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Old 08-25-2002, 11:42 AM   #50
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
() wrote:
In response to:

"People with boundry problems and children should not date instructors, or the other way around. I don't care when any of my instructors have dated students (I say, "good for them") since none of them have picked children or people who hand over power inappropriately."

Of course, senseis NEVER have boundary issues, and there have never been cases where the sensei used their power inappropriately, and if there's a boundary violation, the student is not only at fault but is not a true adult to boot. Yeah, right.

And of course, real adults NEVER have their boundaries violated, and if they do, it's because there's something wrong with them.

Some people take aikido precisely to work on their boundary issues, or to learn to deal with interpersonal conflict. Some take aikido because they have been in physically or emotionally abusive situations and wish to learn to defend themselves. That's the student part. And I agree, these types of students should probably not date their instructors.

Some students eventually become instructors. Becoming an instructor does not magically remove emotional baggage. Hopefully you've worked it out by then, but maybe not, right?

There is a chapter or two in Ellis Amdur's book "Dueling with O'Sensei" that I think addresses these issues with great clarity.
First, I said "in the cases when any of my instructors have dated..." I did not say this would never happen between someone who is underaged (student only situation) or had boundry issues (atudent or teacher). Your generalization does not apply.

That said, Aikido is NOT therapy. People who have psychological problems certainly can gain a lot from Aikido, but any adult-aged indiviudual who hands over THAT much control to an Aikido instructor that any relationship between them is not that of equal adults but power-over to powerless, then they should be in therapy as well, and their therapist would no doubt be counselling them against ANY relationship with ANYONE the individual would call powerful.

I was in an abusive marriage; as I left it, I was counselled 'no dating', then dating with a good set of guidelines. I have no doubt that without the help of a wonderful therapist I would have drifted into another bad relationship: and yes, it would have been MY fault. To me, to say "I was a victim, and so everyone has to protect me from myself in the relationships I try to enter into" is like saying "I was in a car wreck, and so everyone should look out for me on the road" rather than saying "OK, my driving skills got me into an accident, what can I do to improve them so it doesn't happen again" and until I'm confident of my ability to drive safely on the highway, I stick to the parking lot or deserted country roads.
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