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Anonanon
05-14-2001, 02:24 AM
Just wanted to hear some people's thoughts about and perhaps experiences with instructors, including chief instructors, who date their students. And I do mean plural students. Or is it ok if it is just one?

ian
05-14-2001, 05:03 AM
I think there should be no difficulty in instructors dating student or students as long as it doesn't affect the training. Obviously if instructors use their position of power to attact females it may reflect on how you view their ethical standing (which may make you question their motives for teaching), but I would not be one to make moral judgements if they are not affecting you or your collegues.

Ian

P.S. From my experience, couples who train at the same dojo (inc. if one is an instructor) tend to have a slight (and healthy) aversion to choosing each other as training partners.

Greg Jennings
05-14-2001, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by Anonanon
Just wanted to hear some people's thoughts about and perhaps experiences with instructors, including chief instructors, who date their students. And I do mean plural students. Or is it ok if it is just one?

I think dating one's students, co-workers (up or down the pecking order), etc. is a bad idea. Yes, I've seen it work out. But I've seen it end up for the worse many, many more times.

My wife of a dozen years was, during my teaching assistant days, one of my students. I waited till her progress prevented her from being one of my students again to ask her out.

When my dad sent me off to my first job he told me to:
1. Do what I was told to do immediately and to the best of my ability.
2. Strive to arrive before and leave after my boss.
3. Never get my "dates" and my paycheck in the same place.

That's all stood the test of time...

Regards,

lt-rentaroo
05-14-2001, 08:42 AM
Hello,

Hmmm, well just like Greg I've seen dating of this nature work out and not work out. I would be an example of it working out. My wife and I met while training. I wasn't an instructor (or even an assistant instructor) at the time. About a year after we started dating, I started my "assistant instructor" duties. Things have worked out well for us, we dated for about three years and were married last fall.

I've seen couples come to the dojo and start training together. One of them soon realizes that Aikido is not their thing, and decides to quit. Now, the relationship suffers. I've also met people who have come to the dojo in order to meet someone. Obviously an Aikido dojo is not the best place to meet someone; Everyone is dripping wet from sweat and constantly falling down.

Instructors dating students can be a very bad thing, especially if it does affect the training of other people in the dojo. As an instructor, you must remember that you are there to teach; and more than likely you are getting paid to do it, except for Greg;)
It is very important to maintain positive, professional relationships with all of your students otherwise the dojo will suffer.

REK
05-14-2001, 09:57 AM
I think its a bad idea for instructors to date student/trainees. There is an inherent power differential in the relationship. Although that does not necessarily suggest "undue influence" it will call into question the instrutor's capacity for unbiased evaluation of the student's performance. It certainly did in one dojo I attended.

I wouldn't question two non-instructors or two instructors (equivalent ranks) hooking up romantically.

I would however suggest that any aikido romeos ask themselves what they are on the mat to do. I only have a few hours a week I can train, and wooing a potential date is a poor use of that time.

Anonanon
05-14-2001, 12:23 PM
I can see where someone might meet and fall in love with one of their students or employees, this can happen in any setting. What I was concerned about, and have experience with, is an instructor who has, over the course of several years, gotten involved with more than three of his students. This person was chasing me around for a while, then backed off, saying "oh, no, I can't date my students." Then I left, but on fairly good terms. Since then,he has gotten another student pregnant and is now living with her. We are talking about a 4th dan getting involved with or making passes at several 5th and 6th kyu students. He has no women students above that rank because they all leave. After I left, I found out he had gotten another student pregnant before, and that several other students had quit because they felt this person was coming on to them. Obviously, this has a negative effect on those students. I have been very angry since finding out that my experience with this person was part of a pattern of behavior, and that I was lied to. It's left alot of others (former students)feeling angry and powerless. I have heard that he is telling people that I (and others,including the one he is living with) were pursuing him! I really hope this is an aberrant situation and that there are no other dojos like this, that's why I am asking. I have found a new place to practice, thankfully.

Erik
05-14-2001, 12:34 PM
"Whether I sleep with them or not, they still leave."

Supposedly a true quote by a sensei although I got it secondhand.

If the two folks are consenting adults, then they are consenting adults and that's pretty much the end of the discussion. If the sensei wants to risk dojo harmony then they pretty much get to do that, assuming they own the dojo. If you don't like it, vote with your feet and go somewhere else, which, is a suggestion I would endorse. If the sensei is finding all his/her dates in the dojo it's probably not a healthy place.

Erik
05-14-2001, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Anonanon
I really hope this is an aberrant situation and that there are no other dojos like this, that's why I am asking. I have found a new place to practice, thankfully.

You snuck in while I was posting. There are absolutely other dojos like this and it is also an aberration at least in so much as it's an aberration of the human condition. In other words, if it can happen at work, in a church, or at the Lion's Club meeting it can happen in a dojo.

Despite what we think, sensei really aren't any better or worse than anyone else. If a certain percentage of the population engages in unhealthy behavior then a certain percentage of the sensei will probably be engaged in this same behavior. This applies to the good things as well.

So find a good sensei, there are plenty of them out there.

PS: I am saddened to hear your story. Not surprised though.

guest1234
05-14-2001, 03:41 PM
it's too bad you had an unpleasant experience; but men (and women) can lie to you/about you/dump you, on the mat or off. If you have indeed moved on, then don't worry about who he is interested in/living with,pending children, or what he thinks about your past relationship. If you are still tied to him, then perhaps that is a place for you to work on as well.
I think (kid's classes aside, a WHOLE other issue) that we are all adults, and i don't care who is involved with whom. I have had instructors make passes, i'm a big girl and know how to say 'no thanks'. And there have been instructors i've thought were great and would have liked to know off the mat, but old fashioned feelings about asking men out, as much as hesitency over our instructor-student relationship, held me back. I train seven days a week, so do some instructors, especially in small dojos; sometimes when that's all you meet...
i envy folks who train with their significant others...at least no arguements over 'how many nights are you going to that dojo, anyway'...and yet they also have someone they can share time with off the mat. Singles who train a lot give up a relationship, those in relationships often give up dojo time. Nice to get both :) I know when i've dated men who don't do martial arts they are not thrilled that i do, and hate the time that i put in. So i say, give the instructors a break.

Anonanon
05-14-2001, 07:34 PM
Thanks colleen. I am less concerned about my personal experience than with discovering that a large number of other students had quit because they felt hit on excessively or been involved with this person, and that many of these people retained highly negative feelings about their experience. To some degree, I agree, instructors are just people, and their commitment to teaching or to aikido may make it difficult for them to meet people outside the dojo. On the other hand, in at least some dojos, there's an implicit or not-so-implicit "don't talk back to the sensei" rule in place, depending on how rigidly or traditionally the ranking system is enforced. This leaves less room for negotiation.

George S. Ledyard
05-21-2001, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by Anonanon
Thanks colleen. I am less concerned about my personal experience than with discovering that a large number of other students had quit because they felt hit on excessively or been involved with this person, and that many of these people retained highly negative feelings about their experience. To some degree, I agree, instructors are just people, and their commitment to teaching or to aikido may make it difficult for them to meet people outside the dojo. On the other hand, in at least some dojos, there's an implicit or not-so-implicit "don't talk back to the sensei" rule in place, depending on how rigidly or traditionally the ranking system is enforced. This leaves less room for negotiation.

Anyone who thinks this is just a matter of consenting adults needs to read Sex in the Forbidden Zone : When Men in Power - Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers, and Others - Betray Women's Trust
by Peter Rutter.

If Aikido teachers were professionals in the mental health, medical, etc. fields they would be trained in the ethics and psychology of these types of relationships. Not only did most Aikido teachers not get any training in how to handle their role as Sensei in relation to members of the opposite sex but in fact most of their own role models were bad!

But in Aikido, no one wants to talk about these issues because so many people at the top are offenders. Ellis Amdur's book about Aikido "Duelling With O-Sensei" he talks about this at length. http://www.ellisamdur.com/duelingwithosensei/

Being an aikido teacher can be a very lonely occupation in many ways. Often the only people you meet are at the dojo. It may not be optimum but it is certainly understandable when a teacher has a relationship with a student. But the example mentioned above is far beyond that. You have a predatory relationship here with the females in the role of the prey. It is wrong, it is unethical, and it shouldn't be tolerated.

What is often the most disturbing is the way in which the other members of the dojo become co-dependent with the teacher's dysfunction. One of my friends is an Aikido teacher who really got himself into trouble with a number of his female students. His wife was in the dojo at the same time. When his relationship with her began to collapse the students all banded around him to "support" him. People who his wife had thought were her friends basically ostracized her. His inappropriate behavior was not only tolerated by the dojo, it was fully enabled by the dojo.

This continued until he found a really wonderful therapist who helped him cop to what he had been up to. He publicly admitted how he had been screwing up, got back together with his wife, and turned himself around completely. It was precisely at this point that things blew up in the dojo and many of his students left. Not when he was at his worst but at the point where he was getting his act together. All those folks who were all tied into his codependent dysfunction ended up leaving without copping to their own role in the whole thing.

People need to not put their teachers up on a pedestal to the extent that they cease to see what is really happening before their eyes. It does no one any good at all to tolerate behavior on the part of the Sensei that you wouldn't accept anywhere else.

This is a very important area of discussion. It doesn't get a lot of attention from the senior people because so many have been guilty at one time or another of behavior that they perhaps now recognize as inappropriate. (Or they don't recognize it, which is really scary). I know from personal experience how easy it is to get caught in the trap. In my own case I was able to get my act together before it caused irreparable damage to the dojo. But you won't find a lot of guys who are going to be very open about this area.

I think that female students need to keep describing these behaviors when they happen and keep this issue in our consciousness until there are no more people acting this way. And the male instructors who have done enough work to recognize these issues for what they are should weigh in in support of these efforts. Increasing awareness and making unacceptable behavior public knowledge, at least within your own community, is the only way in which these things are going to change.

Dajo251
05-21-2001, 07:10 AM
in my opinion at the tender age of 16 I feel that personal romantic relatioships between students and students or students and instructors is fine but. These relation ships should be left out side of the dojo once inside they should be a non issue.

Dan (Excus any spellng errors I am typing one handed because I broke my finger in class last night)

Unregistered
05-21-2001, 09:23 AM
As a medical professional, and a teacher, I can't imagine it being appropriate for a teacher to pursue/date a student while the student was actively enrolled. If the student left, and they met socially, it would be a different story. It violates a basic code of ethics and responsibility, and as we have seen on some prior posts, presents many difficulties to those involved and others at the dojo.

Matthew

Erik
05-21-2001, 12:42 PM
I have trained in or visited dojos with instructors of the following caliber:

Probably Alcoholic - Drank before class. Of course, it was just a glass of wine as it was explained to me. Besides, no Japanese sensei ever suffered from this problem.
Pot Smoker – Stoned while teaching the class.
Pedofile – Shares his name with a famous author and the dojo is not 2 miles from where I grew up. Imagine hearing from your mother, “Aikido was in the newspaper today.”
Womanizer – Man is a legend in the aikido community and the practice is a running joke.
Klickstein was before my time but given my track record I’d have found my way there as well.

Another instructor of mine fell head over heels over a student but there was just one small problem—the student’s girlfriend was in the class. Fortunately, I’ve never had a physically abusive sensei.

Some of these people are folks that I called sensei for many years. I predict in one case and know for certain in four others that the senior people in the dojo (including me) knew about the problems while they were going on. Only once, as far as I know, did someone say anything to the sensei about it. And the only reason there was because I’d gone through it before and couldn’t accept the thought of someone getting hurt because of the instructor’s hobby. Also, I was new to the dojo and didn’t have much investment in it, so if I got thrown out it didn’t matter. Even with all that, it was very hard to have this discussion.

I would suggest a book called the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini in regards to why this sort of behavior happens. He goes into why people would accept this sort of behavior and the structure of a dojo is an ideal breeding ground for it. The short version is that you are part of a community that has embraced the practice; senior people have invested substantial time in that community; it’s difficult to admit you made a bad decision, particularly once you’ve made the time investment; and the instructor is usually a charismatic authority figure with some extraordinary skills that you want.

Another problem is that we are a community that often doesn’t listen to its beginners and guess who will be not only the first to get hit on but also the first to notice the issue for what it is. Those very individuals often looked at as a dime a dozen. I’ve often wondered how many people came into those dojos, looked around, and said “holy shit!” while running for the exit. It’s usually the beginners or those outside the situation who recognize it for what it is.

I've said enough. I hope others have things to add.

Erik
05-21-2001, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard

Anyone who thinks this is just a matter of consenting adults needs to read Sex in the Forbidden Zone : When Men in Power - Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers, and Others - Betray Women's Trust
by Peter Rutter.


The problem, IMO, is how do you determine if they are consenting adults and clearly they will be in some cases? If you go after one sensei for this practice then what comes next? Suppose a nidan dates a 4th kyu? Isn't that an abuse of power or position in some dojos? Where do you draw the line? No dating within the dojo? No dating within the community? No instructor dating? Some of these lines would fry a significant portion of our community.

The legal line is drawn at the age of 18 (or whatever your jurisdiction says) and consent. That someone is wowed by the awesome spectacle that is sensei probably ain't gonna cut it legally (I'm not a lawyer nor play one on tv). Plus, lack of consent is going to be hard to prove in an environment where the student is paying the instructor.

Despite, my earlier comments, I don't disagree with you, I just don't know how you judge the behavior and where you draw the line.

PS: Thank you for posting what you did.

Anonanon
05-26-2001, 04:41 PM
how do you determine if they are consenting adults and clearly they will be in some cases? If you go after one sensei for this practice then what comes next? Suppose a nidan dates a 4th kyu? Isn't that an abuse of power or position in some dojos? Where do you draw the line? No dating within the dojo? No dating within the community? No instructor dating? Some of these lines would fry a significant portion of our community.


This is EXACTLY why I started this thread! Because I have noticed, aside from the problems at the dojo that I talked about, that quite a few sensei appear to practice with their wives, many people meet their partners in dojos, etc, etc,etc. Obviously some of this is ok. But where to draw the line cannot be determined without discussion.
And if you have a womanizing sensei, or a pedophile (!) sensei, and everyone is acting like, so to speak, there ISN'T an elephant crapping on the living room rug (or that the elephant has a god-given right to crap on the rug) for fear of getting ostracized or booted out of the dojo, or having to start at the bottom in a different style, or whatever, then nothing is going to happen, and you have a corrupt and corrupting situation.

Only once, as far as I know, did someone say anything to the sensei about it. And the only reason there was because I’d gone through it before and couldn’t accept the thought of someone getting hurt because of the instructor’s hobby. Also, I was new to the dojo and didn’t have much investment in it, so if I got thrown out it didn’t matter. Even with all that, it was very hard to have this discussion.

That's what I mean by the "no talking back to the sensei" rule - as a student, are you really in a position to be able to confront the sensei if their behavior is harming you or others? For example (this is similar to what I was experiencing, and I have seen this guy do this to other students): What should a female student do if the sensei, while demonstrating a technique on you or showing you something (on the mat, in class), puts their hand briefly someplace it probably doesn't belong? Uh, you don't want to slap the guy, right? What if you confront them about it and they say you're imagining things? What if they insinuate to the other (mostly male) students that you are a good-time charleena? I actually did try to talk to this guy about it, what I got back was a wall of denial. Other people I have since met have also tried to talk to him about other bad behavior (verbal abusiveness) and they also got absolutely nowhere.

Check out http://www.furyu.com/archives/issue8/zanshin8.html - an article titled "Do you belong to a martial arts cult?" humorous but pointed discussion about abuse of power in martial arts.

guest1234
05-27-2001, 05:52 PM
With all due respect to the sensei who gave a detailed post on why dating within a dojo is wrong:
I have been assaulted by my commanding officer (and we were both physicians)---THAT is an abuse of power. Pedophile senseis---THAT is an abuse of power.
Any person, male or female, who lets themselves be wow'd by their sensei into a relationship they don't want when they are both adults----well, at least one of them isn't acting adult, and by that i mean the one who doesn't know how to a) say 'no', or b) consents led by his charisma and then later change their mind or c) is too lazy to leave. and i mean lazy. if it is his dojo and you don't like him, his lifestyle, or anything else about the man, leave. period. find a place that is better, or better suited to you. But be adult enough to take responsibility for your own actions.
I make it a practice to stay unentangled where i work and train, but might consider where i train if the right opportunity came along. but if it later didn't work out, i'd not be blaming someone other than myself.
So the sensei touches inapproriately? Tell him to stop. He doesn't, you have several options: a. (subltle) when his hand in in the wrong place, shriek, then look sheepish and appologise b. (not subtle) refuse to train with him c. (always reliable) leave.
As i said before, i was hit on by an instructor, lots of women talked about him, some had left when dumped by him---i told him 'no thanks' and when i heard the others talking about him, i told him talk was going around. and had no problems. but if someone were touching me and kept it up, why would i even want to stay, i'd be off the mat and out the door as soon as the inappropriate touch landed. Being in the military, i didn't have an option to leave with my commander, but anyone who allows themselves to be abused when they can leave needs counselling.

Erik
05-27-2001, 06:41 PM
I just wanted to say that in regards to the pedofiles that I have semi-direct knowledge, one of them has been banned from aikido (that sounds strange doesn't it) and the other was legally prohibited from working with children. Neither has been a teacher of mine in the class sense.

Colleen, based on what I read, you are a fairly grounded individual. Many folks who walk through the doors of an Aikido dojo are people looking for answers and lack such grounding. When graced with a very charismatic and powerful individual this line starts getting very blurry, very quickly. If a sensei preys on the weak in spirit I'd think the ethics get pretty clear really quick.

Unregistered
05-27-2001, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Erik
I have trained in or visited dojos with instructors of the following caliber:

Probably Alcoholic - Drank before class. Of course, it was just a glass of wine as it was explained to me. Besides, no Japanese sensei ever suffered from this problem.
Pot Smoker – Stoned while teaching the class.
Pedofile – Shares his name with a famous author and the dojo is not 2 miles from where I grew up. Imagine hearing from your mother, “Aikido was in the newspaper today.”
Womanizer – Man is a legend in the aikido community and the practice is a running joke.
Klickstein was before my time but given my track record I’d have found my way there as well.

WHAT??????

These aren't real examples, are they?

I once ran into a smokin', drinkin' sensi (huff-puffing his way through class -- pretty good aikido though). Needless to say, I didn't start training there -- how could I respect someone like that?

Erik, these examples are beyond scary. These people should be kicked out. Period. Why would anyone even want to attend their classes anyway?

A pedofile?? Call the cops in -- let's see if their aikido really works!!

Jim23

Jim23
05-27-2001, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by Erik
I have trained in or visited dojos with instructors of the following caliber:

Probably Alcoholic - Drank before class. Of course, it was just a glass of wine as it was explained to me. Besides, no Japanese sensei ever suffered from this problem.
Pot Smoker – Stoned while teaching the class.
Pedofile – Shares his name with a famous author and the dojo is not 2 miles from where I grew up. Imagine hearing from your mother, “Aikido was in the newspaper today.”
Womanizer – Man is a legend in the aikido community and the practice is a running joke.
Klickstein was before my time but given my track record I’d have found my way there as well.

WHAT??????

These aren't real examples, are they?

I once ran into a smokin', drinkin' sensi (huff-puffing his way through class -- pretty good aikido though). Needless to say, I didn't start training there -- how could I respect someone like that?

Erik, these examples are beyond scary. These people should be kicked out. Period. Why would anyone even want to attend their classes anyway?

A pedofile?? Call the cops in -- let's see if their aikido really works!!

Jim23

guest1234
05-27-2001, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Erik
I just wanted to say that in regards to the pedofiles that I have semi-direct knowledge, one of them has been banned from aikido (that sounds strange doesn't it) and the other was legally prohibited from working with children. Neither has been a teacher of mine in the class sense.

Colleen, based on what I read, you are a fairly grounded individual. Many folks who walk through the doors of an Aikido dojo are people looking for answers and lack such grounding. When graced with a very charismatic and powerful individual this line starts getting very blurry, very quickly. If a sensei preys on the weak in spirit I'd think the ethics get pretty clear really quick.

folks who know me would laugh pretty hard at the grounded part. I know it is hard to leave a dojo, and the friends you've made there. But really, when the talk shifts from 'he left me and now has someone else pregnant' (yeah, life is tough on and off the mat) to 'he's touching me and won't stop'---i mean, come on, this is a time to tell folks to wake up and get out. if they can't identify an unsafe situation, friends should tell them (i know i've been told to wake up more than once by my friends). Report the pedophiles. Walk out on the gropers. But the folks who let themselves be talked into a relationship by a sensei, who may very well believe it is consensual (and it is, actually) would do the same with their doctor, teacher, minister, or cop down the street--and very well may move from one to the next, unless they get help. If they are old enough to say 'no' they need to learn how to say it; i assume any couple i see in the dojo is consensual (luckily i've not seen any adult-child combo's) and hence none of my business. including the sensei, who is entitled to a life. I don't mind if instructors hit on me (any more than neighbors, coworkers, or the guy in line at the bank)---their right to ask, mine to say 'no'. it's unfair i think to otherwise limit who dates whom, not to mention life is just too short.

giriasis
05-28-2001, 12:28 PM
I agree in a way that those who don't know how to say "no" need counseling, and they need to learn to take responsibility.

Maybe this was addressed, but what about the responsibility of those in a superior position (sensei, priest, teacher) who take advantage of their position? These kind of people don't go after those who they can say "no". They go after those who are weak and who make easy victims.

Also in regards to the consenting adults issue, whenever someone uses their positition of authority to their advantage the issue is not consent to sex or but the issue is power. Consent no longer becomes an issue because the person being subjugated does not believe they can refuse.


The person who has the power is the person that is wrong in this situation. Telling a person just to say "no" to sensei is not enough. It is like telling an abused wife to just leave her husband. It is like telling the date rape victim to get away from her date. Doing so just ignores all the psyhcological elements invovled. It is just as hard, psychologically, for these folks to leave as it was to leave the military. When these folks are in the middle of the situation telling them to get help is only the first step to taking care of themselves, and they usually only get help after the abusive situation has occured. But even if they are not willing to get help does not condone the behavior of the sensei (teacher, priest, boyfriend).

I think what we all have to realize in martial arts is that the environment of dojo may allow this kind of behavior to exists. Such common things such as not being allowed to question sensei. We choose to hand over a lot of power to the sensei because of his experience and training. A sensei who uses this to his advantage even if it is to get dates is wrong. He or she still is using his or her power to their advantage.

What should we do and what rules should be created? Right now, it is up to the individual person and schools. But a rule of a sensei not dating their students while they are members of that dojo is not unreasonable.

Jim,

I don't think he was kidding. I am pretty sure who he is talking about in regards to the pedophile who is no longer allowed to teach children. There are a lot of folks out there like that in the martial arts industry it should (or shouldn't) surprise you. Try this site out. http://pub56.ezboard.com/bbudoquackwatch

Anonanon
05-28-2001, 12:54 PM
Colleen: judging from your comments, you seem to be assuming that I DID get involved with this sensei that I have been discussing. I did not. What happened was this: I was there almost every day for 6 months with no problems (unbeknownst to me, his attention was focused on another student), everything was fine. Then I started helping out around the dojo more, and yeah, I did get a little closer to him, and yeah, there was the hand on the leg etc, but it was not clear for many months where this was going to go, if anywhere. I did try to talk to him about these little occurences, because he was living with someone else, and I don't date people who have girlfriends, and then he'd back off, then it would happen again, etc. I finally left when it became apparent that the situation would not resolve itself. The bad stuff was mixed up with a fair amount of good stuff (and I did have feelings for this guy). I stuck around because I don't live in an area where there are alot of places to practice aikido, and I really like aikido, and I thought if I just talked to him I could get the situation ironed out. The person I saw get groped on the mat lasted exactly one day. Does that make it OK, just because she had the good sense to leave? What about the next victim? As I have said to you before, I am less concerned with my relationship with the guy than with the pattern of behavior I have since become aware of. It kindof changes the picture. BTW I was in the middle of a personal crisis at the time this was happening, and mr X was playing the role of concerned counselor, which is exactly how he got involved with his current gf, she was in the middle of a divorce, and he said "oh, I am so worried about her" next thing your know...so what Erik was saying about people like that picking those who are weak in spirit (or in this person's case, damsels in distress) is right on the money. Ordinarily, I am a very strong person, but I was going through a tough spot and this person appeared to be offering support (turns out with strings attached).

guest1234
05-28-2001, 01:13 PM
if you feel a sensei should not date any students, then of course you feel a single minister, or church board member, or choir director shouold not date parishoners. Also, there should be no dating anyone who owns a business. Oh, and no dating anyone who owns a market if you shop there. Hmm, if you listen to a musician, you cannot date them. Also actors whose films you like.
The sensei does not have power over anyone who is not in desparate need of counselling, and those folks can create a sense of control that is not there. Yes, abused wives who do not leave their husbands need to be repeatedly told to leave, i know i was told and told until he almost killed me. But it was not his fault i stayed, he took advantage of an illness in me, and that is why i got counselling.
from what i hear in the annon. statements, they were not forced in any way into a relationship, they willingly went, then got dumped, and now have problems over it. As for the touching issues, well, this is a MA, and in another long thread we covered why we as women don't want males afraid to train with us. if it is accidental, then grow up or get out, contact is inevitable in MA. If it is purposeful (and be sure you know the difference) then follow my earlier advice.
Men and women can WILLINGLY enter into relationships because power and authority are seductive. But that is not different than entering into the relationship because a great figure or large income is attractive. But be responsible for your actions and don't blame the previous object of your desire when it does not work out. If you think you will have a problem facing someone in the dojo/work/church etc if it falls apart, then don't start. But none of the folks were forced into a relationship, thye are just complaining that they don't think others having them is fair.
if you agree that it's not fair to other sutdents for a sensei to date someone he is teaching, then of course he can't teach his children. tell that to O Sensei. I just think if we as women (as the complaints came from women) want to be taken seriously, we need to be responsible for our own actions. there is nothing about the first sensei mentioned that implied he took advantage of his position (date me or i'll kick you out), the women all flocked to him. It's only a dojo, and it IS HIS. Move on with your own life. He may be a cad, he may not, but so what. if you want to learn from him, stay, if not, leave. it is childish to expect someone else to change to suit you; it's his dojo, find another that you like better. If he is as bad as you say, and all vote with their feet, he will change or close the dojo.
if you want to limit who can date whom, then it really needs to be no dating anyone within the dojo. otherwise the lines are too hard to draw, take it from me, the military is constantly having problems over this. You may be both kyu students, but what happens after he passes shodan. Or is shodan and first kyu worse than 6th dan to shodan? how about first kyu to 6th kyu? get real, we're all adults and need to stop worrying about who is dating whom.

guest1234
05-28-2001, 01:28 PM
annon. i just read your reply, and my advice still stands. One of two things occured with your situation:
people got involved in a consensual affair (not you but the others, you say there was just attraction, but no affair with you), which is really none of anyone's business -or-
the sensei picked up on vernuable women and took advantage of it, although he seems to be sticking by his last affair like he cares about it.
women who are vulnerable can be targeted. But you cannot run around trying to protect them from the world ('though some may want that very result). You need to get them into counselling so they stop being the kind of person who attracts predators. Looking back with wiser eyes i see a lteral feeding frenzy of predators that appeared after my divorce; luckily good friends and a wonderful therapist taught me to avoid them. Without them, i would have undoubtedly been snatched right up by the next predator. but now it doesn't matter how many or how strong they are, i can identify them, and hopefully am less attractive to them.
it is a lot harder to change the predators, even more difficult to rid the entire world of them. The best defense against them is to change the behavior of their prey.

giriasis
05-28-2001, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by ca
it is a lot harder to change the predators, even more difficult to rid the entire world of them. The best defense against them is to change the behavior of their prey. [/B]

Your right the best defense against them is to change the behavior of the prey, but as long as there is a predator it will search for prey and make some if it has, too. Predators don't die meekly.

We can address the predators actions through civil and criminal law. The predators are the ones responsible for the injuries they cause. A victims is not at fault for being vulnerable position in their life. Stop blaming the victim. Yes, victims need help, but if they don't realize they are in a bad position then why should they leave?

Now, I will agree the the "victim mentality" does exist. What I mean by "victim mentality" is that there are people who play the role as an excuse not to get better. This is wrong behavior. It is dysfunction and I will support you wholeheartedly in telling them to shipshape or ship out. But this is different from a real victim. A real victim can not necessarily help themselves out. A real victim has suffered a harm and is yet to reach the point where they can bring resolution to their problems.

Taking advantage of their power does not just involve "you do this and I'll promote" it also includes a hostile atmosphere towards the women. The first is usually clear and cut. It is the second that is more subtle and harder to see and prove. (the proof is substantial and severe offensive behavior -- for sexual harassment in the workplace) But this guy still is in a position of authority -- a sensei over a student. Anon's case seems to come closer to the later. She found the behavior offensive because she said "no" the first time and then he still made advances. She wants to study aikido and she doesn't have many options in her area in places to go to train. If she were in a bigger city the choice of other options would make sense. Maybe she doesn't want to learn another martial art either.

You seem to be questioning or trying to make the point where we draw the line. I am saying that someone who is in a position of authority has power over another person, a subordinate, and that they should not use their position to assert or imply impropriety. A customer in a market place, a person who buys music, or goes to the movie theatre are not subordinates to the marker owner, musician or actor. However, the parishsioners of a paster, the choir members of a choir director, the student of a teacher are subordinants and they should not date. Now, if this relationship should no longer exist then they can date.

Let's go through your hypotheticals...


if you feel a sensei should not date any students, then of course you feel a single minister, or church board member, or choir director shouold not date parishoners.

Yes. I believe that is reasonable. I believe as long as that person is in a position of authority over another person, they should not be dating people they have authority over.

But let's break it down. Does a choir director have control over all the parishoners? No, only those who are in the choir or perhaps trying out for the choir. So the relatiohship for comparison would be choir director/ choir member. So the choir director can date a non-choir member.

The minister generally has authority over other members in parish so yes no dating parish members.

And finally the church board members. I'm not sure who they have control over. the answer to that will give you you answer.


Also, there should be no dating anyone who owns a business.

Think what you wrote here and think what I wrote. I said people who have position of authority over a subordinant. If the "anyone" is an employee, yes. If the "anyone" is a customer, no. The difference is the amount and the ability of control one has over the other. So a business owner may date their customer.

Hmm, but the problem in martial arts students are very often subordinants as well as customers. So the better parallel would be more like a teacher/ student where the student submits to a certain amount of authority over you.

This has been done in universities, where you can easily drop out of class. For example when I was in undergrad teacher/ student dating was barred by the State of Florida because of the problems that we are discussing at the moment. Potential problems start with what appears to be innocent dating but things get bad once people start saying, "no." If it is discomfort with the sensei, in this case. Your training still is affected.

Oh, and no dating anyone who owns a market if you shop there.

Nope, a market owner has very little control over their customers except to prevent shoplifting. So a market owner and customer may date.

Hmm, if you listen to a musician, you cannot date them.

You really like slipperly slope arguing don't you? There is absolutely no control of the musician over the person who listens to their music. Of course they can date.

The better analogy for musicians would be the music producer and musicians. The music producer would have some control over the musicians -- the ability to promote themselves and to make a living. Sure they could go elsewhere but they could get blacklisted as well. But this is more like an employer-employee relationship.

Also actors whose films you like.

You really have yourself out on limb with this one. I would be lucky to meet any actors I see in movies much less date them. But that actor has no control over me. I have given that actor no control. So hypothetically they can date.

The sensei does not have power over anyone who is not in desparate need of counselling, and those folks can create a sense of control that is not there.

The sensei does have control over all of his students and he has a certain amount of responsibility in how her should treat those students. The "power" the sensei has is the knowledge, skill, and abilities that you do not have. The "power" the sensei has is in expecting that people don't question him which is commonly done because people think it has to do with Japanese culture.

When we bow to sensei and say "onegaishimasu" we are saying we respect your authority and please teach us. Of course the screwed up sensei in serious need of counseling will forget to add when he bows to the students, "I promise to respect you and your abilities."

When the respect goes both ways there are no problems. But those who take advantage of what they know and what you don't know will use their female students as a dating mill at best.

You see I have a problem with the sensei in serious need of counseling. In the dojo, they have the authority, and as good students we submit to it because we don't know what they do. Like I said if the respect goes both ways you won't find a student trying to play out their issues in the dojo or find a sensei playing out his issues in the dojo.

If in anon's case this sensei is playing out his issues in the dojo by using his female students as a dating mill rather than actually concerned about what they learn, then I say it is a problem.

I don't think it is the women with the problem, there may be some playing out their issues, but they still do not deserve to be hit upon and used. A good sensei would see this and AVOID such relationships from developing.

When I go to a dojo I don't expect to be hit upon, by the sensei. When I go to work, I don't expect to be hit upon by my boss. When I go to school, I don't expect to be hit upon by my teachers. When I go to church, I don't expect to be hit upon by the pastor. If it happens, of course I say no. But if it continues to happen and that "no" is not respected I have a major problem with that. That sounds to be the case with Anon-- she said "no" and he continued his advances. She asserted herself and addressed the situation. It was clear that it would not resolved. Do I remember correctly that this dojo does not have women past 6th or 5th kyu. That to me is an indicator that this sensei is doing something wrong. How wrong is it? All we know it just is simple impropriety nothing criminal or major enough for civil action.

(As an aside: I believe in some business there is the one "no" rule between co-workers. You may ask some one out once but it must stop at that. But they still can not allow a hostile working environment (serious and substantial offense behavior) to exist.)

Anon might be able to report this to the better business bureau or speak with them and see if any other reports have been filed. Also, Anon, I don't think there is much else you can do unless something more serious is going on. Colleen is right though, you can't help people who don't want it.

[/QUOTE]I just think if we as women (as the complaints came from women) want to be taken seriously, we need to be responsible for our own actions. [/QUOTE]

Of course we should be responsible for our own actions, but we should be respected and treated in a dignified manner as well. And those who wronged us should be held responsible for their actions as well. A womanizer should not be forgiven because some women don't walk away from it.

Anon, one thing I have been told in learning "self-defense" and in preventing potentially bad behaviour is to trust your instincts. We can still and argue the merits of dating or not dating, but that is all hypothetical since we really are not there with you. Follow your gut, it is most likely right. "Women's intuition" is called "women's intuition" for a reason. Or for you guys, that "gut feeling" is called a "gut feeling" for a reason. Trust it.

Good luck,
Anne Marie Giri

Unregistered
05-28-2001, 08:48 PM
I didn't really understand what you just said. Could you explain it again ... in fewer words?

Just kidding Anne Marie! But that was one of the longest posts I've ever seen. You're starting to sound like a **cough** lawyer. ;) I can just hear you in court ... "I know you have reasons for saying that ... do you mind if I ask what they are?" ... just kidding again -- I'm getting you ready for court.

You're right ... now, let's harmonize.

Jim23

Chocolateuke
05-28-2001, 10:47 PM
how about if the sensi dates and marries a Woman and she later becomes a student of his would this be bad ? ( I am not say ing all senseis are guys ok?) My Sensi married a gal then later she became one of his students. They have a good relationship and the sensi is respecting and gracies to all and never puts his wife above his students. so it can work but in all your glory is it ok in YOUR opioin not fact but opion. well cya gotta play darkstone.

Erik
05-28-2001, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by Jim23


WHAT??????

These aren't real examples, are they?

I once ran into a smokin', drinkin' sensi (huff-puffing his way through class -- pretty good aikido though). Needless to say, I didn't start training there -- how could I respect someone like that?

Erik, these examples are beyond scary. These people should be kicked out. Period. Why would anyone even want to attend their classes anyway?

A pedofile?? Call the cops in -- let's see if their aikido really works!!

Jim23

Yes, Jim, all real. Bruce Klickstein is one of the names and I'm trying to verify the other but I'm having a hell of a time. The guy has vanished from the Earth, which is just as well. I believe he was named Stephen (or Steven) King and he was based in Watsonville (this part I'm certain of). Yes, just like the author. The courts stepped in and prohibited him from teaching children. If I have the name wrong, I apologize.

John Lamont is also a rather famous example but I spaced him out for some reason.

The other examples mentioned, nearly all of which have cleaned up to my knowledge are not really that unusual. Being stoned and more was not at all uncommon in the 60's and 70's or so I've been told. Some folks just hadn't caught up with the times yet. And do you really think that there are not ample alcoholics in this biz?

I mentioned them because it showed my own stupidity and failings and how hard it is to say something to a sensei, even when it would be for their own good. By the way, I would add that the one's I had direct experience with were also excellent teachers in their own way.

Jim, who would kick them out? There is no standards body overseeing aikido. When was the last time a rep for your organization dropped in and checked if the bathrooms were clean? I'm thinking never. 7-11 has better store standards than what is applied across the aikido community in many cases. Klickstein is an example of someone who was kicked out, however.

Enough, we're heading astray of the topic.

PS: pedofile may have been too strong a term. Child molester would be more accurate.

giriasis
05-29-2001, 01:50 AM
Jim,

Sorry it was so long. I actually had to edit quite a bit so you were saved from a lot. But this is more than being a verbose lawyer-to-be.

I am actually rather passionate about this issue as well. I really have a sticking point with people who are at fault for this kind of behaviour (all gamuts of questionable claims, fraud and abuse), and I can't tolerate it when people start blaming the victim.

Also when people throw out "what if" scenarios like that I just can't help it. I like doing that to dispel the more unreasonable stances and to show that it won't be the end of the world. Also breaking down the situations like I did can show that it is practical to draw the line somewhere.

Also my passion to defend and my ability to argue/debate lead me to the legal field. So I guess that is reflecting here.

Chocolate Uke,

That is just one of the many reasonable exceptions to the rule -- I had to edit that part out. But as you pointed out he doesn't take advantage of the family relationship, and I am sure he is well aware of the potential downsides. Most sensei, I believe, would do this. It is only the few that ruin it for all.

Anne Marie

Unregistered
05-29-2001, 05:06 AM
Hey all, i reckon that as long as the sensei (and the student) leaves their sexual (or whatever) relationship at the dojo door, there should be no problem with it. Peace. Craig

REK
05-29-2001, 07:29 AM
Anne Marie:

I agree. Just because two adults are involved in a relationship does not necessarily imply that it is consensual or healthy. Reference the rates of date rape and spousal abuse. I differ from Colleen in my view of the victim. Clearly, she has never been one, and for that I admire her. But there is still the hint of "blaming the victim" to the posts.

Are there times when victims have taken risks that increase the likelihood that they will be preyed upon? Sure. But that doesn't make it ok for unscrupled authorities to take advantage of this opportunity. In war, sure. In the dojo, in the doctor's office, in the boss's office, no.

So Colleen, I don't suggest that all people stop trying to date all other people. When someone seeks your guidance as an authority (and this does not include your authority regarding this week's special in the produce department) wouldn't it be simple to just seek your partners elsewhere? That way, there can be no role confusion. When did good ethical practice become so difficult?

Rob

[Censored]
05-29-2001, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by giriasis

Also in regards to the consenting adults issue, whenever someone uses their positition of authority to their advantage the issue is not consent to sex or but the issue is power. Consent no longer becomes an issue because the person being subjugated does not believe they can refuse.

...

What should we do and what rules should be created? Right now, it is up to the individual person and schools. But a rule of a sensei not dating their students while they are members of that dojo is not unreasonable.


With respect, I think your position is ridiculous. Martial arts training is cultivation of power. By virtue of my practice, I am more powerful then 90% of the people I interact with. Are all these people my unwitting victims? Perhaps, if they find out about my cultivation, they will "believe" they cannot refuse me? Would you have me take resposibility for others' mistaken beliefs? Must I then retreat to a secluded cave, to save the masses from my subjugation?

I happen to be 6'0", 175lb. A genetic abnormality made me bigger and stronger then 99% of the women on the planet. Does this make me a sexual predator?

I think, as practicioners dedicated to self-improvement, we ought to be advocating personal responsibility for teachers AND students. We do not need to reinforce the politically correct culture of victimhood.

[Now I calm down and read the previous posts]

Well, I looks as though most of my points have already been stated and debated. If I can hit and throw my seniors and juniors, I can certainly "say no" to them. And if I felt differently, then *I* would be out of line. That's my opinion, anyway.

giriasis
05-29-2001, 04:48 PM
Well [censored] now that I see that you read the above posts, I won't rehash the same arguments I made above. Please realize I'm not talking about the sempai/kohei relationship. I'm talking about the sensei/student relationship.

You do make a good point about power, though. Power in and of itself is not bad it is how we use it when it becomes a problem.

Take Care,
Anne Marie

[Censored]
05-29-2001, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by giriasis
Well [censored] now that I see that you read the above posts, I won't rehash the same arguments I made above. Please realize I'm not talking about the sempai/kohei relationship. I'm talking about the sensei/student relationship.

I don't distuinguish between the two. Anyone with more skill in the applicable area is my teacher. Anyone with less skill is my junior. Sometimes my teacher is also my junior, or vice-versa, in which case I am the predator AND the prey? Now that's Aikido training ;)

giriasis
05-29-2001, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by [Censored]


I don't distuinguish between the two. Anyone with more skill in the applicable area is my teacher. Anyone with less skill is my junior. Sometimes my teacher is also my junior, or vice-versa, in which case I am the predator AND the prey? Now that's Aikido training ;)

Well, if you want to define it that way you wouldn't be able to date anyone in your entire life. :p You won't be able to draw the line because you made your definition is so overbroad that it applies to every relationship. That is really impractical if you are a head of a dojo and are trying to implement policy.

I am speaking about a real teacher not the metaphorical ones. You know the teacher who owns the dojo and runs the classes. The teacher to whom you give your hard earned cash. (I think you know what I mean. ;))

;)
Anne Marie

[Censored]
05-29-2001, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by giriasis

Well, if you want to define it that way you wouldn't be able to date anyone in your entire life. :p You won't be able to draw the line because you made your definition is so overbroad that it applies to every relationship. That is really impractical if you are a head of a dojo and are trying to implement policy.

Make no mistake, I don't *want* to define it that way, I am only acknowledging the reality of the situation. It is impractical, if you are trying to codify relationships and implement policies a la Confucius, but it is still true.

I generally dislike metaphors, but try this one on: I am the chief structural engineer at Boeing. For the sake of expediency, I have implemented a "pi = 3.10" policy. Do you dare to fly in my 747? :)

guest1234
05-30-2001, 01:11 AM
ah, but what if the shop owner had the only food for sale in town? or the business was the only one that sold clothing that you liked? You can imagine power-over anytime you want to use victimhood as an excuse, but it doesn't fly when you are talking about a dojo. wake up, a dojo. i really like Aikido. I cried when i had to leave my first dojo. But it was not the end of the world. and i still haven't heard anything the man did that makes him a predator. for God's sake, the man dated three students in 3 or 4 years, if i recall the post, so either he kept them for over a year (not bad by today's male standards) or he also looked elsewhere. I believe Saotome Sensei's wife is also an Aikidoka, i know Imaizumi Sensei's wife is, i don't know where they were in their training when they met, nor do i care. Chocolateuke's sensei is also in that category, it seems, as are a few other who posted here. not all started out as their loved one's teachers, some may have---but this is the real world, and things change. If you suddenly become a sensei, via a move or a death or whatever, does you wife/huband/significant other have to stop? oh, it's ok if you have the relationship already, you can be drawn to a person you train with, just not if you are the sensei? Do you guys really give someone that kind of control of your life for 50 bucks a month that you fear his manipulating you?
i don't see anything in the original post that says he took advantage over his dates. they dated (for a year each?), the one who wrote to complain never did date him, says she was pursued and then was rebuffed when she chased back, lets just call that a learning experience for the writer and the sensei. the third of the three he dated he is living with and raising a family. sounds stable by todays standards. all the women leave by 5th kyu? heck, a lot of dojos have trouble getting the women to stay that long.
if we are equals, we are equals, no fair being victim when it suits. adults take responsibility for their actions, something i would like to think Aikidoka should also. So the sensei's actions were he dated three women from his dojo over 4 years, the last becoming what appears to be a permanent relationship. i guess he would own up to that. i haven't heard any woman say SHE was coerced into a relationship (note the original author denies any relationship and that the sensei refused to get into one with her), been touched inappropriately, or in anyway been taken advantage of. Again, child molesters are taking advantage of those who can't refuse/lack the ability. Grown, adult men and women enter into and out of relationships all the time, and should be able to do so without dojo approval.

guest1234
05-30-2001, 10:16 AM
alright, i seem to have not sent the last part of what i wanted to say, and feel strongly enough (surprised?) about it that i will try this again. There is one more point of view that i am sure several men are thinking, but are too PC to say. In my first month of Aikido the kids class sensei asked me to 'help' him and the 1st kyu (male), as a female role model he said. Once i saw the 12-15 year old girls in the class, i knew he meant chaparone. Seductive behavior by girls does not justify pedophiles, but an attractive 15 year old chasing you around the dojo can be a real test, especially if you are a 20-something instructor. Luckily, this man was a man of honor, and i got to be 'mom'. If you are an adult, and an attractive adult is coming on to you, how much more difficult that would be to say 'no', and why should he?
I have seen a fair number of beginner females get all starry eye'd over instructors/senseis, find reasons to hang around the dojo (dressed to kill, not in a sweaty gi), offer to help the dojo then withdraw the offer if 'he' wasn't going to be there, etc. sometimes when folks come to watch a class, it is not the Aikido that catches their interest. And there is the strength and power as an aphrodisiac thing. those women usually don't last long, just long enough to geive the rest of us a bad reputation.
i think senseis give up a lot in order to share their knowledge with us, and if they find someone they like while at the dojo, then it is none of my business. would i rather he cut classes in half so he has more time to hit the bars/bookstores/wherever YOU think it's OK for him to find someone?

REK
05-30-2001, 10:43 AM
Colleen:

I strongly believe that you shouldn't shit where you eat. In my world, it's a bad idea. I accept your comments, and also strongly agree that being a victim is not an excuse. We all know of people who make their living being victims.

I also agree that all parties are responsible in an interaction (assuming we are not discussing an assault, mugging, random rape, etc). My opinion is based on my profession. Is it possible that a doctor can truly fall in love w/ one of his/her patients? Sure. However, there are so many possible points of entry for coercion and abuse, it is considered unethical. So I just won't do it. For me it's safer to avoid even the possibility of impropriety than to take any risk in that area. I further accept that my position does not apply to you and holds no influence in your life.

I think instructors should not date students. You don't agree. And I'm ok with that.

Rob

guest1234
05-30-2001, 11:02 AM
no, REK, what we disagree on is whether it is any of our business if students want to date instructors. I don't date coworkers, nor dojo mates. But i don't care who does. You do. I am a physician, and our ethics prevents us from dating patients, oath aside, because of the power we hold over a patient, true power. Commanding officers have that power over troops. I would imagine some involved in the law posses it. Few others really get any sort of real power in their lives, despite what they think.
In a sensei-student relationship (of adults), the only one with any bit of true power is the student, because the student is the one giving money to the sensei, and so could threathen the sensei's livlihood.
i just think it is not my place to decide if an adult student can date a sensei if they want. None of my business. you obviously think is is your decision to make, and that is where we disagree.

REK
05-30-2001, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by ca
I don't date coworkers, nor dojo mates. But i don't care who does. You do.

So far, this is true.

Few others really get any sort of real power in their lives, despite what they think.

Including physicians, commanding officers, etc, as their power is referent, dependent upon the supplicant's acceptance of that power.


i just think it is not my place to decide if an adult student can date a sensei if they want. None of my business. you obviously think is is your decision to make, and that is where we disagree.

No, Colleen, that's not what I think. I may not have been clear. I don't think it's my decision who should date whom. I can only decide on my own dating partners. Generally speaking, should a sensei date a student? My answer is no. Will it happen anyway? Sure. That's what I believe, therefore, I won't do it. I have no desire to nor illusions of control over others. I am stating an opinion, not quoting law.

If what two people are doing works for them, and doesn't hurt others, then more power to them.

Rob

guest1234
05-30-2001, 11:40 AM
so if i understand you correctly now, you are not saying 'instructors shouldn't date their students' but rather 'I don't date my students'...i like the sound of that much better.
but if you think those in the law have only the power someone gives them, you haven't lived in Las Vegas, where the police force have been found guity of murdering unarmned minorities 'for fun', male officers strip searching females they arrested on trumped up charges for the enjoyment of then being able to strip search and/or coerce favors out of, etc, plus the power of the court system---i'd call that power. And you must not have spent much time in the military if you don't know that individuals literally sign away personal rights and freedoms when they join. try refusing an order, from supplying DNA samples or an HIV test to taking a shot to whom you will or won't date---you can end up with a felony conviction. And as a physician, have you never brought a patient back from the edge of death? in those situations the one in power truely holds control of the other's life and freedom.
experiencing that, i guess, is what puts dojo dating in perspective for me.

otto
05-30-2001, 12:20 PM
dear CA

u sure like having the last word on any issue...right?

tought girl.

Anonanon
05-30-2001, 12:30 PM
But it was not the end of the world. and i still haven't heard anything the man did that makes him a predator. for God's sake, the man dated three students in 3 or 4 years, if i recall the post, so either he kept them for over a year (not bad by today's male standards) or he also looked elsewhere

Colleen: what you say above is NOT what has been going on, and I don't know all of it. I said a minimum of three students. Here is what I have heard - some of these he told me about, some other ex-students have told me about, some I witnessed: one twenty years younger, seduced then abandoned after four months. One less than one year relationship, got the student pregnant and broke up with her. This may or may not have occured while the instructor was still with his ex-wife. Current relationship with woman (now pregnant) in middle of divorce, less than seven months in duration so far (either that or they started dating when she was still living with her husband). Pestered another student I know (for dates, excessive touching) until she quit after six months. My situation. Has broken up a marriage in the past. Threw a student out of the dojo because she had "fallen in love with him" and was "insisting" (there's more to THAT story, I betcha). The one I saw get groped on her first day there. Hmm.. who else? I have heard that "so many" students quit because he was coming on to them. When I started at the place I go now, and explained why I left, people said "oh, you too?". I don't know why you keep insisting on having this rosy view of the situation. Maybe I wasn't explicit enough, but this is an anonymous column, so I was being vague on purpose.

giriasis
05-30-2001, 02:09 PM
ah, but what if the shop owner had the only food for sale in town? or the business was the only one that sold clothing that you liked?

If the shop owner has the only food for sale in the town and then jacked the prices up so high that people couldn't afford it, it would be called price gouging. It happens and there are lawas against it. Why are there laws to regulate? Because most people are not responsible enough to control themselves so we need laws and regulations to prevent them from abusing their power.

And yes this shop owner has power over the people in that town. He has the food and they don't. The people have a "choice" to not buy the food and go hungry or to buy it. That is no choice.

If the business sold only the clothes I liked? If this was an expensive fashion boutique and their is a Target down the street that sells things at reasonable prices down the street? Now, that is their choice. It is called supply and demand -- basic economics.

But the dojo is not necessarily just a business now is it? It is more like a not- for-profit private school. Most who teach because they love to teach their art, not because he can make a profit based on supply and demand otherwise he would become a McDojo.

You can imagine power-over anytime you want to use victimhood as an excuse, but it doesn't fly when you are talking about a dojo.

You know what colleen, real victims do exist in this world. There will always be abusers if we continually blame the victims for the harm they have suffered.

Power-over exists in every aspect of life, not just the military or law enforcement. It is wrong when there are real victims. There are real victims in this dojo that anon speaks of.

I seriously suggest you re-read each and every word of anon's last post. Each situation adds up one on top of the other. It is not just one isolated incident; it is many. There is something more going on than meets the eye -- anon knows this and she wants to know what to do about it. That is whey I told her to trust her instincts. My gut says there is more than "just harmless dating" going on.

And if you don't think abuses can possibly happen in dojos just talk to the kids who are molested by their sensei, the women who are raped by them. It happens, Colleen, research it yourself. If you don't think power can be abused in a dojo, you are really kidding yourself.

Abuse exists because people don't want to admit that it can and that it does happen.

It is the people who ABUSE the power that makes things look bad for us, not the victims -- the real ones. The only thing the REAL victims do is let us know the the martial arts industry is not free of these problems. The victims can shut up, but that doesn't stop the problems from happening. It only shoves the problems under the carpet until it is so bad we are forced to deal with the rot underneath.

Every right comes with a responsibility. A person has a right to run a business any way they see fit. An person has a right to run a not-for-profit school any way the see fit. Rights are not absolute. But they are still subject to many regulations of ethical business practices. They are still subject to prosecution and complaints for wrong doing against their employees and their customers.

You are kidding me in trying to convince me that a dojo owner holds no power. A dojo owner knows that people come to him or her to learn something they don't know -- self-defense. (you know the ability to protect youself from losing your life?). The dojo owner has that knowledge and the student does not. The dojo owner also should be aware of the many reasons that people come to dojo. Some are in a bad time of their life (vulnerable) and they are coming to the dojo to help them deal with their life problems. He or she should also be aware that the young women that come there may be starry eyed and wowed by their skill. Then with his right to teach where and how he wishes he or she should not take advantage of his student's baggage.

This is what has happened in anon's situation. The sensei went after those with baggage knowing they would less likely stand up for themselves. His "power" is the ability to decide whether or not to do this.

And a few other points:

In regards to the "dating mill" I mentioned. If you re-read my post. I said this guy is using these women as a dating mill at best. Meaning, I believe that something worse is going on.

and

In regards to this school's highest female rank being 5th kyu. Sure a lot of people drop out and I will agree that the retention rate for women is lower. But this guy should have at least one woman ranked higher than 5th kyu. Of course this in and of itself if not a proving factor but in inclusion of all the other examples that happened in this dojo, it is rather revealing.

Anne Marie

giriasis
05-30-2001, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by [Censored]


Make no mistake, I don't *want* to define it that way, I am only acknowledging the reality of the situation. It is impractical, if you are trying to codify relationships and implement policies a la Confucius, but it is still true.

I generally dislike metaphors, but try this one on: I am the chief structural engineer at Boeing. For the sake of expediency, I have implemented a "pi = 3.10" policy. Do you dare to fly in my 747? :)


But you are choosing to define it that way based on the facts and circumstances of life. To you it is "truth", but "truth" is only relative to what you know. Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Einstien all changed what was once proved as "true." So is the world still flat? From a certain point of view it still may be. ;)

It is not impractical, codes of conduct are written all the time in all fields of life. It's not that difficult at all. Words in the law are defined in certain ways to make it more equitable to implement the rule. Very ofter the popular understanding of a word is different in law, and for policy makers.

If I tried to write a code of conduct based on your idea of what a teacher is, it would fly as well as you 747 implemented at a "pi = 3.10" policy.

What would result with your defintion is just what I said, you would date no one. Doesn't fly. Philosophically it does and that is where that definition should be used, not in law making. In law, we can make 1 + 1 = 3 or 4 or 5 or 6. We would even take is as a truth, based on case law and legal analysis. Because case law would say that the second number 1 actually is the number 2 in Scenario A. It is a number 3 in Scenario B. It is a number 4 in Scenario C. and it is a number 5 in Scenario D. (most lawyers were never good at math so this makes sense. )But to the structural engineer this would be absurd, and it would not work and your 747 would never fly.

Anne Marie

[Censored]
05-30-2001, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by giriasis

What would result with your defintion is just what I said, you would date no one. Doesn't fly. Philosophically it does and that is where that definition should be used, not in law making. In law, we can make 1 + 1 = 3 or 4 or 5 or 6. We would even take is as a truth, based on case law and legal analysis. Because case law would say that the second number 1 actually is the number 2 in Scenario A. It is a number 3 in Scenario B. It is a number 4 in Scenario C. and it is a number 5 in Scenario D. (most lawyers were never good at math so this makes sense. )But to the structural engineer this would be absurd, and it would not work and your 747 would never fly.

Anne Marie

There is no philosophy. I am the engineer and the product. And we should both agree, as did Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, that 3.1 is only close enough for government work. ;)

kswinter
05-30-2001, 10:11 PM
RE: Instructors dating students: I just have to say no, no, no. The dojo is a place for Aikido practice, not a cruise bar! It is not fair to students to have to deal with an added love element. I may just be a scrinchy old lady, but pleeaase- there are so many other places to meet people- the park, grocery, church, etc, etc.

Practically speaking- if a date goes belly up- (say the student was much cuter in a gi than in regular clothes), usually it is the student that leaves the school, not the instructor. Its hard to keep students.
Instructors dating students- its a bad dynamic all the way around.

Karen Winter

Jim23
05-31-2001, 04:42 PM
This is a strange thread and I don't understand the mass debate here.

If the dating is a one-time thing and they live happily ever after, fine. If it's a smorgasbord for a hungry sensi, then it's wrong! Period. Who would disagree with that?

Shut up and train (thanks Greg ;)).

Jim23

mj
05-31-2001, 05:13 PM
:(
Hi, I read the first few threads when they were posted, and just read the last few just now, so if I repeat what anyone has said I apologise.
Instructors dating students is a BAD thing.
This is only my opinion.
1. It can be (can be!) an abuse of power
2. In most cases it is. (From what I've seen)
3. Anything that distracts from pure training is bad.
4. Many students are looking for protection...

As I said, I've read hardly any of these posts. I have seen these situations though.
I would add that I admit I have made a dangerous generalisation, though. Just my opinion.
So I don't agree with it, that's all.
(Keeping it brief...)

Jim23
05-31-2001, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by mj

Instructors dating students is a BAD thing.

I would add that I admit I have made a dangerous generalisation, though.
mj,

I agree with your opinion here, even though you know how I feel about general statements.

Jim23
__________________
Remember, all generalizations are false

mj
06-01-2001, 12:11 PM
:D
I know for a fact that everyone in the world feels exactly the same about general statements.

Unregistered
06-02-2001, 03:22 PM
What if your sensei is a wonderful woman? We have been dating for two years and I love her very much. We go through trials and tribulations like other couples but we are still together. I've had no regrets about it. I'm proud to have gotten my shodan under her. Even though she is my girlfriend, she was my sensei first and still is.

Love and Harmony to you all

Aikikris
06-02-2001, 03:23 PM
What if your sensei is a wonderful woman? We have been dating for two years and I love her very much. We go through trials and tribulations like other couples but we are still together. I've had no regrets about it. I'm proud to have gotten my shodan under her. Even though she is my girlfriend, she was my sensei first and still is.

Love and Harmony to you all

darin
06-03-2001, 09:33 PM
I think if the Sensei owns the school then he can do what he wants (within reason of course). But if the school is owned by someone else then the sensei must take some responsiblity for his actions. I don't think this is restricted to dating. This can also be applied to teachers doing business with or borrowing money etc from students.

For most of us, aikido is a social activity. Its an opportunity for many to meet new people and make friends.

Richard Harnack
06-04-2001, 09:32 PM
As I scanned through the many posts several general themes seemed to emerge.

1. In some, the theme was "this is the martial arts and the ma are about 'power', thus students should learn to acquire their own power". Unfortunately, to me this sounds like the rationalization of predators, be they sexual or otherwise.

Aikido is about the proper use of your "power" (KI) to defend yourself and keep yourself safe. To do anything else is a misuse of KI.

2. In others, one or two of the women posting were told to "calm down" (actually I believe one person said "reread...when you have calmed down"). Why would someone who has been either directly sexually harassed or assaulted or who had witnessed the same suddenly need to "calm down". I have three daughters by marriage. Though I am a "step father" ( a term I hate), all three of my adult daughters mean a great deal to me. If any of them experienced what was detailed above in some of the dojos, I would not expect them or ask them to calm down. In fact one was being harrassed on her job by her "superior" (a very loose use of the word). This jerk's behavior initially caused her a great deal of self doubt as to her thinking she had done something to "invite" it. When her mother told me about it I spoke with her and told her that even if she had "invited it" (by the way she dressed or batted her eyelashes, etc.)it was his reposibility as her superior to NOT ACCEPT the "invitation". As it was, the guy was a jerk, my daughter had done nothing to "invite" his attention outside of being female, and she filed a sexual harrassment complaint to his superiors. He was "laterally transferred" to another department where there were no females, also where he would never advance.

Aikido teaches us to keep our calmness in ourselves. My first Sensei, Ace Atkinson, once said that when he was upset, he would go to his One Point. If his upset disappeared and he calmed down, he knew that he wasn't really upset. However, if he went to his One Point and remained angry/upset, then he really was and needed to take action. Being peaceful does not mean allowing the world to run over you.

As to any "Sensei" dating a student. If they are both the same approximate age and meet outside the dojo and are respectful of each other, then "possibly" it is okay. Otherwise the "Sensei" is on an ego trip and their ticket needs to be cancelled.

Sorry, but as someone who made that particular mistake early in my career, I learned a very hard lesson which I care never to repeat, and strongly encourage those "Sensei" out there who think it is "okay" to truly examine their motives. If you even dimmly suspect you may be doing it because of your ego, then stop. You will ultimately lose your student's respect, then you will lose students (and that is your responsibility, not their "lack of loyalty"), and ultimately, if you have a shred of decency, you will lose your self-respect.

REK
06-05-2001, 07:00 AM
Richard: you have hit on exactly the problem. You suggest that if anyone has even the hint that "ego" is involved, to retreat. These people don't believe they are doing anything wrong, so this flash of insight does not occur. So even if they read this thread, they would not see themselves reflected in its details. That is the truly sad part. In private practice I treat physicians who have crossed this boundary. I assure you, some of them never come to understand it, even though it has meant the loss of their license to practice medicine.

Other posters feel strongly about not allowing yourself to be a victim. Good. Don't be a vicitm, if you can tell that you are about to become one. Where, then, does the predator's responsibility lie?

Unregistered
06-05-2001, 07:07 PM
1. In some, the theme was "this is the martial arts and the ma are about 'power', thus students should learn to acquire their own power". Unfortunately, to me this sounds like the rationalization of predators, be they sexual or otherwise. Aikido is about the proper use of your "power" (KI) to defend yourself and keep yourself safe. To do anything else is a misuse of KI.

If you think I am rationalizing predatory behavior, you are severely mistaken. Chasing an unwilling student is obviously inappropriate, but an initial proposition is not predatory behavior.

Power does not equal Ki, but let's argue about that later. ;)

As to any "Sensei" dating a student. If they are both the same approximate age and meet outside the dojo and are respectful of each other, then "possibly" it is okay. Otherwise the "Sensei" is on an ego trip and their ticket needs to be cancelled.

Why is that "possibly okay"? If some crazy student worships their teacher and can't manage to say no inside of the school, why should their attitude change outside of the school? Does the teacher's ability magically depart once he or she leaves the sacred confines of the dojo?

And why are you bringing age into this discussion?

Richard Harnack
06-05-2001, 11:22 PM
REK,I see by your post that you work with the one group who are perhaps more egotistical than even self-serving politicians. :)

Yes, I am aware that those who read this thread who are somehow convinced of their infallibility, will not understand it one bit. However, I do not necessarily chalk that up to their being "Sensei". I am more likely to think that such people pursue positions of authority and perceived power because they are already convinced they are infallible.

As to my comment about if both the Sensei and the student being the same age and respectful, etc. I said "possibly" this might be okay simply because the Sensei-Student phenomenon may not be any different from the Summer Camp Romance phenomenon. Sometimes relationships are defined by a particular context. Once that context is changed, the relationship may not survive. Two people have to have other interests in one another besides their love of nikkyo. Thus, even when there are some more commonalties between the people involved beyond Aikido, it still may not be proper for them to have a relationship because their interest in one another is of a limited sort.

Of course, if the Sensei is just another sexual predator, then I doubt they have any inkling what a relationship is.

KI is a particular type of power, just as is electricity, light, wind, breathing, etc. With the development of power, strength, ability comes a concomittant duty to exercise such properly and responsibly.

REK, I do not accept that just because a person may seem to be a "victim personality" that soemhow the predator is absolved of behaving responsibly. I know this is not what you probably meant, however, a predator will automatically read it as a justification for being a predator. I am talking about human beings with some level of rationality, not lions and lambs.

From my perspective, at no point should a Sensei get involved with their students in an intimate manner. I also recognize that we sometimes meet people in Aikido with whom we resonate profoundly. However, such resonance is infrequent and if true will allow for the development of a healthy relationship over a period of time. But this is different from jumping into the sack with a student because the "Sensei" wants to.

REK, I realize that I have addressed both your post and "Unregistered". By no means have I confuse yours with theirs.

REK
06-06-2001, 09:39 AM
REK,I see by your post that you work with the one group who are perhaps more egotistical than even self-serving politicians. :)

You'll understand if I don't respond directly to that :D

Yes, I am aware that those who read this thread who are somehow convinced of their infallibility, will not understand it one bit. However, I do not necessarily chalk that up to their being "Sensei".

Agreed. Positions of power/authority, by definition, attract a certain type. (But not just one type....)


REK, I do not accept that just because a person may seem to be a "victim personality" that soemhow the predator is absolved of behaving responsibly. I know this is not what you probably meant, however, a predator will automatically read it as a justification for being a predator. I am talking about human beings with some level of rationality, not lions and lambs.

It is not what I meant. Congruent with your statement, I hold that a victim's possession of a "victim personality" IS used as justification by most predators. This is the nature of psychopathy and antisocial mental templates, be they owned by sensei, physician, police officer, professor, spiritual guide, etc.

Thanks for the feedback, Richard.

Rob

Richard Harnack
06-06-2001, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by REK
[B]REK,I see by your post that you work with the one group who are perhaps more egotistical than even self-serving politicians. :)

You'll understand if I don't respond directly to that :D

Gee, Rob, why not? :)

Thea Sand
06-08-2001, 07:54 PM
Our Sensei has been dating the same student ( after she joined the dojo) for several years. The problem lies in the fact that she is extremely insecure and is quite certain that people are talking about her all of the time.
Like we don;t have a job, life, kids or any thing else to discuss...... ;) When she has personal issues with other students, she runs to Sensei and the other student finds him(or her)self hauled into his office for a brutal two hour "discussion" about "peer etiquette". This generates conversation
amongst the students, Sensei is confirmed in the fact that we are "gossiping" about her and another witchhunt begins.
Malcontents can leave or be fired. Does dating students flip out
Sensei's that much? He has made it very clear that she outranks all yudansha in the dojo.:(
Quite frankly, we're not sure what to do. Do we leave or try to discuss this behavior? He has been unwilling to listen to other views up to this point.

mj
06-09-2001, 05:18 AM
Thea, try and get the students to get them to marry. Your troubles will end. ;)
Seriously, watch yourself after posting this on the web. It may not be taken well. On the other hand I might be wrong.
Peace.

Unregistered
06-09-2001, 12:43 PM
I'm quite sure that caution is required. ;) It's too bad because
we all really care about him ( and her, too) but the pressure in the dojo has become quite unbearable. I feel sorry for her -
being Senseis girlfriend must put one in a delicate situation
just by the nature of the thing.

Unregistered
06-09-2001, 01:47 PM
You all pay to be there?

Leave the damn dojo. Everyone. Today.

You're there to train, not to be involved in a soap opera.

Unregistered
06-09-2001, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by Thea Sand
Snipped!


There are at least 20 dojos in the East Bay with many different styles of Aikido represented. It shouldn't take long to find a new dojo.

It's not worth it.

mj
06-09-2001, 03:12 PM
I'm sure most here will agree, it's very hard to leave a club once you've been there a while. However, I've had to do it, and it IS relatively painless once you've done it.
Students deserve at least as much respect as Sensei...
Or if you don't want to leave, a few frank words may clear the air. (Or make you have to leave anyway :cool:) This sounds too much like ego influencing the dojo.
Again, good luck. Just don't accept the status quo

Unregistered
06-09-2001, 04:43 PM
When she has personal issues with other students, she runs to Sensei and the other student finds him(or her)self hauled into his office for a brutal two hour "discussion" about "peer etiquette"

During my stint as "teacher's pet" at the dojo I have been discussing, i made the mistake of relating some comment one of the other students had made (about something that happened at a seminar) to the sensei, because i thought he would find it amusing. instead, he said "XX shouldn't say things like that" and dragged XX in for, you guessed it, a one hour lecture on the inappropriateness of gossiping in the dojo. I was horrified. Several months later when I relayed another thing someone else said, sensei got all bent out of shape and told me that he was going to have a word with that student. By this time I was no longer teachers pet and told this student someone might want to have a word with you. This student never did get a talking to, but his attitude was "ha! let him talk to me". It may be possible that the sensei's girlfriend is not seeking this result, on the other hand, she may be enjoying her priviledged position. The effect it had on me, perhaps a deliberate effect, was isolation from the other students. Not cool.

Unregistered
06-09-2001, 05:22 PM
Yes, thankfully we have many wonderful dojos to choose from in our location. It is still painful however much a soap opera
it may be. There are many hours invested in a community ( and Sensei) that we still care deeply about. <sigh>

mj
06-09-2001, 05:33 PM
I understand... it's a damn shame :mad:

Richard Harnack
06-13-2001, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Thea Sand
Our Sensei has been dating the same student ( after she joined the dojo) for several years. ....When she has personal issues with other students, she runs to Sensei and the other student finds him(or her)self hauled into his office for a brutal two hour "discussion" about "peer etiquette". ....He has made it very clear that she outranks all yudansha in the dojo.:(
Quite frankly, we're not sure what to do. Do we leave or try to discuss this behavior? He has been unwilling to listen to other views up to this point.

Thea-
A couple things here.
1. Your Sensei's responsibility is to the whole dojo.
2. Her running to him with her difficulties, while natural enough from one context, is definitely inappropriate in this context. She should be confronting the people in the dojo directly.
3. His bringing people into his office for a discussion on peer etiquette because of her problems is flat out wrong and is obviously "poisoning the well" in the dojo.
4. It is up to all of the yudansha to live up to their rank by confronting Sensei directly. This is never easy and requires that all of the yudansha be in agreement as to what the issues are and how they would like them resolved. Simply blaming the girl friend will not accomplish anything.
5. Does she really out rank everybody, or is this your Sensei's way of indicating she is more precious to him than the rest of you?

This is yet another case where Senseis dating students is not a good idea.

Unregistered
06-15-2001, 12:30 PM
If you have paid for training, stay there until next time to pay, then find another dojo to train in. I've seen this before and it will only get worse before it gets any better. This is pure BS. I suggest you leave AND let the sensei know why you are leaving. Also, don't drag other members into it. Make your actions your own......

Good luck!

Unregistered
06-15-2001, 04:47 PM
Thank you all for your support. We have written a letter stating our issues to Sensei. We were very careful not to be accusitory or negative toward Sensei in any way, but we will not be returning. The atmosphere in the dojo is becoming more an more difficult to deal with. The GF is an Ikkyu and has trained
( at the same dojo) for about three years.

What is the general feeling about Sensei testing the GF (boyfriend or spouse) ? Should they be tested outside of the dojo
by an impartial party? Do former GF's feel that their rank held the same weight when their training situation changed?

It must be a lonely place.

Richard Harnack
06-15-2001, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Unregistered
...We have written a letter stating our issues to Sensei. We were very careful not to be accusitory or negative toward Sensei in any way, but we will not be returning. The atmosphere in the dojo is becoming more an more difficult to deal with. The GF is an Ikkyu and has trained at the same dojo) for about three years.

What is the general feeling about Sensei testing the GF (boyfriend or spouse) ? Should they be tested outside of the dojo
by an impartial party? Do former GF's feel that their rank held the same weight when their training situation changed?


1. Unless you cannot stand it anymore, even then, you "owe" the Sensei your presence. This will be important after he receives the letter as it will take away his knee jerk excuse that your letter represented a "hit and run". Put the onus on him to take responsibility, just as you have taken yours.

2. The fact the girlfriend is an Ikkyu and is perceived to hold "higher rank" than the yudansha, will remain a problem as long as the Sensei refuses to listen to anyone else.

3. Should Senseis promote their loved ones? Yes, up to Ikkyu. For Shodan and above it is always best to have other high ranks from the organization to conduct and supervise the exams. It will become immediately apparent in such a circumstance whether the Sensei's prior promotions of the loved one were deserved. This is only fair to the loved one's long term involvement in Aikido, regardless if they remain with "Sensei" or not.

mj
06-16-2001, 07:06 AM
I agree with your actions, studied and mature.
It might have been good to stick around for a week or so though, things like this can show what people (Sensei) are Really like. ;)

Jim ashby
06-16-2001, 12:14 PM
They owe their Sensei nothing if his brain is below his belt. Find another club.
Have fun.

Anonanon
06-20-2001, 11:48 AM
What is the general feeling about Sensei testing the GF (boyfriend or spouse)? Should they be tested outside of the dojo
by an impartial party? Do former GF's feel that their rank held the same weight when their training situation changed?

My old sensei tested his (then) wife for nidan, but I doubt he cut her any slack, because for him it would probably be important that who he was with actually be good at aikido! Depends on the personality of the sensei?

As for changing dojos, where I am now, most people start a few ranks below where they were before, but can progress pretty quickly back up, and for me it will probably be no different. People tell me my technique is solid, but there are some stylistic differences to get used to.

Regarding my old sensei, there's this rumor going around that he sold the dojo to his current girlfriend (who started off as and still is his student), and that she is taking out loans of some sort for him. Ok, so they're serious (if the rumor is true). Maybe they'll even get married. But how does that play out for the senior students? How do people feel about paying your fees to someone who was definitely considered a beginner (6th kyu) until they got involved with the teacher? Would you care? Not care? Probably most people there don't know/haven't heard.

mj
06-20-2001, 12:15 PM
Yeah, well.... they probably know after THAT post :eek: hehe

guest1234
06-20-2001, 04:13 PM
I don't look at my dojo fees as paying anyone to teach me, my sensei's teaching is not for sale, i believe. I pay fees so the lights stay on, the roof gets fixed, and toilet paper is replaced on a fairly regular basis. Who takes in the fees and pays the bills matters not to me, one dojo i belonged to it was all handled by the wife who didn't do Aikido at all (what, pay someone who didn't even DO Aikido???)---a much better choice than our sensei, by the way, whose Aikido was fantastic but whose wife had the mind for the books.
That may be the case with your sensei, or he may need the money after the divorce, she may have needed an investment, etc. Would you care if he sold it to a different person who was looking for an investment but did not do Aikido? How about a male kyu student? Why does it matter to you? For a martial art that teaches introspection, we sure seem to spend a lot of time on other's private lives.

Anonanon
06-20-2001, 06:05 PM
Would you care if he sold it to a different person who was looking for an investment but did not do Aikido? How about a male kyu student?

The idea of selling the dojo to a male kyu student seems equally problematic. Don't think I'd care much about an "investor" who did not practice aikido, or didn't practice in that dojo. Husbands and wives generally have joint finances anyways. I'm not sure I care that much, since I don't practice there anymore, but other threads have been running along the conflict-of-interest vein, was kindof going with that. This could start a debate about what your fees are for,teaching or facilities! Is it volunteer work?

JJF
06-21-2001, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by ca
I don't look at my dojo fees as paying anyone to teach me, my sensei's teaching is not for sale, i believe. I pay fees so the lights stay on, the roof gets fixed, and toilet paper is replaced on a fairly regular basis.
Colleen! Just wanted to say. GREAT POST! Let's cut through all the garbage picking and do some practicing. :)
As for Anonanon: You said something very true as well: Depends on the personality of the sensei? I think all of these matters on the bottom line comes down to the personality of the sensei. I have a sempai who's dating one of his students, but they seem to get along fine, and I have NEVER seen any favourism on that account. One of my Senseis once dated a student as well. I think they got married and had a couple of kids - then split up for other reasons than Aikido, but as long as they can handle it as adult people then I have no problem with that. If something should happen that disturbed the harmoni of our dojo, then I really hope that the sensei and the bord of the dojo would handle the problem. Of course our situation is different from a lot of dojo's around the world since nobody owns the dojo and nobody get paid to teach. It's a non-profit organisation so everybody has the right to utter their opinion, but hey! that's a completely different story..... ;)
Guess I better get back to working.
See you!