It seems to me that the best teachers I've been fortunate to train with, people from Japan, who are pretty high ranking, are all people who held steady jobs all of their normal working lives. They may well have started to teach Aikido as a living after they retired, but that is not the point of this post.
Very few teachers in Japan seem to make their living teaching Aikido. Though there are some pretty notable and really great exceptions. It just seems that the ones I've connected with the most are those who've actually had to pay bills and balance a checkbook all of their lives.
I think that something important (to me anyway) is lost when a teacher is so removed from daily life that "mere" money details are left to others to deal with.
In this country, Aikido may be a more marketable (and I mean that in a very neutral sense) skill to teach, and I have great respect for those who run dojo as a business so that they can make a living.
In my small mind that is different from asking others to handle the mundane money matters so they can devote themselves to their art, unless they are put on stipend and made to live within the means they are given.
To want the best of both worlds-to be removed from money matters and yet get the opportunity to make smart or stupid choices with all of that money- as opposed to either running your own dojo as a business, or being completely removed from the money and living on a stipend, is wrong minded and childish.
If you want the benefit of all of the money you generate as a teacher, you create the obligation to that money and its' source, to be responsible with it and pay all of your obligations first, and treat your students as customers, deserving services such as regularly scheduled classes, clean spaces and personal attention when appropriate.
That is not to let the student off the hook of being responsible for prompt payment, help with dojo cleaning, help in the form of working with new people and a generally supportive and positive attitude.
That is, I think, the only way to really seperate money from Aikido and get on with good training.
I just saw the above post (missed it before!?!), and that is another completely cool way, if unpopular with professional teachers, to pass along the art.
I hope I have not offended, I do not teach Aikido (for free or for a living), and I have no claim to authority on the subject, but I do have an opinion. If this post offends, please re-read it and consider.
[Edited by Mikey on July 27, 2000 at 10:01am]