Re: Business and Budo
George, I'll preface my comments with this: I *really* *genuinely* sympathize with your position as someone who makes a living teaching budo.
I can't help but point out however that while there is a common conception among practitioners that access to training is a right regardless of ones financial ability to pay for that training, I would also put forward that there's also a perception among Aikido teachers, that they somehow have a right to be paid for what they do. Obviously, you've worked very hard to offer enough value that you can get paid for what you love, and I admire that.
I will however offer the following list:
What do they all have in common? They all have or had jobs outside of budo instruction. To be perfectly clear, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with making a living teaching martial arts. I do think that if the folks listed above, with all they had/have to offer, find/found it necessary to find income elsewhere, I know I certainly have no business even toying with the idea of hanging a shingle and expecting that to even cover my gas money.
Again, to be clear, this is not intended in any way as not a dig at you George. Just throwing that out there.