I had a wry smile as I read your post, as with Joe I see many of the problems that affect Aikido today.....Today students want a dojo within walking distance of their home with times that fit in with their favourite TV programmes. In the 1950's the first visitors to the Hut Dojo which was the only Aikido Dojo in the UK - Ralph Reynolds and a couple of students would drive down from Birmingham every Sunday morning for a two hour practice - this was a time when there were no motorways and would have been a four hour drive each way..As assitant to Ken Williams Sensei I had to be at the dojo every night - I would get home from work and then run two miles to the dojo...Now I see students arrive just minutes before the class starts and do not seem surprised to find that someone else has put the mats down for them..
Changing values I guess.
As Bob Dylan says "For the times they are a-changin'."
Anyway, I drive 15 min to my dojo after an 8 hours job and attending my family.
And if everything goes well I'll go 3 times to Tenerife this year, the neighbour island(more than 2 hours by ship or 15 min flight + the time you must be before at the airport and the drive of 30 min to the dojo), to attend several seminars(the last in november with Frank Noel Sensei) and the flight to the south of Spain in Granada 1750km from where I live to a seminar of Endo Sensei, because he is worth it.