ethical sensei?

thopkins

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1) Wife began karate classes to increase fitness and for exercise. She attended class twice/week.
2) Wife was unemployed at the time, so instructor offered some volunteer work writing grants and other duties to assist the school.
3) After about 1 month, wife went to Karate 4-5 nights/week and on Saturday, often for two sessions, and began staying after class for additional instruction and social interactions.
4) Wife began new job, continued same level of involvement in karate, and instructor took up interest in wifes workassisting her.
5) Evening phone calls (directly after class) and morning phone calls from/to karate instructor took precedence over family.
6) Wifes daughter apologized for mother spending so much time w/ instructor.
7) Wife began walking instructors dog, caring for dog when instructor was out of town.
8) Wife began seeking refuge at karate instructors home, including some overnight stays.
9a) In direct conversation with instructor, he admitted in his own words, the relationship was inappropriate (though he did not define inappropriate). I never claimed this was a sexual relationship, but an intimate relationship that was complicating/compromising a marriage.
9b) Instructor acknowledged awareness that wife had engaged in affair during previous marriage with a different karate instructor. Karate instructor admits knowledge of emotional challenges of wife from traumatic past.
9c) Instructor was asked directly to stop the excessive level of contact, outside of class, with wife.
10) The same level of involvement continued between wife and karate instructor.
11) Wife decided she no longer wanted to be married, asked for separation, which has turned to divorce (still in process, w/ interference in that process from karate instructor).
12) Complaint to karate instructor and his association yielded a threatened law suit for libel/slander. Nothing in complaint was untrue, though pointed and accusatory.

To date the karate association has not responded regarding this matter.
Is this sort of conduct by a karate instructor appropriate/acceptable, or unethical? Does the accrediting association have an obligation to address this matter?
 

seasoned

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1) To date the karate association has not responded regarding this matter.
Is this sort of conduct by a karate instructor appropriate/acceptable, or unethical? Does the accrediting association have an obligation to address this matter?
Yes, and yes.
 

Sigung86

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That's really a shame. I know that sometimes things get bigger than two people, as it were. However, I can't say much for the ethics or morals of the instructor to even remotely allow something like that to occur.

I suspect you won't get any satisfaction from the association, as they tend to steer clear of controversy. Sounds like, since it's already on it's way, and apparently, inevitable, you ought to just write it off as a bad experience, and get on with your life. In ten to twenty years, she will barely be a blip on your subconscious.
 

jks9199

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Is it less than ethical? Absolutely.

Does the association have a duty to act? Not so clear -- but probably not any further than internal sanctions, possibly expulsion from the organization.

The karate association is most likely little more than a vehicle for doing some organization of events and activities. It may endorse instructor's qualifications and set standards for promotions -- but probably has very little to do with an individual member's ethics, beyond a trite line or two. And they probably don't want to be dragged into this mess...

DO NOT contact the association without the guidance of an attorney. Likewise, seek your attorney's guidance on any contact with the instructor in question.

And, in all honesty, let me suggest that you look in the mirror a bit. The phrase about seeking "refuge" with the instructor is kind of unusual -- and may be telling.
 

hkfuie

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Of course that is unethical behavior. Did you need anyone here to confirm that, really? Of course not.

I am very sorry this happened to you. I wish you the best in moving past it.
 

girlbug2

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It would be unethical for any man to spend that kind of time with somebody else's wife. For a teacher, it is worse than unethical:

"My bretheren, let not many among you become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgement. For we all stumble in many things." James 3:1-2
 

Bruno@MT

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Around (1), given the fact that you knew your wife's history, did you talk to her about this beforehand?

And in all those steps from 1-12, did you try to talk about it with your wife? Because that is the most important thing. There is little point in being angry with the karate instructor. Sure, what he did was low imo, but your wife was the one making the decisions about whether she wanted to spend time with you instead of the karate instructor.

Also, I agree with the advice on not contacting anyone without the aid of a lawyer, if you want to make a formal complaint.
I suspect that even though this behavior is not laudable, the federation has little to say about the matter.
 

harlan

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Truism: 'Once a cheater...always a cheater.' You acknowledge it yourself: your wife was damaged goods. No sense blaming the instructor for more than his share: he offered a level of friendship and support to a student that, in hindsight, may not have been wise.

9b) Instructor acknowledged awareness that wife had engaged in affair during previous marriage with a different karate instructor.
 
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Kacey

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First, let me say that I'm sorry you're in this position.

Is it unethical for an instructor to engage in this type of behavior - yes, just as it would be for an employer, a professor, or any other person in a position of trust/seniority/etc. If your wife had enrolled in college and had a similar relationship with a college professor, you could ask the exact same questions by changing the word "sensei" to "professor"; the same could be said by changing "sensei" to "employer" or "supervisor". This situation is not limited to martial arts by any means.

.... but....

It takes two to create and maintain the type of marital problem you describe. You may not have started it - you haven't provided enough information for me to say what role you may have played in your wife's seeking "refuge" - but I agree with jks, your choice of term is somewhat unusual, and creates questions for me about your role in this situation.
 

Twin Fist

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ok, someone has to say it.

you married a woman that you KNOW cheated with a karate teacher during her marraige. You let that woman start taking karate lessons.

what did you THINK was gonna happen?
 

KELLYG

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I am sorry you are having this problem.
I don't think that being a sensei makes you ethical. Remember that Sensei's are just men and women. The situation with the sensei went as far as "the wife" wanted it or allowed it to go. There were two people involved both share equal responsibility.
 

bluekey88

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Wow, that really sucks and I am truly sorry that you find yourself in this situation. I gottas go with the group on this one though...while unethical, snd just plain bad form...there's jsut not much you can do about it.

best to focus on you, what you need, learn from your part in this so that you can move on as a healthier person.

Peace,
Erik
 
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thopkins

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OK all. I appreciate your empathy, comments and insights. Thank you.
I hear much the same from my colleagues in education--I am a professor and a supervisor: we have standards for conduct and clear expectations, including disciplinary measures. I was just trying to learn from the MA community, as it has been tough to find a code of conduct, & etc.
I do not need to belabor this issue for many reasons, and am trying to move on w/ life...challenge is to be centered when I wake each day in a physical place I do not want to be, w/o resources to make a new home/life for myself and my daughter--that's a "justice system" problem. It's like jail--though I am not the perpetrator.
Yep, all sensei's are human, unfortunately for the MA community, I hear this sort of thing is not uncommon, and while I am disappointed in the individuals involved, a smaller mind would paint a stain across the entire sport for this sort of misbehavior. I guess you can never trust anyone, really, even myself given my appearant lack of judgement in choosing my last partner.
 

Bruno@MT

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It's not exactly common either. I've known many sensei, and while they came in various levels of morality, none of them ran off with somebody's wife that I know of.

And again, we don't know if you tried to talk to your wife, if you sought counseling, or maybe your relationship was on its last legs anyway. We just don't know...

This is not a problem with an inappropriate sensei, but with inappropriate behavior between 2 humans. You mention that you are a professor. There are examples of professors having an affair with coeds. While that is also inappropriate, it is no stain on the job of professor.
 
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thopkins

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...trying to keep out of JSpringer land....but wish to respond one last time re. some expressed questions re, my orig inquiry (I guess I do not wish to be seen as a crank):
We were in regular counseling.
I talked w/ wife frequently about my concerns, and orig. point 9c) that I asked the sensei directly to stop supporting wife's poor choices, as she has plenty of other friends to lean on. I thought there was a rule in MA when in a hold w/no escape that you "tap out" and the victor lets go so as not to injur or worse.
The refuge wife sought was from morning coffee in bed, nightly "I love you, dear" and dinner cooked and dishes cleaned. Regular orgasms--hers, AND, I put the seat down!
Yes, I hitched to some damaged goods, obviously...more damaged than I realized from a friend of 7+ years prior to marriage. W/in three months of us living under same roof, all this went down, after I sold my home and all belongings, paid off her 2nd mortgage, auto loan, and supported her through 8 previous months of unemplyment. Believe me, this more than sucks, it is right up next to criminal.
I guess when it comes to it, I am a fool in doing all the right things a father and husband can do for his family/wife, and that I believed in a sensei who was as fooled by wife as I was. I hate to hate and need to get past all this, right. My frustration is that this sort of thing goes on and there is little one can actually do to effect a change (be the change you want to see in the world)...or something like that, Ghandi once said. Trouble is seeing inner self and wondering if I would ever do similar. I try to live a moral and centered life, yet this episode has (so far) stripped me of my life (faith and trust in humanity and society) and am on verge of homeless and helpless. That is not a good place to be as it does not lead to good choices. I will do my best to be better person.
Thank you for listening to this sad tale. Perhaps there are lessons for us all in this debacle.
Do apearances on JSpringer pay well? I have a few legal bills to cover....
peace.
 
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