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Old 10-30-2004, 10:08 PM   #101
"Anonymous"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Thanks, Janet. You're right -- I think this happens quite commonly, and so I'm glad that you took the time to update this thread. Thanks.

A couple of questions. You say the feelings were mutual -- how do you know? Did you ever talk to him about it? Also, are you completely over your feelings for him now? Was it painful when you discovered he had this other person? Are you glad, in the end, that nothing happened to disrupt your relationship with him as a teacher?
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:37 PM   #102
Hagen Seibert
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
A couple of questions. You say the feelings were mutual -- how do you know? Did you ever talk to him about it? Also, are you completely over your feelings for him now? Was it painful when you discovered he had this other person? Are you glad, in the end, that nothing happened to disrupt your relationship with him as a teacher?
Your questinons are indiscrete. This is not your business.
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:54 PM   #103
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Your questinons are indiscrete. This is not your business.

HMMMMMM
Didn't the young lady bring her situation here?
Perhaps the questions were indelicately couched, but not really appropriate for you to speak so to him.
Of course, I am probably not being appropriate either, so
let's all have a beer and get along, shall we?

Just my observations.....Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:33 PM   #104
"Anonymous"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

My apologies if the questions are indelicately couched. Janet has been very nice about sharing her situation and what happened to her. As she and others have pointed out, this probably happens a lot between students and senseis, so I was hoping she'd tell us a little more about what happened in the hopes it will be helpful to other people.

Janet, if I have offended...please forgive me, and just ignore the questions. I think you've been terrific in sharing with us and I appreciate your honesty.
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:02 PM   #105
"unreg redux"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

It definitely happens a lot. There's sometimes an undercurrent of sexual attraction between me & one of my teachers. But we're both grown-ups, and happily married (to other people), and I just cheerfully shrug it off as one of those things, and have a feeling he does the exact same thing. Friendship preserved, teacher-student relationship preserved, marriages preserved, no harm done.
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Old 11-02-2004, 12:32 PM   #106
"An on"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

I have undercurrents with my boss, but I would never do anything about it - he's married. These things sometimes do just happen.
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Old 12-05-2004, 04:51 PM   #107
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

This all reminds me a couple we had in a dojo many years ago. They were just living together at the time. They would come into Aikido practice looking all stressed and upset with each other. They would sit down next to each other at the beginning and everyone else would move away very discretely. For the next hour, they would beat the crap out of each other and toss each other as hard as possible (one a power lifter and the other a semi-pro dancer and weight lifter). Then, they would break off and practice normally with everyone else. At the end of practice, they would hurry off together. We thought about buying them fur-covered handcuffs for their wedding present but settled on matching jos. We wanted to see them get upset with each other with jos. We wouldn't be able to enjoy the fur-covered handcuffs very much.

Rock
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:34 PM   #108
Jerry Miller
 
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Talking Re: Falling in love with Sensei

You are a bad person.

Jerry Miller
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:21 PM   #109
"anonymous"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Think about it. A sensei is an everyday person who achieves stature and authority over a tiny niche of followers. If he/she is insecure or power hungry, then the stage is set for abuse. It's an opportunity to be an alpha dog in some realm and to assert this power over the followers. Big pathetic fish in a small pond.

Stay away from the power relationship. You're too vulnerable, because as a student, you want to rely on your sensei to train you, to be trustworthy. You're lucky if the sensei, out of ethical responsibility, will either discourage any advances, reciprocate with real love, or have a reality talk with you. If you're unlucky, you'll be used to inflate a weak and vacuous ego and join the harem.

When you're new to an organization, it's best to keep a safe distance. Wait until you've heard all the nasty gossip and testimonies and then judge for yourself. If he or she's a creep, the evidence will be apparent and you'll find out soon enough.

Unfortunately, there are some really nasty people out there who have no problem using others for their own pleasure without regard for feelings. If you fall in love with them, they will suck you dry. Or try, at least.
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:20 PM   #110
"Anon"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

and sometimes sex really is just sex - especially the older you get.

Undercurrents are a great spice of life, and "aiki-touch" is a wonderfully safe outlet for the urge to be physical with other people.
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Old 02-23-2005, 06:44 PM   #111
Qatana
 
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:

Undercurrents are a great spice of life, and "aiki-touch" is a wonderfully safe outlet for the urge to be physical with other people.
But it is not sex, not is it a replacement for sex. Intimacy, yes. Aikido is as intimate as it gets.
But it is by no means an effective substitute.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:46 PM   #112
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Be very careful here. As an Aikido teacher I can tell you that this is a huge trap for a teacher. If we were mental health professionals or lawyers, or doctors we would have had ethics training as part of our professional development. Standards would have set out for waht was considered accpetable and not acceptable behavior with those entrusted to ones care.

In the case of Aikido, those of us who are running dojos not only didn't get the least training in the ethics of relating to students, especially in the area of relationships and sex, but most of our role models were horrible.

Being an Aikido teacher is a trap. In my own younger days I fell into trouble myself but I got my act together before it damaged the dojo. I have had this discussion with other male friends who are teachers. Some have realized that their behavior was inappropriate and copped to it, others seem to have matured and now behave better but you never hear them admit to any wrong doing, and others, well you hope you don't get mixed up with one of them...

Can you have a relationship with a teacher and have it work out? Yes, as mentioned by many, it can work out just fine and has for many Aikido teachers of my acquaintance. Just some ground rules...

Don't make anything secret. If you are dating, let everyone know you are dating. The worst abuses have happened when everything was secret. This allowed both repeated and multiple simultaneous offences because people were not aware of each other. Each thought he or she was "special".

If you are getting messages about being "special" or that the teacher has "special plans" for you, run away. This is standard predatory behavior; you are being groomed.

If your relationship with the teacher seems to be causing problems with the other folks in the dojo, this is a big warning sign. They are probably seeing something that you are not. On the other hand, if you are having a relationship and your realtions with your mates at the dojo stay as they were, then things are probably just fine. Although be aware of the following possibility.

If you feel like the teacher is paying attention to other females in the dojo in the same way that he pays attention to you, run away... It's all a big setup. What is interesting about a dojo in which there is serious dysfunctional behavior is that the membership becomes codependent. One acquaintance was having relations with several females in his dojo at the same time and others had left due to failed relationships with the sensei. It wasn't until this teacher got better through therapy and copped to what he had been doing that he lost 60 of his students. While he was screwing around with every female he could, the dojo looked the other way but when he stopped, the folks couldn't face their parts as enablers so they had to blame the teacher and leave in disgust.

People who run dojos and are serious about their training have a hard time even meeting anyone oustide their own dojos to date. So I am quite sympathetic to the issue of dating a student. But you REALLY need to be careful. I can't stress enough that things should be open and above board. Then there won't be any elements which end up surprising you or the others in the dojo.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:07 AM   #113
"fooBar"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
In the case of Aikido, those of us who are running dojos not only didn't get the least training in the ethics of relating to students, especially in the area of relationships and sex, but most of our role models were horrible.
I'm a churchman first and a student of Aikido second and I find that the community life of a congregation and the community life of a dojo have much to tell each other. I'm simply amazed at the lack of sexual and financial accountability in a dojo. In my branch of Christianity, all clerics are required, and lay leaders are encouraged, to undergo training in sexual misconduct avoidance. And nobody is allowed to go near a teen ager without the training. We learn what to watch for in ourselves, how to spot a sexually abused child, how to spot a preadator and how to avoid misunderstanding. Anyone running a dojo and anyone teaching young people really should go through something like it. If they're in the US they can simply call up their local Episcopal bishop and enquire. They might charge you or they might not but it is well worth it.

When the rector of a congregation starts dating a member of that congregation three things happen: the Bishop is told, the congregation is told and the two start worshipping in separate congregations. If you are going to date your sensei then certainly the sensei should inform somebody in authority or a council of sensei peers. And certainly the dojo should be informed. Training in a separate dojo may not be necessary or practical but keeping it mind might just remind you of the possible dangers.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:37 PM   #114
"anonymous"
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Cool Re: Falling in love with Sensei

[quote]and sometimes sex really is just sex - especially the older you get.


Is there such a thing as "just" sex?

Why not hire someone for the job then? What's the difference?
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:20 PM   #115
Adam Alexander
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Your questinons are indiscrete. This is not your business.

Regarding this quote: I think it'd be appropriate to revise it like so:

"I don't feel comfortable talking about that."


It's not a matter of politically correct posting, it's a matter of categorizing the original poster's questions in a box that doesn't have universal support (what is "indiscrete").IMHO.

If the subject of "indiscrete" goes without notice, then a rule regarding certain questions develops.
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:18 PM   #116
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
A couple of questions. You say the feelings were mutual -- how do you know? Did you ever talk to him about it? Also, are you completely over your feelings for him now? Was it painful when you discovered he had this other person? Are you glad, in the end that nothing happened to disrupt your relationship with him as a teacher?
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Your questions are indiscrete. This is not your business.
Hagen is right, those particular questions are not appropriate. It is similar to asking a paraplegic, if the accident where they lost their limbs was painful or if they can still feel the limbs that are missing. It just dredges up potentially painful memories for no real purpose other than morbid curiosity. Janet's last post, in my opinion was closure on the specifics of her story. Anything more is just gossip/rumor mongering. The further points made by Rocky and the two posters about relationships being above board were good and contributed something constructive.

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
It's not a matter of politically correct posting, it's a matter of categorizing the original poster's questions in a box that doesn't have universal support (what is "indiscrete").IMHO. If the subject of "indiscrete" goes without notice, then a rule regarding certain questions develops.
Be careful here Jean, you're potentially standing on the edge of a very slippery slope. How many boxes truly have "universal support"? Sometimes rules can be good, and the board is not entirely without control. Jun deletes and/or ends threads that he deems surpass a certain level of appropriateness. Our contributions, since we don't have editorial control over the board, are to remind people to not ask questions they are not prepared to answer about themselves. To put it another way, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don't ask people to dredge up painful experiences, just to satisfy your morbid curiosity.
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:50 AM   #117
pezalinski
 
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Question Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
Be very careful here. As an Aikido teacher I can tell you that this is a huge trap for a teacher. If we were mental health professionals or lawyers, or doctors we would have had ethics training as part of our professional development. Standards would have set out for what was considered acceptable and not acceptable behavior with those entrusted to ones care.

In the case of Aikido, those of us who are running dojos not only didn't get the least training in the ethics of relating to students, especially in the area of relationships and sex, but most of our role models were horrible.
Many of my instructors are/were professionals outside of Aikido. To my knowledge, all have had exposure to such professional standards of ethics, and abide by them.

Do the national and international "umbrella" Aikido (MAF, USAF, AAA, etc, ) organizations have ethics policies as a part of their bylaws?

If so, they need to be refreshed on a regualr basis; if not, they need to be enacted.


A little danger is a knowledge thing...

"Helping the planet make an impact on people, since 1985"
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:02 AM   #118
Justin Gaar
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Do symbol Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Alright to be serious here, i think someone has already said this but I might recant it. The feelings for your sensei are only feelings. Albeit, feelings are strong, and have large effects on people. But, If you act out on these feelings, it can go either way. Small chance you could actually "get together" with him and it would be great for a little while. However, what if ya'll went your different ways. Would you be willing to find another dojo (if it was that akward). I'm sorry I have to say, Aikido is a great art. But theres not many dojos around here. Just my two cents.
Sayonara
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:32 AM   #119
"Anonymous User"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote:
Our contributions, since we don't have editorial control over the board, are to remind people to not ask questions they are not prepared to answer about themselves. To put it another way, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don't ask people to dredge up painful experiences, just to satisfy your morbid curiosity.
Well...I'm the person who resurrected this thread, and I'm perfectly willing to answer these questions about myself. I developed very strong feelings for my own sensei and was finding it hard to separate my feelings for him from my love for martial arts. I did not ask Janet any questions out of morbid curiosity, but out of personal pain. I was hoping to know more about how she was able to disengage herself from personal feelings for her sensei, because I needed to do that myself. I would have contacted her privately, but she did not make her private email available.

Please do remember that Janet brought her situation to this board herself. She has been very open and honest, and as I said in a previous post, I appreciate and honor that. She had the option of ignoring the more personal questions I asked, and that's what she has chosen to do.

One of the benefits of the Internet, I think, is that it allows us to discuss things which are important to us, but which we might all feel much less comfortable discussing in person.

I appreciate all the recent postings warning about the dangers of sensei-student relationships; this has been helpful to me and I'm sure to other people.
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Old 02-27-2005, 05:35 PM   #120
Adam Alexander
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote:
Be careful here Jean, you're potentially standing on the edge of a very slippery slope. How many boxes truly have "universal support"? Sometimes rules can be good, and the board is not entirely without control. Jun deletes and/or ends threads that he deems surpass a certain level of appropriateness.
Exactly. It's not our position, as posters, to dictate the rules of this board. So it seems that we should avoid making statements that give the impression that our values are the ones that set the forum's standard.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:12 AM   #121
"troubled"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

i thought i was e only dummy in this situation. apparently, not.

i too have a strict maths teacher in his mid thirties. Honestly speaking, it wasn't love at first sight. infact i didnt like him at all till the third month of school. somehow, i just started admiring him. he is a realy handsome teacher. i started to get even more obsess and sometime started asking myself whether i'm " too concerned for him". there was once when he had a really bad sore throat and i secretely left him a pack of "sore throat sweet".

However, after a year or s , i accidentally found out that he left my school and cred for 2 nights. just when i thought everything was over, i found out that he actually teaches tuition outside. and Lucky Me, i actualy became his student.

But recently, i feel that i am more and more in love. and he can easily control my feelings. as in ... just by seeing him or thinking about him, i can't stop smilling to myself. my friends even ask me " hey, why are u smiling to urself like an idiot". or recently, i invited him to come to my concert, and after curtain call, i was really expecting to se him coming to the stage to congratulate me but i did not see him. i was totally down. so many of my friends gave me flowers but despite having my friends, i couldn't smile, i had to "fake smile".... afterwhich, i smsed him and he reply... apparently he left ith some of the other teachers for supper. but after he congratulated me, i was extremly happy agin. i feel like and idiot! i can't control my feelings anymore. i'm more and more worried.. what if ican't controll my feelings, i feel like telling him everything but i can't. help...
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:17 AM   #122
"spelling error"
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

sorry i spelt cried as cred

and ... a year or so
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:20 AM   #123
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

In my 15 years in Aikido I've seen all manner of dojo relationships (none of my own for those who care) and some of them resulted in one or other party leaving the dojo. Frankly, I personally did not care one way or the other, since every single one of the people involved was an adult---the situation with students (university) would be completely different.

Now, in some countries, to teach martial arts there is a national certificate that is required, which involves several weeks of training. In Israel I believe the major reason for this is simply reducing the risks, in other words something lobbied for successfully by the insurance companies. I am pretty sure ethical training forms a role in this too. In France there is also some certificate, perhaps for similar reasons. To me this makes perfect sense, especially as organizations grow in size and become more attractive for legal action. I am also in favour of organizations (or dojos) instituting their own even stricter codes which would have the effect of perhaps reducing insurance premiums in the future. In any case, I think this thread is a very valuable one.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #124
boyana
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Can anyone help not falling in love?
Can you stop it?

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Old 07-06-2008, 09:45 PM   #125
Janet Rosen
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Re: Falling in love with Sensei

Quote:
Boyana Stone Levy wrote: View Post
Can anyone help not falling in love?
Can you stop it?
Yes. Because in most of these kinds of one-sided situations, it isn't really "falling in love," it is an infatuation based on idealizing another person. Coming back to reality is all it takes.

And when it is not infatuation, but a reality-based combination of affection, respect, caring, etc, well I think there is still a very human capacity to be mature and not only not act on one's desires, but pre-emptively recognise the potential and simply place the other person "off limits."

Janet Rosen
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