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Old 05-29-2004, 06:02 AM   #1
Troy
 
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Dojo: Yellow Springs Aikido
Location: Fairborn, Oh
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Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

After she is done with college, I would like my fiancÚ to start taking Aikido with me at our local Dojo. But I remember reading it somewhere, or someone telling me, that couples on the mat make for not a good training environment, but I would really like her to know how to defend herself. I've already (outside the Dojo) started teaching her a bit of what I know, and she really likes it. Is it a good idea to have a relationship with someone you are taking Aikido with?

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 05-29-2004, 06:37 AM   #2
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

If it's not a "teacher/student" relationship, but just two people practicing in a dojo, I can't see the problem with it..

It would be better if you're not the jealous macho type who is going to pound on anyone who looks at her sideways or does a takedown to the floor etc ..
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:10 AM   #3
Nick P.
 
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

From experience....
1- Avoid having higher expectations of your partner than you do of others. Sounds odd, but it`s a real hazard.

2- Let them ask you for clarifications and details; don`t try and teach them everything at once (this is of course true for any fellow students when you are their senior, but even more so as a couple)

3- Ask yourself: am I acting the same towards others as I am towards her/him on the mat? Obviously not 100%, but the closer the better.

And above all, make sure they are having fun, whether they ever practice with you or not.

My wife and I are still...well....married, and we have been training together for over 2 years, so it can work. Everyone is different, though.

Does she know about this site? Maybe send her the link to this thread, and let her see for herself.

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Old 05-29-2004, 07:01 PM   #4
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

Would you be her instructor? That could be a problem.
JEanne
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:00 PM   #5
Troy
 
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
Would you be her instructor? That could be a problem.
JEanne
No. I would be just another Aikidoka, but I would be higher ranked than her. I'm sorry, I should have clarified that.

Last edited by Troy : 05-29-2004 at 08:00 PM. Reason: taking out smile face

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 05-30-2004, 06:52 AM   #6
dan guthrie
Dojo: Aikido of SLO
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

My ex and I had serious problems when I tried to teach her target shooting. I was surprised because I'm very patient and she was eager to learn. It was just bad chemistry. I wouldn't try to force it if she's not happy with the training. That said, I hope it works out.
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Old 05-30-2004, 11:10 AM   #7
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

Quote:
Troy Copes wrote:
No. I would be just another Aikidoka, but I would be higher ranked than her.
Could be a problem if you take on any responsibility for teaching her whatsoever. In the dojo that's best left to the instructor, and couples who try to teach each other tend to run into resentment type problems.

Can you cope if she ends up way better than you? She could be a natural. Can you cope if she decides it's not for her? She may not want to continue in Aikido even if you do.

Lots to think about here. I suggest that you don't bring your relationship onto the mat with you. When you're there you're two students, not an engaged couple.

Good luck!

Ruth
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:14 PM   #8
Bronson
 
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

I'm lucky in that my girlfriend can take class when I'm teaching and we are just instructor and student. Again, this is very lucky as I've usually seen it not work out like this. In my tai chi days some members of my family came to class and we just couldn't work together. The instructor actually instituted the "family doesn't work together" rule because of it

It can work. There are many examples both ways. My sensei is married to the senior student in our dojo. They've worked it out so it's not a problem. The senior student of my class is an ikkyu and his father is a rokkyu. There is no friction when the son is teaching class and his father is just another student. So, it can work it just really depends on the mind sets of the involved people.

Bronson

p.s. No way to know until you try

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:36 PM   #9
Aristeia
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

shouldn't be a problem if you are just mindful of the potential pitfalls. I've taught my wife in formal classes without any serious issues and know of several couples who train together quite happily.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 05-30-2004, 09:15 PM   #10
Troy
 
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Can you cope if she ends up way better than you? She could be a natural. Can you cope if she decides it's not for her? She may not want to continue in Aikido even if you do.
I have thought about all of that. And in any of those cases, I feel that it would not bother me a bit. Actually, I would be very proud of her if she does become better than me.

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:19 AM   #11
Dario Rosati
Dojo: Zanshin - Milan
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Re: Relationships on the mat. A good thing?

Quote:
Troy Copes wrote:
No. I would be just another Aikidoka, but I would be higher ranked than her. I'm sorry, I should have clarified that.
My wife is an aikidoka, too.
No problems at all... but because our sensei simbly forbid us to take practice together on the mat... it's a simple rule of our dojo, couples don't train together
We attend the same class but we are not allowed to pair.

There are too many factors that place the train at risk; they are most subjective matter I think (for example, are you able to push the technique to the limit with a relative?), but I trust my sensei in this... If he says it's better not to train with wife/girlfriend, we won't.

Probably it's related with the "he instructor - she student" matter (and viceversa).
I've attended two seminars where two different sensei had a shodan wife along with them - and in both seminars the skills of both wives (who where sensei uke the whole time of the seminar) where highly questionable for a shodan... everybody noticed that, from rokukyu to other attending shodan.

Bye!

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