MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?
Unless you've been hiding in a cave for the last few years, you are well aware by now of the explosive popularity of the UFC, Pride, IFL and other sportsfighting organizations have given to the competitive mixed martial arts (MMA) community, commerically hyping the MMA to official "sports" status that seems to have no end in sight.
Case in point: many other martial arts forums on the internet have been almost completely overrun with MMA devotees, "wanabees", virtual tough guys, polemicists & cyber-conquistadors who with an almost religious zeal wage holy war for the glory of the MMA against the traditional martial artist infidel. The traditional martial arts (TMA) and their practitioners are treated with disdain and mocked for training in "ineffective" and "dead" techniques that no longer have any real practical application in either fighting or self-defense situations. Although there is no argument that the majority of these folks (who are primarily pimply-faced teenagers) misunderstand even the most obvious differences between self-defense and fighting, it does raise an alarming question...
Question: considering that the overwhealming majority of sportsfighting fans/MMA devotees are teenagers and 20somethings, many who also express their sentiments on the internet...do you think Aikido is going to experience a crisis in active membership in the next decade? That is, once the Baby Boom Aikidoka begin to retire and/or no longer actively train...who will be taking their place? How will Aikido adapt in order to attract a generation blinded by the commercial hype of the MMA and competitive sportsfighting as being "true" martial arts?