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Frank
12-27-2005, 11:38 AM
I understand that this may rehash some prior topics that I read here but I think it may be just different enough to repost. Not to mention that its a real problem that I am going through as I type this. I have been studying for over three years at a wonderful dojo. It is as much a second home with family as a dojo. Very much family/church oriented. It is a Aikido school. The owner/Master is very high in ranking and very much respected. Circumstances have lead me to witness intimacy between a lower rank female and the Master. They are both married. I know the woman and she is indeed in a bad marriage and extremely vulnerable. I am very conflicted by the whole thing and would like suggestions as to how to handle this. Its all very un-Aiki, especially since the circumstance was actually in the dojo itself. Help, please.

Jim Sorrentino
12-27-2005, 01:48 PM
Frank,

I suggest that you talk with your instructor privately. Tell him that you saw him with the student, and that this makes you uncomfortable.

Depending on your relationship with the student, you might want to talk with her as well.

Good luck with this difficult situation.

Jim Sorrentino

Neil Mick
12-27-2005, 03:16 PM
Circumstances have lead me to witness intimacy between a lower rank female and the Master. They are both married. I know the woman and she is indeed in a bad marriage and extremely vulnerable. I am very conflicted by the whole thing and would like suggestions as to how to handle this.

Well, respectfully: I disagree with Jim (please don't hurt me, Jim ;) ).

Certainly, it is a difficult situation. There is much potential for abuse in an extra-marital relationship btw Sensei and student. And yes: I would personally call the Sensei's behavior irresponsible (definitely, outside the bounds of good etiquette, in many dojo's).

Its all very un-Aiki

But "un-Aiki?" I have always been troubled by that term. And I think that while there is a good chance that your Sensei could be abusing his position: I would tread carefully, in casting about such labels or throwing my weight into situations where my opinions are unwanted, or unhelpful.

If you're the friend of the woman: I might talk it out with her; but IMO, tread carefully when broaching private matters with Sensei.

Aiki LV
12-27-2005, 03:22 PM
I can see why this would make you uncomfortable. :freaky: This would be a hard situation to be in. If I was in your shoes I'd stay out of it. You probably don't want to be dragged into all of this. If they are so obvious about their "relationship" for one person to find out chances are others know too. Eventually one of their spouses is going to catch them or hear about what is going on through the grape vine. Either way it is their business let them deal with it. I can understand that this might be hard to do based upon the circumstances involved. No one likes to see anyone taken advantage of or for that matter, to stand by why something you feel is less than proper is going on. As far as I can tell this is not any of your business unless you are one of the parties involved or one of their spouses. I'm sure eventually things will get resolved one way or another, hopefully sooner rather than later. Good Luck to you.

Lan Powers
12-27-2005, 04:28 PM
Personal relationships complicate EVERYTHING.
I would have to agree with Mindy..... at least, from what information you have posted here.
respectfully
Lan

Jim Sorrentino
12-27-2005, 05:34 PM
I made my suggestion based on Frank's statement that he observed the behavior in the dojo. If the instructor and the student are adults and want to have an affair, that's their business. If they use the dojo to facilitate the affair, then it becomes dojo business.

And note that I advised Frank to speak with his teacher privately, and to speak with the other student only if he had some kind of already-existing relationship with her.

And I agree with you, Neil: throwing around terms like "un-aiki" is not helpful.

Jim

Frank
12-27-2005, 08:47 PM
I would like to thank you all for your input. I will think on this for a bit longer to determine the best approach for all involved. I do indeed know the woman as a very close friend with whom I have been a shoulder to cry on and a confidant to talk with about how to try and get her marriage back on track. It is for this reason that I know how vulnerable she is. There very well could be more to the story so I will tread lightly.
Neil, I understand what you are saying. It’s his dojo, his business to run how he feels. But, on the other hand when you open a school that parents bring their children in to learn proper living you have to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Not to mention adults who might go out and open schools of their own following the Masters lead. My definition of Aiki would be harmony within and/or united in spirit. Would you not agree that this is creating an atmosphere of non-harmony? I am indeed trying to speak with her but she is avoiding me, go figure. I will indeed think very carefully about speaking with Sensei if and when I do.
Thank you Mindy, it is a mess indeed. Unfortunately, I am in the middle of it and I do not want others to find out for sake of the dojo. It affects my training and my training of the lower belts.

Thank you all again,

Frank

PS I have only been doing Aikido for just over 3 years…..did I hit some chord with the “un-Aiki” comment??

crbateman
12-27-2005, 11:01 PM
Just my opinion, of course, but I think that the chances are great that you will be sorry on some or many levels if you interject yourself into this. They are both adults, and responsible for their own actions and judgment, regardless of how ill-advised. Your involvement will only make it worse, and you stand very little to gain. If you fail to see the logic in this suggestion, then it may indicate that you have already decided to involve yourself, and are looking here for validation. Can't give it to you, sorry.

Neil Mick
12-28-2005, 02:45 AM
OK, whoah. I was all nodding along and humming and hemming at various points in this thread until I hit upon this line:

I am indeed trying to speak with her but she is avoiding me, go figure. I will indeed think very carefully about speaking with Sensei if and when I do.

OK, I know nothing of your situation. But, here's my take on it:

Jim is right:

If the instructor and the student are adults and want to have an affair, that's their business. If they use the dojo to facilitate the affair, then it becomes dojo business.

I might also add: if you're trying to speak with her but she's avoiding you, that's YOUR business. I do not know your situation other than what you've offered, but I would back away from any entanglement involving you, your Sensei, and/or the woman in question.

Just as a general rule: you don't want to make other people's business, your business...it's the makings for bad blood.

Now, if your Sensei is using the dojo as some sort of meeting-point, then yes: a talk with Sensei IS in order.

But if you saw them commit an indiscretion ONCE, well...! That's a little different.

To me, the question arises in often, how obvious, and to what degree is Sensei being indiscreet.

It affects my training and my training of the lower belts

But, how? That's what I don't get.


PS I have only been doing Aikido for just over 3 years…..did I hit some chord with the "un-Aiki" comment??

It is a term often misused to criticize all sorts of behaviours or actions. Just do a search of "un-aiki" in the aikiweb fora, to get a sense of what I mean.

fffffff
12-28-2005, 05:19 AM
Sorry,

I´d say: Mind you own stuff !
Even if the decided to have or stumbeled into an affair, this is their private business.
Unless their husband or wife does train at the dojo as well, there should be no effect on the dojo, appart from people gossiping. (Like you, even if it wasn´t your intention !)

Mary Eastland
12-28-2005, 07:22 AM
I think the name of this thread is wrong. There can only be power abuse if you give your power away. You are an adult and so are they. Women are not any weaker than men and don't need to be protected. I don't think what they do is any of your business. If you don't like it train somewhere else.
Mary

Kevin Leavitt
12-28-2005, 08:19 AM
I think the crux of the matter is that a dojo to many is more than just a place to practice aikido. By it's nature, most aikido dojo's are heavily based on the philosophy of aikido, which along with that comes a set of values and norms.

The problem arises when we see behavior that is contrary to the shared norms/values of the dojo. While people are free to behave and act as the want to, when it crosses into the dojo and becomes "uncomfortable" for even one member of the dojo, then the community as a whole has a conflict that must be resolved somehow.

I think most of us would like to think that the problem was not from the leadership of the dojo. When this happens, well, you can have severe problems in morale! It can divide a dojo and cause people to leave or to split into various "camps".

So this, IMHO, becomes "un-aiki".

This is why I favor dojo environments where there is a governing body or board and not a single "figurehead" or "owner". The board can serve to "vote" the person off the island or to admonish them if necessary.

I have no advice for the individual as each situation is unique. THere are many Courses of actions.

1. Leave dojo, start or find a new one.
2. Stay and accept behavior of the "owner"/sensei. (suck it up and drive on hope that time fixes things the right way).
3. Approach him/her and discuss and attempt to mediate to resolve the issue.

Frank
12-28-2005, 09:15 AM
I think the name of this thread is wrong. There can only be power abuse if you give your power away. You are an adult and so are they. Women are not any weaker than men and don't need to be protected. I don't think what they do is any of your business. If you don't like it train somewhere else.
Mary

wow

Mary, with respect to your rank, if you can not see the abuse of power here I don't know what to say. It would not matter if it was a high level female in the power position it would still be very wrong. Martial Arts to me is not just training, the dojo is my home the people there are part of my family it is a way of life that I would miss very much. I guess some dojos are not like that, which makes even more a reason to find a good resolution and stay.

Kevin, thank you, I am beginning to wonder if I need to just "suck it up" and let it work itself out. Still not real sure what to do but this thread and the people on it have been very helpfull.

SeiserL
12-28-2005, 09:25 AM
It affects my training and my training of the lower belts.
IMHO, while I personally would disapprove of the behavior, your reason for being there is to learn Aikido. Get out of your head about what you think other people should do with their lives and get you head and body back to training. If it distracts you too much, find another place to train.

Jorge Garcia
12-28-2005, 09:54 AM
I think there are several different issue in play here.
1) One is the issue of Boundaries. In a sense, the dojo belongs to everyone. It is a shared place. What affects one affects all, even the people that don't know about the incident because it occurred in the dojo and particularly because it occurred between the instructor and a student. If a ship at sea sinks, it will affect all on board. Those that are awake, asleep, the captain and the employees. They are in a shared place and what affects one will affect all. If a restaurant is filled with cigarette smoke, everyone in there is going to breathe it and be affected by it although those that smoke all the time will have the greater effects on their bodies.
2) There is the issue of responsibility. The instructor and the student involve have responsibilities to themselves, each other and to the dojo members. The effects of their failure or moral relativity will affect them the most but there will be an effect on everyone else like the rings of water moving outward in a pond as others become aware of it. Even the person that saw it now has become involved by seeing it and has certain responsibilities to them self, and to the others whom this might affect. If the parties are married, these responsibilities become more telling and burdensome and the decisions involved become more difficult because a severe moral failure and betrayal is occurring right before your eyes. I was in a dojo once where the Sensei was cheating on his wife for years but we didn't know it for sure or first hand. We asked him and he said "no", so we believed him but his wife frequently came to the dojo and she was friendly to us, as we were to her. There were a few of us who were closer to the Sensei and after she found out what was going on, I am sure she came to the belief that we all knew and covered up for him. I had great respect for her and it hurt me a lot for her to think that I had a part in what that affair did to her family.

I would say that in the case of the issue of Boundaries, what they are doing is their business but they are doing it in the dojo and you have now seen it. I think you have a moral responsibility to tell both of them that you saw what you saw, that you want no part or involvement in the matter, that you wish you hadn't seen it but since that happened, you are compelled to let them know that it disturbed you and that they need to consider the ramifications of bringing that into the dojo. There are issues of an improper power relationship and inappropriate activity in the dojo. A psychiatrist shouldn't have a relationship with a patient nor a priest with a parishioner. Ask the responsible people and leaders of Aikido on this board if it is appropriate for a Sensei who is married to have an affair with a married student within his own dojo? Yes, It's his business what he does out there and he is responsible for himself but when he does it in the dojo, he has a responsibility to the members as well. I don't think that would be acceptable to the public if he put that as advertising on his brochures. We all know that the public doesn't expect that would be a good thing within your dojo.

If the dojo is a part of a larger organization, I would say you have a responsibility to tell the Shihan or President of the Association what you saw and then let him do what he wants. At that point, you are out of it.
You are all students of the same group and all have a responsibility to the same standards. If the dojo is independent or privately owned, then you have done all you can do.

Regarding responsibilities, you have one to yourself. Do want a Sensei that can't keep his business and his pleasure separate? Do you want a Sensei that breaks his marriage vows? Do you want a Sensei that gets involved in that kind of boundary crossing in the dojo and an improper relationship in the dojo? Those issues have now become your issues. If I were you, I would be looking for a new dojo.

You are not a moral police officer or a judge but you do have responsibilities and decisions to make for yourself. I agree that you should not cross boundaries yourself and get involved in their business and affair but that doesn't mean you don't have some responsibilities now to yourself and to your classmates. It's not your job to tell the others but you know something they don't know and you are responsible for what you know.

Kevin Leavitt is right when he said,
"I think the crux of the matter is that a dojo to many is more than just a place to practice aikido. By it's nature, most aikido dojo's are heavily based on the philosophy of aikido, which along with that comes a set of values and norms.
The problem arises when we see behavior that is contrary to the shared norms/values of the dojo. While people are free to behave and act as the want to, when it crosses into the dojo and becomes "uncomfortable" for even one member of the dojo, then the community as a whole has a conflict that must be resolved somehow.
I think most of us would like to think that the problem was not from the leadership of the dojo. When this happens, well, you can have severe problems in morale! It can divide a dojo and cause people to leave or to split into various "camps"."

Best wishes,

Ed Shockley
12-28-2005, 11:44 AM
I am sure that it is a misuse of language but I utilize Sensei as someone who is a competent teacher of Aikido while Shidoin is someone who models the principles of the art. It's just a way to separate the ideas in my head. If I attend a dojo to learn the movement art and budo of Aikido then a gifted Sensei is enough. If I embrace the training as a life path then I am best served by a Shidoin. There is no right or wrong in this just a reflection of two possible attitudes toward my needs in a dojo. Based on this I can decide where I want to train and what behavior I require from an instructor. What I wouldn't want to do is project my choice onto another. Whatever I choose is about my needs not their behavior. Obviously it changes if someone is abusing another person as in kids class or torturing on the mat because of domestic disagreements but empowered adults have the right to make choices, even wrong ones. I am responsible only for myself and for defending the weak. So the question is, based on the definition above, "Do you require a Sensei or a Shidoin?"

Michael Hackett
12-28-2005, 12:50 PM
Often we observe things without truly understanding the context of what we saw. I have no idea of what "Frank" saw and interpreted as intimacy and it could have been something that was totally innocent. It could have been somethng more.

These apparently are two rational adults who are responsible for their own actions and the fall-out. Frank has no duty in the matter and should mind his own business. Obviously, at least in my opinion, he shouldn't lie for them or cover for them IF something inappropriate is going on, but otherwise he should give them the benefit of the doubt and put his efforts into his own training and the example he wants to personally set on and off the mat.

If that is too uncomfortable for Frank, he should consider training elsewhere.

aikidoc
12-28-2005, 01:30 PM
Ahhh, the complexities of abuse of power. I have many observations none of which make me comfortable.

I do disagree that he should mind his own business. By bringing it into the dojo and getting caught the instructor and student have made it the business of others. Even if we assume this is a consensual relationship, it is very complicated as it could not only destroy the dojo but the families involved as well. It has definitely upset the delicate balance of relationships within the dojo family. I get the impression the sensei and student are aware of Frank's catching them.

To me, this was a stupid move on both their parts. Strong words but I find it down right dumb. If you are going to misbehave, at least have enough common sense to keep it outside the dojo-rent a motel. It sets a bad tone for the values of the dojo: lack of discipline, lack of respect, abuse of power.

Lack of discipline-if a mutual love relationship has developed then go through the proper channels. Get divorces from your respective families and then pursue your relationships.

Lack of respect-lack of respect for the art and dojo and the members of the dojo in addition to personal lack of respect for oneself.

Abuse of power-no matter how you cut it, the instructor is in a power relationship and has abused that relationship. With positions of authority come responsibilities and expectations.

Good luck on this one. If it were me, I'd talk to the instructor and the involved student privately. I'd let them know I did not appreciate their involving me in the situation whether they intended to or not. I would let them know I expect them to fix the problem. Then, most likely, unless it was my only option, I'd seek out another place to train. I don't think the relationship could ever be the same since I would have lost respect for the instructor. But that's just me. I also wonder how many others are aware of or suspect the situation.

Unregiste
12-28-2005, 02:39 PM
So much for reigi.
I have been studying for over three years at a wonderful dojo. It is as much a second home with family as a dojo. Very much family/church oriented. It is a Aikido school. The owner/Master is very high in ranking and very much respected.
Might be time to think more about why you like this place and if those reasons are really good for your training and your self or is it just comfortable and convenient. If your Master is highly ranked then they can't really give the George Costanza "was that wrong?" over his recent lookin' for love in the wrong places. Dojo is no place for empty rituals and hollow men.

Sounds like Frank has some good opportunities.

MaryKaye
12-28-2005, 03:52 PM
Something that I would certainly be asking myself as a female student: is this a singular event or is it part of a pattern? If it is a singular event, I would probably confine myself to, at most, making it clear that I didn't want to be a witness to this and they should not bring it to the dojo. But if there is a recurring pattern of mixing dojo business and personal business I'd be a lot more concerned.

Is the teacher just and impartial in testing and training? Does he clearly separate how he feels about a student from how he feels about a student's aikido?

Mary Kaye

Neil Mick
12-28-2005, 11:04 PM
OK, here's one for all you moral purists:

Relationships are complicated enough. Some of you seem to make the assumption that this Sensei committed some great evil, practically fornicating on the mat.

Herein lies the fallacy of empathizing overmuch with the narrator. "Frank" has presented us with a
story, if you will...a story in which he saw an "intimacy." On this little information alone, many of you assume that this is an abuse of his authority, that he should be called out on the carpet, etc, ad nauseum. Tsk.

Supposing Sensei was giving her a friendly hug, that went on for a wee-bit too long? You don't really know, the degree of the intimacy, do you? Yet, some of you are onboard here, talking about "abuse of power." :rolleyes:

Again, it's about how much, how obvious, and how blatant is the indiscretion.

P.S. (With all due respect to "Frank," of course. I'm not suggesting that he's making things up--just that ppl assume a lot, from so little decription offered.)

Jorge Garcia
12-29-2005, 04:42 AM
Sorry Neil, but I think a few may have taken their hint from the name of the thread," High level power abuse". Who named the thread that anyway? If the thread were named "high level indiscretion", maybe the reaction would have been different.

Michael Hackett
12-29-2005, 05:49 AM
I think Neil is spot on. The thread title was apparently written by "Frank" and represents his perception of what took place. His description of what was happening is lacking to form much judgement and the background of the situation is similarly missing. This could have been a horrible case of a person in power taking advantage of a weaker individual, but from what "Frank" said, we can't tell. It could just as easily have been a brotherly and supportive hug and the horror of the situation is "Frank's" overreaction. Unless "Frank" clearly knows what is going on, he should keep his own counsel, and unless it truly is a case of someone being abused, he should mind his own business. In the event that he's lost respect for the parties involved, he should dissassociate himself from them and scratch them from his Christmas card list.

Frank
12-29-2005, 07:53 AM
I think a lip lock and mirror hand to breast about covered it. Thats when I left, neither of them noticing that I was ever there.

OK, here's one for all you moral purists:

Relationships are complicated enough. Some of you seem to make the assumption that this Sensei committed some great evil, practically fornicating on the mat.

Herein lies the fallacy of empathizing overmuch with the narrator. "Frank" has presented us with a
story, if you will...a story in which he saw an "intimacy." On this little information alone, many of you assume that this is an abuse of his authority, that he should be called out on the carpet, etc, ad nauseum. Tsk.

Supposing Sensei was giving her a friendly hug, that went on for a wee-bit too long? You don't really know, the degree of the intimacy, do you? Yet, some of you are onboard here, talking about "abuse of power." :rolleyes:

Again, it's about how much, how obvious, and how blatant is the indiscretion.

P.S. (With all due respect to "Frank," of course. I'm not suggesting that he's making things up--just that ppl assume a lot, from so little decription offered.)

Mary Eastland
12-29-2005, 08:46 AM
[QUOTE=]wow

Mary, with respect to your rank, if you can not see the abuse of power here I don't know what to say. It would not matter if it was a high level female in the power position it would still be very wrong. Martial Arts to me is not just training, the dojo is my home the people there are part of my family it is a way of life that I would miss very much. I guess some dojos are not like that, which makes even more a reason to find a good resolution and stay.

Hi Frank:
I know exactly what you are talking about.

And becasue I have been around for a while I have seen a bit.

We used to belong to an organization where "power" was taken and given. I never bought into it. While I admired the Sensei's Aikido I could never really see why I should act deferential because other people did. I am training to become strong and compassionate.

I was respectful and I appreciated his Aikido. His way of being off the mat was not something I aspired to become.

Nor do I expect him to be anything other than he is....a human being. (FLawed just like we all are.)

I am also very glad that we are now an independent organization that is not interested in the illusion of giving and taking of power.

Mary

Frank
12-29-2005, 09:18 AM
Thank you Mary. I now understand where you are coming from. But, I would be willing to believe that a new person at your dojo would look upon you with almost worshiping eyes as a child would a pastor. Intended or not this is going to happen when you have experts in this kind of field. Its just going to happen. As I have done with my Master, I now know this to be a mistake. Add in personal problems outside the dojo and you have the possibility of abuse.

Frank

Hi Frank:
I know exactly what you are talking about.

And becasue I have been around for a while I have seen a bit.

We used to belong to an organization where "power" was taken and given. I never bought into it. While I admired the Sensei's Aikido I could never really see why I should act deferential because other people did. I am training to become strong and compassionate.

I was respectful and I appreciated his Aikido. His way of being off the mat was not something I aspired to become.

Nor do I expect him to be anything other than he is....a human being. (FLawed just like we all are.)

I am also very glad that we are now an independent organization that is not interested in the illusion of giving and taking of power.

Mary[/QUOTE]

Jorge Garcia
12-29-2005, 09:34 AM
Thanks Frank for giving a little more detail. I think that there will still be a division on this thread as to whether what you saw was abuse or not. It was clearly more than a "brotherly hug that went on a wee bit too long". To some, it may now depend on whether it was a one time thing or on ongoing secret thing. I know this, that if both parties are married and their spouses find out about this, even if it's a one time thing, they aren't going to be having a party for either of them afterward. The least that would happen as a repercussion is that
1) Somebody wouldn't be allowed to go to the dojo anymore.
2) A divorce would follow. (The slippery slope )
3) An ugly confrontation in the dojo from "her" husband.
4) One or both would come to their senses and back off.

Could it affect the dojo? Sure it could. Did your teacher make a mistake? He sure did. It looks to me like yours isn't the only shoulder she has cried on and maybe when she was crying on his, they crossed the line.
I would be interested in knowing where this all ends up but I would say that if it bothered you, you should at least let the instructor know it bothered you. That might at least put a stop to him- that is if he wants to stay married. If this stays secret, there is a high probability that it will continue. In either case, I would think of a new place to train. You can always do what some are saying and keep quiet and go your way but I think that may bother you more than the other choice.
Best wishes,

aikidoc
12-29-2005, 01:17 PM
Lip lock and hand to breast-more than a discretion in my mind with both being married. In the business world, a person of authority would be legally placing the company at risk with such behavior-it's called sexual harassment-even if both are consenting. There are times and places for everything. This is not an issue of being moralistic. Its an issue of respect for one's authority and position and the responsibilities accompanying that charge. Also, what are the potential liabilities if the spouses found out? If this behavior took place in the business, could the business or organization be sued for its role? What if "Frank" was not the one catching them, but rather the wife or husband? If they are careless enough for Frank to stumble upon them, perhaps they are at risk for others doing so as well.

Yes this is complicated. Yes everyone has moralistic views and opinions. However, there is potentially a lot at stake here in that this could affect two families and the credibility of a school or organization and result in legal repercussions. Take it out of the dojo is my suggestion.

can't log in...
12-29-2005, 03:11 PM
This is a very uncertain situation. IMHO, you must choose what kind of role, if any, you wish to have in this situation. You have been involved through happenstance, and if you purposefully involve yourself then you can play the role of friend and confidant - with your female friend for sure and with your Sensei if your relationship is of that level. Also, and this seems to be your concern, you may address Sensei as a member of the dojo who is concerned for the well being of the dojo.
Both people must know that their actions would be disruptive if discovered (which they have been - but to what extent?). Your Sensei may need to hear that the secret is out, and be reminded of the instability that this will bring to the dojo.
If your main concern is truly for the dojo, then ultimately all that you can do is to excel and help to make the dojo the best that it can be. Make the decision, lead by example, and don't look back. We all have our choices in life. Best of luck to you.

odudog
12-29-2005, 03:33 PM
Some of the opinions on this matter concerns me. A lot of people seem to think that Frank was thrusted into the situation just because something happened in public and he happened to see it. For all the folks that think this way, the next time you happend to hold hands, give a quick kiss, pat the person in your life on the butt, etc... in public, don't be alarmed if everyone who saw the offense starts to give you their opinion on the matter. I think that this is rubbish. People are also assuming that the sensei's wife would be upset if she finds out about what happened and would ask for a divorce or that her husband might confront the sensei on the mat. There is no facts in evidence to support these assumptions. For all you know, she might have given him permission to seek a little on the side and the friends husband might be on the one cheating and doesn't care what the lady does. You go to the dojo to train and not follow the sensei's lifestyle or take on his religion, end of story. They are adults and its their business. Keep out of it.

Mashu
12-29-2005, 04:22 PM
Yeah, you people need to lighten up. Put a lava lamp up on the Kamiza and have the mat redone with a Twister (http://www.hasbro.com/objects/products/pl/product_id.9543/dn/print.cfm) design. All yudansha should be allowed to wear love medallions (http://www.sillyjokes.co.uk/images/dress-up/acc/jewellery/male-sign-medallion.jpg) as well as hakama. It's all good.

Jorge Garcia
12-29-2005, 05:32 PM
Some of the opinions on this matter concerns me. A lot of people seem to think that Frank was thrusted into the situation just because something happened in public and he happened to see it. For all the folks that think this way, the next time you happend to hold hands, give a quick kiss, pat the person in your life on the butt, etc... in public, don't be alarmed if everyone who saw the offense starts to give you their opinion on the matter. I think that this is rubbish. People are also assuming that the sensei's wife would be upset if she finds out about what happened and would ask for a divorce or that her husband might confront the sensei on the mat. There is no facts in evidence to support these assumptions. For all you know, she might have given him permission to seek a little on the side and the friends husband might be on the one cheating and doesn't care what the lady does. You go to the dojo to train and not follow the sensei's lifestyle or take on his religion, end of story. They are adults and its their business. Keep out of it.

Thanks Mike,
While I don't agree with you, I wouldn't go so far as to call your opinion rubbish. What you expressed is a legitimate concern and is an opinion worthy of being heard and considered. I have worked in a field as a professional since 1976 counseling and helping people in this very area. I happen to know that a lot less than what I have mentioned in my post has burned down lifetime's worth of relationships. I didn't say anything lightly or without some thought and due consideration. Having said that, nothing said here is advice that should be taken to the letter or too seriously and your ideas have as much merit as mine do. "Frank" needs to place his priorities in deciding what to do with competent people he knows personally and trusts. All of us here are just respectfully talking to each other about what was presented as friends.
Best wishes,

Michael Hackett
12-30-2005, 01:04 PM
Now that Frank has fleshed out his description of what he saw, it seems that several issues may come to the front. The action for each issue depends on Frank's personal position.

If Frank's issue is that they are being indiscreet and foolish, he might want to mention to one or both that he witnessed their conduct and that they should keep private moments private.

If he is concerned that the conduct will damage the dojo, then he might consider having that conversation with his sensei.

If he is concerned that the student is being taken advantage of, he might want to discuss that very clearly with the sensei.

If Frank's issue is from a moral perspective, then he should discuss his concerns with both and perhaps leave the dojo if he doesn't like or agree with what their response is.

I once had a leadership instructor talk about mistakes and misconduct. He said there are three types of mistakes; those of the head, of the heart, and of the hormones. Mistakes of the head are those when the individual thought he knew the rules, policy or procedure and did the wrong thing through ignorance. Mistakes of the hormones are those when people seem unable to control their own emotions and mistakes of the heart are those touching on evil. Mistakes of the head are easy to correct and usually just require some guidance and training. Mistakes of the hormones are a little more difficult and usually require some form of punishment. There are no corrections for mistakes of the heart. Frank is in a tough position and I don't envy what lies ahead for him.

Qatana
12-30-2005, 04:15 PM
I think you got Heart and Hormones mixed up.

Michael Hackett
12-30-2005, 06:27 PM
In my younger years I often got my heart and hormones mixed up, but the lecture discussed the stupidity of hormone driven behavior and the actions of a malignant heart.

cserrit
12-31-2005, 01:34 PM
[QUOTE=]wow

Nor do I expect him to be anything other than he is....a human being. (FLawed just like we all are.)

Mary

Frank,

I get that you are highly concerned about the actions of two adults, one of whom you have recognized as an authority figure in your training and life.

Would you consider the possibility that these two people have chosen to take this (risk) on, just as you have chosen to recognize it and seek guidance as to whether to speak to someone about?

IMHO, life is a series of choices and we all make good ones and bad ones. We tend to learn from the bad ones. It seems like you need to make a choice as to whether you should confront these two people regarding their own choices...

...Please consider as to who will receive the satisfaction from any discussion that you choose to have. There is a risk of losing close friendships. As you have said previously that a dojo is like a family, and like with any family there can be rifts that are hard to mend.

I wish you good luck in your decision and hope that you are able to enjoy your training.

-C
:)

Ed Shockley
12-31-2005, 09:40 PM
Not looking to start an argument but I do disagree with Mary's attitude toward power. We each are completely free to make our own choices and in that spirit I choose to respect the Japanese practice of respecting the dojo and Sensei. I find it creates greater openness in me to accept instruction. It's a bit like when we attend a Shihan seminar and many students seem to be listening more intently, trying more pointedly. Again, this is only a personal choice but I do believe that it reflects the culture out of which the art of Aikido grows. A wise friend and fellow former athlete explained it to me this way when I encountered troubling behavior from an instructor, "You can respect the office and overlook the fault of the man." Without that separation one is likely to end up a Ronin because most men/women have clay feet and the closeness of dojo life guarantees that they will be exposed. Finally, by respecting the office and forgiving the officer then I may receive the same largess when I inevitably stumble.

Frank
01-03-2006, 12:11 PM
I talked with both of them separately. They now know that someone has caught them. Hopefully that will help end it and hopefully this will not change the harmony enough to seriously affect the training atmosphere of the dojo. I assure you it HAS changed how I feel when I am there and that changes the training in the dojo. For those out there that either have their own school or teaches in someone else's please read this entire thread. I am sure many people would have left this school if they were in my spot, but I don't give up on things and/or people that easy. I know at least half my class would leave over something like this, not to mention the reputation of the organization, sensei, school, family history and so on that is put at risk. We are Martial Artists and strive for better. My thanks to all who have posted with suggestions and kind words.

natasha cebek
01-09-2007, 07:45 PM
Frank,
I will probably get alot of heat for this one, but I don't care. Your Sensei is way out of line, period!!!! For all the people who support this kind of BS, they have no idea of the kind of chaos this creates. I know, because I was a victim of a sexually depraved maniacal teacher for 7 years. Oh, he was an incredible teacher with outstanding skills, I paid a very high price-being his student.
The problem herein lies in the harmony and safety of the dojo. When a teacher breaches the boundary of propriety with a student, this creates an imbalance and a sense of unease. People can justify it anyway they want, but it doesn't change the inevitable chaos that will ensue.

The bottom line is this, even though you have talked to him..it doesn't matter because it's his school and-he WILL DO IT AGAIN !!!!

This Sensei that I speak of, almost lost his school and his reputation suffered (deservedly) because of his relationship and subsequent breakup with a student. Many of his students left the school because of his behavior. Needless to say, he is at it again with yet another student.
I guess some people never learn.
Very simply, this is called "Abuse of Power"

I now train at a new dojo which is safe and my Sensei understands his responsibility and he is not a predator and for that I am grateful.

Thoughts
01-11-2007, 05:49 PM
I started Aikido at a very young age. Eventually I became an apprentice to my Sensei, who thankfully was a very honorable man and teacher. Being that I was a young woman he thought it important to warn me about what some teachers in high positions in Aikido have done. I'm sure he told me this so I would know that not every teacher can be trusted or has the purest intentions. I know he did this because he genuinely cared about me and knew he would not be my Sensei forever. I remember the story he shared with me very well and have shared it with some other people since. It would not exactly be appropriate for me to tell it here. Main thing I wanted to say is there are some very honorable teachers out there who have nothing but the best intentions. On the other hand some are not and do not. Be wise with your choices.

BAck in the early days
01-12-2007, 05:15 PM
Check out this old Aikiweb thread, on pretty much the same topic:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=875&highlight=anonanon

Same old, same old

natasha cebek
01-12-2007, 11:01 PM
Same old, same old

If its so much the "same old..same old", why does it keep happening?
If people are so tired of talking about it, then perhaps they should take some responsibility and do something...!!!!
There are students out there (men and women) subjected to the seemingly innocent (extra) attention a "predatory teacher", gives them.
That's a big pile of :yuck: and completely unacceptable.

Back in the early days
01-13-2007, 01:28 AM
Maybe nothing gets done because, even if people complain about it, there are no repercussions for the sensei

natasha cebek
01-13-2007, 07:30 AM
I agree with your statement, however repercussions come in many ways.This is about accountability not only for the Sensei but also for the seniors. We're not children, nor do we live in Feudal Japan, which in essence gives us the right to protect the interest of those who are ignorant and unsuspecting.
The Sensei is a guide to higher learning and is given the proverbial "green card" when it comes to trust and he must never violate that trust.
Martial arts is very intimate, during our development we are very vulnerable and because of this, a Sensei must maintain a healthy boundary in relation to his students.
The Sensei loses credibility and trust, the moment he crosses the line. The worst part is that he loses students that may or may never train again.
It's a very difficult subject, because of all the other social variables in the world today. What makes the martial arts special (other than the training) is the hierarchical and social values that we follow and maintain within or practice.
Geeez, I hope I'm making sense.

Aiki LV
01-15-2007, 12:50 PM
Natasha,
You obviously had a very bad experience with this particular situation. I think you are right, this type of thing should not happen. I don't know your particular situation or what have you, nor do I want to know it isn't any of my business. All I can say is I don't think many people condone a Sensei acting inappropriately with a student, but on the other end I think students should watch out too and not get involved with these people. If the teacher can't accept that the student isn't interested in any extra curricular activities then maybe the student should find another teacher and warn others.....

natasha cebek
01-15-2007, 01:13 PM
Thanks Mindy,
It's really not about whether the teacher accepts rejection or not. I don't think it really matters one way or another, after all the Sensei rules the "roost". What matters is how he rules the "roost" and how he conducts himself as the "pseudo god" of his own universe. No offense to Sensei's in general, there are some very honorable teachers out there. Remember the very first day that you walked in to your Dojo, were you not awestruck? I was and have seen the same response from new students time and time again.
This is about the vulnerability of a student who admires and in some cases idolizes the teacher. If the Sensei does not maintain the teacher/student boundry, the lines of propriety are broken and so is the trust.
For the record, I did have a very bad experience...I would never wish it on anyone. Thankfully, it did not deter me from my practice. For some though, they may never step foot in a dojo again.

Aiki LV
01-15-2007, 04:44 PM
Natasha,
How do you think this type of thing can be avoided?

natasha cebek
01-15-2007, 05:54 PM
I don't know, it's a tough call.
I need to think about it.... How do you think something like this could be avoided?

awestruck
05-18-2008, 06:16 PM
I have been training a while now and am still "awestruck" everytime I see my Sensei in Hakama, fortunately he is very honorable.

dalen7
05-21-2008, 12:00 AM
As tough as this may sound, they are responsible for their own actions.

If their actions interrupt the class specifically, then talk about it - but point in case is that it is not. (Only the mental concepts of what is right and wrong is there...and again this is something they have to deal with.)

Those that seek will find (answers), and what you see on the surface is a sign of something else deeper. Stopping an action, etc. does not change what is deeper.

Point is this is a lot more complicated (on certain levels) then what meets the eyes. Our religious & social milieu has conditioned reactions to such situations, but really there is something else at work.

The same principle that applies to them applies to us.
Before taking the spec out of your brothers eyes, remove yours first.

What you see on the outside may look worse than what you have...but typically we always see things that way...After all, as it is said, "if you do it in your heart, you have done it." ;)

So 'he without sin' cast the first stone.
Does this mean anyone is getting away with anything..this seems to be most peoples fear is that someone is getting away with something, and this seems to be an approach that does not benefit either side.

Point is this...your training in Aikido...then focus on your aikido training. What issues arise specifically in that class. Your not called to go into the lives of everyone of your dojo, per say, if you see what I mean. ;)

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
05-21-2008, 12:06 AM
But, on the other hand when you open a school that parents bring their children in to learn proper living you have to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Not to mention adults who might go out and open schools of their own following the Masters lead.

Training kids starts and ends at home - this is the primary place for education. Teach them there and they can understand and adapt outside of the home. (Their values they pick up at home, not at school.)

Why follow a master as some guru?
You mentioned church oriented, then I would recommend what the "church leader' Jesus said..."you need no teacher, you have the spirit within." ;)

Its perspective, and how you react obviously depends greatly on that. ;)

Peace

dAlen

p.s. - you mentioned that this lady was a good friend whose shoulder you gave for her to cry on. Should she not be doing such intimate things with her husband? Could it be inside your envious she is not cheating with you? Not trying to be hard, but someone could have made the same post about you if they observed a married woman having to pour her feelings out to you and crying on your shoulders. They could assume you had a tight relationship that went beyond that. ;)

Point is careful throwing the stones...some bounce back. ;)
Even if unintentionally.

note:
1) Words are pointers...look to where they are pointing and dont get lost in them. ;)
2) Just realized this thread is from 2006...oh well :)

DH
06-08-2008, 12:10 PM
It may not be anyone's business to interfere or discuss it but it sure as hell is bad form and immoral. I really don't care if someone has an open marriage or people are single even then its still bad form as I will outline below, but if folks are lying and cheating and stepping out, it speaks to their character. And to make it known is just plain stupid.

So, next up is to consider why things like that are not allowed in the work place-unless you're the president discussing sending young people to war with a U.S. senator while getting a oral sex from another federal employee-in a federal office in clear violation of fedaeral law.
For the rest of us, It has long been recognized that power can and has been used and abused- mostly by men- in the work place. No one can and wants to be the arbiter of consent in determining whether it was just mutual fun, coerced, promises were made, or differential treatment and unfair advancement was involved. It is easier to just say its not allowed.
Sensei's can wield influence that they are not trained for or educated in. Therefore many/most/all? are not qualified to do anything other than teach a martial art. Someone may need to explain to them why fraternizing and taking on the mantle of anything other than a budo teacher is unprofessional and a bad idea.

natasha cebek
06-09-2008, 05:21 AM
Thank you Dan, well put!!!!

Regarding this remark," 2) Just realized this thread is from 2006...oh well "
...I suppose that if the abuse of power issue was nonexistent, then I might agree. However, this is not the issue and it still remains as a strong topic. BTW, a thread can continue for years and years...For instance - it may not be (personally) relevant this year, then all of a sudden - it's in your own backyard.