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Old 05-28-2005, 12:06 PM   #26
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?


I agree it's good not to generalize. Also, women join for the female bonding, too. I know the women in my dojo are sticking around because they've made friends, female friends on the mat. I started my Women In Aikido bulletin so that other woman can talk about aikido. (Imagine AikiWeb but just all women in the discussions.) Also please realize, I said "some" men and "some" women join to meet someone of the opposite sex, I did leave my statements open to acknowledge that I am aware that there are "some" men and "some" women who do not join to meet someone of the opposite sex. I have to disagree that men don't join to not meet anyone. It takes two to tango and go out on a date. Someone has to do the asking...and usually it's the guy.

I never really said dating on the mat is a "sin". I just think flirting, especially excessive flirting, on the mat is in bad taste and is disrepectful to those who come to train. It's usually just annoying. What is a problem is when the hormonal driven of us cross the line and forget that our hormones is getting in the way of someone else's training. It's not that hard to put our hormones on hold for one hour until you get off the mat so you can start a conversation with that someone you want to get to know. Usually, the though of meeting a guy doesn't pop up in my mind. I'm usually too focused on how to do the throw on him and could care less about whether he finds me physically attractive.

I'm also aware that the scenario I gave you above that others might respond differently, but since some dojos try to keep the women who have breached their cultural barriers to walk into a dojo, we need to watch out and not let the hormonal among us to cross the line. One person asking this woman out would probably have been no big deal, but she got about 5 invitations after class, her FIRST class, including an invitation to go scuba diving. That's too much.

Now, like I said no one is prohibited from dating another person in the dojo where I train. It happens a lot, and, there are consequences when people split up. Yes, sometimes the guy leaves other times the girl does. Sometimes, it's both or neither. Sometimes they end up married. In the end, how the couple chooses to deal with the break up or relationship on the mat is up to them. We've had quite a few couples meet where I train and all of these scenarios have happened. It's just when the flirting or relationship issues are brought to mat when it annoys people. Should you not date someone at all because someone might get annoyed? No. But should you be aware of how your actions might impact the dojo and be responsible for them when you might cross the line? Yes.

I'm single, too, btw, and yes, it's hard to meet people. I totally sympathize. My best friends I've met have been in aikido, and they are female and male. We seem to have a really good group of high quality people where I train. I haven't met that one person, though. But I'm not really that concerned about that because I'm more concerned about learning my techniques and getting to 1st kyu.

I was just talking to Penny about this whole situation and she said it seems like when people first start, whether male or female, getting used to the whole physical situation of aikido can be challenging. You can get some mixed signals from people when they really are not there. For example, in irimi nage you put your partners head on your chest/ shoulder, but there isn't a romantic intent. However, this would be "romantic" in a romantic situation, but your hormones might respond differently. So getting used to the physicality of it all can be challenging especially when you train with the genders mixed up. It's okay to hold hands, pin me at the shoulder/ chest area, put your head at my shoulder/ chest, but if a person is not used to this kind of physicality it can lead to sexual tension, and getting past that is a challenge (the last part was Penny's point).

I never really though of it that way until now, and not really aware that the sexual tension can come up like that, but I think Penny is right. It's not about who's better -- male or female -- really about being okay with physical contact your not used to experiencing outside of a romantic relationship. It's about getting past that so we can train. It's about getting past that so you can figure out whether she or he really interested in you or are they just a really great training partner? I've discovered people tend toward being really great training partners. If there is something more give it time and it will reveal itself. If it doesn't then you still have a great training partner.

Okay...I'm babbling now... but do you understanding what I'm trying to get at?

Last edited by giriasis : 05-28-2005 at 12:12 PM.

Anne Marie Giri
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