and every other student in class except me, and culminated with him asking me to leave the school. His wife would not talk to me or respond to my calls or notes in any way. I was utterly baffled. I'd done nothing to warrant such extreme treatment.

Many years later I learned that Sensei had a full blown case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He was a control monster and told his wife to cease all communications with me! I found this out after they had divorced and the wife called me out of the blue to tell me all that had happened.