View Full Version : Seagal Sensei's Tenshin Aikido
10-30-2008, 10:14 PM
I am curious about the lineage of Tenshin Aikido as it relates to Take (Seagal) Sensei. Take Sensei acknowledges his loyalty to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, but when searching their website I find no mention of Tenshin Aikido as a recognized style. The section that allows you to search "overseas" organizations also reveals nothing relating to the Tenshin style. I would like to know Take Sensei's lineage especially from whom he recieved his Yondan and up. I appreciate any comments.
10-30-2008, 10:37 PM
Most of his advanced training and ranks came while he was attached to the Tenshin dojo in Osaka (he was at that time married to Miyako Fujitani Sensei, whose parents owned the dojo). The Tenshin dojo was affiliated with Aikikai Hombu. I don't know the current status of that affiliation, but you should probably look for it in the Japanese section of the Hombu website, rather than the overseas section. Obviously, since his breakup from Fujitani, Segal's connections to the Osaka dojo are no more, and any relationship of his to Aikikai is probably of a more direct nature.
10-31-2008, 03:16 AM
Perhaps through Isoyama Hiroshi Shihan?
11-03-2008, 12:32 PM
His style is named after the Osaka dojo that he used to head. So when you look for that name, you have to inquire more on is the dojo connected to Seagal Sensei or to his ex-wife who now runs the dojo in Osaka. I don't know when or to what degree, but he was promotoed pretty quickly by his ex-wife's father. He was once asked by Larry King, "...who taught you Aikido..", and his answer was "...several people that nobody has ever heard of.....". He rambled off a couple of names but it was so quick and mumbled that I couldn't catch them. The tone though was that the people aren't really well known so it's not important who taught him.
11-03-2008, 04:46 PM
What Aikido Federation is he under ?
11-03-2008, 05:13 PM
I think he is directly tied to the Aikikai Honbu dojo.
11-03-2008, 07:38 PM
Probably 10 years ago I read in a publication called Martal Arts Masters that Abe sensei (10th dan) said that he promoted Seagal sensei to 6th dan (from what rank to 6th dan I do not know) because his Aikido was so good. Ironically, Abe sensei is who Matsuoka trains under since their decision to go their seperate ways several years ago. I am pretty sure that the late Doshu promoted him from 6th to 7dan which he currently holds to the best of my knowledge.
11-03-2008, 09:43 PM
He was once asked by Larry King, "...who taught you Aikido..", and his answer was "...several people that nobody has ever heard of.....". He rambled off a couple of names but it was so quick and mumbled that I couldn't catch them. The tone though was that the people aren't really well known so it's not important who taught him.
Yeah, he's never been much about clarifying his history. The BS stories out there are incredible.
For what it is worth, Seagal started in Orange County under with a couple who trained with Henry Ishisaki's group at Orange County Aikikai (who himself at that time was under the late Rod Kobayashi-sensei). One of these days I need to scan a photo showing him at a summer camp with his new blue belt somewhere around 1971 or 1972 (which makes the whole "met and trained with O-sensei" stuff pretty hard to believe).
Somewhere around 1974 he tested for Shodan here in the states at Rod Kobayashi's dojo but memories of those I've spoken to who were around at the time about the test do conflict a bit. I've been told from numerous places that Kobayashi-sensei and Harry Ishisaki were on the board but with no mention of Tohei. I've also heard that Tohei chaired it during a visit to Kobayashi's dojo with Kobayashi-sensei and Ishisaki sitting in.
Remember it was over 30 years ago and memories tend to fade and/or meld together... Opinions of him at that time seem to be varied, but most agree he was a focused and devoted student.
Regardless, Seagal moved to Japan soon afterward to train with a young Japanese woman he met when she visited Southern California travelling with her father who was giving a seminar. The history from there on out is outlined in a number of sources and there appears to be a lot of "versions" of exactly what happened over a few short years. You're on your own with that -- that's all outside my range so to speak.
The rest is movie history... :)
Best of luck.
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