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Old 12-29-2005, 08:18 AM   #26
"Frank"
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Re: High level power abuse

Thank you Mary. I now understand where you are coming from. But, I would be willing to believe that a new person at your dojo would look upon you with almost worshiping eyes as a child would a pastor. Intended or not this is going to happen when you have experts in this kind of field. Its just going to happen. As I have done with my Master, I now know this to be a mistake. Add in personal problems outside the dojo and you have the possibility of abuse.

Frank

Hi Frank:
I know exactly what you are talking about.

And becasue I have been around for a while I have seen a bit.

We used to belong to an organization where "power" was taken and given. I never bought into it. While I admired the Sensei's Aikido I could never really see why I should act deferential because other people did. I am training to become strong and compassionate.

I was respectful and I appreciated his Aikido. His way of being off the mat was not something I aspired to become.

Nor do I expect him to be anything other than he is....a human being. (FLawed just like we all are.)

I am also very glad that we are now an independent organization that is not interested in the illusion of giving and taking of power.

Mary[/quote]
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:34 AM   #27
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: High level power abuse

Thanks Frank for giving a little more detail. I think that there will still be a division on this thread as to whether what you saw was abuse or not. It was clearly more than a "brotherly hug that went on a wee bit too long". To some, it may now depend on whether it was a one time thing or on ongoing secret thing. I know this, that if both parties are married and their spouses find out about this, even if it's a one time thing, they aren't going to be having a party for either of them afterward. The least that would happen as a repercussion is that
1) Somebody wouldn't be allowed to go to the dojo anymore.
2) A divorce would follow. (The slippery slope )
3) An ugly confrontation in the dojo from "her" husband.
4) One or both would come to their senses and back off.

Could it affect the dojo? Sure it could. Did your teacher make a mistake? He sure did. It looks to me like yours isn't the only shoulder she has cried on and maybe when she was crying on his, they crossed the line.
I would be interested in knowing where this all ends up but I would say that if it bothered you, you should at least let the instructor know it bothered you. That might at least put a stop to him- that is if he wants to stay married. If this stays secret, there is a high probability that it will continue. In either case, I would think of a new place to train. You can always do what some are saying and keep quiet and go your way but I think that may bother you more than the other choice.
Best wishes,

Last edited by Jorge Garcia : 12-29-2005 at 08:37 AM.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:17 PM   #28
aikidoc
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Re: High level power abuse

Lip lock and hand to breast-more than a discretion in my mind with both being married. In the business world, a person of authority would be legally placing the company at risk with such behavior-it's called sexual harassment-even if both are consenting. There are times and places for everything. This is not an issue of being moralistic. Its an issue of respect for one's authority and position and the responsibilities accompanying that charge. Also, what are the potential liabilities if the spouses found out? If this behavior took place in the business, could the business or organization be sued for its role? What if "Frank" was not the one catching them, but rather the wife or husband? If they are careless enough for Frank to stumble upon them, perhaps they are at risk for others doing so as well.

Yes this is complicated. Yes everyone has moralistic views and opinions. However, there is potentially a lot at stake here in that this could affect two families and the credibility of a school or organization and result in legal repercussions. Take it out of the dojo is my suggestion.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:11 PM   #29
"can't log in..."
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Re: High level power abuse

This is a very uncertain situation. IMHO, you must choose what kind of role, if any, you wish to have in this situation. You have been involved through happenstance, and if you purposefully involve yourself then you can play the role of friend and confidant - with your female friend for sure and with your Sensei if your relationship is of that level. Also, and this seems to be your concern, you may address Sensei as a member of the dojo who is concerned for the well being of the dojo.
Both people must know that their actions would be disruptive if discovered (which they have been - but to what extent?). Your Sensei may need to hear that the secret is out, and be reminded of the instability that this will bring to the dojo.
If your main concern is truly for the dojo, then ultimately all that you can do is to excel and help to make the dojo the best that it can be. Make the decision, lead by example, and don't look back. We all have our choices in life. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:33 PM   #30
odudog
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Re: High level power abuse

Some of the opinions on this matter concerns me. A lot of people seem to think that Frank was thrusted into the situation just because something happened in public and he happened to see it. For all the folks that think this way, the next time you happend to hold hands, give a quick kiss, pat the person in your life on the butt, etc... in public, don't be alarmed if everyone who saw the offense starts to give you their opinion on the matter. I think that this is rubbish. People are also assuming that the sensei's wife would be upset if she finds out about what happened and would ask for a divorce or that her husband might confront the sensei on the mat. There is no facts in evidence to support these assumptions. For all you know, she might have given him permission to seek a little on the side and the friends husband might be on the one cheating and doesn't care what the lady does. You go to the dojo to train and not follow the sensei's lifestyle or take on his religion, end of story. They are adults and its their business. Keep out of it.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:22 PM   #31
Mashu
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Re: High level power abuse

Yeah, you people need to lighten up. Put a lava lamp up on the Kamiza and have the mat redone with a Twister design. All yudansha should be allowed to wear love medallions as well as hakama. It's all good.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:32 PM   #32
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: High level power abuse

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote:
Some of the opinions on this matter concerns me. A lot of people seem to think that Frank was thrusted into the situation just because something happened in public and he happened to see it. For all the folks that think this way, the next time you happend to hold hands, give a quick kiss, pat the person in your life on the butt, etc... in public, don't be alarmed if everyone who saw the offense starts to give you their opinion on the matter. I think that this is rubbish. People are also assuming that the sensei's wife would be upset if she finds out about what happened and would ask for a divorce or that her husband might confront the sensei on the mat. There is no facts in evidence to support these assumptions. For all you know, she might have given him permission to seek a little on the side and the friends husband might be on the one cheating and doesn't care what the lady does. You go to the dojo to train and not follow the sensei's lifestyle or take on his religion, end of story. They are adults and its their business. Keep out of it.
Thanks Mike,
While I don't agree with you, I wouldn't go so far as to call your opinion rubbish. What you expressed is a legitimate concern and is an opinion worthy of being heard and considered. I have worked in a field as a professional since 1976 counseling and helping people in this very area. I happen to know that a lot less than what I have mentioned in my post has burned down lifetime's worth of relationships. I didn't say anything lightly or without some thought and due consideration. Having said that, nothing said here is advice that should be taken to the letter or too seriously and your ideas have as much merit as mine do. "Frank" needs to place his priorities in deciding what to do with competent people he knows personally and trusts. All of us here are just respectfully talking to each other about what was presented as friends.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:04 PM   #33
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: High level power abuse

Now that Frank has fleshed out his description of what he saw, it seems that several issues may come to the front. The action for each issue depends on Frank's personal position.

If Frank's issue is that they are being indiscreet and foolish, he might want to mention to one or both that he witnessed their conduct and that they should keep private moments private.

If he is concerned that the conduct will damage the dojo, then he might consider having that conversation with his sensei.

If he is concerned that the student is being taken advantage of, he might want to discuss that very clearly with the sensei.

If Frank's issue is from a moral perspective, then he should discuss his concerns with both and perhaps leave the dojo if he doesn't like or agree with what their response is.

I once had a leadership instructor talk about mistakes and misconduct. He said there are three types of mistakes; those of the head, of the heart, and of the hormones. Mistakes of the head are those when the individual thought he knew the rules, policy or procedure and did the wrong thing through ignorance. Mistakes of the hormones are those when people seem unable to control their own emotions and mistakes of the heart are those touching on evil. Mistakes of the head are easy to correct and usually just require some guidance and training. Mistakes of the hormones are a little more difficult and usually require some form of punishment. There are no corrections for mistakes of the heart. Frank is in a tough position and I don't envy what lies ahead for him.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:15 PM   #34
Qatana
 
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Re: High level power abuse

I think you got Heart and Hormones mixed up.

Q
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Old 12-30-2005, 05:27 PM   #35
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: High level power abuse

In my younger years I often got my heart and hormones mixed up, but the lecture discussed the stupidity of hormone driven behavior and the actions of a malignant heart.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:34 PM   #36
cserrit
 
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Re: High level power abuse

[quote=Mary Eastland]
Quote:
wow

Nor do I expect him to be anything other than he is....a human being. (FLawed just like we all are.)

Mary
Frank,

I get that you are highly concerned about the actions of two adults, one of whom you have recognized as an authority figure in your training and life.

Would you consider the possibility that these two people have chosen to take this (risk) on, just as you have chosen to recognize it and seek guidance as to whether to speak to someone about?

IMHO, life is a series of choices and we all make good ones and bad ones. We tend to learn from the bad ones. It seems like you need to make a choice as to whether you should confront these two people regarding their own choices...

...Please consider as to who will receive the satisfaction from any discussion that you choose to have. There is a risk of losing close friendships. As you have said previously that a dojo is like a family, and like with any family there can be rifts that are hard to mend.

I wish you good luck in your decision and hope that you are able to enjoy your training.

-C
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Old 12-31-2005, 08:40 PM   #37
Ed Shockley
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Re: High level power abuse

Not looking to start an argument but I do disagree with Mary's attitude toward power. We each are completely free to make our own choices and in that spirit I choose to respect the Japanese practice of respecting the dojo and Sensei. I find it creates greater openness in me to accept instruction. It's a bit like when we attend a Shihan seminar and many students seem to be listening more intently, trying more pointedly. Again, this is only a personal choice but I do believe that it reflects the culture out of which the art of Aikido grows. A wise friend and fellow former athlete explained it to me this way when I encountered troubling behavior from an instructor, "You can respect the office and overlook the fault of the man." Without that separation one is likely to end up a Ronin because most men/women have clay feet and the closeness of dojo life guarantees that they will be exposed. Finally, by respecting the office and forgiving the officer then I may receive the same largess when I inevitably stumble.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:11 AM   #38
"Frank"
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Re: High level power abuse

I talked with both of them separately. They now know that someone has caught them. Hopefully that will help end it and hopefully this will not change the harmony enough to seriously affect the training atmosphere of the dojo. I assure you it HAS changed how I feel when I am there and that changes the training in the dojo. For those out there that either have their own school or teaches in someone else's please read this entire thread. I am sure many people would have left this school if they were in my spot, but I don't give up on things and/or people that easy. I know at least half my class would leave over something like this, not to mention the reputation of the organization, sensei, school, family history and so on that is put at risk. We are Martial Artists and strive for better. My thanks to all who have posted with suggestions and kind words.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:45 PM   #39
natasha cebek
 
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Re: High level power abuse

Frank,
I will probably get alot of heat for this one, but I don't care. Your Sensei is way out of line, period!!!! For all the people who support this kind of BS, they have no idea of the kind of chaos this creates. I know, because I was a victim of a sexually depraved maniacal teacher for 7 years. Oh, he was an incredible teacher with outstanding skills, I paid a very high price-being his student.
The problem herein lies in the harmony and safety of the dojo. When a teacher breaches the boundary of propriety with a student, this creates an imbalance and a sense of unease. People can justify it anyway they want, but it doesn't change the inevitable chaos that will ensue.

The bottom line is this, even though you have talked to him..it doesn't matter because it's his school and-he WILL DO IT AGAIN !!!!

This Sensei that I speak of, almost lost his school and his reputation suffered (deservedly) because of his relationship and subsequent breakup with a student. Many of his students left the school because of his behavior. Needless to say, he is at it again with yet another student.
I guess some people never learn.
Very simply, this is called "Abuse of Power"

I now train at a new dojo which is safe and my Sensei understands his responsibility and he is not a predator and for that I am grateful.

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Old 01-11-2007, 04:49 PM   #40
"Thoughts"
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Re: High level power abuse

I started Aikido at a very young age. Eventually I became an apprentice to my Sensei, who thankfully was a very honorable man and teacher. Being that I was a young woman he thought it important to warn me about what some teachers in high positions in Aikido have done. I'm sure he told me this so I would know that not every teacher can be trusted or has the purest intentions. I know he did this because he genuinely cared about me and knew he would not be my Sensei forever. I remember the story he shared with me very well and have shared it with some other people since. It would not exactly be appropriate for me to tell it here. Main thing I wanted to say is there are some very honorable teachers out there who have nothing but the best intentions. On the other hand some are not and do not. Be wise with your choices.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #41
"BAck in the early days"
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Re: High level power abuse

Check out this old Aikiweb thread, on pretty much the same topic:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...light=anonanon

Same old, same old
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:01 PM   #42
natasha cebek
 
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Re: High level power abuse

Quote:

Same old, same old
If its so much the "same old..same old", why does it keep happening?
If people are so tired of talking about it, then perhaps they should take some responsibility and do something...!!!!
There are students out there (men and women) subjected to the seemingly innocent (extra) attention a "predatory teacher", gives them.
That's a big pile of and completely unacceptable.

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Old 01-13-2007, 12:28 AM   #43
"Back in the early days"
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Re: High level power abuse

Maybe nothing gets done because, even if people complain about it, there are no repercussions for the sensei
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:30 AM   #44
natasha cebek
 
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Re: High level power abuse

I agree with your statement, however repercussions come in many ways.This is about accountability not only for the Sensei but also for the seniors. We're not children, nor do we live in Feudal Japan, which in essence gives us the right to protect the interest of those who are ignorant and unsuspecting.
The Sensei is a guide to higher learning and is given the proverbial "green card" when it comes to trust and he must never violate that trust.
Martial arts is very intimate, during our development we are very vulnerable and because of this, a Sensei must maintain a healthy boundary in relation to his students.
The Sensei loses credibility and trust, the moment he crosses the line. The worst part is that he loses students that may or may never train again.
It's a very difficult subject, because of all the other social variables in the world today. What makes the martial arts special (other than the training) is the hierarchical and social values that we follow and maintain within or practice.
Geeez, I hope I'm making sense.

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Old 01-15-2007, 11:50 AM   #45
Aiki LV
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Re: High level power abuse

Natasha,
You obviously had a very bad experience with this particular situation. I think you are right, this type of thing should not happen. I don't know your particular situation or what have you, nor do I want to know it isn't any of my business. All I can say is I don't think many people condone a Sensei acting inappropriately with a student, but on the other end I think students should watch out too and not get involved with these people. If the teacher can't accept that the student isn't interested in any extra curricular activities then maybe the student should find another teacher and warn others.....
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:13 PM   #46
natasha cebek
 
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Re: High level power abuse

Thanks Mindy,
It's really not about whether the teacher accepts rejection or not. I don't think it really matters one way or another, after all the Sensei rules the "roost". What matters is how he rules the "roost" and how he conducts himself as the "pseudo god" of his own universe. No offense to Sensei's in general, there are some very honorable teachers out there. Remember the very first day that you walked in to your Dojo, were you not awestruck? I was and have seen the same response from new students time and time again.
This is about the vulnerability of a student who admires and in some cases idolizes the teacher. If the Sensei does not maintain the teacher/student boundry, the lines of propriety are broken and so is the trust.
For the record, I did have a very bad experience...I would never wish it on anyone. Thankfully, it did not deter me from my practice. For some though, they may never step foot in a dojo again.

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Old 01-15-2007, 03:44 PM   #47
Aiki LV
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Re: High level power abuse

Natasha,
How do you think this type of thing can be avoided?
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #48
natasha cebek
 
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Re: High level power abuse

I don't know, it's a tough call.
I need to think about it.... How do you think something like this could be avoided?

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Old 05-18-2008, 05:16 PM   #49
"awestruck"
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Re: High level power abuse

I have been training a while now and am still "awestruck" everytime I see my Sensei in Hakama, fortunately he is very honorable.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:00 PM   #50
dalen7
 
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Re: High level power abuse

As tough as this may sound, they are responsible for their own actions.

If their actions interrupt the class specifically, then talk about it - but point in case is that it is not. (Only the mental concepts of what is right and wrong is there...and again this is something they have to deal with.)

Those that seek will find (answers), and what you see on the surface is a sign of something else deeper. Stopping an action, etc. does not change what is deeper.

Point is this is a lot more complicated (on certain levels) then what meets the eyes. Our religious & social milieu has conditioned reactions to such situations, but really there is something else at work.

The same principle that applies to them applies to us.
Before taking the spec out of your brothers eyes, remove yours first.

What you see on the outside may look worse than what you have...but typically we always see things that way...After all, as it is said, "if you do it in your heart, you have done it."

So 'he without sin' cast the first stone.
Does this mean anyone is getting away with anything..this seems to be most peoples fear is that someone is getting away with something, and this seems to be an approach that does not benefit either side.

Point is this...your training in Aikido...then focus on your aikido training. What issues arise specifically in that class. Your not called to go into the lives of everyone of your dojo, per say, if you see what I mean.

Peace

dAlen
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