Here's a blog post titled Never make demands of your students and never let students make demands of you
- not written by an aikidoist, but by a budoist.
It's not your job to make demands of students in terms of attendance, fitness, practice, start assigning them homework or required reading. If a student only turns up once every couple of months or doesn't do any practice or doesn't try to improve his or her poor level of fitness it is not your problem - it is theirs. Doing this brings stress onto yourself and usually works against you.
Perhaps a teacher who gets a little bit more focused on his own training and a little bit less on his students actually does everyone involved a favour? At least I think this kind of teacher is less vulnerable. And I think it makes him a better leader, someone people want to follow. Few people at the seminar? Make sure working on your own stuff, then, and be an inspiration to those who are there.
I always (well, almost) was a very busy seminar-goer. But if seminars were expected of me... perhaps I actually would feel less like going.
Honestly, Mr Ledyard. I don't think you give a good message to your students in that open letter. Not if a "good message" is measured by how much it increases their interest in training.
I hope I'm not too impertinent. Just trying to give my honest feedback.