From the beginning, Aikido exploded in popularity and was feared around the world. People originally couldn’t train in the art without a recommendation from a disciple. Many martial artists picked up Aikido and found great success with it. Of course, the founder of Aikido is the best known practitioner of this art within the realm of martial arts. Steven Seagal is well-known among the general public for practicing Aikido, though.
Regardless, Aikido started declining in popularity decades ago. Not everyone within MMA and the UFC considers Aikido a viable martial art for competition. The art has been criticized for a lack of realism and a lack of spirituality, too. By now, Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, among other arts, have become far more popular than Aikido, especially in the mainstream. A YouTube video entitled Aikido’s Loss of Popularity – A Brief History covers Aikido’s background and its decline in popularity over the years.