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Old 12-26-2000, 08:46 PM   #1
Dojo: Aikido of Dallas
Location: Dallas
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 123
This weeks poll really made me wonder just what this would be. I had visions of someone falling in love with their bokken,
and other really silly things like having an illicit affair with a certain technique. Then I thought maybe it means falling for some other student but then no, wait... maybe it means starting an affair with your sensei and at that point I thought...I can't be the only one that might not really understand the question being asked?

so...what is an 'Aikido romance' anyway?

Kelly Christiansen

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror
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Old 12-26-2000, 10:02 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 82
crystalwizard wrote:
I thought...I can't be the only one that might not really understand the question being asked?

so...what is an 'Aikido romance' anyway?
Love from the first nikkyo.

It makes sense, since nikkyo does make uke look like he's proposing.
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Old 12-27-2000, 10:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 237

I'm also unsure of how to define an "aikido romance". If it has to do with meeting a special someone during class and together teaching each other how to effectively blend with the mat; then yes I have had an "aikido romance". My wife and I met while training. She was studying Tae Kwon Do at the same dojo where I was studying Aikido. It started out as an innocent kotegaeshi throw, then developed into kaitenage and iriminage. The next thing I knew, she was applying a powerful nikyo pin. It was love at first ukemi. We've been together for three years and continue to train together (she has quite possibly the best shihonage I've ever seen).
Now, if an "aikido romance" involves developing some sort of affection towards your training weapons, I must admit that I'm really happy with my new Bujin shinai. I'm not exactly in love with the thing, but I'm quite satisfied with the quality of the product.

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Old 12-27-2000, 08:05 PM   #4
Dojo: Michigan Technological University
Location: Houghton MI
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 27
A few of us were discussing this post after class tonight, agreeing that we had seen quite a few pairings (and unpairings) but didn't want to get into NAMES... We have a high proportion of non-committed individuals in the dojo, and it seems like the physical intimacy lends itself to an occasional "romantic" entanglement--either that or the fact that people are looking for a connection already makes them continue their search on the mat.

And maybe we're all baser minded up here, but no one read the poll question and thought it had anything to do with love of aikido, or a particular technique or weapon...

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Old 12-28-2000, 10:58 AM   #5
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
Unhappy Aikido Romance

Unfortunately, I am familiar with this topic.

For me an "aikido romance" is an instance wherein two persons become infatuated with one another as a result of their training.

Sometimes this is nothing more than unvarnished lust which, once burning itself out, often causes one or both persons to discontinue training.

At other times such "romances" have caused break-ups and divorces because the person involved felt better understood by their training partners than with the person with whom they were involved.

There have been instructors who have used their "status" to seduce their students. They usually do not last long as instructors because sooner or later they get their comeuppance.

Occasionally, I have seen some positive relationships develop from Aikido, but only when both persons involved are strong to begin with or have developed strength as a result of training.

For the most part, however, "aikido romances" tend to be disruptive to the dojo, and generally not a good idea. They have many of the same characteristics of "church/summer camp romances" - fun and exciting in the moment, but usually doomed to failure.

Oh, by the way, the "unfortunately" at the beginning of this post is because my first marriage ended because of a decision I made over 25 years ago to have and "aikido romance".

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 12-28-2000, 03:36 PM   #6
Chuck Clark
Chuck Clark's Avatar
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
Over the past years I have had many relationships of a romantic nature develop in my dojo between students, several marriages, plus ... several divorces. Some folks don't stay if the relationship changes, some do.

Anytime you have people training together, touching each other, and getting to know themselves and each other better, relationships will develop. I don't see how you can stop them.

It's called life.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
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Old 12-29-2000, 03:08 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 237
I've already responded to this post, and after reading the other posts I've realized something. I'm very lucky. It seems that many relationships (not all of course, but several) that have developed in the dojo have ended up down the proverbial drain. As I said earlier, my wife and I met in the dojo. We only recently got married, but we dated exclusively for almost three years. We are very dedicated to our training and when we are in the dojo, we respect one another as fellow Aikidoka. There is no "lovey dovey" stuff going on during class. To do so would be very disruptive and disrespectful. Like I said, I guess I'm very lucky.

Now on the other side of the coin, I have to admit that I've witnessed a few relationships that did not last. Many years ago when I was still a kyu rank I remember that the assistant instructor would always bring his "new" girlfriends to the dojo. It was like he was trying to impress them with his Aikido prowess. Personally, I thought doing that was pretty goofy and for more than one reason. The main reason was because I was the highest kyu ranked student and was able to perform ukemi without any trouble. So as you might guess, I got tossed around a lot on those nights. I didn't mind too much as it was good practice, but it still seemed a little stupid. Incidentally, the assistant instructor never did have a relationship last more than a month or two. Must have been that infatuation stuff other people have mentioned.

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Old 01-03-2001, 11:07 AM   #8
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 432

Ahh, "Dojo Love"... I was recently talking abouth this with some of my fellow students. We were all under the opinion that most often they don't seem to work (yes, I know that sometimes they do). I've always made it my personal policy not to get involved with fellow students, just like not getting involved with co-workers. I just never liked the idea of all of the emotional baggage that such a relationship would entail. Besides, I'm married now with a child!

When I comptemplate this issue, I'm always reminded of the scene in Moonstruck, where one character says: "Don't s**t where you eat!"

Robert Cronin
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Old 01-04-2001, 01:04 AM   #9
Dojo: samourais,Eindhoven
Location: the Netherlands
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 31
Well, I guess I am one of the few lucky ones who is fortunate enough to both train and have a relationship with the same person at the same time.
Actually, he got me into aikido. We had been good friends for a couple of years when I wanted to start training MA again after a year of recoupering from a nasty accident. I come from a self-defence/aiki-jitsu background but felt I needed something that forced me to use both my 'sides' and did not let me get away with just using my good side. He suggested I should give aikido a try. I did and I've been training ever since. About a month later we were dating, which is kind of funny if you know each other for 2-3 years already but has the great advantage that you know the other ones peculiarities and habits. We both love aikido but no lovey dovey on the mat. Although it has never been a secret that we have a realtionship, it took one of the teachers a year of training with us before she noticed we were a couple. She and her partner are both aikido instructors and have their own dojo.
I know several aikidocouples, who have been living and training together for years, some even decades. I also know a man who has been training together with his son for some years now. He confessed to me he wished his wife would also start training aikido, so the entire family could share the experience.
Sorry for the rambling on but it kind of bugged me that most post were so negative about aikidorelationships. Aikido has become a 'big' part of my life and I am very glad I can share it with my partner, who is just as crazy about it as I am. In my opinion it has been very benificial to our relationship to just throw each other around a bit.


I haven't failed, I have found 10.000 ways that won't work.
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