Hi Ron. Love your columns amd this one is from what I see on other threads very thoughtful and indeed very pertinent to some peoples 'fear'
of what may happen to Aikido.
Being someone who doesn't do it as a business but more as a way if you like, I nonetheless get told often how I should.
When I looked previously at business models it all seemed to me that money could be made by having belts and gradings especially for children and I know many successful martial arts places who do just that. However that wasn't for me as I believed many of them were selling their integrity down the river.
However, now more than ever in history I see it is a very economics and money based scene which brings that old dilemma to the fore once again. There are models out there as you pointed out like people doing seminars etc. for others not of their dojo so to speak and they make a living at it.
So basically I agree with you and especially your conclusion. If someone who is concerned about the perceived situation of their Aikido organization or if they are independent and want to live it AND earn a good income from it then both have to do the same thing really. They have to think outside of the box and find out where they could be teaching it which would lead to that solution.
For example, if I wanted to and then looked lets say, over here in England, football and if it's wanted or needed there. Well, there are some managers and coaches who use various experts and teachers of other things if they see it could improve for instance the players balance or mind stability etc. etc.
If a person from an organization thus taught in another profession then people of that profession would get to know and not only get him to teach them but would join his organization as a result. A win-win. On the other hand the independent would now have a well rewarded arm to his Aikido as well as his own dojo which need not change.
That's part of my understanding from what you've written and it's been enlghtening, thank you. G.