Who is "our group"?
I think it depends on whom do you compare to whom.
I don't see that practicing with Dan is more expensive than practising with other teachers comparable.
I myself only conducted one class of a seminar throughout my life. The seminar was for free.
I attended seminars that where much more expensive than Dan's are.
For this is true I find it disgusting to discuss seminar fees in such a way. This would simply be impossible with other teachers.
And it is simply ridicoulus: I don't know wether you are used to inviting teachers from Japan or other countries overseas. Have you ever had to collect the money for a first class flight from Tokyo and a first class hotel in Berlin? Can you imagine what maybe twenty people would have to pay only for this? Thank god there are about 200 persons paying for the seminars plus we are using a part of the fees we collect in our federation.
Most teachers I know don't allow taking videos during regular classes or seminars. Even teachers who have released instructional DVD's don't like it or - even if asked - prohibit it. Some allow it only after having edited the video themselves. Or it's allowed to take a video but not to show it openly or load it up to youtube.
To me it's the same thing like talking about seminar fees:
No teacher I practiced with would ever discuss his teachings using a DVD or a youtube video. To me it is not only disrespectfull to demand this.
But what's more important: This is a youtubeish understanding of how budō is taught and learned. You will never get what a teacher has to give without moving yourself to get out and touch him. Going and get him is part of the learning.
Many teachers of "my group" are going to Japan to get their teacher. Other teachers went to Paris once a week for years.
I assume you also move yourself to be with your teacher(s). So why do you think this would not be appropriate in this case?
For someone who appears to against dvd usage / video .dvd reticent, you yourself use video material on your webpage.If you are a student of Endo Sensei I would suggest that Endo Sensei [a Youtube contributor ] seems to be quite happy posting videos.
Regarding seminars I have probably went to more seminars than most people have had hot dinners.Same as running courses, no need for you to tell me anything about running /casing courses.As far as travelling to courses etc,my cv [should you care to read it ]will give you info.
As for 'our group ' a bit of Sherlock Holmes detection on your part , surfing the web, will reveal all.
As far as me being a YouTube warrior, posting endless tit bits on the Y/Tube, sorry you will not find much of me on the Net.I prefer to be elusive and I refrain from doing this.Deep down I am like a latter day Howard Hughes of the Aikido fraternity.
Dvds cannot replace hands on instruction training with good teachers. Dvds are only traing tools/visual aids.They have their place. Some well known people in the Aikido firmament seem to have little reservations about churning out for the masses Aiki material.Maybe its a charitable gesture on the part of the people who make the decision to publish this material?
Last but not least I am non judgemental in respect of course fees.If instructors wish to charge
a certain price for their services and people are prepared to pay a sum of money to attend the course, that is a mutual commercial transaction between the parties involved.Happy New Year, Joe.