Considering changing schools (long)


Senior Master
Nov 18, 2005
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There's another important difference. Dating inside the dojo is one thing. A teacher dating a student is another, not unheard of, something you look at askance, not to be encouraged. But just propositioning your student? Nope. That's pure predatory behavior making maximum use of the power imbalance to use her like a cut-rate whore. And doing again after he'd been turned down? The guy is scum, and anyone who'd defend or even tolerate him is scum.


Yellow Belt
Jan 16, 2008
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Akron, Oh
I personally think you should leave and make it public as to the reason. I'm sure you are not the only person this man is harrasing and you can set a good example for the others to follow. Good luck.
Regards, Don


Yellow Belt
Jul 5, 2007
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Central Texas
I personally think you should leave and make it public as to the reason. I'm sure you are not the only person this man is harrasing and you can set a good example for the others to follow. Good luck.
Regards, Don

I'm pretty sure I'm not. I've confided in a friend that is a black belt, and she has indicated that she has dealt with similar behavior from him and has many of the same concerns. She pulled her children out a couple years ago due to this. She is one of the brave souls trying to change things from the inside. However, I've noticed that his influence is very strong, and those in his inner circle either conform or eventually leave.

Thanks again, everyone. I'm gaining much insight into my own thought processes from reading your responses.


Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Aug 28, 2001
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Terre Haute, IN
arnisador-the illegal aspect of it comes from the part where the OP said no and the director continued to push. It is called harassment

IANAL, but I don't think this is correct. Until it becomes stalking it's probably legal--creepy and low-budget and unprofessional, but legal. Harassment applies primarily to the workplace and similar settings (students at public schools). I don't think a student could apply it here. IN any event, people have to be allowed to date, and allowing people to ask others out even if they don't know the answer will be "Yes" is necessary for the propoagation of the species.

and is bordering on verbal assault.

Exactly what crime is that?

It is on pace to escalate to something worse.

Full agreement--this is a warning sign of a situation that is set-up to go from bad to worse. I say, think self-defense and just don't go near there! Look for anotehr instructor--in the same style or a different one.

Twin Fist

Mar 22, 2008
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Nacogdoches, Tx
Where did i say it was acceptable?

i didnt. so posting "no twin fist it isnt acceptable" is false, and misleading.

or a sign of a serious reading comprehension problem.

for one thing, i never said it was ok, i said it was common, which it is. If you have any real martial arts experience, you know that it IS common as hell.

In point of fact, i dont think it is acceptable, i think it is a betrayal.

Now i start teaching an underwear model for Vicky's secrete's, all bets are off..LOL

And asking someone out isnt "preying" on them. It is being a human being. Asking them out TWICE is being an ***, but that isnt preying on them either.

anything involving kids would fall under "preying" on them, but not adults, unless the instructor used his posistion to get grabby, outside the realm of the normal touching required to teach someone a physical skill. And let's not lie, from time to time, and instructor HAS to touch his students.

and harrassment only applies on JOBS, an instructor has no power over you since YOU can fire THEM.

feel uncomfortable? leave. It dammages the instructor, not the student to leave the school.


No Twin Fist, it is not acceptable. It is an abuse of power. It undermines the trust between student and teacher. It is completely unacceptable. And if it is "common as air", which it certainly is not in schools with even a hint of ethics, that's an indictment of the industry not a reason to make excuses for it.

If you believe it's acceptable for instructors to prey on their students you have no business with that black belt and should not be allowed to teach. You lack the basic moral and ethical prerequisites to be in a position of authority. I believe you when you say you wouldn't do it. Good on that.


Brown Belt
Dec 30, 2008
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It's sad that this is a recurring story happening for many of us. Likewise, I'm glad that this forum has sort of become an online support group for those of us in these kinds of situations.

That said, lkblair, I agree with others that if you find the school's atmosphere and moral to be in serious conflict with your own, then don't let anything stop you from leaving. Your skills and knowledge will be with you until you forget them, and won't disappear just because of your rank. Remember the old stories about belts- they only denote the time speant training, and only hint at experience and ability.

As for getting a black belt, it's not necessarily a fruitless goal. It provides us with a visual standard to strive for. Whether you get it with your current school or with a new one, it always goes back to what you've learned and abosrbed in training, and not what your uniform denotes. Personally, I once made a promise to myself that I would attain my black belt- I just didn't expect it to be in another style.

And as for any sense of guilt or negativity regarding your choice of leaving, some of the members of this forum also reminded me that times change, and with them people, as well as schools. No matter how much worse (or better) the training or atmosphere becomes, your experiences and knowledge are always going to be your's, and something that can't be tainted by the actions of another.


Orange Belt
Jan 5, 2009
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I read here fairly frequently but rarely post. I come to Martial Talk with this because I highly respect the members here for their abilities and principles. I hope you will help me make the right decision.

I am a scant 9mths away from my black belt test with my school, but I am considering leaving for a couple of reasons. My primary instructor is leaving but going too far for me to go with him. But that isn't the main reason I'm considering leaving, as there are other good instructors within the organization. My primary reason for considering leaving is that I have lost respect for our director.

I hit a rough patch in my personal life last summer, and I feel he responded inappropriately to it. At the time, he propositioned me. I refused and thought that to be the end of it. Fast forward to more recent months. Despite my personal issues being resolved (and known to him), he propositioned me again.

In addition to this, I have noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath the last 3wks when he has arrived to teach our jr class.

Finally, despite our organization having a testing policy set in stone, I noticed his 'favorite brown belt' (a pretty young lady) has mysteriously ranked up from 2nd to 1st brown without attending a test.

As I've progressed through the ranks and become more involved in the organization as a whole, I have found that his behavior is creating a poor moral and ethical atmosphere that I am not sure I wish to continue to be associated with (or have my children, who also take karate, subjected to).

However, I have heard that many instructors frown on people who change schools and/or disciplines in the middle of their training. With this in mind, I've thought that I should go ahead and get my black belt before changing. However, continuing to pay, with both my money and my efforts, into this system that has been revealed to me to be morally corrupt seems at best dishonest and at worst as morally corrupt as what I'm objecting to.

I have many friends still in the system and do not want to belittle their skills by spreading anything ill about the organization, so having to explain all of this to a potential new instructor isn't something I relish.

So, what do you think? Is it acceptable to change schools at this point? And if so, how do I go about finding another school with a more respectful atmosphere and that won't be a 'blackbelt factory'?

Thanks so much.

You are worth much more than the piece of cloth around your waist.

The fierce, indomitable, fighting spirit of a martial artist lies within a practitioner, not without. Put plainly: trains like a black belt, fights like a black belt, faces life's challengers like a black belt... is a black belt inside where it counts.

Regardless of that piece of cloth.:)

I'd advise leaving. Teacher with lethal skills + alcohol + inappropriate behaviour = walking timebomb.

Best to walk away... especially if you have children.

Kind regards,

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