Is it unethical to form a romantic relationship with a martial arts student

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I think the biggest thing is if there was a relationship in advance. Not necessarily a romantic relationship, but if both of you are friends before the student starts, then your relationship is not that of a normal instructor/student, and I see no ethical issues. Also, if the (romantic) relationship forms after you are no longer instructor/student (either one person left, or the ranks/position have evened out), that's questionable, but would lean towards ethical IMO as well. Also, if the student (or instructor) quits before or when it becomes romantic, that would be ethical as well.

If you met as an instructor, and that is the only relationship the two people have before forming a romantic one, and it continues after the dating starts, then yes it would be unethical. I won't make the blanket statement that it's immoral, but in terms of ethics, ie: the rules, unwritten or otherwise, about how the person in a professional capacity should behave, then yes.
 

Steve

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I think the biggest thing is if there was a relationship in advance. Not necessarily a romantic relationship, but if both of you are friends before the student starts, then your relationship is not that of a normal instructor/student, and I see no ethical issues. Also, if the (romantic) relationship forms after you are no longer instructor/student (either one person left, or the ranks/position have evened out), that's questionable, but would lean towards ethical IMO as well. Also, if the student (or instructor) quits before or when it becomes romantic, that would be ethical as well.

If you met as an instructor, and that is the only relationship the two people have before forming a romantic one, and it continues after the dating starts, then yes it would be unethical. I won't make the blanket statement that it's immoral, but in terms of ethics, ie: the rules, unwritten or otherwise, about how the person in a professional capacity should behave, then yes.
Exactly. As I mentioned in another thread, moral, ethical, and legal are different things. This thread, like the other one, asks about ethics.
 

Jimmythebull

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The reason I wrote jealouy at the start off this thread is this..
I worked in gyms as a trainer & had lots of chances to "dip my wick" but I kept my distance. I saw what happened to other trainers who had sex with women in the gym or even female co workers. I saw an upset father come in looking for a trainer, to the young trainer who was about 24 having sex with a girl who was about 18/19 was just fun. For her it was much more & here comes the problem. Even older women in gyms want attention & if you're also friendly with other women the jealousy starts. I'm sure it's the same in a large Dojo.
Women told me everything private. Swinger Clubs, group sex...problems with their partners ...I could tell some stories but I think people get the idea. One quick Story was a school teacher. Plain but pretty, nice buns. She was getting friendly & said one day that she had an Operation at her dentist & so can't drive afterwards. Her family lived in another City. She said I can't ask a neighbour to put me to bed. She asked me to do it. She wanted me to take her home & tuck her up in bed, now I know I wouldn't touch her but I sure as hell wasn't going to put myself in such a position with a woman from the gym. You got to really use common sense. I'm a married guy though so I just knew this could go very wrong. Is the OP married? If so don't do it man. I'm not innocent as I had an affair with a woman outside of work & she got very nasty after I broke it off. Made threats to contact my sons on Facebook..my wife she stalked at work. The hot sex was fun but not worth what can come later...be warned
 

tkdroamer

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Hello all,


Firstly, I'm referring to two legal-age consenting adults both of which are single. Would you as the instructor date a student? If not, please explain why and the issues that you think may arise. If you would, please explain why you would feel comfortable doing so.

Thanks
First and foremost, are we talking about two students, two instructors, or a student and an instructor? The first two are less of an issue but do have their own concerns.
I would suggest you use the same prompts and cautions you would use when dating someone in a work environment.
A healthy relationship comes from more than one point or experience. That means getting to know them from more than one perspective. Take it slow, make sure it is public and known by your martial arts piers, and discover the person from perspectives outside the dojang. What you 'see' is not always what you get.
 

Oily Dragon

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Exactly. As I mentioned in another thread, moral, ethical, and legal are different things. This thread, like the other one, asks about ethics.
And we should also keep in mind the thread is about romance, not just casual sex. Actual relationships.

Romantic love never gave a damn about ethics, morality, or the law, last I checked. Which is probably why when it pops up in a commercial school or gym, things like dicey.

I agree with that last post about keeping it like it was the office. Most public companies have strict rules against dating your supervisor or underlings for this reason...if your afternoon delights are effecting the bottom line, knock it off. Want to date your boss/secretary? Quit first.

Private companies, well..just go watch Wolf of Wall Street to see what that can be like. Anything goes.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Hello all,


Firstly, I'm referring to two legal-age consenting adults both of which are single. Would you as the instructor date a student? If not, please explain why and the issues that you think may arise. If you would, please explain why you would feel comfortable doing so.

Thanks
I think it's pretty situational. On the face of it, it's pretty problematic, if only for how it looks to others. But it's an adult thing, and in some situations, it could be okay. It'd depend on the power dynamics, how it's likely to be viewed by others, etc.
 

Gerry Seymour

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it織s lust Gerry ..lust of the female flesh. Adam took the apple remember that... many a good man has been brought down by a woman. :D
Which isn't the power dynamic I was talking about, but a valid thought. But lust has little to do with whether this is ethical or not.

As for the stories, that one doesn't carry much weight with me.
 

Oily Dragon

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Should. Is that how the world works, though?
Well if I was an instructor, and some students had any issues with my love life outside of class, with people who aren't currently in class... I'd drop them pretty fast. The students, not my love life.

Let them go take strip mall karate lessons. I'm in love.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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If they're getting private lessons, they're a student.
If they're not going to classes, and only getting lessons outside of classes by one instructor, in private, without paying, that's not a student of the dojo. If they were, anyone who learned from their parents/SO ways to defend themselves would be considered students of the dojo. Showing a friend how to escape a bear hug would make them a student.
 

skribs

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If they're not going to classes, and only getting lessons outside of classes by one instructor, in private, without paying, that's not a student of the dojo. If they were, anyone who learned from their parents/SO ways to defend themselves would be considered students of the dojo. Showing a friend how to escape a bear hug would make them a student.
Maybe not students of the dojo, but you are a student of that instructor.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Maybe not students of the dojo, but you are a student of that instructor.
Yeah but students of the dojo shouldn't be concerned with what goes on with students of the instructor, that aren't in the dojo. Especially since at that point you're more of a tutor than an instructor.
Edit: There's also no reason for the students to know that I teach someone else in my free time, or what I charge (or don't charge) that person. It's entirely separate from the agreement that they've made with the dojo.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Well if I was an instructor, and some students had any issues with my love life outside of class, with people who aren't currently in class... I'd drop them pretty fast. The students, not my love life.

Let them go take strip mall karate lessons. I'm in love.
I'm not saying what you should do. I'm pointing out human nature, whether we agree with it or not. It's the way of things. 'Should' doesn't enter into it.
 

tkdroamer

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Yeah but students of the dojo shouldn't be concerned with what goes on with students of the instructor, that aren't in the dojo. Especially since at that point you're more of a tutor than an instructor.
Edit: There's also no reason for the students to know that I teach someone else in my free time, or what I charge (or don't charge) that person. It's entirely separate from the agreement that they've made with the dojo.
I feel there would be overlap though. At least in smaller towns like mine.
 

skribs

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I feel there would be overlap though. At least in smaller towns like mine.
Which is part of the reason why my initial post had so many factors in it, one of them being where you live.
 

MadMartigan

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As for the power dynamic imbalance, if both are adults, there isn't one. The student is a paying customer, does not have to be there, and can quit anytime. I see no difference between:
- Student first, then dating
- Dating (or married, or whatever) then student. If my wife wants to start joining in on classes, what's the problem? There would only be an issue if I treated her differently in class or tests (building resentment from the other students).

Where this would become unethical is if said instructor started teaching them as minors, then started dating them once they hit adulthood. In that situation, there would be a power imbalance and that instructor would be foolish to pursue the relationship.
 
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