Re: Poll: Should an aikido instructor date a student of theirs?
There are major differences between an Aikido Sensei and club presidents.
We don't bow to stamp club presidents. We don't put our life (or at least health ;-) ) in their hands. We don't grab each other in chess clubs. Sitting in front of the class, we make you the Sensei. During that class, we need to follow you. O'Sensei taught spirituality as well as defense. We can't avoid that reality...as difficult as it may be to honor it.
Aikido isn't a hobby. Not really. I don't expect perfection from my teachers. But, they expect me to respect the dojo and to never take advantage of a weaker student to make a technique look better.
I expect the same of them...for all kinds of techniques.
I don't live in a fairy-tale land. Things will happen but they should be the rarest of exception and never casual.
Ledyard-Sensei - I know you are a great teacher. I mean that with total sincerity and I have total respect for that. But, there are other places to meet people. As a student, I want to believe the special attention I get is for pure reasons.
Those of us who teach (I don't teach Aikido or budo of any form) have a unique role and a unique responsibility...much like those of us in supervisory roles in companies. We can't date our employees. I know from personal experience how easy and how destructive that can be. We have to find another way.
I sincerely apologize if I seem sanctimonious.