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Old 08-21-2002, 10:17 PM   #3
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
Hoo, tough subject. I think that it is common to feel strongly for someone that is an authority figure that you respect, since it's popped up here more than once. Sometimes these feelings of deep respect and maybe a little bit of awe are sometimes confused for other emotions, since they are new ones. Though I've never had any desire to date my sensei, when I first started I felt differently about him than any other person I had known before. He was a bit larger than life. I think it was because the sensei/deshi relationship is unlike any other (at least any other that I've experienced.) He was a bit god-like in my eyes because of the authority he held. But since I've gotten to know him more personally, and we've got more of a friendly relationship, I see his human side. He isn't just "the incredible, immortal Sensei" to me anymore, though I still respect him profusely, and still have the sensei/deshi relationship. Hmm ... I don't know if I'm getting across what I'm trying to say. My point is that perhaps you are feeling a new type of relationship and new emotions toward your sensei, and applying the emotions you already know to try to explain them.

How well do you really know your sensei? Do you know him personally, or simply how he is in class? The reason I ask is that people put forth certain personas in different situations. Your sensei, when in "instructor mode" (which he may be in even if you are speaking with him off-mat, since you are one of his students) may be a completely different person than outside of class. These are things to consider. Do you love your sensei, or the idea of your sensei? The role is a powerful one in the mind of students. There is a power structure in place which is impressive to students, who constantly see the instructor excelling in something that they are trying desperately to grasp. I'm not trying to dismiss what you're feeling. I just want you to examine your emotions and make sure that they are what you really think they are. A lot of people have been taken advantage of and hurt by this power structure in the past. Not that I'm saying that you're sensei would do that. I just want you to be aware that these things can happen because I don't want anything to happen to you.

If you really look at your emotions and still feel that they are genuine, I don't think I have much in the way of good advice. I would advise not to act on any of it, even though this must be extremely confusing and distressing. I don't want you to quit, or have to dodge this instructor's classes because of this. Since I haven't been in the situation, I can't say what you should do. I'll leave that up to others here. I've said my piece (as incoherent as it was), everyone else is free to jump in and save Janet from me.

Sigh. Sorry, it's late and my mind isn't quite as coordinated as I would like.

Off to bed.


Last edited by Arianah : 08-23-2002 at 08:24 AM.

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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