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11-12-2000, 01:36 PM
Hollywood has a big influance on a lot of peoples lives. Most so than most want to admit I suspect. Out of curiosity, did you first decide to start training in MA because of a movie or movies (or TV show(s)) you'd watched?
How much effect has hollywood had on your training since you started?

(just sitting here watching it rain and generating random thoughts)

11-12-2000, 02:00 PM
My dad started Yoshinkai and then later Shotokan karate in his late teens. I guess I inherited the interest from him, and the love of Japanese culture from my mom's mom, who's half Japanese. But enough about my family.....

Richard Harnack
11-12-2000, 08:37 PM
I was an anit-Viet-Nam war protester in the 1960's. In 1972, a friend of mine gave me a book to read with the words "I think this might suit you". The book was Koichi Tohei's "Aikido In Daily Life". I read it in one night, then re-read it several times. Unfortunately I had to return that book to him.

Since I was living in the mountains outside of Yakima Washington, the only Aikido I could find was in Seattle, too far of a commute through the snow and ice of the Cascade Mountains.

In 1974, I moved back to southern California, and for the next two years I looked on and off for Aikido, but there was nothing available where I lived.

Then in early 1976 I was at a week-end seminar, when during opening self-introductions, a gentleman stood up and said, "My name is Ace Atkinson, I am a bureaucrat and I teach Aikido." During our next break, I made it a point to introduce myself to Ace and found out when his classes were and where. I started training within the month and have not stopped since.

Since Ace was the one who ultimately introduced me to Roderick Kobayashi, Sensei, and encouraged this 6'2", no longer gangly, but definitely just as clumsy, male's pursuit of Aikido, I will always give him credit as my first Sensei and only one of two people I have trained with who represent the best of Aikido.

Movies, schmovies, I went for the real thing and have not been disappointed. There has yet to be a martial arts movie which shows the real thing. Yes, I include all of Bruce Lee's films. Movies are only movies, the real thing is never found in the movies.

11-13-2000, 12:25 AM
I would love to have some spiritual connection to the martial arts, or a family tradition to proclaim, but alas I don't.

I did learn very young the value of a martial education, but my father whooping my butt didn't really count.

Does anyone remember the Saturday afternoon Kung Fu Theatre?

I loved that stuff.... I have yet to fly 12 foot in the air or use a pony tail to kick 40 guys butt, but it did provide a spark.

I am thankfull to a very patient and loving teacher who was great with kids for finding a way to keep that dream alive while leading me on the right path.

And by the way, cheesy as it might be Jackie Chan movies put a skip in my step, and Jet li movies make me want to train all the harder. Steven Segal's movies make me go wow and head to the library or this web site to learn more...LOL


11-13-2000, 04:20 AM
No teasing for this post please - it is one of my embarasing secrets;

I have never much been in to martial arts movies. They are too flowery and unrealistic (though I admire Jakie Chan's acrobatic ability) and as Bruce Lee said; it is the small unseen techniques which are most effective rather than the large round-house kicks.

However, when I was at school I watched Coming to America (Eddy Murphy) and thought the jo stuff was really cool. I had a friend from Vietnam (the country rather than the war) who was into loads of weird martial arts - he used to jump off this balcony about 6 meters off the ground and land on his feet without hurting himself (though now he is probably suffering immense knee pain) - anyway, he said if I want to do weapons I should take up Aikido.

I soon realised that I prefered the non-weapons aspects of aikido and it led me to get interested in Zen and Taosim, as well as once saving my life. So, in a way, you could say that if it wasn't for Eddy Murphy I wouldn't be here today.


Richard Harnack
11-13-2000, 10:59 AM
Not only do I remember Kung Fu Theater, but I also rememember when "Billy Jack" first came out, Bruce Lee as Kato on TV, plus a good many really bad "chop-socky" movies which came out during the 70's.

Yes, a good rip-roaring martial arts yarn could get the blood up, but then so did race car and war films.

Bruce Lee's films all had just enough humor in them to keep them from being too boring. Some of the later films films with other martial artists got just a bit too preachy and self-important.

However, my point remains, movies are movies, and, like "virtual reality" games, they are not the real thing. Leastwise, I have never viewed a film which showed sweaty arm pits on the gi.

11-13-2000, 04:13 PM
I did like "Fist of Legend" by Jet Li... actually, most movie star martial artists are pretty competant people. I read an article on Jet Li's website a while back written by him, and I was impressed. That doesn't mean that he can jump 12 feet in the air, kick someone, and magically go in reverse to where he was standing before, but it does make me admire him more.


11-13-2000, 05:18 PM
ian wrote:
No teasing for this post please - it is one of my embarasing secrets

I can top that embarasing secret. My major interest in Martail Arts started with the 80s ninja craze. I remember buying Hayes<?> books and issues of Ninja magizine. I gotten better, really.

11-13-2000, 09:08 PM
I noticed that nobody mentioned Steven Seagal!! I don't practice Aikido to be Nico in above the law but I started with that idea. :)

Dan Hover
11-16-2000, 02:05 PM
Nacho wrote:
I noticed that nobody mentioned Steven Seagal!! I don't practice Aikido to be Nico in above the law but I started with that idea. :)

hate to admit but that movie's opening sequence is the best "hollywood" aikido I had seen. It started me in Aikido. And I'll admit it too!!!

11-16-2000, 03:34 PM
Dan Hover wrote:
Nacho wrote:
I noticed that nobody mentioned Steven Seagal!! I don't practice Aikido to be Nico in above the law but I started with that idea. :)

hate to admit but that movie's opening sequence is the best "hollywood" aikido I had seen. It started me in Aikido. And I'll admit it too!!!

Since we are all confessing, I'll admit that it was Seagal Sensei's movies that got me interested in aikido as well.

I was hooked on martial arts in general by watching Kung Fu Theater and all of the Ninja films. And yes, I too bought the how to be a ninja books. Give me a break. I was 12.

11-16-2000, 03:37 PM
Nope, it wasn't Hollyweird that got me into martial arts. I started in MA after I had a tooth knocked out when I tried to break up a fight. That and my fascination with Asian culture and philospohy which started in college. Of course, I still enjoy martial arts movies, even the bad ones (which ones aren't?) for their comic relief.

11-17-2000, 12:01 PM
Hi everyone,
New guy to the forum...been doing Aikido about 5 months now here in Omaha.
I just want to say...hell yeah!! Watching martial arts movies and kung-fu theatre and the series Kung Fu really got me interested, I even made my own sheetmetal shuriken! How's that for dangerous! When I saw a flyer for a Judo club being started I was the first student. I was in 5th grade! I loved it(I was a small kid, yet could win over much bigger people)! I took Judo for about 5 years then my Sensei moved and I dabbled for years in other martial arts, always being driven by the martial arts movies. I joined Karate with the "Karate Kid"...I joined Kung Fu after seeing Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan in action...and so on.
Well I had read about Aikido a few times and then an article was published in Black Belt magazine (I think) that was a tribute to O Sensei and it rang so true to my core (especially the non-competition) that I just had to find a dojo and join...and this has been and still is a martial art that I relate to and I don't have to watch any movies to get excited about it! I love it for it!
I still do like a good Seagal movie though (Above the Law and Marked for Death)! Ok, ok, there are no "good" Seagal movies...but they're fun!
Wow, somebody shut this guy up would ya!
Thanks for listening to my rambling.

[Edited by Terry on November 17, 2000 at 12:05pm]

12-01-2000, 11:53 PM
I have to admit that MA movies are what sparked my interest when I was younger. Yes, I had seen every Seagal movie there was, but I didn't know that Aikido was what he emplored in his movies until later. It definately ENDED UP becoming a major influence in my search for Aikido. Aikido schools in Tampa are hard to find. There are only three. None are close to me, except the USF dojo. I looked around for a MA for a while. I joined Chung Moo Do(please don't laugh, I didn't know any better at the time), the organization that boasts "8 MA's combined into one MA and 18 weapons" about 5 years ago and trained for about 6 months until the Sensei approached me with his $6500 dollar "2 year black belt program". Needless to say, I was put off by that and felt uncomfortable with that "belt factory" attitude. I never went back and the school closed several months later. I wonder why.

The ONE good thing that came out of that was that "Aikido" was one of those MA's that were included in the eight. No, I did NOT learn any Aikido there, but I did learn OF Aikido there. This is where I first heard the word Aikido, and also where I was "shown some techniques". Of course, it was Aikido done badly, but it made a big enough impression on me to seek out what Aikido really was. I read a lot about it, then I found a dojo. I now train at the University of South Florida under the direction of John Messores Sensei, 6th Dan, head instructor at the St. Petersburg Aikikai(ASU). My two main instructors at USF are Joe Ogelsby and Evelyn Williams.
I do have to admit that Seagal Sensei was a big influence once I found out the connection. I knew it "looked" cool, I just didn't know what it was until I went to Chung Moo Do, which, is a school I do NOT recommend to anyone looking to train in ANY single MA.

Has anyone seen Seagal's video, A Path Beyond Thought?? I highly recommend it. Get it at http://www.stevenseagal.com