Aikido dojo in a way is a small business, it has to pay the rent etc. through dues; luckily their usually is no employees to lay-off. As the Market is still south with little hope of gains in the future will it effect Aikido dojos so much that some may have to close the doors because the lack of dues?
I don't run a dojo. My guess is most Aikido dojo's wiil weather the storm due to student loyalty, and commitment. Am I wrong?
I run several dojos and I've had opportunity to soul search this question quite a bit.
Part of my thoughts are these:
I Believe each dojo will need to blend well with their particular communities and finances/resources ,in their own particular way, in order to stay upright. They will need to define their strengths and their weaknesses and look for places to connect deeply to maintain their base, while maintaining/growing. They will need to define, for themselves, what identifies them as valuable and unique rather than leaning into weakness of uncertainty that our current uke (the economy) brings.
I believe the principles of practice are immensely powerful to lean into on all accounts.
I believe dojo's that can align themselves with the current environment while embracing the adversarial elements of the economy will survive. and,some-even, thrive.
I believe that some dojo will certainly fold but it wont be because the world doesn't want/need aikido. It is because we will be asked to re-think ourselves and our paths and what our dojos are meant to accomplish.
I believe a number of really wonderful people will need to relocate. While they will be missed where they are now, they will be in a position to share aikido with many new people. Perhaps even people who may never have had the opportunity to experience it.
I believe there is a lining to this cloud.
I believe that private-schools and higher educational institutions will provide their students with more PE and that aikido will be commonly welcome and provided.
I believe all martial arts and martial artists will suffer unless they band together and embrace as a brotherhood united in preservation.
I believe it is time to sign out and go to bed
With that inspiration.....Good night my friends,