Re: Spirit and loyalty
I live in a small town and on a good day, we have 5 ppl on the mat. I personally do not mind the small class. In my case, the sensei has more time to correct mistakes and really take time to teach techniques.
As far as morale and involvement is concerned, we go out twice a week for a beer after class. It's nice to see everyone off the mat and chatting in a more "personal/friendly" way. We also plan Christmas parties and occasional movie/wine nights at the sensei's house. I feel close to the people I train with. I trust them immensely.