I agree with Mikey, most practitioners of aikido have many other things going on in their lives. These are the people who fill up the dojo.
In any field you need people who are amateurs, people who love the art but cannot make a living with it and therefore necessarily have other priorities. For such people the length of the commute can make the difference in whether or not their activity interferes too much with their professional or family lives.
It is however fortunate that there are people who can dedicate their lives to the art, these generally turn out to be the ones the rest of us turn to for instruction. I figure you need more of the first than the second because you need more students than professional instructors.
I would add that there is not necessarily the slow time for aikido in between being young and retirement. Every so often there are those who start out young, become more than hooked, train like crazy, advance through the ranks and become the respected instructors the rest of us learn from. After all at seventeen, nobody really has any idea where they will end up, I sure didn't.
[Edited by JO on June 27, 2000 at 07:59am]