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nikonl
03-24-2002, 01:28 AM
Hi, i've recently read a news article about Steven Seagal and it reminded me of something.

Why is Steven Seagal regarded as a reputable 'Aikidoka'?

His movies conveys violent messages and is totally the opposite of what O-sensei or Aikido is teaching.

Even if 'it is just a movie'. If he were a true aikidoka, he could have made movies which shows how aikido can control a villian through non-violent means, and not just go, "Its time to die", and crack goes the neck.

Also, i've heard reports that he's not very nice in real life too.

Where has his Ai spirit gone to?

I have friends whose only knowledge of Aikido is Steven Seagal, and they think Aikido is a deadly violent art which is totally the opposite of what it is.

So, i am wondering why is everyone 'supporting' him? Should he be the 'black sheep' and not be related to aikido at all, although he has really trained in it. Maybe he should call it another name, Seagal-do? So that people won't associate it with what actually Aikido is actually teaching. :)

Just my thoughts. Sorri if i have offended any of his fans. :)

shihonage
03-24-2002, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by nikon

I have friends whose only knowledge of Aikido is Steven Seagal, and they think Aikido is a deadly violent art which is totally the opposite of what it is.


It is what you want it to be.
Seagal wants it to be this, you want it to be that... having freedom is great.

Edward
03-24-2002, 04:38 AM
No matter what, Steven Seagal has contributed largely in making Aikido so famous. The guy is 7th dan after all. Of course the ones looking for a deadly art get quickly disappointed and leave soon. Some others completely misunderstand it too and try to make it a religion of peace and love ;)

guest1234
03-24-2002, 05:16 AM
First, I would agree with those who have pointed out that, whether what they are seeking is really there, or not, many students first show up at an Aikido dojo because of Seagal Sensei's films. So he is doing, in a certain way, a service by spreading the word that Aikido exists.

In his films, his charater is often portrayed as a gentle person who would rather not fight (despite references to a shadowy past) and only does so to protect himself or often others. While some end up maimed, many do not die, and most are those you wouldn't shed many tears over---the film's villians are usually without any redeeming qualities.

Also has been said, and what I've posted several times before in other threads, we each have what we consider 'true' Aikido in our minds, and it is OK for us to differ.

Finally, I try no to question, for the above reason and a few others, anyone's true motivation in his pursuit of Aikido, lest I be questioned in mine.

guest1234
03-24-2002, 05:27 AM
As for his personal life:

a. I doubt many of us know him personally; we know only what we read or hear. I know I have been misquoted in print, and a video-taped interview edited not to my liking. And I am not even famous. I believe about a person what I personally know, from actual interaction and observation.

b. As I've posted before, I think a sensei's personal life is just that, personal, and unless he involves me in it, none of my business (providing he is not breaking any laws). If I find out something I don't like, and don't like it enough, I can always leave his dojo. Senseis are not priests or therapists, and at most role models only in the children's classes.

brian northrup
03-24-2002, 09:47 AM
hi in reply to steven seagal's aikido
first and foremost aikido is a martial art
osensei had a severe reputation for his training, as a matter of fact his dojo used to be called hell dojo, for good reason, dislocated joints and broken bones were very commom.

and if you go to steven seagals website you can buy a video called the path beyond thought that would greatly clarify his aikido

that being said i can appreciate the spiritual aspects of aikido but it isnt a religion, it is taught for self defense purposes, i do hope i havent offended any one who sees aikido as a religion, i too love the spiritual side of aikido but it is hard training that cultivates mind body spirit
not an idea.:)

brian

Edward
03-24-2002, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by brian northrup
it is hard training that cultivates mind body spirit


AMEN!

Carl Simard
03-24-2002, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by ca
As for his personal life:

a. I doubt many of us know him personally; we know only what we read or hear. I know I have been misquoted in print, and a video-taped interview edited not to my liking. And I am not even famous. I believe about a person what I personally know, from actual interaction and observation.


I agree with you. What we see in the movies is not the "real life". Well, if someone was ready to give me millions of $ to do some aikido in a film, I would gladly agree, even if the script doesn't really reflect what aikido is all about... We shouldn't think that Seagal's aikido is good or not basing on what we see on the movies. They are run by a script and commercial goal, not by MA spirit or some noble goal...

As many people posted, no matter if Seagal's aikido is good or not, he contribute largely to make aikido known to many peoples and made them show up at the dojo to try it. So, it think we should at least give it some respect for that: he made our martial art (particularly true in North America) known more than anybody else...

As for me, I don't think it's a exactly a "reputable" aikidoka. I would rather say that it's the most known one, which is a big difference... There is much more reputable and knowledgeable aikidoka in this world, but they are not the most known. Stop anybody on the street and ask if they know "Steven Seagal", you will have no problem finding someone knowing. Try the same thing with the name of a shihan, Tamura, Ueshiba, Yamada... Probaly none will know who they are... Popularity and reputation are two different things...

Irony
03-24-2002, 09:23 PM
There needs to be somewhat a seperation between Seagal's movie aikido and his true life aikido. I remember going to Exit Wounds and saying, "wait, that's not aikido!" But nowhere in the movie did he claim that his character was an aikidoka. Much like those who believe that since he played a brilliant mathematician in "A Beautiful Mind" Russell Crow must be some kind of math genius.

Steven Seagal doesn't make movies to be the "aikido rolemodel". No one criticizes other action stars from straying from their path in a film. Seperate character and person.

darin
03-25-2002, 12:03 AM
So would you also say an actor who happens to play roles as a serial killer, rapist, racist or child molester is bad too? Or how about actors who do roles that involve homosexual scenes? I think Seagal's roles have been rather tame, maybe due to his limited acting ability, compared to some other actors. He is more famous for his bad acting than anything else.

shadow
03-25-2002, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by nikon

I have friends whose only knowledge of Aikido is Steven Seagal, and they think Aikido is a deadly violent art which is totally the opposite of what it is.


How is aikido in anyway not deadly? The good thing about it is it's up to the practitioner to decide wether it's going to be a devastating technique, or simply a gentle way of neutralising someone. If we didn't learn ukemi in aikido, in every class I'm sure there would be more than one person not leaving, or at the very least in the back of an ambulance.
Besides, who really takes movies like that at face value? The easily impressionable...who cares what they think. I happen to quite like seagal and I watch his movies in the way they are presented...FICTIONAL!

sleepyshark
03-28-2002, 11:28 AM
Who cares whether or not he's a "good" aikidoka, I'm glad that there's even aikido IN a movie!

Steve
03-28-2002, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by ca
First, I would agree with those who have pointed out that, whether what they are seeking is really there, or not, many students first show up at an Aikido dojo because of Seagal Sensei's films. So he is doing, in a certain way, a service by spreading the word that Aikido exists.

SNIP



Granted, I've only seen a few Segal films but I had no idea at all that he was displaying aikido until an aikidoka told me. So how does the general public know that Segal practices aikido? It's not in his films some place, is it? Maybe it is. I don't know. Or are we just assuming that a lot of people new to aikido were inspired by Segal?

Arianah
03-28-2002, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by Steve
Granted, I've only seen a few Segal films but I had no idea at all that he was displaying aikido until an aikidoka told me. So how does the general public know that Segal practices aikido? It's not in his films some place, is it? Maybe it is. I don't know. Or are we just assuming that a lot of people new to aikido were inspired by Segal?

In Above the Law, there is a whole little introduction about Ueshiba Morihei and aikido (though I can't remember if he actually says "aikido") I just love how in the dojo scene at the beginning of that movie, every uke that gets thrown lets out a shouting groan of pain: "Uagh!" That had me laughing for quite some time. :D

Sarah

By the way, I never even saw a Seagal movie until after starting aikido, and then, only fast-forwarding to the fight scenes to see if I can recongnize anything.

bujin
03-28-2002, 02:28 PM
For me it really doesn´t matter whether he was awarded with the 4th or 7th dan. After all the most important is, what he is presenting on tatami. Have you ever seen Seagal doing irimi nage on uke, who was taller than 1,60m?

It´s ridiculous. Besides all that I heard that he has stopped teaching aikido. He went to Berlin this year and I didn´t hear then of any seminar with S.Seagal sensei. So?

Arianah
03-28-2002, 02:30 PM
Oh, and I've also read on here (aikiweb) that the description on the back of one of his movies says, "Using his deadly aikido . . ." :rolleyes:
(Hope that wasn't already said in this thread.)

guest1234
03-28-2002, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Steve


Granted, I've only seen a few Segal films but I had no idea at all that he was displaying aikido until an aikidoka told me. So how does the general public know that Segal practices aikido? It's not in his films some place, is it? Maybe it is. I don't know. Or are we just assuming that a lot of people new to aikido were inspired by Segal?

I don't know how they knew, perhaps through the few references already mentioned, or word of mouth. I had seen his films before I started, but didn't know he was doing Aikido... but I've heard more than one visitor (usually a younger male category) ask about Seagal Sensei and Aikido (as in 'this is what Seagal does, right?') so the word seems to be out there somewhere...

I don't understand the question on irimi nage, nor have I seen him doing Aikido (other than his movie stuff, which we all know is not like actually teaching). But if the question implies it is easier for him to do an impressive irimi nage due to his size, I wouldn't fault him for being big...those same big senseis (and I've had a few) have to do shiho nage, and sudori techniques, which are definately more difficult for big guys, so it all evens out in the end. In fact, irimi nage is about the only technique I can think of that give taller nages an easier time.

zoobie
03-28-2002, 08:21 PM
second doshu gave Seagal his 7th dan.
I thought his randori movement was fine in his aikido film "path beyond thought".

njnoexit
03-30-2002, 11:02 PM
They are movies, they are not real. They are used to entertain people, not to influence.

He is an actor, that is his job. What he acks as does not protray what he is. And once again movies are not real, unless it is a historical or bassed of a true story...

mostly what he acts in are action movies.... He is a bad actor and all he can do is aikido. and people like to watch action movies. Now aikido is pritty boring to watch in a movie if you do not know what it is. so he has no choice but to act the way his director tells him too.. if the director wants him to punch the guy in the face instead of throwing him on the ground he can not do anything about it... he is a working man trying to make a living... and that is no reason to judge him, or label him otherwize.

sorry if that sounded offensive it did not intend to be. That is not directed twards you it is directed to all the kids out there who think movies are real.

Sanshouaikikai
07-19-2005, 07:14 PM
About Seagal Sensei being a good Aikidoka or whatever this thread is about,lol...one of my senseis at my dojo studied under him when she was in Japan teaching at a college there or something like that. She had heard about his dojo because he was the only white guy teaching Japanese martial arts in Japan...so...I guess she went over to his Tenshin Dojo and studied under him. This was of course way before he became a jerk movie star. He's still sweet though! I love his early movies. My favorite is "Marked by Death". That movie has the best Aikido choreography I think...it was sweet!!!

aikigirl10
07-19-2005, 08:19 PM
Why is Steven Seagal regarded as a reputable 'Aikidoka'?





DUH! Hes famous

Roy
07-19-2005, 11:20 PM
Seagal is awesome!!!!!!! Here is a link to see an mpeg of his, http://www.aikijujitsu.ca/. Just go under "Multymedia," and you will see Saka Sensei (Seagal) just click and enjoy. Afterwords you will understand why he is considered a true Aikidoka. Before his career as an actor, for years he owned a dojo in Japan.

Aikilove
07-20-2005, 03:23 AM
Saka sensei? I believe he goes under "Take" Sensei when he teach.

dan guthrie
07-20-2005, 09:02 AM
Seagal is awesome!!!!!!! Here is a link to see an mpeg of his, http://www.aikijujitsu.ca/. Just go under "Multymedia," and you will see Saka Sensei (Seagal) just click and enjoy. Afterwords you will understand why he is considered a true Aikidoka. Before his career as an actor, for years he owned a dojo in Japan.


It's nice to finally see him doing Aikido instead of whatever it is he's been doing in his movies.

At the end of the tape he threw a few ukes off the mat and he ended up off as well. Is that a big mistake?

Ron Tisdale
07-20-2005, 12:08 PM
because he was the only white guy teaching Japanese martial arts in Japan...

That is NOT a true statement. There were and are more than one or two others as well.

Ron

csinca
07-20-2005, 01:30 PM
For me it really doesn´t matter whether he was awarded with the 4th or 7th dan. After all the most important is, what he is presenting on tatami. Have you ever seen Seagal doing irimi nage on uke, who was taller than 1,60m?

It´s ridiculous. Besides all that I heard that he has stopped teaching aikido. He went to Berlin this year and I didn´t hear then of any seminar with S.Seagal sensei. So?

I'm 6'2" and about 205 pounds and he didn't seem to have any trouble with irimi nage on me at a seminar. I barely felt him but the ground came up and hit me in the back hard enough to knock a little wind out of me.

Chris

Adam Alexander
07-20-2005, 01:47 PM
Why is Steven Seagal regarded as a reputable 'Aikidoka'?


Aikido is a martial art. Martial is deadly...Segal portrays deadly.

Didn't Ueshiba say that is was always a MA? I don't agree with Segal's portrayal of Aikido, but, as another said, that's his Aikido...As long as he isn't running around hurting people indiscriminately, what's the difference?


And finally...did you see his timing in that link? It's awesome!

csinca
07-20-2005, 02:46 PM
At the end of the tape he threw a few ukes off the mat and he ended up off as well. Is that a big mistake?

That sort of thing happens sometimes when things aren't choreographed. If you are flowing, you aren't necessarily going to say "Hmmm, I better get back on the mat".

Of course if it's a busy street rather than the edge of the mat, you may want to be more cognicent. Of course that probably changes some other dynamics in the randori as well....

Chris

dan guthrie
07-20-2005, 08:19 PM
That sort of thing happens sometimes when things aren't choreographed. If you are flowing, you aren't necessarily going to say "Hmmm, I better get back on the mat".

Of course if it's a busy street rather than the edge of the mat, you may want to be more cognicent. Of course that probably changes some other dynamics in the randori as well....

Chris


It seems to me that it's not acceptable - for safety reasons - in the dojo but in a big, important demonstration it's a bit like hitting a wrong note very loud in a solo.

Martially, what if this happened "in real life" and there was traffic or a wall where the mat ends?

In a nutshell, I wish my aikido was as good as Seagal sensei's acting :) but I think this video shows he isn't perfect.

Just my two cents, I'm not trying to stir up any controversy.

Roy
07-20-2005, 11:40 PM
"At the end of the tape he threw a few ukes off the mat and he ended up off as well. Is that a big mistake?" No! its not Sumo! Even if he did throw people of the mat, I still think he is awesome!

Stanley Archacki
07-21-2005, 09:00 AM
The Aikido community seems to be very caught up about Seagal Sensei, but I often see a lot of speculation and judgement without getting into the verifiable facts. If you want to evaluate Seagal, maybe a good place to start would be to look at the quality of some of his top students like Haruo Matsuoka, Larry Reynosa and Luis Santos.
http://www.doshinokai.com/
http://www.makotodojo.com
http://www.tenshindojo.us/tenshin/index.html

Seagal's Tenshin Aikido is Aikikai, not Daito Ryu or some bastardized Aikido mixed with Karate. Years before I started studying Aikido, I was able to recognize and name the techniques he performed in his movies as classical Aikido techniques based only on descriptions of Aikido I had read in books. But, as has been stated before, he can't be judged as a Shihan under Hombu dojo by his movies, any more than a top Aikidoka could, for example, be judged by the quality of the products in another Aikido-related business he or she operated.

Seagal isn't the only teacher to focus his teaching on the martial effictiveness of Aikido. Yet he seems to get much more criticism for this than do Aikidoka who go to the other extreme, and focus heavily on ki almost to the exclusion of the martial.

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2005, 09:36 AM
Seagal isn't the only teacher to focus his teaching on the martial effictiveness of Aikido. Yet he seems to get much more criticism for this ...

I'm not sure that is what I've heard him critisized for...If anything, I've heard a lot of positive comments about that.

Best,
Ron

happysod
07-21-2005, 09:43 AM
Stanley, listen to Ron as I think it's another website you're thinking of. Steven Seagal gets criticized for his god-awful films and strangely sensational and bizarre personal life - not his aikido.

The only standard criticism concerning his aikido I've read was being stupid enough to let a known "hard man of judo" get a choke hold on him through arrogance.

wxyzabc
07-21-2005, 10:12 AM
Steve Seagals a good guy I reckon :) his aikido looks highly effective and he certainly deserves his 7th dan imho.

Some of his actions outside of "aikido" are highly commendable too...he does a lot of charity work...supporting organisations like PETA. Of course he's not perfect but I wonder how the lives of those that criticise from afar stand in comparison :confused:

Lee

csinca
07-21-2005, 10:26 AM
It seems to me that it's not acceptable - for safety reasons - in the dojo but in a big, important demonstration it's a bit like hitting a wrong note very loud in a solo.

Martially, what if this happened "in real life" and there was traffic or a wall where the mat ends?

In a nutshell, I wish my aikido was as good as Seagal sensei's acting :) but I think this video shows he isn't perfect.

Just my two cents, I'm not trying to stir up any controversy.

Dan,

Just to be clear, I am not claiming perfection for anyone. I'm simply saying that if you are truly flowing and doing a four man randori with people that can take ukemi, you just go with it and play. I'd bet my two cents that none of those ukes really even needed the mats and everybody on the mat knew it.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I certainly agree that if the edge of the mat is a busy street things get very different. But then you are talking about a street altercation and not a randori demonstration. In the street (amazing how much of a cliche that has become) things change from the very beginning of the randori and I really don't see the ukes getting second, third and fourth chances to get up to play some more.

I guess I don't think its that big a deal, but then again it's happened to me in classes and demonstrations..

Have a great day out there!

Chris

mazmonsters
07-22-2005, 10:03 AM
In regards to the original question:
From the facts most of the public Aikidoka knows, yes Seagal Sensei is a representation of a true Aikidoka because of his history: He ran the Ten Shin dojo in Osaka, he holds the ranking of 7th Dan in the Aikikai, plus his aikido outside of the movies is pretty amazing. In fact it is so impressive that I was actually going to relocate, leave my job, family, friends, etc…to move to one of the dojo's affiliated with the mighty name of Steven Seagal Shihan.
I went on a visit to a dojo about 2 months ago. I was thoroughly impressed with the teacher's application of technique. It was unlike anything I had previously experienced, and I have been in and out of several dojo over the course of the last eight years of my life. I've been to Colorado, Georgia, California, Michigan, and Florida, visiting different schools, and eventually settled in Michigan (this is my home state) and thought I found a great dojo. And I did, however, after experiencing one of "Segal's" dojo, I saw things that were very different, and I wanted to learn them. For instance, at my previous school, if uke threw a mid-level strike (chudan tsuki), we would tenkan, sort of pull uke around with gravitational force, and then as uke came around, apply a kote geishi. Well, at this particular school, the first thing they did was deflect the tsuki, not even moving, then do a tenkan, and as Uke came around on his own, you would slide forward with your lead foot to a "corner" away from uke's open hand-side, then step in the other "corner" with your opposite foot, cutting with the kote geishi at the same time, all while keeping uke's hand very low. This opened my eyes to a whole new kote-geishi, and there was no way of "fighting" or resisting the technique. Either you fell or you would end up with a damaged wrist. All of the techniques of this school were based on deflections first, similar to kenjutsu (which Seagal claims himself to incorporate into his "version" of aikido.) Their philosophy was to not be there when the attack comes. And it's all based on those deflections.
Well, I was so excited to tell my Sensei about this…and while I was there, the teacher started talking to me about opening up an affiliate dojo here in Michigan. I was very excited to hear that as well. They seemed very open to me. I got back home and showed the guys in my dojo the new techniques I had learned and they all had the same reaction as I did. We all wanted to learn more. Our sensei was not open to the idea at all, and I saw his ego at work. I then left the dojo to pursue this "different" aikido for myself. I got in contact with my first aikido teacher (who had stopped teaching due to an illness) and told him about it, and he was very interested in learning the "TenShin" style of Aikido, now that his illness had settled a bit. So, we had some phone conversations, emails, etc.. with the teacher of the TenShin school and one of his associates, and we were going to start an affiliate dojo here in Michigan. We wondered how we would do this, for several reasons:
1. We didn't know how to do "TenShin Aikido." With none of them coming to Michigan to train us for a set period of time, how would we learn? They told us we would learn a few days each month, by visiting their dojo (not a problem) or at seminars.
2. Because they said that we would have to start over as white belts, learn each kyu level step by step so that we could teach others the same way, and everyone would be learning the same aikido. This bothered me a little bit, not because of wearing a white belt again, but because they stressed that everyone would look the same, from ukemi to technique…well, didn't O'Sensei specifically say that everyone's aikido will be their own? We all have different bodies, different strengths and weaknesses, and while the basics should all be the same basics, where is the room to blossom into your own aikido?

Still, we thought it would be worth the effort. Then, my old teacher went to his doctor and the doc told him that if he took any hardfall ukemi, he might permanently damage his body, due to the fact he has a certain disease. So, he had to decline the offer, and I figured I would do it on my own. The teacher at the "TenShin" school all of a sudden didn't seem interested in helping me out. He was very enthused about this whole endeavor, and the enthusiasm I showed, until he found out that I wouldn't be bringing a whole dojo with me. He said it wouldn't be worth my time, and it wouldn't be fair to his students, because I would be visiting them once or twice a month, for a few classes, and he would have to take time away from their training to teach me how to do things…then when I got back, I wouldn't remember the things he taught me from last time, so he would have to go over them again. I said that I understood, and maybe I would simply move there for a few years to study. Well, my old teacher found this out and he was concerened that it was simply a money-making machine they were interested in. If you started a dojo with these guys, you had to pay yearly dues, plus each dojo has to host 2 seminars per year, which costs $3000.00. This is the standard for every school. Each student had to pay $75 per year, the dojo-cho had to pay $150 per year, then the dojo itself had to pay a certain amount each year, all to the head of this "federation." On top of that, all students were highly encouraged to attend all seminars (which cost $75 per person, plus hotel and food) but were only required to attend 2 a year. I just thought that it was to keep the teacher paid for traveling and what not…so that this could be his full time job. My teacher told me to really think about this, and to start doing research on anyone else who went this route. My research led me to Larry Reynosa. I actually called his dojo, and the man spoke with me for about a half-hour. Anyone can call him and find out from him personally what his side of the story is, you don't have to take my word for it. Just go to the Makoto website and look for the number. He told me very, very disturbing things about the dojo I wanted to join…along with several others, all claiming to be "direct students" under Steven Seagal. Things beyond money issues. Very nasty things indeed…involving young girls. I do not feel that I am the person to write what we discussed, because Larry Reynosa might not want that information to be out there, but any of you can feel free to call him up yourselves. He was not shy at all to talk about it with me…and he didn't know me from Adam. I am no longer pursuing any of that Aikido. I still think that what Seagal's style does as far as technique is the best I have experienced, but it is not worth it to me to be involved with men like that. Even if Larry Reynosa was lying about these guys, there were reasons he left Seagal's side, which were disturbing reasons from what he told me. Matsuoka Sensei also left Seagal's side due to his own reasons…it all seemed so secretive...
I am now training with my old teacher again, the one I started my aikido career with. He can't take falls, but he can still teach very well. And if all of this led to me finding him again, and getting him back into teaching again, then I am thankful.
I just throw a word of caution to anyone interested in learning "Seagals' style" of aikido…because you might be dealing with dangerous men.

darin
07-22-2005, 11:28 AM
I downloaded the demo from that aikijujitsu site. Nice demo.

darin
07-22-2005, 12:01 PM
I liked the aikjujitsu site. Had some cool BJJ movies.

Roy
07-22-2005, 01:58 PM
Darin Hyde,
If you liked those mpegs, you will love the mpegs on http://www.bullshido.com/, under video clips. There's lots of mpegs on that site to check out! I highly recommend the "Drunken Kunfu vs Karate,"I found it to be entertaining.

Nick Simpson
07-25-2005, 01:51 AM
' just love how in the dojo scene at the beginning of that movie, every uke that gets thrown lets out a shouting groan of pain: "Uagh!" That had me laughing for quite some time. '

What, you mean thats not normal???

tenshinaikidoka
07-25-2005, 06:56 AM
I guess my question would be this...Why would Steven Seagal Shihan not be considered a reputable Aikidoka??????

Nick Simpson
07-25-2005, 11:57 AM
Because a lot of arrogant people who are relatively new to aikido seem to think that they are more morally correct and striving to find the path of aiki much better than he does/has. And all the rest. I've only heard good things about him, and thats from people who have trained with him and his students.

Ron Tisdale
07-25-2005, 12:17 PM
Because a lot of arrogant people who are relatively new to aikido seem to think that they are more morally correct and striving to find the path of aiki much better than he does/has. And all the rest. I've only heard good things about him, and thats from people who have trained with him and his students.

Out of curriosity, what makes these people arrogant? Is it because they have made a value judgement about another person with little or no direct information at hand?

What is "relatively new" ? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? When does a person no longer qualify as "relatively new"? Is it their rank? At what rank would they then be entitled to an opinion without it being "arrogant"?

At the same time, I do kind of wonder what affect anything Steven Seagal does or doesn't do could have on our own lives or our own aikido. He's just one man, one teacher (at least in the past), and we each have our own teachers, and our own lives. On a guess, I'd say there's plenty of "bad behavior" out there to go around, some of it my own. I don't even have to look for a teacher to find that... :)

Best,
Ron

Nick Simpson
07-25-2005, 01:17 PM
Well:

'Out of curriosity, what makes these people arrogant? Is it because they have made a value judgement about another person with little or no direct information at hand? '

In my opinion yes. But thats just my opinion. Maybe it just makes them ill informed and/or stupid. What I think really makes them arrogant is that they think they have the right to question what someone else is doing/has done with their budo/training/art/whatever. To base it on what they have seen portrayed in a movie is just the icing on the cake.

' What is "relatively new" ? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? When does a person no longer qualify as "relatively new"? Is it their rank? At what rank would they then be entitled to an opinion without it being "arrogant"? '

I used the term relatively new because it is a loose term. There is no exact definition. You have people who have trained all their life saying they are begginners. You have people training for 6 months who think they are masters. Whatever. When I say relatively new to aikido, I mean about a few months. It seems that the majority of these statements about the moral integrety of steven Seagal are made by people who have been studying for a few months. I base this on what I have heard and seen. It doesnt make it the absolute.

As for what rank they would be entitled to having an opinion without being arrogant. well, I never mentioned rank in relation to opinions. The fact that anybody can be arrogant, regardless of rank, a sixth dan can be just as arrogant as a sixth kyu, if not more. So it's a moot point. Grades are held by just people, afterall. 'Rank does not eqaul good human beings' etc etc.

'At the same time, I do kind of wonder what affect anything Steven Seagal does or doesn't do could have on our own lives or our own aikido. He's just one man, one teacher (at least in the past), and we each have our own teachers, and our own lives. On a guess, I'd say there's plenty of "bad behavior" out there to go around, some of it my own. I don't even have to look for a teacher to find that... '

Right on. I just get really bored with people making statements like this. Cant they use the search function and just add their musings to one of the many seagal threads?

Ron Tisdale
07-25-2005, 02:02 PM
Well:

'Out of curriosity, what makes these people arrogant? Is it because they have made a value judgement about another person with little or no direct information at hand? '

In my opinion yes. But thats just my opinion. Maybe it just makes them ill informed and/or stupid. What I think really makes them arrogant is that they think they have the right to question what someone else is doing/has done with their budo/training/art/whatever. To base it on what they have seen portrayed in a movie is just the icing on the cake.

I guess my point was the similarities in say, me calling them arrogant, and them calling say, Seagal Sensei arrogant.

' What is "relatively new" ? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? When does a person no longer qualify as "relatively new"? Is it their rank? At what rank would they then be entitled to an opinion without it being "arrogant"? '

I used the term relatively new because it is a loose term. There is no exact definition. You have people who have trained all their life saying they are begginners. You have people training for 6 months who think they are masters. Whatever. When I say relatively new to aikido, I mean about a few months. It seems that the majority of these statements about the moral integrety of steven Seagal are made by people who have been studying for a few months. I base this on what I have heard and seen. It doesnt make it the absolute.

I guess I was looking for a point at which I could say 'now I have a right to an opinion...'

'At the same time, I do kind of wonder what affect anything Steven Seagal does or doesn't do could have on our own lives or our own aikido. He's just one man, one teacher (at least in the past), and we each have our own teachers, and our own lives. On a guess, I'd say there's plenty of "bad behavior" out there to go around, some of it my own. I don't even have to look for a teacher to find that... '

Right on. I just get really bored with people making statements like this. Cant they use the search function and just add their musings to one of the many seagal threads?

Actually, that is exactly what they did...this thread was started in 2002...

Best,
Ron

Nick Simpson
07-26-2005, 12:48 AM
'I guess my point was the similarities in say, me calling them arrogant, and them calling say, Seagal Sensei arrogant.'

I thought of that. Isnt judging someone in any way or form arrogant? I suppose it is, but sometimes it can be the correct judgement.

'I guess I was looking for a point at which I could say 'now I have a right to an opinion...'

Everyone has a right to an opinion. Just not all opinions are correct or intelligent or worth sharing.

'Actually, that is exactly what they did...this thread was started in 2002...'

Got me there fella, but you have to admit there have been SO many threads like this...

Sonja2012
07-26-2005, 01:37 AM
I wonder how people would react if anyone talked/wrote about any other seventh dan aikikai the way people write/talk about seagal sensei. I have never met the guy, I don´t necessarily agree with the way aikido is displayed in his films, but after all he *is* a seventh dan and deserves respect for that.

I would never ever dare talk about any of the yudansha I know in the way some people talk about seagal on numerous forums etc., not even about a shodan or nidan, let alone anyone beyond that, simply because they are higher graded than me and therefore deserve that I treat them with respect (by which I do not mean to imply that lower ranks do not deserve respect in return, but that is a different issue and doesn´t need to be explored here).

I wonder if the people who criticize seagal would also do that to his face or when one of his students was present.

Don´t mean to upset anyone with this, just my 2 (Euro :) ) cents.

wxyzabc
07-26-2005, 03:19 AM
I totally agree 100% Sonja...just because he's been in a few movies people think they know him and confuse onscreen with offscreen...and worse listen to Hollywood's little stories. That says far more about the critisizers than Mr Seagal imho.

I've never heard him say anything negative about anyone...not even his detractors. Any critism I've ever heard from him (assuming he has been correctly quoted) has always been positive and something people can take a lesson from. Quite simply he would not have survived in Japan and been able to run a dojo for such an extended period if his intentions were less than honorable. The fact any Japanese people studied under him is testiment to at least his superb abilities as a martial artist.

How many other gaijin 7th dan masters are there?...not many eh..
that alone demands true respect..because they are not given out for nothing..

regards


Lee

Roy
07-26-2005, 11:32 AM
Seagal is awsome :)

Ron Tisdale
07-26-2005, 03:41 PM
Hi Nick, you're right...there are sooo many of these out there, I too sometimes wonder why they post at all...you could probably spend a life time just reading all of it.

Best,
Ron

tenshinaikidoka
08-02-2005, 11:27 AM
I guess it would boil down to this...........Steven Seagals personal life, while colorful and funto talk about, is just that, his personal life. He is human and as a human, makes mistakes like we all do/have. His films may be violent, or more violent than what we think they should be, considering Aikido is for universal harmony and peace of mankind. But he has a job, and he does his job.

Now as for his skills/abilities..perhaps his interpretation of Aikido is different than anyone elses, but does that make him wrong?? NO, I have seen him doing real techniques and think he is the most precise and powerful Aikidoka I have seen (other than Isoyama Shihan). These are of course, my humble opinions. Others may and probably will disagree, but I truly think as an Aikidoka, he is one of the very best out there.

Blake Newman
09-01-2005, 08:51 AM
In regards to the original question:
From the facts most of the public Aikidoka knows, yes Seagal Sensei is a representation of a true Aikidoka because of his history: He ran the Ten Shin dojo in Osaka, he holds the ranking of 7th Dan in the Aikikai, plus his aikido outside of the movies is pretty amazing. In fact it is so impressive that I was actually going to relocate, leave my job, family, friends, etc…to move to one of the dojo's affiliated with the mighty name of Steven Seagal Shihan.
I went on a visit to a dojo about 2 months ago. I was thoroughly impressed with the teacher's application of technique. It was unlike anything I had previously experienced, and I have been in and out of several dojo over the course of the last eight years of my life. I've been to Colorado, Georgia, California, Michigan, and Florida, visiting different schools, and eventually settled in Michigan (this is my home state) and thought I found a great dojo. And I did, however, after experiencing one of "Segal's" dojo, I saw things that were very different, and I wanted to learn them. For instance, at my previous school, if uke threw a mid-level strike (chudan tsuki), we would tenkan, sort of pull uke around with gravitational force, and then as uke came around, apply a kote geishi. Well, at this particular school, the first thing they did was deflect the tsuki, not even moving, then do a tenkan, and as Uke came around on his own, you would slide forward with your lead foot to a "corner" away from uke's open hand-side, then step in the other "corner" with your opposite foot, cutting with the kote geishi at the same time, all while keeping uke's hand very low. This opened my eyes to a whole new kote-geishi, and there was no way of "fighting" or resisting the technique. Either you fell or you would end up with a damaged wrist. All of the techniques of this school were based on deflections first, similar to kenjutsu (which Seagal claims himself to incorporate into his "version" of aikido.) Their philosophy was to not be there when the attack comes. And it's all based on those deflections.
Well, I was so excited to tell my Sensei about this…and while I was there, the teacher started talking to me about opening up an affiliate dojo here in Michigan. I was very excited to hear that as well. They seemed very open to me. I got back home and showed the guys in my dojo the new techniques I had learned and they all had the same reaction as I did. We all wanted to learn more. Our sensei was not open to the idea at all, and I saw his ego at work. I then left the dojo to pursue this "different" aikido for myself. I got in contact with my first aikido teacher (who had stopped teaching due to an illness) and told him about it, and he was very interested in learning the "TenShin" style of Aikido, now that his illness had settled a bit. So, we had some phone conversations, emails, etc.. with the teacher of the TenShin school and one of his associates, and we were going to start an affiliate dojo here in Michigan. We wondered how we would do this, for several reasons:
1. We didn't know how to do "TenShin Aikido." With none of them coming to Michigan to train us for a set period of time, how would we learn? They told us we would learn a few days each month, by visiting their dojo (not a problem) or at seminars.
2. Because they said that we would have to start over as white belts, learn each kyu level step by step so that we could teach others the same way, and everyone would be learning the same aikido. This bothered me a little bit, not because of wearing a white belt again, but because they stressed that everyone would look the same, from ukemi to technique…well, didn't O'Sensei specifically say that everyone's aikido will be their own? We all have different bodies, different strengths and weaknesses, and while the basics should all be the same basics, where is the room to blossom into your own aikido?

Still, we thought it would be worth the effort. Then, my old teacher went to his doctor and the doc told him that if he took any hardfall ukemi, he might permanently damage his body, due to the fact he has a certain disease. So, he had to decline the offer, and I figured I would do it on my own. The teacher at the "TenShin" school all of a sudden didn't seem interested in helping me out. He was very enthused about this whole endeavor, and the enthusiasm I showed, until he found out that I wouldn't be bringing a whole dojo with me. He said it wouldn't be worth my time, and it wouldn't be fair to his students, because I would be visiting them once or twice a month, for a few classes, and he would have to take time away from their training to teach me how to do things…then when I got back, I wouldn't remember the things he taught me from last time, so he would have to go over them again. I said that I understood, and maybe I would simply move there for a few years to study. Well, my old teacher found this out and he was concerened that it was simply a money-making machine they were interested in. If you started a dojo with these guys, you had to pay yearly dues, plus each dojo has to host 2 seminars per year, which costs $3000.00. This is the standard for every school. Each student had to pay $75 per year, the dojo-cho had to pay $150 per year, then the dojo itself had to pay a certain amount each year, all to the head of this "federation." On top of that, all students were highly encouraged to attend all seminars (which cost $75 per person, plus hotel and food) but were only required to attend 2 a year. I just thought that it was to keep the teacher paid for traveling and what not…so that this could be his full time job. My teacher told me to really think about this, and to start doing research on anyone else who went this route. My research led me to Larry Reynosa. I actually called his dojo, and the man spoke with me for about a half-hour. Anyone can call him and find out from him personally what his side of the story is, you don't have to take my word for it. Just go to the Makoto website and look for the number. He told me very, very disturbing things about the dojo I wanted to join…along with several others, all claiming to be "direct students" under Steven Seagal. Things beyond money issues. Very nasty things indeed…involving young girls. I do not feel that I am the person to write what we discussed, because Larry Reynosa might not want that information to be out there, but any of you can feel free to call him up yourselves. He was not shy at all to talk about it with me…and he didn't know me from Adam. I am no longer pursuing any of that Aikido. I still think that what Seagal's style does as far as technique is the best I have experienced, but it is not worth it to me to be involved with men like that. Even if Larry Reynosa was lying about these guys, there were reasons he left Seagal's side, which were disturbing reasons from what he told me. Matsuoka Sensei also left Seagal's side due to his own reasons…it all seemed so secretive...
I am now training with my old teacher again, the one I started my aikido career with. He can't take falls, but he can still teach very well. And if all of this led to me finding him again, and getting him back into teaching again, then I am thankful.
I just throw a word of caution to anyone interested in learning "Seagals' style" of aikido…because you might be dealing with dangerous men.

Give me a break. There's more to that story, I'm sure of it. Although lengthy, your post is very vague in the facts surrounding Take Sensei and his direct students and how they are bad people. Dangerous men? My Sensei, who is in fact a direct student of Take Sensei is a very very good person and family man. I said it in another post, it's just not right to pass judgement on people you don't even know or probably will never know........
And yes, it's a great style of Aikido and very effective. I've studied several martial arts and finally found my home at TenShin Dojo Orlando. Our Dojo is open to anyone, please stop by sometime and see for yourself how we do things. :ai:

Blake Newman
09-01-2005, 08:53 AM
I guess it would boil down to this...........Steven Seagals personal life, while colorful and funto talk about, is just that, his personal life. He is human and as a human, makes mistakes like we all do/have. His films may be violent, or more violent than what we think they should be, considering Aikido is for universal harmony and peace of mankind. But he has a job, and he does his job.

Now as for his skills/abilities..perhaps his interpretation of Aikido is different than anyone elses, but does that make him wrong?? NO, I have seen him doing real techniques and think he is the most precise and powerful Aikidoka I have seen (other than Isoyama Shihan). These are of course, my humble opinions. Others may and probably will disagree, but I truly think as an Aikidoka, he is one of the very best out there.

Agreed and well put! :ki:

tenshinaikidoka
09-01-2005, 10:19 AM
Thank you. Of course, not everyone will agree, and that is fine, every one is entitled to his/her own opinion. But from what I know, Seagal is a good Teacher, and a good person who is trying to do the right things. Let's not foreget his movies do not represent his real person!!!! And it is great to make your aquantance Blake!!!!

toyamabarnard
09-01-2005, 01:53 PM
I don't think it's fair at all to base an opinion of anyone on their job. In my personal life if I was walking up to a house to see someone and they came out with a knife in hand I would do my best to simply leave. As a Police Officer that same situation would cause that person to get taken down at gunpoint, possibly harshly depending on what became Necessary. My point is this, that was my job, his job is to act in movies. When I got home at the end of the day I left work at work and became me again. Not that I haven't been a jerk in my personal life, but at work I was sometimes forced to be that jerk and in a different way.

Besides, my human nature values the occasional amount of unnecessary useless violence where no one actually gets hurt. And yes, I happen to be a fan of Segal's movies on one side and respect Segal Sensei from another side. Thanks for reading.
Brian

toyamabarnard
09-01-2005, 10:21 PM
I don't think it's fair at all to base an opinion of anyone on their job. In my personal life if I was walking up to a house to see someone and they came out with a knife in hand I would do my best to simply leave. As a Police Officer that same situation would cause that person to get taken down at gunpoint, possibly harshly depending on what became Necessary. My point is this, that was my job, his job is to act in movies. When I got home at the end of the day I left work at work and became me again. Not that I haven't been a jerk in my personal life, but at work I was sometimes forced to be that jerk and in a different way.

Besides, my human nature values the occasional amount of unnecessary useless violence where no one actually gets hurt. And yes, I happen to be a fan of Segal's movies on one side and respect Segal Sensei from another side. Thanks for reading.
Brian
And while on this subject I suppose I could spell his name correctly. Sorry about that.

Jiawei
09-02-2005, 03:59 AM
What is a "true aikidoka" ? Is that relative or we dealing with absolute truth here ?? I like his brand of Aikido period .

ikkitosennomusha
09-02-2005, 11:13 PM
Give me a break. There's more to that story, I'm sure of it. Although lengthy, your post is very vague in the facts surrounding Take Sensei and his direct students and how they are bad people. Dangerous men? My Sensei, who is in fact a direct student of Take Sensei is a very very good person and family man. I said it in another post, it's just not right to pass judgement on people you don't even know or probably will never know........
And yes, it's a great style of Aikido and very effective. I've studied several martial arts and finally found my home at TenShin Dojo Orlando. Our Dojo is open to anyone, please stop by sometime and see for yourself how we do things. :ai:


I assume you train at Louis Santos Dojo? I just viewed his website, of particular mention, the video clips. I have to say that I was thoroughly unimpressed. The 3 man randori was heavily edited and the espn demo was highyl choreographed (sp?). Also, he seem to have kotegaeishi down well and not much more. In addition, the uke that are wearing hakama in the clips, well, I have had 6th and 5th kyu to attack me better.

Again, I am solely basing my opinion only on what I have seen. I could be wrong. On the merit of what I have viewed, I would not likely train in that aikido IMHO. Again, I am not putting the dojo down or being offensive, this is my constructive take on the thing itself and not to be taken negatively.