Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?
I have no doubt that MMA will continue to be the rage and have a lot of growth but the negatives of the MMA will eventually cause it to eventually play itself out. Aikido will continue to grow. Aikido has grown around the world in a situation where the other martial arts were already more established and better known. Here in Houston, there is hardly a shopping center or strip mall that doesn't have a karate dojo. Brazilian grappling is now appearing here and there and we have some well established Aikido dojos here in town that were started in the last decade and are growing. In my two dojos, we have 80 students and are busting at the seams. The Judo guys and grapplers frequently join us. I have quite a few in our dojos. They never question what we are doing and have a good time and they keep signing up. I have karate teachers in my dojos and also some Ninjitsu guys. Everyone gets along and has a good time. The locals are more humble and generally nicer guys than I have found on the net. Like most martial artists, some are coming to Aikido looking for something else and want to learn from Aikido. I try to see to it that they are challenged and feel they are in a good art. It is working so well, we are having to move to a larger place so we are happy with the state of Aikido in a time when MMA is so popular. I am glad the MMA guys see the wisdom of doing Aikido.