Rob Liberti wrote:
I actually had a weird backlash problem with this once. At one point in my training, I joined a dojo that had several female students who were senior to me. I asked some seniors to work with me after class and I got the same feeling from them you get when you ask someone out who is clearly not interested. I picked up on that pretty quickly and stoped asking that person. It took me a while to see that just the female seniors where like that with me - but it was most of them. I really wasn't trying to date them, and I didn't know how to fix the problem, so I didn't ask them to work out with me after class. I thought I might win them over by training with good energy and commitment but it always seemed they just barely tolorated me. That was a bit creepy and weird.
Yes - very weird indeed! If a student asked me for help with their training, I would always assume that they wanted help with their Aikido. If they were looking for a date, I guess they'd ask to meet in a bar or something...
Maybe these women just hadn't made the distinction between dating and helping a fellow student very clearly in their minds. From what I've read here, it seems that this problem does crop up occasionally in various dojo, with both men and women. It's a shame. All we can do is to be as clear as we can in our intention when asking for help, and to be equally clear when giving assistance to others.