We have a wry joke that we discourage newbies from purchasing a gi as, rather than being a token of committment, too many seem to buy the gi and then never come back
you too? quite a few folks who bought the gi then neverheard from them again. very strange. now, we just tell folks to not bother with the gi, until you have trained for a few months.
methink, it's a cultural thing. there are folks who don't want to do martial arts, because they associate that with UFC/MMA violent. then there are folks who want to do martial arts, because they associate that with UFC/MMA violent. then there are folks who don't know what they want but afraid to try something new, because it might change them. then we have folks, because of various life issues, who can't or won't.
it's hard to get folks that are really interested and committed. maybe aikido just isn't sexy enough and guys in funny skirt aren't helping or attractive looking (except for moi).