I'm interested and somewhat appalled (but not suprised) at the amount of snobbery displayed in this thread.
Comments such advertising only brings casual members and I'd rather have 2 or three honest members than lower the standard deny the reality of having to run a dojo.
we all have to pay rent, energy bills etc. if the dojo is to survive and maybe these casual members will help to do that.
One further point is that the more people who are exposed to Aikido the more honest members we will have. Some of the best (in all senses) Aikidoka I know started as casual members who liked a bit of a rumble.
Lets not get too precious about what we do for the vast majority of people it's just a hobby not a lifestyle choice. very few individuals want to commit to serious life-long training - but IMHO that's fine.
It isn't even about making the rent for me. My dojo is sofa king topheavy, we're not getting any younger, I am afraid the dojo will just kind of retire and class will be us sitting by the pool talking about how we used to do aikido before everything hurt. The lack of influx of new people is really damning, in my mind.
Sure, Seagal wasn't a "perfect" face for the art, but he was a willing face for the art. Movies do a LOT for martial arts. I didn't start aikido because of Hard to Kill, but I have had a lifelong interest in martial arts in general because of Hard to Kill, Out for Justice, Game of Death, Chinese Connection, Armor of God, Super Cop, Heroic Trio (!!!), Wing Chun, Karate Kid, even Big Trouble in Little China.
Martial arts movies are the finger pointing to the moon, and I am certain that just about everybody who is enjoying those movies is wise enough to understand that and just go check out a dojo or two.
Besides, if I bug my friends about checking out class any more than I do, I'm likely to have to use my aikido to defend myself from them.