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Old 05-17-2005, 11:23 AM   #1
"jon"
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Triangle Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

This thread is a spin and hopefully a place to discuss female and male dating and relationships in the dojo. Right now the thread started by Stina might drift into should you or shouldn't dating be allowed, and picking up on people be allowed in the dojo.

It was mentioned by me in another thread and another person in Stina's thread the subject of people using an Aikido class as a pick-up joint.

I have seen lots of woman walk though the dojo doors looking for a mate. I have seen and had it done woman flutter their eye lashes. I had some woman touch me and others in a certain ways. I have seen woman only work out with certain people they found attractive and shun everyone else. I have seen woman approach people in the dojo the is obviously intended about hooking up. I have seen and experienced a host of other things woman do to get attention and let someone else know they are interested in them. I have seen and experienced woman also be very forward in letting someone know they are attracted to a person. A number of woman told me that they are attracted to martial artists. They said this is the reason they join the class, and when they found someone that is why the stopped training. Finding some at dojo is like finding someone at church. Martial arts class isn't a typical pick-up joint with the same bar-fly, player men.

I have seen men do similar things, for similar reasons. I have mentioned my friend who being shy and not good with woman the typical way as a way to introduce himself and get to know the woman without being threatening. I have seen men simply ask woman out after class. I have seen men only work out with who they think might date them or attractive.


I understand the issues between the sexes. I understand how woman feel, just by the nature of who I am, I am considered a metro sexual male, and I come up bleeping loud and clear on Gaydar all the time. I am heterosexual and happily married. And honestly, I have turned more gay men down, and broke gay mens' hearts ( I still am ) then I ever did with the handful of woman I dated prior to marriage. I have been solicited in all sorts of places and I mean all sorts, by gay men in so many ways stemming from what I consider vulgar sexual harassment to the polite and respectable. I understand the uncomfortable situations men can create for someone who isn't interested in them to corrigible and nonthreatening.

When I was approaching woman to date it was tough to find that "right" approach since each woman comes from a different background and upbringing. I could easily offend woman one by saying you have beautiful eyes and offend the other. Or, to put my arm around a woman thinking the date is going well and have one woman scream bloody murder to another being offended because that is all I did. I have had woman think I was pick-up on them in the dojo during practice when I wasn't. I have had woman be offended because I didn't make a move in the dojo. I wasn't an easy course. You also have to consider I was twenty something and so where the woman. I have found older woman for what ever reason reacted differently over-all then younger woman. I wasn't only background but age being a factor.


I don't see finding love in a dojo to be all that bad. Both men and woman brake the rules and make each other uncomfortable, and both can go too far and create a bad situation. There is always someone who abuses the situation no matter what you do or where you go. Even in Church you have people who just go who want to find a mate, and those who think they will find a one night stand. Some are looking for a "sugar daddy" others are attracted to power. Some figure it is easy picking on the naive little church girls. Some find it a challenge to seek out house wives to lure into an affair. All but a couple of issues in our dojo became a problem. That was because the people who joined where there for the wrong reasons.

A dojo is an institution that brings people together both woman and men ( mostly men ). When you bring the sexes together as in a dojo to train you will have issues between the sexes. You can read peoples' mind and know what they are up too when they sign up for class. It is in our nature as humans to seek out a mate. Some people see it as a postive means to find people of good character and share the same interests for the sake of true love. We don't hear too much from. If we lived in a uptopia abuse between the sexes wouldn't be an issue. I don't think it is a huge issue either. I am saying there isn't both men and woman out there that will not act appropreiately in the dojo. These people are not the majority. A dojo is not like walking into a pick-up bar, or night club where every one is on the take.

I do think you can stop people from dating each other in a dojo. I don't think you should. I think that is unethical to do so, and it is none of the dojo's business. I don't think in a dojo you can stop someone from trying to pick up on others. I think the Sensei has a responsibility to provide a safe environment to train, and let people know that, that is the purpose of the dojo and training, and the dojo isn't a night club. I don't think you should allow unethical behavior between the sexes either. But, it is not the dojo's responsibility to decide who dates whom. Who should or shouldn't be allowed to date.

This could be an issue for some dojos who perpetuate inter-personal and emotional contact. Not to associate negative connotations, but for a lack of a better term, a "touchy feely" dojos. Where every pin is a loving stretch. Where people offer emotional well being and support openly to each other. Dojos that take love and harmony to the inter-personal levels between everyone in the dojo. I find these less sterile dojos will run into more situations of difficulty when it comes to people look for a relationship with the opposite or same sex. The sterile dojos don't attend to or focus/support inter-personal relationships of the members. Sometimes people can be confused, thus causing uncomfortable situations of attraction.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:50 AM   #2
James Davis
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

When it's time to start training, everyone should pay attention to the sensei and follow instructions. Before and after class, people can talk about and pursue whatever they want. Regardless of their attraction to one person or another, people should try to train with everybody, though.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:31 AM   #3
Bridge
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

I have no problems with people dating within a dojo. My boyfriend, I met while doing karate at university. There are no problems approaching someone off the mat, that is fine.

On the mat however, is not on. Can you imagine minding you own business, training while people try and chat each other or you up? Or people not training with you cos you're not single/attractive/their type...Or getting the impression someone is training with you cos they fancy you?
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:46 AM   #4
Matt Molloy
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

There should be no sex on the mat.

Training partners are training partners. Mess with that and it could quickly become a problem.

What you do in the pub is your own affair.

Just my opinion.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 05-25-2005, 03:14 PM   #5
barnibis
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Hi everyone,


I had always thought how ideal it would be to have an Aikido girlfriend. I had thought about all the things that could go wrong, and eventually decided that I didn't want make a mess of my sacred training grounds.

Later on realized that that wasn't even the issue, infact our Dojo simply doesn't have many women.

So what to do? i thought what if i go and visit other Dojo's?, I asked Sensei, and he said that would be poor etiquette.

I guess that leaves seminars, except that you will meet people that live so far away.


I agree with the idea that those who train out of a sincere love of the art would be people who are more likely to share simliar values and generally be of good character.

i guess until i figure out a way, the whole Aikido girlfriend idea remains just that, an idea.




o..
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Old 05-25-2005, 04:37 PM   #6
James Davis
 
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Smile Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Quote:
otto lam wrote:
Hi everyone,


I had always thought how ideal it would be to have an Aikido girlfriend. I had thought about all the things that could go wrong, and eventually decided that I didn't want make a mess of my sacred training grounds.

Later on realized that that wasn't even the issue, infact our Dojo simply doesn't have many women.

So what to do? i thought what if i go and visit other Dojo's?, I asked Sensei, and he said that would be poor etiquette.

I guess that leaves seminars, except that you will meet people that live so far away.


I agree with the idea that those who train out of a sincere love of the art would be people who are more likely to share simliar values and generally be of good character.

i guess until i figure out a way, the whole Aikido girlfriend idea remains just that, an idea.




o..
Otto, sometimes girlfriends are like aikido techniques. You work for a long time in an attempt to find them, and then they find you. Keep looking.
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Old 05-25-2005, 05:27 PM   #7
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Be careful what you wish for.

I wasn't looking for love in the dojo, in fact I know we both resisted the attraction for several months and in fact it took a group road trip and being left on our own for an evening for the unspoken to be expressed during a stroll after long intensely enjoyable dinner conversation. We were already very good friends at that point.

What followed was an intensely passionate romance and relationship for several years. I felt that was my true love and the fact that we both did and loved aikido was just icing on the cake.

but when it comes down to the point of making life long commitment decisions, It really is no different than any other relationship that starts through a shared common interest or physical activity. We could have both loved tennis and met at a tennis club. The relationship can get derailed by differences in attitudes, family, careers and all the other external stuff out there beyond the dojo. I imagine my attitude toward the idea would be totally positive if we had gotten married. Regardless I don't think casual dojo dating is a good idea. It should be something you both are drawn to and even then it might not work out and you have to struggle with letting go, which is going to be tough for many people if you are members of the same dojo.

Find someone who is secure enough to allow you a passion that is outside of the circle you draw together, and you will be doing awfully good.

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Old 05-25-2005, 09:46 PM   #8
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

My dojo has a sort of unwritten rule that brown belts and above should not date blue belts and below. It's probably broken more often than it's followed, but at least it makes people think about what they're doing and limits the hero-worship aspect of attraction a little. A newbie is likely to quit the dojo if they date a sempai and then break up with them; a more experienced person, less so.

I have seen a few women come in trolling for guys, as described by jon, but they tend not to stay long; usually they're gone before they complete their beginner's three month special.

For myself, I must admit that I admire the guys in hakama before and after class - but during training that part of myself is firmly turned OFF. From what I can tell, the same is true of most of the guys I train with; the exceptions to this tend to be very uncomfortable to train with.

-LK
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:51 AM   #9
Dazzler
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
My dojo has a sort of unwritten rule that brown belts and above should not date blue belts and below.

When I read this I laughed.

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
at least it makes people think about what they're doing and limits the hero-worship aspect of attraction a little. A newbie is likely to quit the dojo if they date a sempai and then break up with them; a more experienced person, less so.
When I read this it made sense.

Personally I dont really have too much respect for seniors that have a string of notches on their obi's from beginners and I see it as a bit of an abuse of power.

I regularly see a bit of hero worship and the fall out that comes with it..not personally...so maybe I'm just jealous!

Everything Lorien says is true....I've seen it time and time again.

At the end of the day I think the responsibility for containing this is with the senior. We are mostly adults (I don't believe you have a cats chance in hell of controlling teenagers) and as Lorien says all you can do is make people think.

Having said all this...'er indoors trained for 11 years so she has an aiki background...and we've been together for 10 years.

My instructors 1st wife is a yondan ...and so is his second.

One of our instructors is going out with a dan grade deschi....and has been out with other students

Two of our deschis are going out with each other.

Two more of our nidans live together.

And thats not the half of it!

Hmmm...forget the rest of my post.

Our dojo seems to be more like 'Love Island' !

If this doesn't boost our membership nothing will

D
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:30 AM   #10
barnibis
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Hey Craig,

what do you mean by "be careful what you wish for"?

your story sounds like it turned out great, exactly the sort of thing i'd hoped for.

I don't know about dojo dating, and "notches on the obi"

Just liked the idea of having an Aikido girlfriend.


Well i suppose at the end of the day this isn't a real serious issue anyway, just that on top of training and living, it would just be a neat bonus.

'sigh'


o..
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:47 AM   #11
Matt Molloy
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
Our dojo seems to be more like 'Love Island' !

If this doesn't boost our membership nothing will

D
*Templegate dojo experiences a sudden rush in signings.*

(I suppose it would help if I knew what Love Island was. Must start watching telly again.)

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:03 AM   #12
Randathamane
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Quote:
had always thought how ideal it would be to have an Aikido girlfriend.
I have an aikido girlfriend.... She is wonderful and i love her dearly. i can make practice interesting especially when we practice together and sensei gives us the funny eye and splits us up...


Good against remotes are one thing- good against the living, thats somthing else....
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:07 AM   #13
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

IMHO, the Dojo is a place to practice the martial arts. It is not for dating. If you meet someone of interest, I would hope you would take it outside. Because of the ranking system within a Dojo that assist in training, my concern is that there can be some obstacles on the mat. Outside, its equals for a healthy relationship. Be careful.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:33 AM   #14
barnibis
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Awww geez,

for cryin out loud, i'm not suggesting that the dojo become a dating zone. I've seen enough to know better. I'm just expressing the idea of having and Aikido girlfriend, and attached to that idea would be conversations on how something like that might happen.

It would be neat, seems like a few others who have had the pleasure, agree. Everyone keeps saying "be carefeul" , huh?
you mean more so than in any other situation?

All the"be careful" is starting to make it sound like something undesireable. Which i don't get it.
And remember, in the end, this is all coming from a guy who lives in a dojo with no available women. For now it remains a pipe dream.

Okay enough thinking about stupid stuff, back to practice!


o..
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:53 AM   #15
"jon"
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, the Dojo is ... to practice ...martial arts... not for dating...you meet someone of interest ... take it outside...ranking system...in a Dojo that assist in training ...[present] obstacles on the mat. Outside [the Dojo], its ...a healthy relationship. Be careful.
I kind of disagree, and think it would be impossible to take it outside the dojo.

If this is true then what about married couple? Are they to pretend they are not married when on the mat. Leave their marriage on at the dojo door? Wouldn't there be the same or greater obstacles in the ranking system you speak about too? Why the concern for single people?

Should parents stop coming to the dojo. If you teach kids you know parents can say things like why isn't their little Johnny a purple belt yet? Or they think their little Emma should have tested with the rest of the kids. Then there is the pressure put on by the over zealous parents. You might have any where from 1-5 such parents. I think it is unrealistic that any sensei isn't going to give in at some point or another. Talk about "ranking system within a Dojo that assist in training" and the obstacles. Teaching kids and their parents is nothing, but obstacles. I would think single adults and dating issues would be cake.

Any issue married people forming a relationship on the mat are twice that of single people. Really, if you boil it down, married people bring more to the mat then those not married. Marriage is simply a longer term commitment and it costs more that dating.

Can you stop people from falling in love? Is it moral or ethical to try and stop people from love? How can you really tell people to take love, affection, or lust outside? Love and attraction are some of the strongest abstract emotions contained to individuals. These emotions are not tangible objects that can be removed from the dojo like a smelly pair of shoes. I don't think you can tell people to take it outside. I don't think that is possible. I don't think people will not be influenced by or act up emotions and feelings of love, attraction, etc. because we are human and wired to do so.

With this said, I am not advocating the flinging of gis and a passionate embrace as a result of unbridled passion from doing kotegaeshi. I think your going to have to deal with the obstacles. In the majority of the cases these obstacles are minor for people who date on the mat. I can think of worse situations that present greater obstacles and issues, i.e. Japanese politics and protocal.
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:47 PM   #16
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Quote:
otto lam wrote:
Hey Craig,

what do you mean by "be careful what you wish for"?
o..
Well, a part of me still misses her years later so you can't call me totally objective.

One thing about aikido, is the activity between people in the group is very interactive and trusting your partner is required. You can go visit a church service and leave not really getting to know anyone. You can visit a dojo and by the end of class have good sense of what is like and about.
This can make it tough on the mat when you are having problems off the mat and takes a lot of self-awareness and control.


What the hell, I am a bit of a romantic so I think it is possible to find true love in Aikido as long as you recognize Hero worship and putting someone on a pedestal is not it. I have had the hero worship done to me a few times and fortunately for my own self-respect, it turns out to be a real turn-off because it feels false. All rules people come up with I don't think are relevant if it is a genuine relationship that builds outside of the dojo. The problems and traps exist when the relationship is only happening because of dynamics in the dojo - admiring someone's graceful movement on the mat, imagining a closeness that is anymore than the good feeling of interaction that goes with good training, etc.

I think you should get a Harley and ride around the continent visiting dojos. I knew one guy that did that. Though the girlfriend he found was actually someone he met at a local bar rather than at the dojo he was visiting.

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Old 05-26-2005, 08:00 PM   #17
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

[quote=Matt Molloy]There should be no sex on the mat.



That would be distracting. And messy.

Personally I think it would be great to have an Aikido boyfriend because I wouldn't have to justify my Aikiodo obsession. He would, of course, understand!

Jeanne
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:12 PM   #18
Larry John
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

I have an aiki wife. We also work together.

We've found that it's usually best to ignore the fact that we're married when working or training. This is because the marriage relationship opens vulnerabilities and places demands that can conflict with good training or working relationships. This can lead to hurt feelings and training that's less effective or honest.

We try very hard to conduct things such that when we work together, we're both professionals.

When we train together, we're both aikido students. Unless one of us (usually me) gets physically hurt more than a little, in which case the marriage relationship kicks in until such time as sensei declares things to be under control; then we're students again. (She's given me several fat lips over the last four years, but she was the first one to get to me when I tore a hamstring on my nikyu test--thanks, love).

Of course, some instructors prefer that we not pair up when they teach, and we respect their wishes. We wouldn't want to be a distraction for anyone, including ourselves.

Larry
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:34 AM   #19
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Hmmm... Perhaps the Aikiweb could set up a dating page for lonely Aikidoist who are looking for a mate...maybe that will keep the scandal out of the dojo...what about it Jun?
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Old 05-27-2005, 10:04 AM   #20
"jon"
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Those darn lonely Aikidoist looking for love, they are suchbig trouble.

I guess some dojo's freak out over the fact some people start dating as a result of Aikido class. Can you or should you stop people from being able to date. Realistically no, and you shouldn't it. I agree that amorous behavior shouldn't be openly displayed while training. How awkward is it to watch people holding hands or public mat display of affection?

What really is the problem when two people who are dating train with each other more often. Compare that with those who are picky, or call it selective, and will not train with everyone in class. They will not train with just anyone from reasons that range from a newbie to personality issues. What is the difference of those who are force to train with someone they don't like they train half-heartedly, or display other none sense on the mat? This happens more then the occasional meeting of the hearts.

Love...Love...Love...all you need is Love...all together now...Everybo-dy...
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Old 05-28-2005, 01:17 AM   #21
Ulises Garcia
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Hello everybody,

I'm still in the process of finding myself a dojo to start my training, but Gosh! I would love to find me a girl that were a Yudansha, and that she allowed me to learn from her. That way maybe we can practice a bit in between sessions.

Hey! Maybe the "Lonely Aikidoist Place" isn't such a bad idea. So how about it, Jun?

U.
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Old 05-28-2005, 07:10 AM   #22
giriasis
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

I just had this conversation with one of the yudansha in my dojo. Pretty much the sentiment is that there is nothing wrong with meeting someone in the dojo, just keep the dating and affection of the mat. We have quite a few couples in our dojo and even our head instructors are husband and wife so prohibiting dating anyone in the dojo would be a bit silly.

Sure there are women out there who join to meet a guy, but I think more women just join to meet new friends. But there are men out there who join to meet woman. Either way if one party is too aggressive in their flirting then you're apt to drive them away. Although, the person that gets driven away usually is the newbie. I've seen it happen. A new good-looking woman joins and then four or five guys are asking her out -- on the first night she was in the dojo. One guy asking her out would have been harmless but four or five was over the top. Needless to say, she didn't come back. And to top it off, I think she was married. They didn't even bother to get to know her, and they all came across as pretty need, which turns some women off. It's hard enought to keep newbies around, they last thing we need is a bunch of guys flirting with a day one newbie. That'll send a lot of people running for the hills.

If they really wanted to date her, let her settle in the dojo first, let her get to know you and you get to know her. Then wait to see if there could be anything. Go out with a group from the dojo first, then ask her out. Not pounce on her (or him) like fresh meat.

Last edited by giriasis : 05-28-2005 at 07:15 AM.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:53 AM   #23
Qatana
 
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Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Ok I admit it. I Like Martial artists. And I always check out the men in every dojo I visit. But I'm primarily there to train with a particular teacher or a particular friend.And flirting belongs Off the mat...well, "conventional" flirting, anyway...
In my own dojo the only unmarried male is 17 years old so its not much of a meat market. hell, there's only ten of us, really.

Q
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Old 05-28-2005, 11:43 AM   #24
"jon"
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Smile Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

giriasis,

Being a man, I can tell you men don't join Aikido to meet woman. What is the men to woman ratio. Men join for all sorts of reasons. Some of the those reasons are things like hanging out and being with other guys. For some it is to get away from all the responsibilities assigned to them. Male bonding in something that is of interest to males. Men are hunters, they form hunting parties to be more successful. Woman are gathers that form groups to be more successful. Men in this respect are no different then woman, visa versa.

When it comes to affairs of the heart some woman make rules on how to be approached unknown to men. When a man approaches a woman and brakes the rules he isn't aware of Cupid often takes a dive. The way a woman or man reacts to that is a matter of individuality and personality. It doesn't reflect on an Aikido class. It is no different then if two people of the same sex didn't happen to like each other in class. Not everyone who joins a dojo is the right fit, or gets along with everyone. No everyone in the dojo has a solid friendship with everyone else.

There are personality conflicts between people that are pretty common in anything, an Aikido class is no different. Personality conflicts can be overtly looked at as tension between the sexes, usually faulting the male. That is unfair because of the dynamics involved between men and woman. There is little difference structural in the initial stages of a developing friendship and that of seeking courtship.

What ever problems people say about dating on the mat are very similar in nature to those that occur way more often when people come together for general purposes, like at an Aikido class. Lots more people stop going to class because of personality conflicts.

In this light, dating on the mat doesn't really create major problems. At most it makes other people uncomfortable, if flirting takes place, and if it does it is easily corrected. As one poster said it can be done discretely. There is nothing immoral or unethical about two people finding love on the mat. I am for a forum for those who are looking for romance. Bars and Gyms and other meat markets doesn't have the same quality of people that Aikido does. Aikido attracts a different kind of person, mostly men, but woman too. It is hard to be single in this day and age. At least in an Aikido class you have a chance to get to know someone, unlike a bar or a gym. How many bad experiences are possible and likely in a bar, gym or other types of meat markets. Yuck!
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Old 05-28-2005, 12:14 PM   #25
"jon"
IP Hash: e5a5788c
Anonymous User
Re: Aikido A Place to Find True Love?

Anne,

BTW, forgot to say good advice as an option toward the end of your last post.

If a woman leaves the dojo because of an uncomfortable situation concerning a guy, I am sure there are men who can say the same thing about woman. Feeling uncomfortable as a result of a mismatch isn't just something woman experience. Men experience it too. Men are driven away by some woman as well.

We can't fairly judge from one particular personality of a woman who responded to the situation by leaving the dojo, because of how she felt about the situation. Another woman with a different personality may not have left the dojo, and dealt with the situation differently. Another woman have reacted differently, such as not feeling so intensely uncomfortable about the situation. Another woman may have felt more strongly about Aikido to work things out differently and not leave the class, and not make her only option to leave the dojo. Not all woman are made from the same mold. Each woman like men are individual personalities with different backgrounds and behaviors and they shouldn't be generalized by anyone's perspective. Matters in the dojo, are a case by case situation, where each individual should be respected as an individual and not stereotyped by gender behavior. Behavior is changeable.

We can't generalize or cater to one woman's ( or man's) reaction or situation that you described for that of all woman. Thereby setting rules and standards for all to go by. That isn't fair to all the woman around the world that come from different places and experiences. Woman are unique. They like men will bond with common experiences, personalities, and likes, but this doesn't make them the same. Nor should we treat them all the same.

What a disaster and mess it would be if we did, especially on the mat. Or when looking for love. Dating on the mat isn't a sin. Finding love in Aikido isn't a slight against all woman when a mismatch occurs, and a woman leaves the dojo. Lots of people leave the dojo for alots of other reasons too. But like the poet said, "it is better to love and lost then not to love at all. It's that the dynamic of life and of Aikido to train not only the body but the character.
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