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Old 05-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #26
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
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Re: Cold Sensei

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Most commonly sexual attraction is of the female student to the male sensei.Many women are attracted to men in positions of power and authority. Men know this and can exploit the position or handle it responsiblely. I have at least a dozen women or more develop a relationship for that reason. When they get too close I must put them at a distance. I am a sensei and have obligations as such and to all the other students. Usually I will not bring up the subject as I don't want to hurt feelings or feelings of rejection between us. I just place some distance between us which has always worked out. The credit is given to those women ro make that happen. Yes some odf those women are still my students today.
FWIW, after a few years I started having to put some distance between myself and junior men for the same reason (though I seem to have aged out of that now. I think that some people are so enthralled by the art that they mistake it for enthrallment with the person who is teaching the art - i.e., 'Sensei is so amazing/such an amazing person!' instead of 'Aikido is so amazing!' It leads to the potential, if a relationship happens, to the junior student falling out of love with the sensei and thinking that the problem is still with the art, and losing their ability or desire to train at that dojo because of it. I don't think that we do our students any sort of a favor by allowing that sort of displacement, regardless of the genders involved.

Last edited by Lorien Lowe : 05-18-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:16 PM   #27
"Anonymous"
IP Hash: 725508d3
Anonymous User
Straight Face Re: Cold Sensei

This has brought up a lot of interesting points. It seems that the man/woman thing is a common problem. Like I said, there has never been an attraction for me towards my Sensei. Admiration for skill, yes, and I'm old enough and mature enough to know the difference. Although, that doesn't mean that my enthusiasm for the art can't get mistaken by others for being attraction. :/
I think the hard thing is the expectation on my part of having a closer role with Sensei as one of the few yudansha at the dojo; starting to take on more responsibility, and helping with the newer students. I guess I expected that part of that meant being able to have open discussions with Sensei so that I know when he needs a class covered or if a new student is coming by or if a student needs help in a particular area. For whatever reason, Sensei doesn't include me in that kind of thing, and it's painful to stand by and watch other students get included in that way when he doesn't seem to be able to say more than Hello to me.
To a certain extent, I agree that it is more about the training and the dojo isn't meant to be a substitute for a social life. I've seen people come through that clearly want to just go get a beer after practice, and they never last. But, I think the best Aikido dojo's have a strong sense of community, with the students supporting the sensei and the sensei being caring and attentive towards the students. I think my dojo used to have that and it has been slowly turning into a place that is, unfortunately turning into a dojo with an impossibly small 'inner circle' and lots of brand new students that only stay for a short while.
BTW, I've also been practicing long enough to get really picky about where I practice. Not the best attitude, I know, but being small and not physically strong, I feel like it's justified. I like the other Sensei in the area, but their styles don't work well for me. The next closest Sensei that I like is farther than convenient commuting distance, but I am thinking about making the trek once a month or so.
I would like to eventually be good enough that I am able to teach, but I am starting to feel that just being female is a huge stumbling block. People talk about wanting more women in higher ranks in Aikido, but if this sort of misunderstanding is common between male sensei and female students, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that there are so few women sensei. I have a lot invested (time, blood, sweat, and tears in my dojo and I have been a lot more tenacious than many women would be in my position. How many women that could have been great at Aikido have simply left rather than put up with a similar situation??
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:57 AM   #28
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
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Re: Cold Sensei

FWIW, I wouldn't necessarily assume it's the man/woman thing that's the problem if you don't have any particular reason for thinking that's the case. It's certainly possible and I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time, but there are so many possible interpersonal things that can get between two people that I'd be hesitant to fixate on one possibility without more to go on.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:38 AM   #29
"just a thought out loud"
IP Hash: 20e848b2
Anonymous User
Re: Cold Sensei

I must apologize it was not fair to me to make assumptions. I was under the impression from reading previous posts by Anonymos and someone else that the conclusion was the sensei was attracted to Anonymous.

It maybe unfair tthe sensei isn't part of the discussion, so we have a oe sided discussion.

Now that the dynamics of the situation has changed and more information is on the table adds a new complex dimension to Anonymous' concerns.

Anonymous, braking into to what you allude to as the inner circle that you feel excluded from is something best brought to your sensei's attention. If you don't feel you get the answer you are looking for then it is time to move on. No sense in staying in a place that makes you uncomfortable and unhappy.

Facts state far less women are drawn to Aikido than men. There are more male run donors then famale. And not because women are inferior or are restricted from the opportunity. It is just a matter of
Interest. That means the likely hood of your next dojo is going to be male domiÓnate. That is the gender hazard.

I joined a female run crafts class / group with my wife. The class was all women
Talk about an inner circle and the issues that concern you where worse. The women eventually ran me out of the class. I was sad the women consired to so one such a thing with provacation, just because i was the only guy. That I was invading a women's club.

It seemed so hypocritical. Our first child was a year old and I wanted to share with my wife in preserving memories qith my wife. I was tjere to learn. To learn how to make a baby photo album and scrap book. But I was run off as I said. I understand your situation.According to
what you have said you have put in some time in the dojo and have a rapport with the sensei to be able to speak with him.

Just curious, why haven't brought this to the attention of your sensei right away? Are you uncomfortable to do so?
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:47 PM   #30
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Offline
Re: Cold Sensei

Hi Anonymous-
I hadn't picked up from your earlier posts that you're now being excluded from 'dojo business' circles that other people of your rank and status are not being excluded from; I think that's a more troublesome aspect, if I'm now understanding you correctly. Do you think that your relationship with Sensei at this point is also damaging his ability to teach you and/or your ability to learn?

I can understand why you wouldn't feel comfortable directly approaching him at this point, but maybe you could ask another yudansha to speak with him on your behalf. The only other options that come to mind would be to accept relative stagnation where you are, or to move to another dojo.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #31
"Anonymous"
IP Hash: 725508d3
Anonymous User
Unhappy Re: Cold Sensei

To answer your questions, at first I stayed quiet and hoped it would pass. When I figured out that it wouldn't, I did bring it to Sensei's attention. I got no direct answers. Just a lot of vague responses about how this is how things should be. I let it go again. I tried to be patient and adapt to the new situation, again hoping that the situation would settle into something more comfortable for me. I love Aikido (the actual practice) and I feel attached to that dojo. Things kind of came to a head after Sensei made a number of underhanded comments off the mat that may not have been directed at me, but I took personally. I brought it up to Sensei again and was basically told to talk to my sempai about it and to not contact him directly any more. So here I am, talking to you guys
Maybe he has decided the only way to teach is to keep students at arms length (with exceptions :/ ) now. Maybe I did something that angered him somehow that he felt he had to do that but allowed me to stay on as a student. Maybe he has personal things going on and is unknowingly allowing that to affect things on the mat. I can't know because he won't tell me.
I don't think it is affecting how he teaches me. I do think it is affecting my ability to be taught by him. I take criticism personally and I get angry instead of being able to just listen.
I wish I was less attached to how people treat me, but I'm only human.
The answer has been staring at me and I don't want to acknowledge it. I flip-flop between deciding to stay and just train and deciding to leave. I'm wasting my time and his time by being there because I can't accept this change and keep learning. Maybe some people can do it, but I don't think I can learn from a Sensei that treats me like a stranger.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:58 AM   #32
"No Regrets"
IP Hash: b5c97ff4
Anonymous User
Re: Cold Sensei

You should just move on. As hard as it will be at first you will feel a lot better for it.

I have been following this discussion for a while now and have some thoughts for the OP and an experience to share.

I can understand how you feel because I once lost a very good friend and mentor in much the same way although this was before I got involved in martial arts. The issue was not mine, although I was made to feel like it was. It is very difficult for a woman to have a close friendship with a man and not have people think inappropriate things about the relationship. Especially if that woman is single. It is especially a problem if the man is married and his wife is not also a good friend. In my case I tried to become friends with my friends wife as well but was rebuffed and rejected. When I discovered that she actually thought that I was interested in her husband in that way I tried to make it clear that this was simply not true. I am a widow and have no desire to be involved in another relationship in that way. I have always been pretty open about saying so. I like my freedom and am not willing to give it up along with many aspects of my life that a relationship would impact.

To me, my freind was like an older brother and our conversations and friendship really helped me to grow as a person and to start to find some balance in my very confused life. The loss of that relationship was painful and difficult. But I moved on...eventually. And am much better off for it.

The way I see it, he did what he had to do in order to take care of his marriage. And really that had to be more important than our friendship. The issues that they had in their marriage were not of my making although perhaps my presence brought them into the open. It wasn't however my fault. I still miss having him in my life but I have made new, and in many ways better friends. Friends who see me for who I am, and don't assume that because I am a single woman that I am out chasing every nice guy I meet.

I have a pretty close relationship with another married couple now, but in this case both of them are good friends and neither of them is an insecure and possessive spouse who does not trust the other to have close friendships with the opposite sex. It is refreshingly uncomplicated.

It is a sad thing that here in 2013 an adult woman can still not have a friendship with an adult man be he attached or single, and there not be those who suspect her of being romantically interested in him. Even people who consider themselves more modern in their thinking and more open minded will still go down that road. Life is too short to waste any of your time with people who don't see you for who you are and accept that. If you constantly have to explain yourself to your friends in order to keep from loosing their friendship, you need better friends.

Stop wasting your time trying to hang onto something you can't have.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:34 PM   #33
"just a thought out loud"
IP Hash: 6b15692a
Anonymous User
Re: Cold Sensei

Anonymous, interpersonal situations are always difficult. It is hard place to be in. Knowing that I like to keep a professional distance from my students. But that is me. Aikido dojos can be very intimate places. Intamate dojos then carry a risk of interpersonal relationships becoming uncomfortable for everyone. Or they can work out great. I my chioce is to keep it professional. Could that be an option? Your sensei is just not talking to you , it may be just the right opportunity.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:05 PM   #34
"just a thought out loud"
IP Hash: 6b15692a
Anonymous User
Re: Cold Sensei

With a non-personal relationship with your sensei, the communication being matter of fact eliminates or lessens interpersonal distractions from training. Lots of people enjoy a dojo that is very personal where there is strong camaraderie and close friendships. But , I think there are the inherent hazards in any interpersonal relationships that we don't figure in because of the inherent nature of Aikido being so accepting. To be fair it applies to both student and teacher. Maybe you can develop from this some new approaches and thinking of the situation to continue with Aikido. Best wishes and good training.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:33 PM   #35
"Walkaway"
IP Hash: 21d441d2
Anonymous User
Re: Cold Sensei

I agree with all who said to just walk away and put it behind you. Start fresh at a new dojo that has a healthier atmosphere.

It almost sounds as if it's your teacher who has the issues. Perhaps he found himself attracted to you, especially after time had passed and he and you had shared a comfortable and easy rapport. It starts that way. He may have started to have feelings, and then when he realized it he abruptly put the breaks on that rapport. But he also might not have known how to articulate this to you, and instead simply put up a wall. That is very common. It happens in workplaces and other interactive venues too.

If you do stay, probably the tension will never abate. Walk away. Start fresh.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #36
"Anonymous2"
IP Hash: 21d441d2
Anonymous User
Re: Cold Sensei

This topic takes me back to my old dojo, where after having been friends with Sensei and his wife for many years, all of a sudden little things started to go south. Sensei would take deep offense at the most innocuous things I'd say, along with other strange and irrational actions and responses ranging from the simply odd to the totally bizarre. It escalated to him avoiding me completely to the point where he would work one on one with each and every other student in class except me, and culminated with him asking me to leave the school. His wife would not talk to me or respond to my calls or notes in any way. I was utterly baffled. I'd done nothing to warrant such extreme treatment.

Many years later I learned that Sensei had a full blown case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He was a control monster and told his wife to cease all communications with me! I found this out after they had divorced and the wife called me out of the blue to tell me all that had happened.
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