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Old 06-13-2001, 01:16 PM   #72
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
"Sensei's Responsibility"

Originally posted by Thea Sand
Our Sensei has been dating the same student ( after she joined the dojo) for several years. ....When she has personal issues with other students, she runs to Sensei and the other student finds him(or her)self hauled into his office for a brutal two hour "discussion" about "peer etiquette". ....He has made it very clear that she outranks all yudansha in the dojo.
Quite frankly, we're not sure what to do. Do we leave or try to discuss this behavior? He has been unwilling to listen to other views up to this point.
A couple things here.
1. Your Sensei's responsibility is to the whole dojo.
2. Her running to him with her difficulties, while natural enough from one context, is definitely inappropriate in this context. She should be confronting the people in the dojo directly.
3. His bringing people into his office for a discussion on peer etiquette because of her problems is flat out wrong and is obviously "poisoning the well" in the dojo.
4. It is up to all of the yudansha to live up to their rank by confronting Sensei directly. This is never easy and requires that all of the yudansha be in agreement as to what the issues are and how they would like them resolved. Simply blaming the girl friend will not accomplish anything.
5. Does she really out rank everybody, or is this your Sensei's way of indicating she is more precious to him than the rest of you?

This is yet another case where Senseis dating students is not a good idea.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack