Yes, I think that Chad has a point about the class size, and Justin, thanks for sharing your story about your dojo. Aikido is almost esoteric to some people, and if you don't locate yourself in some place that is condusive to it, it's bound to be difficult. My dojo is in a small town that appears to be pretty conservative in nature. Ann Arbor is just 10 miles north and is a very liberal city, and there are no fewer than three active aikido dojos there (plus numereous clubs at the University, the YMCA, rec centers, etc.), and they more or less thrive. I've got lots of friends in Toronto, and there they have almost innumerable aikido dojos, and these all seem to be pretty chock-full of students. Maybe it is the culture of a community as well.