I have found that I would rather pay a couple of 100 bucks to a guy that has something to teach me one on one, with a couple of other guys, than to go to a large venue in which I am just another one of the huddled masses. Seems more expensive...but in the long run it is more economical I think.
Well, I don't know about economical, but it is sure effective. Musicians and dancers do this type of thing all the time through Master Classes and private instruction.
I remember when Billie Jean King was about the third or fourth ranked female in the world in tennis. She went off to Australia, got hold of the top coach in the world at the time and completely retooled her game so she could get to number one. She was already a top player but she needed that help to break through to the pinnacle. I am sure that it cost her a fortune... on the other hand, there's money in tennis so she got it back many times over... That ain't gonna happen in Aikido. But just think of the great personal satisfaction in getting good at an art that no one else really understands, takes up all your hard earned vacation time, and lets you blow your kid's college education money before they ever see it.