Jeff Miller wrote:
so, aikido as an elitist enterprise also comes down to cost. those of us living on little better than minimum wage (or less) simply can not afford to travel in the ways you suggest. if something on the level of an aiki expo was coming close by, i would scrape and save for it. but it would have to be within my 8-10 hours, or even that would be to no avail.
yet i am very serious. i did the scraping and saving thing last year, and was able to spend nine weeks as an uchideshi. but even then i had to hold down a part-time construction job nearby in order to afford to eat. and still ended up owing the dojo i lived in money after i left! (another understanding sensei!)
so please understand that an inability to make it to las vegas or los angeles is not necessarily the result of a lack of (burning) desire, but a simple lack of funds. given the fundamental economic nature of the world we live in.
I get it... I wasn't really talking specifically to you but more generally. There have been years when i couldn't go to camp as my teacher expected because I didn't have the money. I have been teaching for twenty years and I have been in debt for the majority of that time. I told my son, who is in college, tha he would have to find a way to pay for it because I essentially used his college money to prefect my art. So I get the money thing.
You notice that, if you want it badly enough, teachers can be very understanding. Obviously you want it badly and are doing what you can. There will always be people there to help if you do want it that badly.
Everything is elitist these days... Folks now have the ability to live quite well as professional musicians but because of that I can't afford to attend most concerts I have many friends in body work and alternative health care but poor people can't afford those services so their clients are all well off folks. Instruction is available in almost every art one can imagine but those instructors have to live which puts their instruction out of range for most folks.
Aikido is no different. It costs a vast amount, and I am not just talking about money here, to really take this art to a higher level. I am devoted to making it easier for most folks to do that. But there simply is no substitute for time in and consistent exposure to great instruction. For most folks that entails a lot of expense over time. People have consistently been there for me when I couldn't afford to attend some event or other. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for the help I have received over the years. Even with the support you will find, you will still put everything you have into it. It just depends on how much you want it.
Anyway, the Expo thing only upsets because of the little minded political BS that went down. Teachers too insecure to encourage their students to see people who might be better than they are. So they held their people back. I have no patience for that. Period. Not going because of the money I do get...