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Old 05-14-2001, 01:24 AM   #1
"Anonanon"
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Unhappy instructors dating students

Just wanted to hear some people's thoughts about and perhaps experiences with instructors, including chief instructors, who date their students. And I do mean plural students. Or is it ok if it is just one?
 
Old 05-14-2001, 04:03 AM   #2
ian
 
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I think there should be no difficulty in instructors dating student or students as long as it doesn't affect the training. Obviously if instructors use their position of power to attact females it may reflect on how you view their ethical standing (which may make you question their motives for teaching), but I would not be one to make moral judgements if they are not affecting you or your collegues.

Ian

P.S. From my experience, couples who train at the same dojo (inc. if one is an instructor) tend to have a slight (and healthy) aversion to choosing each other as training partners.

Last edited by ian : 05-14-2001 at 04:05 AM.
 
Old 05-14-2001, 05:12 AM   #3
Greg Jennings
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Re: instructors dating students

Quote:
Originally posted by Anonanon
Just wanted to hear some people's thoughts about and perhaps experiences with instructors, including chief instructors, who date their students. And I do mean plural students. Or is it ok if it is just one?
I think dating one's students, co-workers (up or down the pecking order), etc. is a bad idea. Yes, I've seen it work out. But I've seen it end up for the worse many, many more times.

My wife of a dozen years was, during my teaching assistant days, one of my students. I waited till her progress prevented her from being one of my students again to ask her out.

When my dad sent me off to my first job he told me to:
1. Do what I was told to do immediately and to the best of my ability.
2. Strive to arrive before and leave after my boss.
3. Never get my "dates" and my paycheck in the same place.

That's all stood the test of time...

Regards,




Greg Jennings
 
Old 05-14-2001, 07:42 AM   #4
lt-rentaroo
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Hello,

Hmmm, well just like Greg I've seen dating of this nature work out and not work out. I would be an example of it working out. My wife and I met while training. I wasn't an instructor (or even an assistant instructor) at the time. About a year after we started dating, I started my "assistant instructor" duties. Things have worked out well for us, we dated for about three years and were married last fall.

I've seen couples come to the dojo and start training together. One of them soon realizes that Aikido is not their thing, and decides to quit. Now, the relationship suffers. I've also met people who have come to the dojo in order to meet someone. Obviously an Aikido dojo is not the best place to meet someone; Everyone is dripping wet from sweat and constantly falling down.

Instructors dating students can be a very bad thing, especially if it does affect the training of other people in the dojo. As an instructor, you must remember that you are there to teach; and more than likely you are getting paid to do it, except for Greg
It is very important to maintain positive, professional relationships with all of your students otherwise the dojo will suffer.
 
Old 05-14-2001, 08:57 AM   #5
REK
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I think its a bad idea for instructors to date student/trainees. There is an inherent power differential in the relationship. Although that does not necessarily suggest "undue influence" it will call into question the instrutor's capacity for unbiased evaluation of the student's performance. It certainly did in one dojo I attended.

I wouldn't question two non-instructors or two instructors (equivalent ranks) hooking up romantically.

I would however suggest that any aikido romeos ask themselves what they are on the mat to do. I only have a few hours a week I can train, and wooing a potential date is a poor use of that time.


________________________
Mors certa, hora incerta
 
Old 05-14-2001, 11:23 AM   #6
"Anonanon"
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the nitty gritty

I can see where someone might meet and fall in love with one of their students or employees, this can happen in any setting. What I was concerned about, and have experience with, is an instructor who has, over the course of several years, gotten involved with more than three of his students. This person was chasing me around for a while, then backed off, saying "oh, no, I can't date my students." Then I left, but on fairly good terms. Since then,he has gotten another student pregnant and is now living with her. We are talking about a 4th dan getting involved with or making passes at several 5th and 6th kyu students. He has no women students above that rank because they all leave. After I left, I found out he had gotten another student pregnant before, and that several other students had quit because they felt this person was coming on to them. Obviously, this has a negative effect on those students. I have been very angry since finding out that my experience with this person was part of a pattern of behavior, and that I was lied to. It's left alot of others (former students)feeling angry and powerless. I have heard that he is telling people that I (and others,including the one he is living with) were pursuing him! I really hope this is an aberrant situation and that there are no other dojos like this, that's why I am asking. I have found a new place to practice, thankfully.
 
Old 05-14-2001, 11:34 AM   #7
Erik
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"Whether I sleep with them or not, they still leave."

Supposedly a true quote by a sensei although I got it secondhand.

If the two folks are consenting adults, then they are consenting adults and that's pretty much the end of the discussion. If the sensei wants to risk dojo harmony then they pretty much get to do that, assuming they own the dojo. If you don't like it, vote with your feet and go somewhere else, which, is a suggestion I would endorse. If the sensei is finding all his/her dates in the dojo it's probably not a healthy place.
 
Old 05-14-2001, 12:14 PM   #8
Erik
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Re: the nitty gritty

Quote:
Originally posted by Anonanon
I really hope this is an aberrant situation and that there are no other dojos like this, that's why I am asking. I have found a new place to practice, thankfully.
You snuck in while I was posting. There are absolutely other dojos like this and it is also an aberration at least in so much as it's an aberration of the human condition. In other words, if it can happen at work, in a church, or at the Lion's Club meeting it can happen in a dojo.

Despite what we think, sensei really aren't any better or worse than anyone else. If a certain percentage of the population engages in unhealthy behavior then a certain percentage of the sensei will probably be engaged in this same behavior. This applies to the good things as well.

So find a good sensei, there are plenty of them out there.

PS: I am saddened to hear your story. Not surprised though.
 
Old 05-14-2001, 02:41 PM   #9
guest1234
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it's too bad you had an unpleasant experience; but men (and women) can lie to you/about you/dump you, on the mat or off. If you have indeed moved on, then don't worry about who he is interested in/living with,pending children, or what he thinks about your past relationship. If you are still tied to him, then perhaps that is a place for you to work on as well.
I think (kid's classes aside, a WHOLE other issue) that we are all adults, and i don't care who is involved with whom. I have had instructors make passes, i'm a big girl and know how to say 'no thanks'. And there have been instructors i've thought were great and would have liked to know off the mat, but old fashioned feelings about asking men out, as much as hesitency over our instructor-student relationship, held me back. I train seven days a week, so do some instructors, especially in small dojos; sometimes when that's all you meet...
i envy folks who train with their significant others...at least no arguements over 'how many nights are you going to that dojo, anyway'...and yet they also have someone they can share time with off the mat. Singles who train a lot give up a relationship, those in relationships often give up dojo time. Nice to get both I know when i've dated men who don't do martial arts they are not thrilled that i do, and hate the time that i put in. So i say, give the instructors a break.
 
Old 05-14-2001, 06:34 PM   #10
"Anonanon"
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Thanks colleen. I am less concerned about my personal experience than with discovering that a large number of other students had quit because they felt hit on excessively or been involved with this person, and that many of these people retained highly negative feelings about their experience. To some degree, I agree, instructors are just people, and their commitment to teaching or to aikido may make it difficult for them to meet people outside the dojo. On the other hand, in at least some dojos, there's an implicit or not-so-implicit "don't talk back to the sensei" rule in place, depending on how rigidly or traditionally the ranking system is enforced. This leaves less room for negotiation.
 
Old 05-20-2001, 11:08 PM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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This is a problem

Quote:
Originally posted by Anonanon
Thanks colleen. I am less concerned about my personal experience than with discovering that a large number of other students had quit because they felt hit on excessively or been involved with this person, and that many of these people retained highly negative feelings about their experience. To some degree, I agree, instructors are just people, and their commitment to teaching or to aikido may make it difficult for them to meet people outside the dojo. On the other hand, in at least some dojos, there's an implicit or not-so-implicit "don't talk back to the sensei" rule in place, depending on how rigidly or traditionally the ranking system is enforced. This leaves less room for negotiation.
Anyone who thinks this is just a matter of consenting adults needs to read Sex in the Forbidden Zone : When Men in Power - Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers, and Others - Betray Women's Trust
by Peter Rutter.

If Aikido teachers were professionals in the mental health, medical, etc. fields they would be trained in the ethics and psychology of these types of relationships. Not only did most Aikido teachers not get any training in how to handle their role as Sensei in relation to members of the opposite sex but in fact most of their own role models were bad!

But in Aikido, no one wants to talk about these issues because so many people at the top are offenders. Ellis Amdur's book about Aikido "Duelling With O-Sensei" he talks about this at length. http://www.ellisamdur.com/duelingwithosensei/

Being an aikido teacher can be a very lonely occupation in many ways. Often the only people you meet are at the dojo. It may not be optimum but it is certainly understandable when a teacher has a relationship with a student. But the example mentioned above is far beyond that. You have a predatory relationship here with the females in the role of the prey. It is wrong, it is unethical, and it shouldn't be tolerated.

What is often the most disturbing is the way in which the other members of the dojo become co-dependent with the teacher's dysfunction. One of my friends is an Aikido teacher who really got himself into trouble with a number of his female students. His wife was in the dojo at the same time. When his relationship with her began to collapse the students all banded around him to "support" him. People who his wife had thought were her friends basically ostracized her. His inappropriate behavior was not only tolerated by the dojo, it was fully enabled by the dojo.

This continued until he found a really wonderful therapist who helped him cop to what he had been up to. He publicly admitted how he had been screwing up, got back together with his wife, and turned himself around completely. It was precisely at this point that things blew up in the dojo and many of his students left. Not when he was at his worst but at the point where he was getting his act together. All those folks who were all tied into his codependent dysfunction ended up leaving without copping to their own role in the whole thing.

People need to not put their teachers up on a pedestal to the extent that they cease to see what is really happening before their eyes. It does no one any good at all to tolerate behavior on the part of the Sensei that you wouldn't accept anywhere else.

This is a very important area of discussion. It doesn't get a lot of attention from the senior people because so many have been guilty at one time or another of behavior that they perhaps now recognize as inappropriate. (Or they don't recognize it, which is really scary). I know from personal experience how easy it is to get caught in the trap. In my own case I was able to get my act together before it caused irreparable damage to the dojo. But you won't find a lot of guys who are going to be very open about this area.

I think that female students need to keep describing these behaviors when they happen and keep this issue in our consciousness until there are no more people acting this way. And the male instructors who have done enough work to recognize these issues for what they are should weigh in in support of these efforts. Increasing awareness and making unacceptable behavior public knowledge, at least within your own community, is the only way in which these things are going to change.


Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-20-2001 at 11:16 PM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-21-2001, 06:10 AM   #12
Dajo251
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Thumbs up

in my opinion at the tender age of 16 I feel that personal romantic relatioships between students and students or students and instructors is fine but. These relation ships should be left out side of the dojo once inside they should be a non issue.

Dan (Excus any spellng errors I am typing one handed because I broke my finger in class last night)

Dan Hulley
 
Old 05-21-2001, 08:23 AM   #13
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Relationships in the dojo

As a medical professional, and a teacher, I can't imagine it being appropriate for a teacher to pursue/date a student while the student was actively enrolled. If the student left, and they met socially, it would be a different story. It violates a basic code of ethics and responsibility, and as we have seen on some prior posts, presents many difficulties to those involved and others at the dojo.

Matthew
 
Old 05-21-2001, 11:42 AM   #14
Erik
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slight OT but relevant I think

I have trained in or visited dojos with instructors of the following caliber:

Probably Alcoholic - Drank before class. Of course, it was just a glass of wine as it was explained to me. Besides, no Japanese sensei ever suffered from this problem.
Pot Smoker -- Stoned while teaching the class.
Pedofile -- Shares his name with a famous author and the dojo is not 2 miles from where I grew up. Imagine hearing from your mother, "Aikido was in the newspaper today."
Womanizer -- Man is a legend in the aikido community and the practice is a running joke.
Klickstein was before my time but given my track record I'd have found my way there as well.

Another instructor of mine fell head over heels over a student but there was just one small problem—the student's girlfriend was in the class. Fortunately, I've never had a physically abusive sensei.

Some of these people are folks that I called sensei for many years. I predict in one case and know for certain in four others that the senior people in the dojo (including me) knew about the problems while they were going on. Only once, as far as I know, did someone say anything to the sensei about it. And the only reason there was because I'd gone through it before and couldn't accept the thought of someone getting hurt because of the instructor's hobby. Also, I was new to the dojo and didn't have much investment in it, so if I got thrown out it didn't matter. Even with all that, it was very hard to have this discussion.

I would suggest a book called the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini in regards to why this sort of behavior happens. He goes into why people would accept this sort of behavior and the structure of a dojo is an ideal breeding ground for it. The short version is that you are part of a community that has embraced the practice; senior people have invested substantial time in that community; it's difficult to admit you made a bad decision, particularly once you've made the time investment; and the instructor is usually a charismatic authority figure with some extraordinary skills that you want.

Another problem is that we are a community that often doesn't listen to its beginners and guess who will be not only the first to get hit on but also the first to notice the issue for what it is. Those very individuals often looked at as a dime a dozen. I've often wondered how many people came into those dojos, looked around, and said "holy shit!" while running for the exit. It's usually the beginners or those outside the situation who recognize it for what it is.

I've said enough. I hope others have things to add.

Last edited by Erik : 06-03-2001 at 01:14 AM.
 
Old 05-21-2001, 12:11 PM   #15
Erik
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Re: This is a problem

Quote:
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard

Anyone who thinks this is just a matter of consenting adults needs to read Sex in the Forbidden Zone : When Men in Power - Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers, and Others - Betray Women's Trust
by Peter Rutter.
The problem, IMO, is how do you determine if they are consenting adults and clearly they will be in some cases? If you go after one sensei for this practice then what comes next? Suppose a nidan dates a 4th kyu? Isn't that an abuse of power or position in some dojos? Where do you draw the line? No dating within the dojo? No dating within the community? No instructor dating? Some of these lines would fry a significant portion of our community.

The legal line is drawn at the age of 18 (or whatever your jurisdiction says) and consent. That someone is wowed by the awesome spectacle that is sensei probably ain't gonna cut it legally (I'm not a lawyer nor play one on tv). Plus, lack of consent is going to be hard to prove in an environment where the student is paying the instructor.

Despite, my earlier comments, I don't disagree with you, I just don't know how you judge the behavior and where you draw the line.

PS: Thank you for posting what you did.

Last edited by Erik : 05-21-2001 at 12:14 PM.
 
Old 05-26-2001, 03:41 PM   #16
"Anonanon"
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Quote:
how do you determine if they are consenting adults and clearly they will be in some cases? If you go after one sensei for this practice then what comes next? Suppose a nidan dates a 4th kyu? Isn't that an abuse of power or position in some dojos? Where do you draw the line? No dating within the dojo? No dating within the community? No instructor dating? Some of these lines would fry a significant portion of our community.

This is EXACTLY why I started this thread! Because I have noticed, aside from the problems at the dojo that I talked about, that quite a few sensei appear to practice with their wives, many people meet their partners in dojos, etc, etc,etc. Obviously some of this is ok. But where to draw the line cannot be determined without discussion.
And if you have a womanizing sensei, or a pedophile (!) sensei, and everyone is acting like, so to speak, there ISN'T an elephant crapping on the living room rug (or that the elephant has a god-given right to crap on the rug) for fear of getting ostracized or booted out of the dojo, or having to start at the bottom in a different style, or whatever, then nothing is going to happen, and you have a corrupt and corrupting situation.

Quote:
Only once, as far as I know, did someone say anything to the sensei about it. And the only reason there was because I'd gone through it before and couldn't accept the thought of someone getting hurt because of the instructor's hobby. Also, I was new to the dojo and didn't have much investment in it, so if I got thrown out it didn't matter. Even with all that, it was very hard to have this discussion.
That's what I mean by the "no talking back to the sensei" rule - as a student, are you really in a position to be able to confront the sensei if their behavior is harming you or others? For example (this is similar to what I was experiencing, and I have seen this guy do this to other students): What should a female student do if the sensei, while demonstrating a technique on you or showing you something (on the mat, in class), puts their hand briefly someplace it probably doesn't belong? Uh, you don't want to slap the guy, right? What if you confront them about it and they say you're imagining things? What if they insinuate to the other (mostly male) students that you are a good-time charleena? I actually did try to talk to this guy about it, what I got back was a wall of denial. Other people I have since met have also tried to talk to him about other bad behavior (verbal abusiveness) and they also got absolutely nowhere.

Check out http://www.furyu.com/archives/issue8/zanshin8.html - an article titled "Do you belong to a martial arts cult?" humorous but pointed discussion about abuse of power in martial arts.



 
Old 05-27-2001, 04:52 PM   #17
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With all due respect to the sensei who gave a detailed post on why dating within a dojo is wrong:
I have been assaulted by my commanding officer (and we were both physicians)---THAT is an abuse of power. Pedophile senseis---THAT is an abuse of power.
Any person, male or female, who lets themselves be wow'd by their sensei into a relationship they don't want when they are both adults----well, at least one of them isn't acting adult, and by that i mean the one who doesn't know how to a) say 'no', or b) consents led by his charisma and then later change their mind or c) is too lazy to leave. and i mean lazy. if it is his dojo and you don't like him, his lifestyle, or anything else about the man, leave. period. find a place that is better, or better suited to you. But be adult enough to take responsibility for your own actions.
I make it a practice to stay unentangled where i work and train, but might consider where i train if the right opportunity came along. but if it later didn't work out, i'd not be blaming someone other than myself.
So the sensei touches inapproriately? Tell him to stop. He doesn't, you have several options: a. (subltle) when his hand in in the wrong place, shriek, then look sheepish and appologise b. (not subtle) refuse to train with him c. (always reliable) leave.
As i said before, i was hit on by an instructor, lots of women talked about him, some had left when dumped by him---i told him 'no thanks' and when i heard the others talking about him, i told him talk was going around. and had no problems. but if someone were touching me and kept it up, why would i even want to stay, i'd be off the mat and out the door as soon as the inappropriate touch landed. Being in the military, i didn't have an option to leave with my commander, but anyone who allows themselves to be abused when they can leave needs counselling.
 
Old 05-27-2001, 05:41 PM   #18
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Clarification

I just wanted to say that in regards to the pedofiles that I have semi-direct knowledge, one of them has been banned from aikido (that sounds strange doesn't it) and the other was legally prohibited from working with children. Neither has been a teacher of mine in the class sense.

Colleen, based on what I read, you are a fairly grounded individual. Many folks who walk through the doors of an Aikido dojo are people looking for answers and lack such grounding. When graced with a very charismatic and powerful individual this line starts getting very blurry, very quickly. If a sensei preys on the weak in spirit I'd think the ethics get pretty clear really quick.
 
Old 05-27-2001, 06:21 PM   #19
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Re: slight OT but relevant I think

Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
I have trained in or visited dojos with instructors of the following caliber:

Probably Alcoholic - Drank before class. Of course, it was just a glass of wine as it was explained to me. Besides, no Japanese sensei ever suffered from this problem.
Pot Smoker -- Stoned while teaching the class.
Pedofile -- Shares his name with a famous author and the dojo is not 2 miles from where I grew up. Imagine hearing from your mother, "Aikido was in the newspaper today."
Womanizer -- Man is a legend in the aikido community and the practice is a running joke.
Klickstein was before my time but given my track record I'd have found my way there as well.
WHAT??????

These aren't real examples, are they?

I once ran into a smokin', drinkin' sensi (huff-puffing his way through class -- pretty good aikido though). Needless to say, I didn't start training there -- how could I respect someone like that?

Erik, these examples are beyond scary. These people should be kicked out. Period. Why would anyone even want to attend their classes anyway?

A pedofile?? Call the cops in -- let's see if their aikido really works!!

Jim23
 
Old 05-27-2001, 06:23 PM   #20
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Re: slight OT but relevant I think

Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
I have trained in or visited dojos with instructors of the following caliber:

Probably Alcoholic - Drank before class. Of course, it was just a glass of wine as it was explained to me. Besides, no Japanese sensei ever suffered from this problem.
Pot Smoker -- Stoned while teaching the class.
Pedofile -- Shares his name with a famous author and the dojo is not 2 miles from where I grew up. Imagine hearing from your mother, "Aikido was in the newspaper today."
Womanizer -- Man is a legend in the aikido community and the practice is a running joke.
Klickstein was before my time but given my track record I'd have found my way there as well.
WHAT??????

These aren't real examples, are they?

I once ran into a smokin', drinkin' sensi (huff-puffing his way through class -- pretty good aikido though). Needless to say, I didn't start training there -- how could I respect someone like that?

Erik, these examples are beyond scary. These people should be kicked out. Period. Why would anyone even want to attend their classes anyway?

A pedofile?? Call the cops in -- let's see if their aikido really works!!

Jim23
 
Old 05-27-2001, 07:17 PM   #21
guest1234
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Re: Clarification

Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
I just wanted to say that in regards to the pedofiles that I have semi-direct knowledge, one of them has been banned from aikido (that sounds strange doesn't it) and the other was legally prohibited from working with children. Neither has been a teacher of mine in the class sense.

Colleen, based on what I read, you are a fairly grounded individual. Many folks who walk through the doors of an Aikido dojo are people looking for answers and lack such grounding. When graced with a very charismatic and powerful individual this line starts getting very blurry, very quickly. If a sensei preys on the weak in spirit I'd think the ethics get pretty clear really quick.
folks who know me would laugh pretty hard at the grounded part. I know it is hard to leave a dojo, and the friends you've made there. But really, when the talk shifts from 'he left me and now has someone else pregnant' (yeah, life is tough on and off the mat) to 'he's touching me and won't stop'---i mean, come on, this is a time to tell folks to wake up and get out. if they can't identify an unsafe situation, friends should tell them (i know i've been told to wake up more than once by my friends). Report the pedophiles. Walk out on the gropers. But the folks who let themselves be talked into a relationship by a sensei, who may very well believe it is consensual (and it is, actually) would do the same with their doctor, teacher, minister, or cop down the street--and very well may move from one to the next, unless they get help. If they are old enough to say 'no' they need to learn how to say it; i assume any couple i see in the dojo is consensual (luckily i've not seen any adult-child combo's) and hence none of my business. including the sensei, who is entitled to a life. I don't mind if instructors hit on me (any more than neighbors, coworkers, or the guy in line at the bank)---their right to ask, mine to say 'no'. it's unfair i think to otherwise limit who dates whom, not to mention life is just too short.
 
Old 05-28-2001, 11:28 AM   #22
giriasis
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I agree in a way that those who don't know how to say "no" need counseling, and they need to learn to take responsibility.

Maybe this was addressed, but what about the responsibility of those in a superior position (sensei, priest, teacher) who take advantage of their position? These kind of people don't go after those who they can say "no". They go after those who are weak and who make easy victims.

Also in regards to the consenting adults issue, whenever someone uses their positition of authority to their advantage the issue is not consent to sex or but the issue is power. Consent no longer becomes an issue because the person being subjugated does not believe they can refuse.


The person who has the power is the person that is wrong in this situation. Telling a person just to say "no" to sensei is not enough. It is like telling an abused wife to just leave her husband. It is like telling the date rape victim to get away from her date. Doing so just ignores all the psyhcological elements invovled. It is just as hard, psychologically, for these folks to leave as it was to leave the military. When these folks are in the middle of the situation telling them to get help is only the first step to taking care of themselves, and they usually only get help after the abusive situation has occured. But even if they are not willing to get help does not condone the behavior of the sensei (teacher, priest, boyfriend).

I think what we all have to realize in martial arts is that the environment of dojo may allow this kind of behavior to exists. Such common things such as not being allowed to question sensei. We choose to hand over a lot of power to the sensei because of his experience and training. A sensei who uses this to his advantage even if it is to get dates is wrong. He or she still is using his or her power to their advantage.

What should we do and what rules should be created? Right now, it is up to the individual person and schools. But a rule of a sensei not dating their students while they are members of that dojo is not unreasonable.

Jim,

I don't think he was kidding. I am pretty sure who he is talking about in regards to the pedophile who is no longer allowed to teach children. There are a lot of folks out there like that in the martial arts industry it should (or shouldn't) surprise you. Try this site out. http://pub56.ezboard.com/bbudoquackwatch

Last edited by giriasis : 05-28-2001 at 11:31 AM.
 
Old 05-28-2001, 11:54 AM   #23
"Anonanon"
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Colleen: judging from your comments, you seem to be assuming that I DID get involved with this sensei that I have been discussing. I did not. What happened was this: I was there almost every day for 6 months with no problems (unbeknownst to me, his attention was focused on another student), everything was fine. Then I started helping out around the dojo more, and yeah, I did get a little closer to him, and yeah, there was the hand on the leg etc, but it was not clear for many months where this was going to go, if anywhere. I did try to talk to him about these little occurences, because he was living with someone else, and I don't date people who have girlfriends, and then he'd back off, then it would happen again, etc. I finally left when it became apparent that the situation would not resolve itself. The bad stuff was mixed up with a fair amount of good stuff (and I did have feelings for this guy). I stuck around because I don't live in an area where there are alot of places to practice aikido, and I really like aikido, and I thought if I just talked to him I could get the situation ironed out. The person I saw get groped on the mat lasted exactly one day. Does that make it OK, just because she had the good sense to leave? What about the next victim? As I have said to you before, I am less concerned with my relationship with the guy than with the pattern of behavior I have since become aware of. It kindof changes the picture. BTW I was in the middle of a personal crisis at the time this was happening, and mr X was playing the role of concerned counselor, which is exactly how he got involved with his current gf, she was in the middle of a divorce, and he said "oh, I am so worried about her" next thing your know...so what Erik was saying about people like that picking those who are weak in spirit (or in this person's case, damsels in distress) is right on the money. Ordinarily, I am a very strong person, but I was going through a tough spot and this person appeared to be offering support (turns out with strings attached).
 
Old 05-28-2001, 12:13 PM   #24
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
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if you feel a sensei should not date any students, then of course you feel a single minister, or church board member, or choir director shouold not date parishoners. Also, there should be no dating anyone who owns a business. Oh, and no dating anyone who owns a market if you shop there. Hmm, if you listen to a musician, you cannot date them. Also actors whose films you like.
The sensei does not have power over anyone who is not in desparate need of counselling, and those folks can create a sense of control that is not there. Yes, abused wives who do not leave their husbands need to be repeatedly told to leave, i know i was told and told until he almost killed me. But it was not his fault i stayed, he took advantage of an illness in me, and that is why i got counselling.
from what i hear in the annon. statements, they were not forced in any way into a relationship, they willingly went, then got dumped, and now have problems over it. As for the touching issues, well, this is a MA, and in another long thread we covered why we as women don't want males afraid to train with us. if it is accidental, then grow up or get out, contact is inevitable in MA. If it is purposeful (and be sure you know the difference) then follow my earlier advice.
Men and women can WILLINGLY enter into relationships because power and authority are seductive. But that is not different than entering into the relationship because a great figure or large income is attractive. But be responsible for your actions and don't blame the previous object of your desire when it does not work out. If you think you will have a problem facing someone in the dojo/work/church etc if it falls apart, then don't start. But none of the folks were forced into a relationship, thye are just complaining that they don't think others having them is fair.
if you agree that it's not fair to other sutdents for a sensei to date someone he is teaching, then of course he can't teach his children. tell that to O Sensei. I just think if we as women (as the complaints came from women) want to be taken seriously, we need to be responsible for our own actions. there is nothing about the first sensei mentioned that implied he took advantage of his position (date me or i'll kick you out), the women all flocked to him. It's only a dojo, and it IS HIS. Move on with your own life. He may be a cad, he may not, but so what. if you want to learn from him, stay, if not, leave. it is childish to expect someone else to change to suit you; it's his dojo, find another that you like better. If he is as bad as you say, and all vote with their feet, he will change or close the dojo.
if you want to limit who can date whom, then it really needs to be no dating anyone within the dojo. otherwise the lines are too hard to draw, take it from me, the military is constantly having problems over this. You may be both kyu students, but what happens after he passes shodan. Or is shodan and first kyu worse than 6th dan to shodan? how about first kyu to 6th kyu? get real, we're all adults and need to stop worrying about who is dating whom.
 
Old 05-28-2001, 12:28 PM   #25
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
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annon. i just read your reply, and my advice still stands. One of two things occured with your situation:
people got involved in a consensual affair (not you but the others, you say there was just attraction, but no affair with you), which is really none of anyone's business -or-
the sensei picked up on vernuable women and took advantage of it, although he seems to be sticking by his last affair like he cares about it.
women who are vulnerable can be targeted. But you cannot run around trying to protect them from the world ('though some may want that very result). You need to get them into counselling so they stop being the kind of person who attracts predators. Looking back with wiser eyes i see a lteral feeding frenzy of predators that appeared after my divorce; luckily good friends and a wonderful therapist taught me to avoid them. Without them, i would have undoubtedly been snatched right up by the next predator. but now it doesn't matter how many or how strong they are, i can identify them, and hopefully am less attractive to them.
it is a lot harder to change the predators, even more difficult to rid the entire world of them. The best defense against them is to change the behavior of their prey.
 

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