Outside Dojang Behavior

miguksaram

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Disclaimer: This scenario can be applied to any martial art style, but since I mostly post here I am using TKD as the martial the person takes. This is in no way shape or form pinpointing TKD as the only source of this problem. Why do I feel I have to make this disclaimer? Because there will be at least one dumb@$$ out there thinking I'm attacking TKD because they see me tied in with karate.

Ok. So here is the scenario. Mst. John Doe is an outstanding teacher. He knows his stuff, he relatest well to his students. He has several students who are great competitors, he has several students who have been commended for outstanding acedemics. He runs his dojang with utmost professionalism and is very giving to the community. Everyone loves Mst. John Doe.

However, you find out that Mst. John Doe is sleeping around with a couple of the married women of the students. You found this out by accident so you are assuming that outside of him and the women he is sleeping with, you are the only one who knows this. Not only that, you run into him at a local bar where he seems to frequent a lot and likes to tie one on almost nightly. Should this instructor be shunned? Would you stop going to him for classes? Would you pull your kid out of the class?

No right or wrong answers...just looking for some discussions.
 

SahBumNimRush

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That is a very interesting topic. I suppose it is what you are expecting out of your instructor. If your goal is to learn how to defend yourself, then it may not be a big deal. However, if this instructor is big on pushing outstanding moral values and personal development, then I could see this being a large problem.

Personally, I would find it very distasteful and unprofessional. That said, if it does not affect my training, then I doubt I would leave.
 

Steve

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Where my kids are concerned? Yeah, I'd pull them. While I wouldn't necessarily fault a guy (or gal) for being promiscuous, sleeping with the wives of students is a huge ethical issue in many ways.

I've said around here many times that I don't think that the primary purpose of any martial arts school is teaching integrity or respect. But at the same time, integrity and respect are traits learned from association with people who demonstrate them in their own lives. In other words, our kids aren't stupid, and they're always learning something from you. Whether it's something good or something bad depends on you.

Even if it were me and not my kids, I'd likely leave.
 

granfire

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Man, I thought it was something serious....

maybe I am not too sensitive about that, having a strong background in the horse scene in another country, it was something of an unspoken rule that a) riders liked to tie one on, and b) instructors had their opportunities... ;)

Assuming he does not drive home drunk...I don't see there is a lot anyone can do.

naturally, you have to follow your own instincts if you want to pull your business.
(but if he has a history of bedding students' mothers, you know it's not really a secret.)
 

jthomas1600

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There's a lot of gray areas. In the scenario laid out by the OP the instructor crossed a line though when his sleeping around involved students.
 

SahBumNimRush

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It is certainly unethical, and I am certainly not advocating it. From my professional standpoint as a physician, that is a line that when crossed can get your license suspended. This is because of the authority and power you have over the patient, and the lack of objectivity that can be provided once this occurs.

However, from a martial arts standpoint there is no professional regulation on the matter. Most assuredly it is not looked upon favorably, and the potential of something like this ruining a school is high. But the real question becomes where does it start affecting you as the student. If you are an adult that is there to learn how to defend yourself, is this ethical slide going to affect how you learn? On the other hand, if I have children, family, friends in the training hall, I would be concerned. Another important factor to consider is public image, reputation and knowledge. If the public is aware of the instructor's habits, then you may have a reputation by association.

Again, this has never been a case in our dojang, but if I were to find out that any of our instructors were heavy drinkers I wouldn't be that concerned about it. However, if they were sleeping with married parents, I would have to think seriously about saying something to them about it, senior or junior.
 

harlan

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But it's not REALLY 'outside dojang' behaviour. The tie-in is that students are involved.

It's bad business, and the beginning of the end of the school.

Disclaimer: This scenario can be applied to any martial art style, but since I mostly post here I am using TKD as the martial the person takes. This is in no way shape or form pinpointing TKD as the only source of this problem. Why do I feel I have to make this disclaimer? Because there will be at least one dumb@$$ out there thinking I'm attacking TKD because they see me tied in with karate.

Ok. So here is the scenario. Mst. John Doe is an outstanding teacher. He knows his stuff, he relatest well to his students. He has several students who are great competitors, he has several students who have been commended for outstanding acedemics. He runs his dojang with utmost professionalism and is very giving to the community. Everyone loves Mst. John Doe.

However, you find out that Mst. John Doe is sleeping around with a couple of the married women of the students. You found this out by accident so you are assuming that outside of him and the women he is sleeping with, you are the only one who knows this. Not only that, you run into him at a local bar where he seems to frequent a lot and likes to tie one on almost nightly. Should this instructor be shunned? Would you stop going to him for classes? Would you pull your kid out of the class?

No right or wrong answers...just looking for some discussions.
 

Carol

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I guess a lot depends on how the information came about.

Personally I don't go gossiping about other people's personal life, nor do I hang around in bars, so I have a difficult time envisioning exactly how I would be finding out this information. But, since these sort of behaviours tend to surface rather quickly...

I don't have much of an issue with the drinking. Its not behaviour that I personally care for, but if it is not affecting his other responsibilities then I don't see it as being all that critical. If he is truly a heavy drinker every single night of the week, chances are that will affect his other responsibilities at some point. But he may also be one of these guys that goes to a bar, has a beer while he's having a laugh with his buddies, playing pool, shooting darts, or trying to beat the guy at the end of the bar in a trivia game...it may not be that much of a big deal.

I have more of an issue with the sexual improprieties, esp in a venue like martial arts where there is a lot of physical contact by both instructors and teachers, there is unintended contact. There are *** nozzles out there that try to make gropes look accidental, and those with seniority (instructor or otherwise) that prey on the emotionally vulnerable. When a person seems eager to overstep boundaries of sexually appropriate behaviour, that throws up a lot of flags.
 

terryl965

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Great questin and no right or wrong answer: But for me it would go against my morality issue about not sleeping around. He would loose points with me, the drinking thing who cares as long as he is not being put in jail for drunken behavior or driving while intoxicated fine. If he was providing me and my family proper training that is what matters and that is what I am paying for.

On the same token would you pull your kids out of school for any of this, because being a retired teacher I can tell you this happens all the time but you never hear anybody say well my pulling my kidsbecause my child teacher is unethical.....
 

harlan

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No, but you do hear about it when the problems start.

The resentments. 'Johnny got his belt because the teacher is 'friends' with his mom.'

The uglies. 'The husband came in and it was tense...didn't want my kid in that environment.'

etc.
 

StudentCarl

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You present it as a fact of the situation that the instructor is sleeping with wife/wives of students.

In the real world my first question would be whether this is fact or rumor, as rumors have been the ruin of innocents in the past and I would not be part of that.

However...taking the sexual activity as fact...that is a compromise of integrity that I could not accept. He is taking something that is the rightful domain of only those students, so it is at least disrespectful to them. If he will stoop to take that from another, can you trust him in other ways? How will it affect the school when (not if) it becomes public knowledge (if you found out, someone else will). People get killed for this.

If it's a consenting adult SINGLE female student he's with, I don't have a problem with it.
The drinking doesn't bother me as long as his behavior is still appropriate, reflecting self-control at least in public.
 

Lord-Humongous

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Would you want him around your wife? Probably not & I would hold it against him on moral grounds. Indiscreet afairs with married women = bad news, watch some dude show up with a baseball bat and beat him to a pulp in fromt of your kid's class.
 
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miguksaram

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There's a lot of gray areas. In the scenario laid out by the OP the instructor crossed a line though when his sleeping around involved students.

No..no...not sleeping with students...sleeping with their parents.
 

jthomas1600

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No..no...not sleeping with students...sleeping with their parents.

I understand that. But that involves the students. Is he going to wreck Johny and Betsy's family? He presents to the class like he has their best interest in mind then he's sleeping with their mothers?
 

tshadowchaser

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This is a difficult problem for a student to handle.
How would you approach the instructor with the news that his affair(s) are known publicly and that the reputation of the school is at risk?



Now I know of an instructor that has knowledge beyond many but he is know as a drunk and womanizer. Not many like him because of his behavior around other martial artsiest and the fact that he is drunk most of the time. That being said I know many who covert his knowledge and are willing to turn a blind eye to his behaviors to get some of that knowledge
 

RSweet

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This is a difficult problem for a student to handle.
How would you approach the instructor with the news that his affair(s) are known publicly and that the reputation of the school is at risk?



Now I know of an instructor that has knowledge beyond many but he is know as a drunk and womanizer. Not many like him because of his behavior around other martial artsiest and the fact that he is drunk most of the time. That being said I know many who covert his knowledge and are willing to turn a blind eye to his behaviors to get some of that knowledge

Been there, done that. Not fun. Watch out for the drinking. One instructor took out a student's knee during a test. As far as the affair deal. I had one that I walked into the school and behind the front desk was his mistress and his wife and another woman everyone was pretty sure he was sleeping with.

I got called into his office. He asked me how many people knew and how. I told him he was 50 something, she was 19 and her parents and the USTU state president had done everything but drop fliers from an airplane to make sure people knew. (He lost his USTU position over this one - one of many)

So he asked if people were pissed because he cheated on his wife. I said not really, more that he was cheating on his wife with a young girl who he had trained from an early age. They thought of her as his daughter. He could not understand. At that time the Woody Allen deal was going on - I asked him his opinion of that. He said he saw nothing wrong with it, 19 year olds were sexually mature and a whole lot of fun. I knew then there was no talking to him. I left not long after that when he called and told me I was not allowed to speak to the ex students who had left in recent weeks. I told him I would not choose between him and my friends as if he were a true master he would not ask me to make that choice.

Another friend felt that she could separate what she learned from him from her repugnance at his affairs. In the end, she could not.

He had a sign on the wall - the School code of honor. One of them was to be respectful between man and wife. It was all pretty sick.

Practically, every time I hear of a situation like this, it usually ends with the school splitting in two and many leaving. I know of at least one case where it ended badly and now there is a stalking case and a sexual harassment lawsuit looking like it is coming. I would want to ask these guys - Is it worth it?
 

Bruno@MT

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That is a very interesting topic. I suppose it is what you are expecting out of your instructor. If your goal is to learn how to defend yourself, then it may not be a big deal. However, if this instructor is big on pushing outstanding moral values and personal development, then I could see this being a large problem.

Personally, I would find it very distasteful and unprofessional. That said, if it does not affect my training, then I doubt I would leave.

Personally I think it depends on whether YOU are big on values and personal development.
I stay with my sensei because he is a good sensei, but also because he is a human being that I can look up to and trust. If that was not the case, I would not stick with him.
 

SahBumNimRush

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Personally I think it depends on whether YOU are big on values and personal development.
I stay with my sensei because he is a good sensei, but also because he is a human being that I can look up to and trust. If that was not the case, I would not stick with him.


Totally agree with you on that one, depends on your own values. Because I drink, I do not have a problem with drinking (in one's moderation), as long as the drinking didn't create a problem in class, I wouldn't have a problem with it. On the same token, because I hold the value of marriage very high, I would certainly lose a great deal of respect for the individual and possibly leave the school over it. I suppose I am fortunate, in that I have never been faced with any of these scenarios.
 
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miguksaram

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Totally agree with you on that one, depends on your own values. Because I drink, I do not have a problem with drinking (in one's moderation), as long as the drinking didn't create a problem in class, I wouldn't have a problem with it. On the same token, because I hold the value of marriage very high, I would certainly lose a great deal of respect for the individual and possibly leave the school over it. I suppose I am fortunate, in that I have never been faced with any of these scenarios.
Ok...what about instead of drinking you found out he was a pot smoker? Would that change your outlook? (General question not just aimed at you)
 

KELLYG

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I personally do not like liars or cheats. If you are running around on your wife, with a married woman, then you and she are both. This type of activity would actually make me loose respect for the Master. The loss of respect would probably make me leave the school. Like it or not if you are a Master and your primary business is being a teacher or leader in the school, you are considered by your students to be something admired or emulated. If your personal values do not jibe with the lessons that you are trying to teach then everything that is taught is B.S.
 
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