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Old 11-12-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
Neal Earhart
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Dojo: New York Aikikai / Aikido of Westchester
Location: New York City
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 98
Re: Do we need another Steven Seagal?

I think part of it has to do with the rise in popularity of MMA and martial arts schools promoting that they teach "MMA" in their curriculum, drawing prospective students from the 'traditional' arts. MMA is certainly competitive and you can fight 'professionally' for money, both of which can be very appealing to the "young bucks"...

I started Aikido a few months before "Above the Law" came out. I can't recall how many students the dojo I was training at the time picked up as a direct result of the movie/Seagal. But, people did make the association of the art with his movies. When I would say "I practice Aikido", people would say "oh, the stuff Seagal does." Now, when I mention Aikido, I find less people who know what it is or have even ever heard of it.

The other thing, Seagal is a high-ranking Aikidoka and Aikido techniques are used in his films, especially the early ones, however, he does administer 'movie-style martial art' beat-downs of the bad guys using a lot of stuff that I think most of us wouldn't associate directly with Aikido. That being said, there are people who see the Seagal movies and go to an Aikido dojo expecting to learn his choreographed "movie martial arts" and then see traditional Aikido....
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