“Martial Arts Instructors and the Reality of Sex Offense,” by Matthew Apsokardu

“As a martial arts instructor and writer I spend a lot of time talking about the outstanding benefits of training. The self confidence, comradery, self defense skills, culture, etc etc. However I also feel that it’s my responsibility to make people aware of the more unpleasant side of the martial arts world; the manifestations that come with individuals who achieve positions of power and influence when they have no right attaining them.”

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  1. Weak individuals mistake positions of responsibility and service for this funny word “power,” but they don’t seem to have any power over themselves and their cravings. These cowards can be found everywhere, not just mushy arts. As statistics and nauseating daily news show, priests, politicians and other professions readily come to mind. “Pillars of society and role models” indeed!

    For those who study history, some measure of freedom and respite from getting bullied, robbed and sexually harassed by those who could, did not arrive until the separation of church and state. In the same manner the separation between professional responsibility and private chimpanzee behaviours need to be kept foremost.

    All uninvited imposition is assault. If you are being imposed upon, recruit support. Bring the matter into the open. Afford offenders zero tolerance. Protect yourself and be ruthless in doing so.

    Most individuals nowadays try to get leniency in the courts by saying that they are “sorry.” False contrition using just a word. Their only “sorry” is that they got caught and given the chance, they will re-offend. A conscious human being gets “sorry” in advance, considers consequences, feels empathy for others and simply does not go there.

    Budo cuts to the core of these weak ape behaviours and is for self-correction, service and empowering others to mitigate imposition or attack of any kind. Otherwise don’t presume to teach, go grow potatoes or something in them thar hills instead.

  2. So sadly true, position power and money so easily corrupt humans.
    I trained in Australia for over 15 years and saw how the organisation there covered up such a high ranking teacher, and what he did on the mat to some female students. The reasoning was that the organisation did not want to upset the Japanese Shihan they brought over on a regular basis from overseas, by telling him what was happening. They held a in-house investigation and came up with no finding of wrong doing.
    Cover up would have been a more appropriate wording.
    The police should have been brought in and the teacher taken away in handcuffs and charged. But like most of us, those poor innocent victims loved Aikido and did not want to stop training, so it was all hushed up and the teacher was eventually kicked out. He still teaches without any charges ever being laid against him. I wonder how many more have been scarred by his actions and the organisations inactions.
    Honesty, irresponsibility, integrity, honour, and a very high moral standard is important. Transparency is also paramount.
    We can all do better, if we only try.
    Yes, I personally spoke to one of the distraught victims afterwards and my heart went out to her, as she felt she was the liar and no one believed her. Shame, shame, shame on you.
    My only advise, if something like this happens to you, is to go directly to the police and make an official complaint.

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