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Dating Students

I was assisting at another dojo. One day, one of the senior students (an adult) came up to me and asked to make sure that he did not get too close to another student. It turned out that both students were dating the same woman.

I was shocked. I informed the student that he should not attend training if he could not control himself around any other students. Dating issues do not belong in the dojo!

You can imagine the ill feelings that could arise if these students paired off and one or both became injured. They might feel that the injuries were intentional.

I informed the sensei about this matter. As it turned out, both students eventually quit, which was not unexpected given the situation.

The dojo is not a place for dating. The sensei, in particular, must maintain a sense of decorum. The sensei is in a trusted position, much like a priest. It is essential and expected that the sensei will respect his students and not take advantage of his position.

As a sensei, I cannot prevent students from dating. But I can ensure that dating issues are dealt with outside of the dojo. Inside the dojo, we all are students and must respect each other as such. We need to know that any accidental injuries are unintended and that we can completely trust one another.


Charles C. Goodin