Thread: Aikido Romance?
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Old 06-09-2002, 12:04 PM   #17
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Originally posted by ca
I've said it before in other posts, but anyone who imbues their sensei with so much power and control that they consider there to be an unequal power situation needs to reasses whether they need counselling as well as Aikido. My CO has power over me, when I was a practicing Catholic my priest had control over me... my sensei certainly does not.
Tell me how a priest could have power but a sensei not? The two are remarkably similar in authority structure. Ask yourself why people stay in dojos when they are routinely injured or other questionable behavior takes place? Sensei's have incredible power. When I was promoted to brown belt (a little ole 2nd kyu) I effectively became the senior student. Things changed and people listened to my BS. Maybe they went home and laughed at me, I hope they did, but things changed. People invest individuals in authority with power. No way around it.

As for the injury with the visiting girlfriend... we have an instructor where I train that we laugh always gets extra macho, with enthusiastic throws and wild atemi whenever there is anyone visiting, especially female. It's not that there is a conscious effort to beat-up other males to steal their women as it is showing off. He has a girlfriend, it's just his personality.
I admitted the guy may have been wrong. However, the situation you are describing is not the individual in question. It would not surprise me if people rationalize it that way.

I say, be adult in your decisions, and trust those around you to be responsible and adult in theirs, and worry about your Aikido instead.
Thirty years ago it was more or less ok to drink and drive. Obviously not everyone jumped in a car drunk and drove away but a lot did. The situation changed not because we let adults make rational decisions, they don't, it changed because a group of women got pissed off over seeing their children killed. Today we have strong laws on drinking and driving and people as a whole are much more attuned to not letting drunks drive a car.

I've hopped in a car drunk. I would never do it today, I don't even drink, but I did it when I was young. The decision was not rational and adult. The vast majority of decisions we make are not rational but emotional. Probably the only place we make consistently rational decisions is in an area of expertise.

Very clearly we could not trust adults to make responsible decisions in regards to drinking and driving. It's no different in Aikido or any other activity. If it were we'd have no laws on the books and we could just trust people all the way.

Erik, you are right in that once one person does something others feel OK about doing it themselves... but it can happen whether it is the sensei, or just another student. The sensei's bad behavior didn't put bad behavior into the hearts of the others, it was there already and might have come out regardless. And a sensei's good behavior isn't necessarily copied by his students either.
I don't think you can reform or change people. I doubt the laws about drinking and driving have changed anyone. What they have done is given us tools to clean up our roads and they have raised our consciousness in a way that makes our roads safer. We just won't tolerate the behavior the way we did before and we've got a stick to enforce it. In a dojo the sensei sets those standards. If he/she doesn't then what we wind up with is the situation we had 30 years ago where it was ok to drink and drive and people who today wouldn't think of drinking and driving are doing precisely that.

By the way, what I saw wasn't relationship orientated so my apologies for hijacking the thread. I needed to vent a bit.
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