Re: Poll: How important is running an aikido dojo as a business?
Well, now Hanna has touched a very important point.. in many countries, esp. in Europe, and definately so in Germany where I live, public (=non-profit) sports clubs (offering many sports under one roof) and gyms are heavily subsidized.
1) makes it not really necessary to open a private dojo, if you can put up with the restrictions of operating as one group of many within a bigger club, and
2) makes it so much harder to open a private dojo because of the subsidized price-dumping of aforementioned clubs.
In effect, once your dojo does earn you some money, it is then taxed, from which then (among other things) your local public sports club gets public funding, which can then offer cheaper classes than you can. Isn't that perverse, if you think about it??
To make one thing clear: nobody can escape economics, and nobody can teach for free... somebody is always paying for it (unless you teach outdoors in a park, but even that is maintained by the city, I guess).
So again, politics everywhere..
P.S. Of course, economics also come into play when a private dojo is only used so and so many hours per week for Aikido classes and stands empty the rest of the week.. that is an inefficiency many choose intently for the "pureness" of the dojo, sub-letting to other sports would improve the situation (similar to the sports gym model), but is often not wanted.