Re: Do we need another Steven Seagal?
I think particular MA popularity goes in cycles. The thing about MA's is that they become popular for a while because they're new and exciting or mystical to the majority of people and then the aura fades. Take BJJ for example, when Royce Gracie won UFC 1 back in 1993 the majority of people were unfamiliar with newaza style submission grappling and he was able to exploit his opponent's ignorance. BJJ quickly became a phenomenon in the MA world. Fast forward to 2012 and the MMA world is questioning the effectiveness of BJJ to the modern sport. The majority of BJJ blackbelts in the UFC have converted to becoming expert strikers such as Fabrice Verdun. You have guys like Belfort & Anderson Silva who rarely ever use their BJJ inside the Octagon.
I enjoy Seagal's movies, they may only be movie martial arts but at least you can begin to imagine how Aikido techniques may be applied to 'street fights'. Aikido will probably never be as 'popular' as it was back in the 1990s when Seagal was at his peak but it will always attract enough people to survive, just as all well established TMAs will. It's always nice to see Jujutsu/Aikido techniques in action films. Just last week I was watching Batman Begins again for the first time in a while and in the scene where he enters the League of Shadows HQ and has to fight Liam Neeson's character he uses a variety of techniques from different arts. I never caught it before but he peforms a nihonage and Neeson identifies it as Jujutsu as he counters it. I got excited for a split second because I knew exactly which technique Neeson had identified. There's also some Jujutsu techniques in the Bourne Identity. Anyway I'm sure Aikido techniques will find their way into action films in the future but Aikido is no longer new to mainstream audiences so the impact will be less.