What is important?
I have no argument about making money teaching Aikido. Like I said in my first post, I personally think that everyone should aspire to get paid doing what they love doing. And if that is teaching Aikido, then so be it.
My point was simply that Aikido should be tought and passed on as a mission more than a business. And as long as the spirit of Aikido (and of teaching Aikido) is kept, then the rest is gravy. Unfortunately, I can only speak from my experience.
My question is, what is important? If making a living at teaching Aikido is what is important to you, then I believe that you are doing it for the wrong reasons. This may sound naive, but Aikido is and should remain pure. Certainly, I would not want to do all that work for so many hours and go bankrupt. However, if you get into teaching Aikido thinking that you will become wealthy, or even be able to make a really good living ($65K was mentioned before regarding a computer job), then I believe that you are doing yourself and all Aikidoka a disservice.
I have to admit that it would be wonderful if a sensei could devote himself 24/7 to teaching and learning Aikido. And in this society, the only way that that could really happen is to be able to make a living at it. So, I am not against making a living at teaching Aikido. I wish that every sensei could. The fact that many or most do not, to me, is proof of what Aikido is all about. Aikido is more than just time on the mat and in the dojo. Aikido is life.
And, for the record, I have no problem paying for my training. I have no problem paying alot for my training. When I am in the dojo, when I am around sensei, I feel more alive and purposeful than ever. But the one thing that makes me feel better than anything else is this: sensei would not have trained me just because I was willing to pay alot of money for that training. Rather, he agreed to train me after long hours of conversation and coming to believe that my spirit warranted Aikido. In today's world, that may be bad business sence. But it certainly is wonderful Aikido sence.
I do not at all mean to offend anyone. And if you can successfully run an Aikido business, that is great. I just pray that the spiritual comes before the financial. On any level.