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C. Emerson
06-25-2003, 11:06 PM
I'm a Hapkido Dude! So what does the Aikido community think about Seagal. Because from my vantage point he is one of the spokes people for your art. At least for the rest of the world. Most people don't know the prominent people in your art.

Chad

Nacho
06-25-2003, 11:25 PM
There are two sides on this. Some people dislikes Seagal, and their arguments are his poor films, or rumours about his personal life, etc.

As many other people, I dislike this sayings. We are talking about Aikido, about the martial art, and Steven Seagal is a 7th dan from Aikikai. His technique is awesome. And that's all.

Then, if he wants to make an awful movie, or if he wants to be a buddhist priest, or if he wants to get laid with chicks in his limo, that's his personal life and he is very lucky to have those options.

Scott Sweetland
06-25-2003, 11:30 PM
All I'm going to say is it bothers me that people consider him a spokesperson for Aikido. What he does and says bear no more than a superficial resemblance to Aikido (and that's putting it nicely).

I understand from where people get the mistaken impression, but IMO Steven Segal is not a spokesperson for Aikido.

Unfortunately, Aikido will most likely never have a high-profile representative, since a protagonist who takes responsibility for the well-being of his opponents would not sell many movie tickets..

Adrian Smith
06-26-2003, 01:04 AM
Seagal may have started out training in aikido, and in fact in his first movie ("Above the Law" I think it was) there's some footage at the beginning of him in hakama doing waza. He's younger and I believe it's genuine.

That being said, I think he departed from what I would consider true aikido when he got dream of glamor in his head. More power to him and I wish him every success, but I wouldn't consider him an emissary of aikido.

Of course, that's from my limited knowledge of both aikido and Seagal, although someone in my dojo knows him (I'm in Japan and some of our members have trained at Aikikai Hombu Dojo). Their statements regarding him aren't particularly flattering...

-drin

C. Emerson
06-26-2003, 01:05 AM
Are there some people that feel that the techniques on film maybe closer to traditional Jujutsu that Aikido?

Chad

Aikilove
06-26-2003, 04:15 AM
Ok... this is a free forum and everyone can write what they like (unless it's slander or just bad language), but I would be careful in making statements (good or bad ones) about a fellow aikidoka (he is still practicing you know..) and persons skill (of e.g. aikido) and general character, without having ever met him or trained under/with him.

What goes around comes around...

JJF
06-26-2003, 06:19 AM
... and Steven Seagal is a 7th dan from Aikikai. His technique is awesome. And that's all.

Then, if he wants to make an awful movie, or if he wants to be a buddhist priest, or if he wants to get laid with chicks in his limo, that's his personal life and he is very lucky to have those options.
Hi Nacho!

I have to dissagree with you here. In my opinion technique is not the only thing that constitutes a high-ranking aikido-ka. I'm not going to commen't on the rumors regarding Mr. Seagal, but your statement as a general rule disturbs me. When one progresses through the ranks one should also strive towards living the principles of aikido in real life. How exactly this is carried out is a completely different story - so is the discussion whether Mr. Seagal does so or not. The issue here is, that in my opinion technique is with time increasingly a less important part of the whole which identifies an aikido-ka. Not that one should let ones technique deterioate, but other matters should be allowed to enter the picture.

For reference please read the following:

http://www.aikidofaq.com/practice/yudansha_ranking.html

Kevin Wilbanks
06-26-2003, 08:03 AM
I don't know anything about his personal life except heresay. What I have seen is several of his movies. I think it's fair to draw at least some conclusions based on his work.

A common element in all these films is that his character is always a supreme, nearly invincible badass who single-handedly makes all things right, and judges and punishes the guilty. The overall impression of personal egotism is somewhere in the range of the oft-ridiculed Kevin Costner, and even more tiresome in my view, as the movies are less imaginative and varied. It is only acting, but there are thousands of working actors out there that manage to give a less dim-witted, egomaniacal impression of themselves by the projects they choose to engage/star in.

The other issue I have with the movies seems to be in even greater conflict with Aiki principles: the approach to violence. The movies are virtually identical to Charles Bronson or Dirty Harry movies in that they are revenge fantasies. The stories are thinly contrived excuses to make the viewer feel justified in getting off on extreme violence. Some 'bad guys' do some preposterously bad things, making them sub-human, and the next thing you know we get to enjoy identifying with our hero as he maims, cripples, and kills them free of guilt or moral concern. To say that someone can get rich and famous from propagating this kind of material in society, but this has nothing to do with them as a person or Aikidoka seems a little obtuse to me.

Personally, I don't have any more problem with Seagal than with other apparently egomaniacal bad actors or action tough-guys, but I do think there are serious questions about how his entertainment products fit with his status as an Aikido sensei.

Charles Hill
06-26-2003, 10:20 AM
As far as Mr. Seagal being a spokesperson, I understand that he keeps pretty quiet now about his training in and teaching of Aikido. I had even gotten the feeling that he doesn't actively teach anymore, I have since found out that this is wrong.

I recently attended a seminar taught by one of Mr. Seagal's top students, Elliot Freeman. Mr. Freeman was very nice, very giving, and extremely competent. In martial arts, they often say that the student reflects the teacher. If that is true, then Steven Seagal must be something special.

Charles

Mark Barlow
06-26-2003, 11:19 AM
I visited his dojo in L.A. in the late 80s and observed a class taught by his senior student. Seagal came in during the class, introduced himself to me and we talked for several minutes. He was polite and answered questions willingly.

Obviously, the short amount of time I spent with him does not make me a Seagal expert but I was left with a positive impression. His student was talented and the class was run well. Seagal didn't attempt to intimidate or impress. I've had much worse experiences with aikido sensei who had better reputations.

Bronson
06-26-2003, 11:34 AM
Do you think he does (at least a little) for aikido what Bruce Lee did for kung fu? I know kung fu instructors who have a kind of love/hate relationship with what Bruce Lee did in his movies. On one hand he got people interested in kung fu but on the other hand what was in his movies wasn't really representative of what the new student was going to learn in class. There were always some students who left dissapointed, but a few stayed. I've had some of these same experiences because of Seagal's movies.

Just my thoughts,

Bronson

kensparrow
06-26-2003, 01:04 PM
Do you think he does (at least a little) for aikido what Bruce Lee did for kung fu? I know kung fu instructors who have a kind of love/hate relationship with what Bruce Lee did in his movies. On one hand he got people interested in kung fu but on the other hand what was in his movies wasn't really representative of what the new student was going to learn in class.
I've never told anyone at the dojo this, but I was one of those people who got into martial arts because of "Above The Law". In my own defense I have to say that I've never had a pony tail! I remember walking out of the movie theater and thinking that I had never seen a martial art like that before and that I had to know more about it. I couldn't find an aikido dojo at that time and had to be content with karate but even years later I jumped at the opportunity to study aikido when it presented itself.

I hate to think that most people will only know aikido from those movies but if the movies get even a few people onto the Path then they can't be all bad (except for the plots ;) ).

Goye
06-26-2003, 01:09 PM
I prefer to think about him as a movie star,... and I have start sleeping while seeing some of his movies,...(always are the same):straightf

ChristianBoddum
06-26-2003, 01:10 PM
Hi !

I think most people judging actors on their movies forget that it is a buisness,

to get a film funded usually means that scripts get changed to get the OK from

worried funders - this is the reality.

In the music undustry the same goes on,

Eric Clapton has got severly critizised for

some of his albums,but he also had to please

Warner Br's need for comerciallity.

George Benson once replied after critizism

that he had a family to feed ,no matter what

the jazzfanatics had to say.

Maybe this is getting a little off the topic,

but I think it's relevant.

Yours - Chr.B.

Eric Joyce
06-26-2003, 01:29 PM
I wouldn't say that Steven Segal is the spokesperson for aikido. He definitely has sparked interest in the art. Granted, he doesn't do aikido in his movies. He incorporates a few things here and there, but not the nice flowing techniques of aikido that we all know and love (I guess that doesn't sell in Hollyweird). As an aikidoist, from the research and what I have seen, he is top notch. As an actor...well...the jury is still out on that one.

Jesse Lee
06-26-2003, 02:08 PM
I have seen a few Seagal movies, and I don't even *recognize* aikido in them, with the sole exception of "Above the Law." You could point to the convenience-store scene as an example of some hard-hitting aikido. Beyond that, I dunno.

Then again, in my inexperience, I probably don't recognize 95% of what any 7th dan is doing.

Paula Lydon
06-26-2003, 03:08 PM
~~Never met the man or trained with him; Pillsburry Doughboy is a spokesperson also :)

Kevin Wilbanks
06-26-2003, 03:22 PM
I think most people judging actors on their movies forget that it is a buisness, to get a film funded usually means that scripts get changed to get the OK from worried funders - this is the reality.
I understand that it is a business. However, I don't think that calling something 'business' or citing market realities absolves anyone from being held to account for what the do/produce/are associated with. In America, business is held as some kind of sacred value with transcends and nullifies all other concerns, and I don't ascribe to that. Corporations and people who run them often use the same excuse when they make vast profits by cheating, stealing, poisoning or mistreating people. If you are on the short end of one of these deals, 'just business' isn't comforting. I don't feel harmed or outraged by Mr. Seagal's entertainment products, but they seem like distasteful garbage to me overall, minus a few seconds here or there of 'cool' MA stunts. Business schmizness... the guy makes money off of selling a product that is somewhere between drivel and pernicious drivel.

Incidentally, I have a similar impression of Bruce Lee's movies. While his drive and achievements as a martial artist/stunt coordinator are impressive, his movies are so heavy on "I'm a badass" egotism and violence fetishism that I can barely watch them without involuntarily rolling my eyes. Thank god for the fast-forward button.

John Bach
06-26-2003, 04:18 PM
I agree with the postings above that suggests Steven Seagal is a "paradox, wrapped in an enigma, covered in secret sauce". I, too, was first introduced to Seagal movies via "Above the Law" and was quite taken with his aikido in that movie. That being said, I feel that many of his later movies unnecessarily promote gratuitous violence, which, to my mind, does not follow the moral/philosophical precepts as set forth by Osensei (and drew many of us to Aikido in the first place) As far as the reincarnated monk thing goes, I'll leave that for the formal Buddhist hierarchy... Regarding Mr. Seagal's aikido, I have had the opportunity to view his video, "The Path Beyond Thought", which included a number of testimonials by his students and they, of course, were all laudatory... he seems to be a sincere sensei, albeit practicing a very "tough" form of aikido. As for his acting, I reference Glenn Close's comment in the movie, "Coming Out", when she is announcing the candidates for "Best Actor" category for the Academy Awards, where she says, "...and Steven Seagal for his role in "Snowball in Hell"".;)

C. Emerson
06-26-2003, 07:52 PM
Paula, How dare you!!!!! LOL

bob_stra
06-27-2003, 01:19 PM
Personally...

I enjoy his aikido. Having watched Path Beyond Thought, all I was thinking was "wow, his guy is some much better at aikido than I thought".

I liked a few of his films too. Under Siege was a great Die Hard redux.

The rest...insufficient information to form accurate opinion. (of course, the rumours make you wary of him).

kironin
06-27-2003, 04:56 PM
Personally...

I liked a few of his films too. Under Siege was a great Die Hard redux.
Oh WAIT a minute! :)

Die Hard was a much better movie not least of which, Bruce Willis gets beaten up into a bloody pulp trying to be the hero. Under Seige was as somebody said just another save the world revenge fantasy where he walks away spotless with the Playboy centerfold.

Seagal's movies since "Above the Law" have progressively become more and more stage combat. If anything, Under Seige puts Filipino knife fighting on display in the climatic mano el mano fight scene. Die Hard ends with Bruce just using his brains to try to get himself and his wife out alive. It's still a fanatsy for sure, but at least you see in some sense how ugly and painful a violent situation like that would be. There is more about aikido in Die Hard with a everyman policeman stuck in baddest civilian crime situation than in Under Seige with the Ubermensch soldier saving the USA from doomsday.



Whatever Seagal does in the movies or private life, IMO what he has said in interviews and done in public is what makes him not a good spokesman for aikido. People will not get an accurate impression from what he has said about aikido nor will they understand his relatively minor role in the history of aikido from what he says.

His most recent movies have been pretty much straight to video so his impact on aikido is pretty much nil now anyway. If he is teaching still and being more quiet about it. More power to him.

Craig

Charles Hill
06-27-2003, 07:13 PM
Craig,

What has Steven Seagal said about Aikido in public?

Charles

kensparrow
06-30-2003, 12:38 PM
I have seen a few Seagal movies, and I don't even *recognize* aikido in them, with the sole exception of "Above the Law." You could point to the convenience-store scene as an example of some hard-hitting aikido. Beyond that, I dunno.

Then again, in my inexperience, I probably don't recognize 95% of what any 7th dan is doing.
I was flipping the channel the other night and happened to catch his second movie ("Marked for Death?") right at the only good aikido scene (which saved me from having to sit through more than 5 minutes of it!). I did see gokyo, shihonage, koshinage, sankyo and nikkyo though. It also made me very glad I'm not a drug dealing Rastafarian with a machete.:D

C. Emerson
06-30-2003, 04:39 PM
Every time he is on a late night show, they go through his resume. And everytime he gives an interview Aikido comes up. As far as the general public goes, they don't know what Aikido is. The few that do, would be in the martial arts or be a fan of Seagal.

kironin
06-30-2003, 05:42 PM
Craig,

What has Steven Seagal said about Aikido in public?

Charles
Quite a lot actually.

He has given many interviews in the past 15-20 years. Go do some research. I am not really interested enough in the subject now as I might have been in the mid-90's to spend the time on it especially since I have long since thrown the magazines away.

Craig

kironin
06-30-2003, 05:52 PM
I was flipping the channel the other night and happened to catch his second movie ("Marked for Death?") right at the only good aikido scene (which saved me from having to sit through more than 5 minutes of it!). I did see gokyo, shihonage, koshinage, sankyo and nikkyo though. It also made me very glad I'm not a drug dealing Rastafarian with a machete.:D
if Marked for Death is the one with the blade wielding Rastafarian twin drug lords, then that's the only other one besides Above the Law that I recall with any significant amount of aikido including a 2-3 man grab attacks and randori.

After that one, it's downhill from there. At least if your looking for aikido.

Craig

C. Emerson
06-30-2003, 10:07 PM
Exit wounds, I thought it was a great movie. I loved it.

-Chad

Bronson
06-30-2003, 10:56 PM
Loved him in Executive Decision ;)

Bronson

C. Emerson
07-01-2003, 11:34 PM
Ahhhhhhhhhh?

Don_Modesto
07-02-2003, 12:58 PM
Loved him in Executive Decision ;)
;) back at you. I agree. The shorter, the better.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-02-2003, 03:11 PM
I just saw John Leguizamo (sp?) on Conan O'Brien telling an anecdote about when he worked on that film. Apparently, Seagal needed a lot of handholding and reassurance to even come out of the trailer to do his death scene... there were questions about whether he had actually read the script. JL expressly avoided using his name for legal purposes, but it was pretty obvious who he was talking about. You hear so many stories like this, it's hard not to wonder if they're true. I suppose it's possible that it's actually some kind of scapegoating group behavior, but the odds seem against it.

Charles Hill
07-02-2003, 04:12 PM
How about the idea the some of the criticism Steven Seagal has received as an Aikidoka (to put aside the movies stuff just a bit) is racially motivated, i.e. his not being Japanese?

Also, in response to Craig's suggestion that I "Go do some research." I did. My memory from the early to mid 90's was that SS didn't talk much about Aikido specifically in interviews. I also remember the editors of ATM writing that SS's public relations department had told them that he didn't want to talk about Aikido and that he was trying to distance himself from it.

I checked around on the internet thinking that I may have missed something but I didn't find any general article or interview that mentioned only Aikido. If they mentioned it, it was only in conjuntion with karate, judo, and kendo.

BTW, I'm a big Yes fan, so Trevor Rabin's wonderful music in Glimmer Man, makes that movie my favorite.

Charles

mikeyuke
07-03-2003, 09:41 PM
uh oh!!

posts with steven seagal are sure to be lively.The name itself is synonymous with controverse.

my 2cents worth.

-his movies-could be better,but the budget has to be also,give SS a 150 million dollar budget for a movie and it will certainly kick ass...

- his Aikido,speaks for itself.

Am mostly a lurker on the forums and seldom post,but I had to mention this:

Having tried several styles of aiki and also tried Tenshin,alot of styles have variations and were refined over the years and some have been refined too much in my opinion that they now look like ballet,it's almost ridiculous,looking over the forms and movements you can easily predict the next move, its almost Kata....god.

Tenshin is very direct and a pure style of aiki,it is severe and some have gotten hurt doing it,the movements are followed through to the very end,in my opinion yes it looks like jujutsu but then hey,daito ryu jutsu is the mother of Aikido.

SS simply developed a style which brings aikido back to its very begining,the way it should be.

ciao all.

Kyri Honigh
07-06-2003, 12:37 AM
Hey Mark sup? I believe too that Tenshin Aikido is a very nice interpretation of Aikido.But what I don't agree with is that you said that Tenshin Aikido is Aikido the way it SHOULD be. I hope you don't mean that for instance the round movements favored by many aikikai instructors is incorrect or useless.I think both styles have their advantages. Jujutsu is born from sumo, yet they are very different, so Aikido could also be very different from Daito Ryu.

C. Emerson
07-06-2003, 11:01 AM
Kyri Honigh

Username: Kyri Honigh

Today 06:37 AM

Dojo: Aikido Curacao

Location: Curacao

Local Time: 02:45 PM

Registered: Apr 2003

Posts: 22

Offline

Jujutsu is born from sumo? It was? How so?

mikeyuke
07-06-2003, 09:03 PM
Hi Kyri

I agree with you also,it came out wrong the way I said it,but yes definately.

All styles of Aikido are Aikido,just some are more refined than others and also some are more basic than others,the round circular movements(harmony) are always there.

Daito is the begining of aikido.

You must remember that this art was practised by warriors and the movements were done fully to the end.Warriors were then fighting for families,villages,religion and so forth,daito was much more a fighting art,basic movements but with devastating results.Deaths,fractures so forth.

Aikido was refined from that.

Aikido is much less brutal than Daito.

It has to be,times have changed,unless you plan on lawsuits.hihihi.

Hey how are the reefs in Curacao?

PeterR
07-06-2003, 10:49 PM
All styles of Aikido are Aikido,just some are more refined than others and also some are more basic than others,the round circular movements(harmony) are always there.

Daito is the begining of aikido.

You must remember that this art was practised by warriors and the movements were done fully to the end.Warriors were then fighting for families,villages,religion and so forth,daito was much more a fighting art,basic movements but with devastating results.Deaths,fractures so forth.

Aikido was refined from that.

Aikido is much less brutal than Daito.
I think Mark that your information on both Aikido and Daito Ryu is flawed. Things are rarely so simple.

mikeyuke
07-07-2003, 03:20 PM
hey Pete

right you are,things are rarely that simple.

One could write a series of novels on the subject,and still be off.

As are some of the novels on sale today.

Point is: forums are for interpretations and personal opinions.

They might very well all be wrong.

cheers

deepsoup
07-07-2003, 03:48 PM
hey Pete

Point is: forums are for interpretations and personal opinions.

They might very well all be wrong.

cheers
True enough, though if you read a while, and maybe dabble in a search or two, you'll find there are some posters on this forum who're very much better informed than others.

Sean

x

kironin
07-08-2003, 03:02 AM
Aikido is much less brutal than Daito.
I think it would be more accurate to say that Aikido chooses to be less brutal than Daito.

Kondo Sensei is pretty careful to have people practice safely because of the choices made. It's very much more like weapons kata and there are many moves that you cannot follow through on because you will break your partner so you have to give them an escape, one safe spot to go - just like aikido.

It's not hard to make Aikido brutal as demonstrated by the direction SS went with his Tenshin schoo and I think Ellis Amdur would attest to. You simply take away the safe spot and give them no out but to break them.

You may think some of us are just dancing around but you might be surprised how many ways there are to break you hidden in that dance.

SS approach is hardly a step forward or return to the original, or saving aikido realism. It's just his take on aikido.

Craig

thisisnotreal
07-08-2003, 11:44 AM
http://www.aikiwest.com/allvideos.htm

some Seagal videos I haven't seen before...

(and not a few K. Ueshiba too...)

MikeE
07-08-2003, 11:48 PM
Craig, I agree wholeheartedly.

IMHO, Aikido is an art for living in the present, not an art of being the one who walks off the battlefield. But, this distinction is by choice.

I think that there is a certain level that is attained in Aikido where (when attacked) you can choose to be benevolent or be destructive (Satsujin no Ken - Katsujin no Ken). What we do with that ability is what defines us.

Where Seagal Sensei's aikido falls in this equation is probably defined by the situation he is in (just like mine...or anyone elses).

I personally think he does a great job, not the way I train personally, but, his Aikido is a fine representation in my eyes.

ewodaj
07-10-2003, 07:44 PM
I respect steven seagal a great deal as a person and more so as a martial artist...I believe he is the real deal and hes the best martial artist that ive seen in movies...I admire and respect him a great deal and I am amazed at the way he does aikido and it makes people like me want to get into it just because he does it...I believe steven seagal definitely deserves the term as a great martial artist because he has earned it...you have to give him a tremendous amount of credit for being the first westerner to open up a dojo in japan...I dont care if he has an ego problem because we all go thru that some time in our lives...when it comes to martial arts, he never disappoints...

PeterR
07-10-2003, 08:04 PM
Louis - the problem with Seagal is that the press doesn't always match the reality.

He was not the first Westerner to open a dojo in Japan and in fact he did not open a dojo. He married a lady and when her father died he became the Head Instructor of a family owned dojo.

Don't believe everyting you hear from Holywood or see in movies.

That said - you can't deny the time he's put in to Aikido. I sure wont dismiss him that easily.

ewodaj
07-10-2003, 08:48 PM
Louis - the problem with Seagal is that the press doesn't always match the reality.

He was not the first Westerner to open a dojo in Japan and in fact he did not open a dojo. He married a lady and when her father died he became the Head Instructor of a family owned dojo.

Don't believe everyting you hear from Holywood or see in movies.

That said - you can't deny the time he's put in to Aikido. I sure wont dismiss him that easily.
run a dojo I mean...theres no reasons why seagal would lie I think because sooner or later the truth would come out and haunt him...I dont think hes been involved with the cia tho, but I guess he only truly knows if he was or not...we can only speculate to know what is the truth and what is made up stuff...all it comes down to is steven seagal a good martial artist? the answer is yes and that is all I need to know...he taught the japanese and that is something everyone should respect whether you like seagal or not...it must have been culture shock for seagal over there in japan and to apapt to the language and the customs, must have been some hardship for him, so you gotta respect the man for that...how many westerners do you know that taught the japanese aikido in japan?

PeterR
07-10-2003, 09:07 PM
how many westerners do you know that taught the japanese aikido in japan?
You are talking to one - no big deal.

I don't think he was the first to run a dojo either. The thing is his distortions are coming back to haunt him.

ewodaj
07-10-2003, 09:11 PM
You are talking to one - no big deal.
well, I think it is a big deal considering not many people have done it...to teach a culture that you know nothing about at first and them wanting to get taught by you is an amazing feat and accomplishment and that is the ultimate compliment any martial artist would be proud of...

Charles Hill
07-10-2003, 09:21 PM
well, I think it is a big deal considering not many people have done it...to teach a culture that you know nothing about at first and them wanting to get taught by you is an amazing feat and accomplishment and that is the ultimate compliment any martial artist would be proud of...
I agree with Louis, Peter. It's pretty cool what you are doing.

Charles Hill

Don_Modesto
07-11-2003, 02:47 PM
He was not the first Westerner to open a dojo in
Who was?

Thanks.

Chris Li
07-11-2003, 03:21 PM
He married a lady and when her father died he became the Head Instructor of a family owned dojo.
According to his ex-wife the story goes like this (summarized from her book "Watashi no Aikido"):

His wife's father was never in the picture, she was raised by her mother. She studied Aikido, opened a dojo, and later met Seagal (who was much junior to her in Aikido) on a trip to California. When they got married her mother mortgaged her apartment building in order to raise the money to build Seagal a new dojo. The grand opening got a bunch of publicity, which eventually led to the media contacts that got Seagal into the movies. He left Japan to go to California and make movies. When he came back a year later he asked for a divorce and returned to the states for good. He left, according to his ex, the mortgage on the dojo behind when he left.

No idea what his side of the story is :).

Best,

Chris

C. Emerson
07-12-2003, 08:46 AM
There are alot of things that are sketchy. CIA, training with o'sensie, his life is shrouded in mystery. Being a Tulku?

With most rumors, theres usually some truth in it.

PeterR
07-13-2003, 08:33 PM
There are alot of things that are sketchy. CIA, training with o'sensie, his life is shrouded in mystery. Being a Tulku?

With most rumors, theres usually some truth in it.
Well he came to Japan in 1974 - Ueshiba M. had died by then but to be fair that bit of information may have been gleamed from the opening of "Above the Law" not from anything he declared directly. Same with the CIA involvement and subsequent movies. I suppose he could have denied the rumours more clearly but hey its Holywood and being an "International Man of Mystery" has quite a bit of chachet.

Chris and Don.

It really revolves around what you mean by opening a dojo. In the case of Seagal his wifes family had a smaller dojo when they got togeather and they opened a bigger one after the father had died. He did not do that in isolation and had a student base. To be sure the help that Kobayashi H. provided for a time was based on his connection to the deceased father.

I personally know one Aikido person who did it earlier but as a founding member with other Japanese. I am sure there are others especially if you look beyond Aikido. Wasn't Draeger himself involved in setting up a group of some sort (Judo?).

Chris Li
07-14-2003, 12:01 AM
It really revolves around what you mean by opening a dojo. In the case of Seagal his wifes family had a smaller dojo when they got togeather and they opened a bigger one after the father had died. He did not do that in isolation and had a student base. To be sure the help that Kobayashi H. provided for a time was based on his connection to the deceased father.
I mentioned it above, but according to Fujitani (Seagal's ex), her father never practiced Aikido, and in fact died when she was in elementary school. She does talk about a "K" shihan (without mentioning the full name), but according to her the relationship there was primarily financial.

Anyway, it's all in her own words in "Watashi no Aikido", you can probably find it at most large book stores. Light reading, but the gossip was fun.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
07-14-2003, 01:06 AM
I'll bow out of this - my info is primarily second hand (ie. people who knew some of the principles and were in Osaka at the time).

In any case they were not particularily impressed by SS nor some of the stories that found their way back - so take their versions with as much salt as you wish.

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 01:29 AM
All I'm going to say is it bothers me that people consider him a spokesperson for Aikido. What he does and says bear no more than a superficial resemblance to Aikido (and that's putting it nicely).

I understand from where people get the mistaken impression, but IMO Steven Segal is not a spokesperson for Aikido.

Unfortunately, Aikido will most likely never have a high-profile representative, since a protagonist who takes responsibility for the well-being of his opponents would not sell many movie tickets..
I dont think he thinks as himself as the spokesperson for aikido, but do you know anyone else showing off their aikido skills to the masses? thank you very much...I believe aikido has become more popular today and its because of him...I dont know of any other actors that have done aikido in their movies, so seagal should be respected for bringing aikido to the masses and showing that its an excellent martial art to take up for many reasons...you really cant find a better aikidoist than mr. seagal...the guy was born to fight and he has stated that...he knew he was born to do aikido...

Chris Li
07-14-2003, 02:08 AM
I'll bow out of this - my info is primarily second hand (ie. people who knew some of the principles and were in Osaka at the time).

In any case they were not particularily impressed by SS nor some of the stories that found their way back - so take their versions with as much salt as you wish.
Not surprisingly, his ex-wife's version of events isn't flattering either, but she never really mentions much about his Aikido, good or bad.

OTOH, there are a couple of pictures of his daughter in her book, and she's real cute :).

Best,

Chris

ewodaj
07-14-2003, 02:41 AM
Not surprisingly, his ex-wife's version of events isn't flattering either, but she never really mentions much about his Aikido, good or bad.

OTOH, there are a couple of pictures of his daughter in her book, and she's real cute :).

Best,

Chris
im not sure how many kids he has chris, but one of his daughters was also in one of his movies "the patriot" with him...

Chris Li
07-14-2003, 12:18 PM
im not sure how many kids he has chris, but one of his daughters was also in one of his movies "the patriot" with him...
Just one with Fujitani, he may have others, I don't know. The one with Fujitani had small parts in a couple of Gamera movies, IIRC.

Best,

Chris

C. Emerson
07-15-2003, 10:33 AM
Kentaro AKA "Justice" Seagal, Is his eldest son who is a model soon to be actor. Who is a 2 or 3 dan in Aikido.

Chad

Scott Sweetland
07-15-2003, 07:16 PM
Well, Louis, you and I obviously have a very different idea about what Aikido is.

I once believed as you do. In fact, it's so many years ago that I don't remember clearly, but he may have had something to do with my stepping on a mat in the first place. That ended, however, when I began studying Aikido and learned what it is really all about.

I can't speak for his more recent movies as I stopped watching his movies after "On Deadly Ground", the movie with the scene where he slaps some guy in a bar around until the guy begins to cry for no reason and they hug. I know he had creative control of this movie and I interpreted this scene as an attempt on his part to portray the essence of Aikido, but it was such a twisted and childish portrayal of it I found it offensive. That's as much as I want to say on the matter. It's just my opinion and I have yet to see anything which has changed my feelings about him.

Qatana
07-15-2003, 07:41 PM
All that punching in the gut was Aikido?

ewodaj
07-15-2003, 09:27 PM
Well, Louis, you and I obviously have a very different idea about what Aikido is.

I once believed as you do. In fact, it's so many years ago that I don't remember clearly, but he may have had something to do with my stepping on a mat in the first place. That ended, however, when I began studying Aikido and learned what it is really all about.

I can't speak for his more recent movies as I stopped watching his movies after "On Deadly Ground", the movie with the scene where he slaps some guy in a bar around until the guy begins to cry for no reason and they hug. I know he had creative control of this movie and I interpreted this scene as an attempt on his part to portray the essence of Aikido, but it was such a twisted and childish portrayal of it I found it offensive. That's as much as I want to say on the matter. It's just my opinion and I have yet to see anything which has changed my feelings about him.
scott, i dont know if youve seen that many seagal movies, but his earlier movies (mainly his first 3) have some nice aikido in them...I think he was trying to portray aikido in a good way because he was defending himself against his enemies (im talking about in his movies here)...I agree with you about the on deadly ground bar scene...I didnt like that movie anyways...:p I think seagal actually likes beating up people that why his aikido looks so dangerous and amazing at the same time...some people who study aikido take it very seriously and than you have others who do take it seriously and it is their life and they like to show off their aikido skills to make people think they are amazing at what they do...whether or not someone thinks seagals portrayal of aikido in his movies or in real life is childish, the man is a god dam good fighter and aikidoka/aikidoist as I like to call it...I understand what youre saying scott tho...you are obviously dedicated to aikido and I respect you for having so much dedication for it and bringing that valid point up...I have seen some 3 minute video footage of seagal in his early days in japan scott and I thought it was amazing what he was doing and I find it hard to believe aikido is a spiritual art sometimes...I mean seagal was throwing his students around like he would do to someone on the street that disrespected him or his wife in public...I believe the man has a temper and he tried to hide that within his aikido skills if you get what im trying to say...

ewodaj
07-15-2003, 09:36 PM
scott, have you seen the movie "marked for death"? its definitely his most brutal movie in terms of torturing of his enemies...you can see him break an arm here and there and break a neck or two...real brutal movie of his I must say...I think he is showing us that aikido can be used for self-defense, but the way he does it he must really love aikido and putting the hurt on people...aikido can do a lot more damage that I thought...

Kevin Wilbanks
07-16-2003, 12:15 AM
I think you may have spent a bit too much time with your VCR and magazines Louis. You keep equating make-believe from movies and hypey articles with reality. I have seen no evidence to back up your assertions that Seagal is a "damn good fighter". Is there any evidence of him prevailing in real fights against skilled opponents? All I have seen is a few snippets of Aikido practice with cooperative Ukes and carefully choreographed movie stunts.

ewodaj
07-16-2003, 12:37 AM
I think you may have spent a bit too much time with your VCR and magazines Louis. You keep equating make-believe from movies and hypey articles with reality. I have seen no evidence to back up your assertions that Seagal is a "damn good fighter". Is there any evidence of him prevailing in real fights against skilled opponents? All I have seen is a few snippets of Aikido practice with cooperative Ukes and carefully choreographed movie stunts.
are you telling me seagal is not a good fighter? it doesnt take a dummy to figure out seagal is a good fighter...seagal would most likely take you out...you dont really need evidence to know that seagal is a good fighter...usually someone who has a 7th degree dan in aikido and has been practicing it his whole life knows how to fight...:D

paw
07-16-2003, 06:02 AM
Louis,
are you telling me seagal is not a good fighter?

Kevin's telling you he doesn't know.

Anyone can look good on a movie set if allowed enough time to reshoot footage and edit it. Anyone can look good with a cooperative uke. Anyone can wear a hakama, grab a video camera and film a segment where they teach ikkyo. (I personally know some kyu ranks who I feel instruct better than most 3rd dans.) Judging someone's ability to fight based on any of the above is like judging a writer based on what pencil the writer prefers. There's no correlation.

But to know if someone is a good fighter? You would either have to see them fight against an uncooperative opponent or fight them yourself. There are no other ways.

Regards,

Paul

Peter Klein
07-16-2003, 10:35 AM
i love the way how he mixes his aikido with wing chun and kali. i only know one other fighter who has got such a unique fighting style very similiar to steven seagals.

Ishamael
07-16-2003, 01:12 PM
I may be mistaken, but isn't Seagal in charge of a personal security group that very high profile people use ? This would fall under the category of evidence for his being a butt kicker.

On the other hand, the Bourne Identity has some *VERY* cool martial arts sequences and I seriously doubt Matt Damon is an ass kicker. Likewise with the Matrix and Keanu.

ewodaj
07-16-2003, 02:27 PM
I may be mistaken, but isn't Seagal in charge of a personal security group that very high profile people use ? This would fall under the category of evidence for his being a butt kicker.

On the other hand, the Bourne Identity has some *VERY* cool martial arts sequences and I seriously doubt Matt Damon is an ass kicker. Likewise with the Matrix and Keanu.
matt damon has no prior martial arts experience as far as I know...its well proven I assume that seagal does have a 7th degree black belt in aikido...dont be fooled, matt damon and keanu arent real martial artists...I dont think you have to see seagal fight to know he can hold his own...its safe to say that anyone that has a 7th degree black belt in aikido could most definitely kick some butt...

Mark Barlow
07-16-2003, 02:42 PM
How many people here have attended one of his classes or met him? Just curious.........

Jim ashby
07-16-2003, 02:48 PM
Two guys from our Dojo attended a weekend seminar under SS in Paris. They came back impressed and they both said that "what you see is what you get".

Have fun.

ewodaj
07-16-2003, 04:26 PM
Two guys from our Dojo attended a weekend seminar under SS in Paris. They came back impressed and they both said that "what you see is what you get".

Have fun.
kevin wilbanks, I hope this kills all of your misconceptions about mr. seagal...;) :p :D

Kevin Wilbanks
07-16-2003, 05:39 PM
For those not keeping score, Louis' ignore list is up to 12 and growing fast. From the looks of what he's written here and his profile, I'd say we're dealing with a young teenage troll. I believe I'll be ignoring him myself from here on - trying to engage them only makes things worse.

paw
07-16-2003, 08:46 PM
I dont think you have to see seagal fight to know he can hold his own...

Says the guy who's yet to train, who hasn't met Seagal, hasn't competed.... Heck, Kevin's got the right idea. Make that 14.

Regards,

Paul

who has met Seagal and trained with him,

has competed in bjj, judo and submission wrestling, and sparred with professional fighters

SmilingNage
07-16-2003, 09:01 PM
Wesley Snipes has a bodyguard company called Amun Ra. Maybe thats who your are thinkn about.

Adrian Smith
07-16-2003, 09:07 PM
Fifteen...

-drin

YEME
07-16-2003, 09:36 PM
i remember a time...a long time ago...when my knees didn't hurt with the very action of putting on my uniform...when movies were still magical...

when the Karate Kid was getting kids in to smash bricks or planks of wood...

when a young girl watched that movie and thought..."my gramma could take him"...

seasons changed...time passed and a girl saw a SS movie. Thought...when I finally get to train in a martial art I want it to be kinda like that.

Then completely forgot about him. 8 years later got taken to an Aikido demo...thought "THAT'S IT ...THAT's The ONE"

signed up for classes same day.

never thought of Mr. SS as good or bad ambassador...just the person who was doing something that didn't look like the MA which i wasn't too keen on trying.

the end.

ewodaj
07-16-2003, 10:12 PM
I feel so loved that people would waste their time putting me on their ignore list for idiotic reasons...now we know why some of you still havent received your black belts yet in aikido...;) :p :D ill put my owns elf on ignore list...lol

Kevin Wilbanks
07-16-2003, 10:35 PM
Just received this private message from the troll:

"youre more stupid than what you write



nimrod"

I've never suggested that someone be kicked off a forum before, but I think it's about time with this one...

Mel Barker
07-16-2003, 10:43 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Bruce holds the current ignore record (25). I think it is in great danger of falling shortly to our fast rising newcomer (16).

Mel Barker

akiy
07-16-2003, 10:44 PM
I feel so loved that people would waste their time putting me on their ignore list for idiotic reasons...now we know why some of you still havent received your black belts yet in aikido...;) :p :D ill put my owns elf on ignore list...lol
Louis, rather than taking the number of people who have ignored you as some odd sort of badge with which you should be proud, I would recommend you reflect upon why people would want to ignore you in the first place. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't feel "loved" at all but would think exactly why my manner and apparent behavior have brought on so many people wanting to ignore me.

As for sending insulting private messages, I do not appreciate your using my system here to do so.

-- Jun

Jim ashby
07-17-2003, 02:59 AM
I haven't yet ignored you Louis and I DO have my Black belt. I respect the views of people with other experiences than myself as I was always taught that "a clever man learns from his experiences, a wise man learns from other peoples experiences as well as his own".

Have fun.

Cliff Geysels
07-17-2003, 11:36 AM
Uhm, Louis and Kevin... I thought aikido was mainly about love and harmony (at least i think that's what O'sensei meant with it). So aren't you both straying from the path with your little rivalry?

Kevin Wilbanks
07-17-2003, 06:46 PM
There is no rivalry. I commenced ignoring the troll and he used the private messaging system to harass me. I thought inquiring minds might want to know about that use of the facilities. I shouldn't have acknowleged his existence in the first place, but I don't want to see this place turning into a playgroud for silly teenagers.

Chris Urango
07-17-2003, 07:11 PM
It has been interesting to read responses. I am new to Aikido (very new). In looking to get into Aikido I did quite a bit of research on the web and of course looked into how real Seagal's Aikido background is.

After learning about some basics in Aikido (the history and purposes) I was a bit confused in recently reading about Seagal Sensei doing some student testing at his home and promoted such a 'tough-real hitting style' and asked the Nages & Ukes to use what they had at their disposal for weapons to attack and defend. (see article: www.aikido-world.com/archives/Articles%20Archive/Taking%20the%20Test.htm ). I guess I thought it to stand out a little more than what I am learning O'Sensei really meant for Aikido to be. My impression was that Seagal Sensei uses a more vigorous style and/or training of Aikido. I have heard of some other Sensei's teaching & testing in such a way....I thought we wante to learn how to the art of Ai as part of Aikido..... But what do I know? that was just one article....some of you have shared that the Aikido from Seagal Sensei and his students is genuine. I am new to all of this. there's my 2 cents.

-chris

mikeyuke
07-19-2003, 02:12 PM
Hi Chris

you see anything with steven seagal written in it will bring up the worst in people or is it the best.

Also while many will critisize his style,flame him,hate him,crucify him,fact remains: no one has tried his version of aikido.

Everyone knows someone who knows a guy who knows guys in their dojo who tried tenshin aikido.

I have a question:

Who has personally attended a seminar with SS.??

rumor has it,that SS has begun teaching again in his dojo,on a regular basis when not filming.

Can anyone shed some light.

paw
07-21-2003, 07:39 AM
Who has personally attended a seminar with SS.??

I have ... as I mentioned in my last post.

Regards,

Paul

PS
Also while many will critisize his style,flame him,hate him,crucify him,fact remains: no one has tried his version of aikido.

LOL!

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2003, 09:16 AM
Hi Paul,

I have seen an early video of Seagal (pre-movie) where what he did was very dynamic, and certainly looked like strong aikido. As far as what his value is to me personally; not much. I'd prefer to see what smaller people can do with aikido, as opposed to what a really big, strong guy can do.

So, since you've had the opportunity to at least see him live, did you get to really train with him? How did his technique feel? what did it look like to you?

Ron

C. Emerson
07-21-2003, 11:25 AM
I passed up the opportunity to go to a seminar of his in Chicago about ten years ago.

It was about 3 hours away and about 250 or 300 dollars. I thought I would catch him the next time around. He never came around again.

-Chad

akiy
07-21-2003, 11:50 AM
Hi Chad,

How long have you been in Denver? I seem to remember a seminar with Steven Seagal there two or three years back. It, too, was at least a couple hundred dollars.

In any case, one of my previous teachers has a dojo where Seagal used to hang around a while back. I hear he and Terry Dobson were lurking at her dojo during that time. She writes regarding Seagal:

"He has great throws. Very energetic, very fast, very powerful. He would throw me -- bam! -- I'd hit the mat; the spit would fly out of my mouth, that kind of thing, just really powerful. [...] He had very good Aikido. He really did. He threw me very energetically. At that time he was not particularly muscled. He was strong, aiki-strong, but he didn't have a kind of gym-muscle body at all. This throws were very fast, very energetic. You never knew what happened. He could do that art."

-- Jun

ronmar
07-21-2003, 12:22 PM
The Gene LeBell incident. An example of Mr Seagal using his skills in the real world to great effect!

paw
07-21-2003, 12:58 PM
Ron,

Send me a personal email and I'll answer your questions. I'm not talking about any widely known aikidoist by name in a public forum.

Regards,

Paul

Kevin Wilbanks
07-21-2003, 02:28 PM
Jun,

Terry Dobson was a man. A very big one with a large beer-belly, in the pictures I've seen. Plus his mouth and attitude were too butch for even the most butch lesbian. The thought of he as a she is quite humorous.

akiy
07-21-2003, 02:32 PM
Terry Dobson was a man. A very big one with a large beer-belly, in the pictures I've seen. Plus his mouth and attitude were too butch for even the most butch lesbian. The thought of he as a she is quite humorous.
Of course. I was referring to my previous teacher (who is a woman) when I was referring to "her dojo" and "she writes."

-- Jun

mikeyuke
07-21-2003, 05:06 PM
ok

I ask" what is the Gene LeBell" incident?

m

C. Emerson
07-22-2003, 11:10 AM
Jun, In Denver for about 4 months now.

-Chad

C. Emerson
07-22-2003, 11:12 AM
LeBell and Seagal, This rumor has been on every message board, I'm sure it was on this board a while ago. This happened along time ago, it's not a new story. Nor is it a flattering story for Sensei Seagal.

-Chad

mikeyuke
07-22-2003, 02:59 PM
Hi Chad

yeah I heard it also,but have yet to hear it from someone who was actually there,I also heard that someone had taped the incident,but is it all rumors or did it actually happen??

was hoping for a different version but then anything with SS is sketchy..

see ya

paw
07-22-2003, 03:15 PM
yeah I heard it also,but have yet to hear it from someone who was actually there,I also heard that someone had taped the incident,but is it all rumors or did it actually happen??

You can contact either directly. They aren't that hard to get a hold of.

Gene LeBell (http://www.genelebell.com/index1.asp)

Steven Seagal (http://www.stevenseagal.com/ss.html)

Regards,

Paul

paw
08-06-2003, 09:45 AM
More fuel.....

NY Post Article (http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/2401.htm)

Kevin Wilbanks
08-06-2003, 10:18 AM
If you look carefully at the photo, he's sighting his gun with the wrong eye...

Jim ashby
08-06-2003, 10:47 AM
What on earth does that have to do with anything? You sight any gun with your dominant eye, regardless of whether you are right or left handed.

Kevin Wilbanks
08-06-2003, 12:00 PM
That's not how I learned it. If you sight with the opposite eye from the hand you lose the inherent alignment of sighting and aiming along the line of your arm. Instead, you are pointing the gun askew of your anatomy.

Do they even have handguns in England?

Kevin Wilbanks
08-06-2003, 12:18 PM
I looked up the eye-dominance thing, and it seems like there are different camps on the issue, and no proof of what's best. I did the test and do not seem to have a dominant eye. It seems to matter mostly if you sight with both eyes, which I don't. I learned to partially close and "dim" the other eye to the point that it contributes little to the sighting, which appears to be what Seagal is doing in the photo, wherein I think it shouldn't matter whether the eye is dominant and you should go with the anatomical advantage of same eye-hand. There's a reason you see cops jack their shoulder up and back under their ear and hold the firing arm stiff and straight.

Jim ashby
08-06-2003, 01:09 PM
The same arm/eye is the ideal but it's a bummer if you are right handed and left eyed as approximately 20% of my students were (back in the days when I taught shooting and we were allowed to have handguns in the UK). The NRA (British, you know) taught all of their coaches to teach shooters with different dominant eye to hand to lean their head over to get the dominant eye over the sight. Anyway, this is waaay off topic.

Have fun.

Kevin Wilbanks
08-06-2003, 03:29 PM
Off topic, yes. But this is a one star discussion about Seagal. I doubt anyone will be put out.

I would think that whether you favored dominant eye or body mechanics would depend on the situation. Shooting targets on a range is a lot different from shooting criminals on the streets.

Ron Tisdale
08-06-2003, 03:39 PM
Well, we all know that Seagal doesn't shoot criminals on the streets (outside of the movies anyway) :)

Ron

C. Emerson
08-07-2003, 11:08 AM
Nice story, the more I learn about him the more I'm not suprised.

Thats ok, he is still cool.

-Chad

Paul Smith
08-07-2003, 12:18 PM
I can only attest to sighting in for archery purposes. You go with the dominant eye as the control.

Vincent Munoz
08-20-2003, 04:21 PM
"The mountain does not speak ill of the river because it is lowly nor the river speak ill to the mountain because it is high."

Remember this quote always from O'Sensei aikidokas.

i started aikido before i knew him. but we cannot deny that Steven Seagal Sensei was like the one introducing aikido to many aikidokas. Aikido became "more" popular because of his movies. Let's try perfect our own movements in aikido. Aikido techniques are very harmless and harmful at the same time, it may kill an aggressor. It is then important to master or perfect each technique. And as much as possible, depend yourself in such a way that you will not harm your aggressor.

"When your pride starts to rise, that's the time you'll start to fall down -- head first.:circle: :ai: :ki: :do:

Alan Lomax
09-30-2003, 03:10 AM
Our Sensei, Iida Takeshi loves the Seagal movies and believes he has been a boone to Aikido, therefore he is welcome in the Dojo anytime he is in town.

I don't know the man personally and have never met him. I have however seen a couple of Embukais that he demonstrated in. Seeing is believing, he looked good.

paw
09-30-2003, 08:04 AM
if I may digress.....

My post isn't about Steven Seagal, but about the concept that seeing a demonstration is an accurate indication of skill....
I have however seen a couple of Embukais that he demonstrated in. Seeing is believing, he looked good.

Kano Reeves looks fantastic in the Matrix trilogy, so I suppose he's a martial arts master? Please. Anyone (and yes, I do mean anyone) can look good with a cooperative partner. Anyone can look good in front a camera. As boxers say, "everyone looks good shadow boxing".

Regards,

Paul

BKimpel
09-30-2003, 10:16 AM
That NY Post article is retarded. One he’s a 71-year-old guy with nothing to lose.

Two, he says Seagal asked me to do this, but I refused. Then he asked me to this, but then I refused. Then he asked me to do something really crazy, and I refused. How many people do you know that ask someone for something more than once if they always refuse?

Now either Saunders DID do *most* of what Seagal asked him, and he is lying in his article to protect his credibility – or none of that crap happened beyond amusing pool-side chit-chat (Seagal playing with him) and again he is lying. So ya sign him up for testimony - right next to that Texas under-cover cop that never lies ;)

"The mountain does not speak ill of the river because it is lowly nor the river speak ill to the mountain because it is high."

That’s an excellent quote, and it implies an important Budo virtue – respect. Not only has Seagal opened the world’s eyes to Aikido, but he has always acted accordingly when it comes to Aikido. His schools were excellent, his Aikido is well-tested (he wasn’t promoted to 7th dan for nothing boys and girls – and he did it IN Japan. Read all the injury threads on this forum and you’ll know how the Japanese “test” Gaijin), and his advice is on the mark (spend more time seeking out good teachers than practicing techniques), and he has always respected his seniors (he has always praised Seiseki Abe, etc.). Go to one of his seminars to get a taste.

Hollyweird is exactly that, and knowing people in the industry I know what goes on (to the extent that I have been privy to). It’s a business, BIG business. If you are in their good books you’ll shine, if you’re in their black book they do everything to bury you (career wise). If Seagal doesn’t seem to show respect when it comes to people in the Movie biz – gee, I wonder why! Have you seen many that garner respect?

And even though you consider Seagal a movie star (some outer space entity that you can throw judgment on based on tabloid crap), try pretending for a moment that he is an Aikidoka in your organization. Would you speak about someone like that? What’s your frame of reference – do you know him personally? Have you trained with him? Does he invite you over to his estate in Montana for coffee for some chit-chat about who needs to get whacked?

Think about what you say. I know you guys are just funning, but think for one second how “fun” it would be if people said those things about you.

Bruce

happysod
09-30-2003, 10:59 AM
Bruce, "try pretending for a moment that he is an Aikidoka in your organization. Would you speak about someone like that?" Probably would if their ego or personality got my goat... but to their face, much more fun.

The idea that Steven Seagal's persona should be partitioned and only the "serious aikidoist" discussed on a public forum, especially one dealing with the art he is promoting, is ludicrous. He chose to be in a profession based on celeb. status. The flip side is that means he is therefore open to public opinion. If you don't like that opinion, no one's making you agree with it, or even read it.

My opinion, for what it's worth, is I've read nothing to contradict his skill/grade in aikido, but as an actor he should consider more lessons and from his own *public* pronouncements on various issues, he needs a reality check.

BKimpel
09-30-2003, 11:09 AM
He’s celebrity status; therefore open for public reticule based on tabloid information and other equally “informed” sources?

Yes perhaps I was being too logical. Put in context I understand what you mean.

Kind of like discussing whether or not the USS Enterprise “really” can take corners at warp 8 or not. Everyone can have an opinion, and no facts are necessary since it is all fiction anyway.

Ok, please continue.

Bruce

happysod
09-30-2003, 12:17 PM
Bruce, firstly could I suggest you read the thread-starter's initial query, the starting point is "what is your view on..." therefore yes, tabloid and other "informed sources", gossip etc. are valid points for entries into this thread. Secondly, claiming something is a tabloid and thus wrong is not a very useful rebuttle. If instead you could direct me to a link where Seagal has successfully disproved the article I'd be more than willing to read more.

What I was taking exception to was your intent on taking the moral high ground with this thread. I'd prefer to make my own choices on each entry as posted rather than have anyone even infer they have the right to determine what I should and should not read. Aikiweb has a working system for complaints on individual posts, this works much better than blanket statements.

BKimpel
09-30-2003, 12:55 PM
Ha ha, Ian now you are taking this issue far too seriously. Like you just said I shouldn’t have taken the discussion seriously at all. How can we be serious when discussing fictitious chatter anyway – your right, I was wrong to interject any sort of realistic thoughts or opinions into the discussion, I’m terribly sorry.

And yes, when discussing “observations”, I suppose tabloid articles do provide the only window into a star’s life (since they don’t know him) and must be admissible into kangaroo court.

I shall refrain from taking the thread away from its “moral low ground”, and just stick to “observations” based on conjecture. Therefore I conclude, based on pure conjecture and opinion and from Mr.Saunder’s testimony to the court of NY Post, that Mr.Saunder’s is a liar – and not a very good one at that. Perhaps he could rework his story, and introduce some logic so as to make it “more” believable, like maybe he performed “some” of the things Seagal asked him to do because he feared for his life (didn’t want to be whacked by Seagal), but none of the “really” illegal things cause that’s just not right. Or maybe he could explain why he kept coming back to Seagal if he felt so strongly against Seagal’s “crazy” requests? Etc., etc. blaa blaa blaa.

All in fun, and all silly Ian :)

As for Seagal’s movies – I liked them in the old days, but the later ones were getting too formulaic and Hollywood-cheesy (that’s Warner Brothers though), and the very latest are just bad productions (that’s low budget though). The problem is people DO judge Seagal harsher than other movie stars – because he is both a star and a real martial artist. Geez how many bad movies has Bruce Willis done!?! Or even Stallone, or Schwarzenegger? And don’t tell me any of those guys are such great actors. They are marketable, and each have interesting characteristics that we enjoy watching in movies, and depending on a hundred different factors (directors, script, production, budget, etc.) the movies will be good or bad.

Bruce

paw
09-30-2003, 01:34 PM
movies.... Ok, I'm game....
Geez how many bad movies has Bruce Willis done!?! Or even Stallone, or Schwarzenegger? And don’t tell me any of those guys are such great actors.

Willis performances in The Seige, The Sixth Sense, and Unbreakable and Pulp Fiction are far better than anything Seagal has done. Additionally, Willis has voice acting credits with Rugrats Go Wild. A far more diverse manner of roles than Seagal.

For action, Willis is far more vulnerable in the Die Hard movies than Seagal is any of his films, making his protrayal of John McClaine much more accessable for audiences.

Stallone has extensive writing credits to his name, including the entire Rocky series, Rhinestone and Staying Alive. Stallone has also directed Rocky 2 - Rocky 4 and Nighthawks. He's also shown more versatility than Seagal, in voice roles in Antz, Get Carter, and the villian in Spy Kids: 3D.

Arnold is the weakest of the three you named, but again, has more diversity in his roles than Seagal. The Terminator series, Predator (action), Twins, Kindergarden Cop, True Lies (action/comedy), and voice role in Dr. Dolittle 2.

I think I mentioned this previously in this thread... Seagal has improved as an actor, but his still has a ways to go before he can be mentioned in the list you gave. IMHO, of course.

Regards,

Paul

BKimpel
09-30-2003, 02:20 PM
Unbreakable was actually one of my favorite movies. A lot of people didn’t like it, cause how can you possibly follow Sixth Sense – but it was much more human and Bruce was all the more heroic because he didn’t fully believe it himself (i.e. he had fear, so we the audience had fear).

Bruce Willis is a decent actor and I think he acts well even in his duds (like I said it’s a whole pile of factors that make a movie good or bad). But I wouldn’t put Bruce against Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford. Those guys can act.

What I like about Seagal’s movie characters was his attitude, he wasn’t afraid of anything. It was new and fresh (back in the 90’s) and fun. The problem with that formula though, is the audience (not being that fearless) cannot relate to his character. He never has bad guys that even challenge him. How come in Schwarzenegger’s movies they find guys big enough to give Arny a challenge, yet Seagal gets the “actor” bad guys that act real tough (and of course swear a lot cause that’s what tough guys do), but they die in 20 second battles.

Speaking of movies, I just watched Equilibrium (although it was so close to being a Matrix rip-off I almost didn’t), but it was actually good. They didn’t fall into any of the cliché’s or formulas – and in the end (don’t want to spoil it for anyone) the bad actually fights and fights well (unlike Seagal’s bad guys).

Bruce

Aristeia
09-30-2003, 09:05 PM
Bruce Willis is a decent actor and I think he acts well even in his duds (like I said it’s a whole pile of factors that make a movie good or bad). But I wouldn’t put Bruce against Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford. Those guys can act.

Bruce
Take a look at Bruce's performance in 12 Monkeys and tell me that Gibson, Ford or even Hanks could do half as good a job.....

Erik
09-30-2003, 09:31 PM
Paul, don't forget to add California Governor to Arnold's resume. I gotta find Neil Mick he must be loving life right about now. :D

For me, the single biggest turn off with Seagal is how he always decimates the bad guys. Why even have them when they are never a threat? I think the only decent bad guy he ever went up against was the guy in the first movie. He decimated them too but at least he got a bloody nose and took some abuse in the process.

The second biggest turn off with Seagal is that he's gotten so damn FAT. I forget the name of the movie, direct to video and I caught it on cable, but he spent the whole movie in this long coat. Thinking about it a bit I realized that he'd done it in more than one movie. I kept trying to figure out why until I realized that it made him look thinner.

Say what you want about Gibson, Ford, Arnold, Willis, etc, but they are professionals and they are all in extraordinarily good shape for guys ranging from their late 40's to early 60's. Seagal is the martial artist and he's let himself go. I'm surprised he can get any roles these days.

C. Emerson
10-01-2003, 02:05 PM
I really liked exit wounds, it suprises me that with all of the success that the movie had, he has only had straight to video movies lately.

I think he is probably done.

-Chad

kironin
10-01-2003, 02:53 PM
movies.... Ok, I'm game....

Stallone has extensive writing credits to his name, including the entire Rocky series, Rhinestone and Staying Alive. Stallone has also directed Rocky 2 - Rocky 4 and Nighthawks. He's also shown more versatility than Seagal, in voice roles in Antz, Get Carter, and the villian in Spy Kids: 3D.
Not too long ago Stallone did one of his best performances in a small independent film with Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta titled Cop Land. It's a good character drama and Stallone holds his own.

When it comes to acting, Seagal's range makes Schwarzenegger look positively Shakespearean!

that said. I actually did find myself enjoying "Exit Wounds" possibly because my expectations beforehand had been so low.

as to Aikido, if he is so wonderful, one might wonder why his most senior student has chosen to dissociate himself from Seagal.

ciao

Craig

Ron Tisdale
10-01-2003, 03:14 PM
Cop Land was a good flick. I'd recommend it. Generally for folk like Stalone and Arnie, its the dramatic one liners. With Seagal, even his one liners are bad. Oh well.

As to Matsuoka Sensei's choice...I don't think he would mean for that to impugn Seagal's character. But you were just at the Expo right? Why didn't you just ask him? :)

Ron (he's small, but I don't think **I'd** go there) Tisdale

kironin
10-01-2003, 06:31 PM
As to Matsuoka Sensei's choice...I don't think he would mean for that to impugn Seagal's character. But you were just at the Expo right? Why didn't you just ask him? :)

Ron (he's small, but I don't think **I'd** go there) Tisdale
Too much training, too little time!

:D

Craig

(what can I say ? I didn't even find Shaun.)

Misogi-no-Gyo
10-01-2003, 07:39 PM
Too much training, too little time!

:D

Craig

(what can I say ? I didn't even find Shaun.)
Craig, I was there. Sorry I missed you. If you caught our demo, I was the one on the mat gathering the bokken and jo as they finished with them.

As to why All of Seagal Sensei's senior students from Aikido Tenshin Dojo left, very simple, we wanted to do aikido. That is all. There are a whole slew of new "senior" students. I couldn't tell you what they are doing though.

Alan Lomax
10-02-2003, 02:58 AM
Kind of like discussing whether or not the USS Enterprise “really” can take corners at warp 8 or not.
Right on the money with that one Bruce. Of course the USS Enterprise can't take corners at warp 8. That is just silly. No aircraft carrier in any fleet, in the entire world can take high power turns anywhere approaching warp speeds. It just isn't sound, even if the propulsion could provide the force needed. Yup, an impressive boat in many respects, but nothing like that, even with the best Ki extended by the whole crew. I don't believe that Kokyo could even make enough of difference to significantly contribute. :freaky:

w/ only the best intentioned humor and 0% sarcasm

Regards

Vincent Munoz
10-03-2003, 12:40 AM
hi,

are we talking about aikido here or movies? be matured in aikido pals.

vincent