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View Full Version : Seagal, Actually aikido or not?


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actoman
09-22-2003, 04:52 AM
Ok, Ok, I know most of you dislike him, but I have to say, he seems very good at what he does.

In 'Above the Law', he does an iriminage, and also some throws and such I have seen in classes, and in 'Marked for Death' he seems to do some locks and even an arm break, so my question is, is he making aikido out to be too violent? I realize that it CAN be, but he seems to make it son it is all the time that way, your opinions?

Aikilove
09-22-2003, 05:01 AM
It's hollywood. He's a great aikidoka but an action movie is an action movie and breaking bones sell. It doesn't have a thing to do about how he train and teach aikido. It's Hollywood...

Adrian Smith
09-22-2003, 06:41 AM
Not this again!

This topic has been covered repeatedly on aikiweb. Please search for it and you'll find at least three threads where it has been beaten to death...

-drin

acot
09-22-2003, 07:43 AM
I ran accross a copy of Out for Justice the other day (rare in Taiwan to find any seagal movies except Under Seige). I Thought his Aikido was excellent in that movie. Tons of Shohonage Ikkyo and other that I can't spell yet.

Adrian I agree this topic should put to rest.

Uke4life
09-22-2003, 08:13 AM
LOL, yes put to rest this thread must be. Personally I think he is a great Aikidoka in REAL life, but in movies he has to make them more appealing. So real life = yes. Movie = no. Train Safe!!!

Greg Jennings
09-22-2003, 08:52 AM
...and in 'Marked for Death' he seems to do some locks and even an arm break,
That arm break is a version of rokkyo/hiji osae.

The way we normally do it, we allow uke to break his posture by moving away from the threat.

I'm not touching the rest of the question....

FWIW,

SeiserL
09-22-2003, 09:18 AM
Saw an old home video of a Seagal seminar. Excellent technique.

Personally, I enjoy his action movies. He has raised peoples awareness and helped make Aikido more visible to the general public. My compliments and appreciation.

shihonage
09-22-2003, 12:30 PM
I think the time has come for Seagal to make a movie like "Karate Kid", where he plays an old master.

That would be great, because unlike the actor who played Mr. Miyagi, Seagal actually knows martial arts.

paw
09-22-2003, 12:40 PM
I think the time has come for Seagal to make a movie like "Karate Kid", where he plays an old master.

That presumes that Seagal has pull in Hollywood. I doubt Seagal has the star power to get a movie made, particularly one on his terms.
That would be great, because unlike the actor who played Mr. Miyagi, Seagal actually knows martial arts.

CGI, stunt people, fight coregraphy and multiple film angles/cuts make actual martial art experience less necessary than in the past. Besides, Mr. Miyagi was primarily a speaking role, and while Seagal's hs improved, acting isn't his strong point --- no disrespect.
Saw an old home video of a Seagal seminar. Excellent technique.
Anyone can look good with a cooperative uke or three. IMO, demonstrations are poor ways to evaluate someone.

Regards,

Paul

shihonage
09-22-2003, 12:50 PM
CGI, stunt people, fight coregraphy and multiple film angles/cuts make actual martial art experience less necessary than in the past.
No, what they do is make it look like total crap.

There's no substitute for someone who actually knows what they're doing.

acot
09-22-2003, 01:29 PM
I liked his older movies where he wasn't always the good guy character. He has always played the hero. I'd really like to see him play a villin. As for his Aikido, well I have never had the chance to be uke for him. I would love to give it a try. :)

Cheers

Ryan

twilliams423
09-22-2003, 02:22 PM
Had the opportunity to take ukemi from him once. He grabbed my thumb and bent it backwards until I was down and tapped out. Simple and effective, kind of like a Wally George technique. Later same class, he did 3 attacker randori (Matsuoka Sensei was one of the ukes) - very impressive, extremely quick for such a big man! My impression is that his Aikido is the real deal. Glimmer Man of Glitter Man, whatever, that's a different, sadder story.

shihonage
09-22-2003, 02:33 PM
Glimmer Man of Glitter Man, whatever, that's a different, sadder story.
"Glimmer Man" was his best film.

That scene where he demolishes an entire cafeteria was HILARIOUS.

Lan Powers
09-22-2003, 05:54 PM
Still think how many folks would have NEVER heard of Aikido if not for his (so-so) movies.

Movie-fu is a big seller........practical reality is not quite so popular/glamorous.

I bet ukemi for him could be rough, though.

:freaky:
Lan

sanosuke
09-22-2003, 09:05 PM
hmmm, have to admit that he's the best aikidoka if comes to randori, but his attitude....no comment.
I think the time has come for Seagal to make a movie like "Karate Kid", where he plays an old master.

picture this:

"remember Daniel-san, rule number one, Aikido is for f****ng defense only. Rule number two, f****ng refer back to rule number one."

Haaaiii....Onegai-shimasu...:D

and, "wax on......wax off......irimi.....tenkan....."

oh, one more, once he caught the fly using the chopstick he'll nikkyo-ed the fly until its legs are broken.

Abasan
09-29-2003, 12:59 AM
I wished he'd come over here and do a seminar and not charge USD1000 for it. I would love to learn something from him.

Not all his movies are bad. Only some of the more later ones... like the foreigner and such. I thought Glitterman was not bad.

Vincent Munoz
09-29-2003, 09:39 AM
Aikidokas,

we cannot deny that aikido became more famous because of Seagal. We should at least be thoughtful enough and say thanks to em.

my advise, just practice and practice. absorb techniques which you think are effective. if not, just trash it.

i've been with 6 aiki dojos already because of work transfers, and have compared one with another. i absorb only techniques that i think effective.

thanks,

shiete

Aikilove
09-29-2003, 09:46 AM
And I thought they were all practical... if they don't work it's because I'm doin' somethin' wrong ;)

Bogeyman
10-03-2003, 10:05 PM
I have never trained with Take Sensei but I have gotten to train with one of his instructors a few times and what I was shown was very powerful and very effective and most certainly seemed to be "real" aikido to me. It seemed that a lot of pressure is put on uke to save their own butt but I was also shown ways to fall that made very soft landings from some of the big throws. As a side note the ukemi must be pretty good as I have seen videos of him teaching outside on grass a lot.

E

PeterPhilippson
10-04-2003, 11:48 AM
There have been, and still are, several different attitudes to the defensive nature of Aikido.

In my organisation, we are taught that, if people are committed to attacking, whether it is in randori in the dojo, or on the street, it is tori who takes the initiative, choosing who to move towards and accept attack from, rather than waiting for the uke/attacker to come to him/her. First of all, if you wait you get surrounded if there is more than one; and if, as in the situations Seagal shows in his movies (which do happen to law enforcement people), there are guns involved you can't just stand there: you get out of the way if you can, or get very close if you can't.

So for me, yes, Seagal is mostly doing standard aikido, he moves beautifully, and he does put aikido in front of people. I get asked less 'What is aikido?' and I have a simpler answer.

Best wishes,

kironin
10-04-2003, 02:32 PM
Aikidokas,

we cannot deny that aikido became more famous because of Seagal. We should at least be thoughtful enough and say thanks to em.
Sorry, no way.

Doesn't cut it.

Why am I supposed to say thanks to someone who used his aikido to impress some movie execs in LA and to gain fame and fortune ? He made millions, he has a large ranch in Montana, why does he need my thanks ?

I would rather thank all those teachers, some known and some not known, some now only a memory, that moved to a new city or new country, opened up shop, scraped by on a low income, went into debt to keep going, but eventually created something lasting that allowed me to walk in one day after seeing a flyer, or reading something about in the local paper, or hearing about it from a friend and discover something as wonderful as aikido.

These are the real heros. These are the guys and gals that made aikido already popular and well-established in many countries when Seagal did his first movie. I have met at least one of them that took young Stevie under their wing when he first began aikido in California after seeing a demonstration. These are the people I wish to thank.
i've been with 6 aiki dojos already because of work transfers, and have compared one with another. i absorb only techniques that i think effective.

thanks, shiete
"i think effective" ?????

I sympathize with your situation, but unless you trained hard at each of these places for 5 year or more at a time you might want to be careful about this approach. Strip mining isn't likely to allow you to go deep enough to understand the heart of the matter. Ignoring something or tossing it away may not allow it to come back later and teach you something about the principles of the art.

YMMV,

Craig

:cool:

Cliff Geysels
10-05-2003, 06:31 AM
Craig, what's wrong with owning a ranch in Montana and having a fat bankaccount? And why are you having more respect for someone with a low income? Do you judge people by how much money they make? Steven Seagal has achieved what he has now by working hard and making a lot of sacrifices. Think about it.

kironin
10-05-2003, 09:15 PM
I never said there was anything wrong with what he has or has acheived. His ambitions have been well rewarded by Hollywood. I only said there was something wrong with the expectation that I or anyone else in aikido other than his direct students should thank him.

Nor did I mean to imply I was respecting someone more just because they had a low income. However, among those teaching aikido, most do not make a living doing it, most that I am aware of it are doing it on a volunteer basis often putting their own money in to keeping things going. Of those doing it full time, some are retired, some have side businesses related to aikido, and others are heads of organizations with many schools. If any of them have become millionaires from teaching, I would be surprised. Possibly this is because they have not been willing to make compromises of a McDojo to squeeze out high profits. Is it possible to make at least a five figure salary in the martial arts ? Yes. Do comprises have to be made in doing so ? At least from the examples I am familiar with, yes.

so excuse me if I would rather thank and give recognition to the teachers who have made a lot of sacrifices for aikido with little expectation of monetary gain or fame and a high expectation for their students.

think about that.

Craig

tedehara
10-05-2003, 11:30 PM
Had the opportunity to take ukemi from him once. He grabbed my thumb and bent it backwards until I was down and tapped out. Simple and effective, kind of like a Wally George technique...Aikido techniques go with the joint, not against it. Techniques that go against the joint are ju-jitsu.

You probably wanted to credit Wally Jay and his Small Circle Ju-Jitsu.

BTW, my sensei mentioned that he saw one of Segal's aikido videos. He noted that the first four techniques were Small Circle Ju-Jitsu.

PeterR
10-05-2003, 11:55 PM
Aikido techniques go with the joint, not against it. Techniques that go against the joint are ju-jitsu.
Hi Ted - not sure I agree with this. There are quite a few techniques used in Aikido that put stress on the joints - sankyo for one. Conversly, there are many techniques in Ju-jitsu that manipulate the joints much like we see in our Aikido.

But don't mind me - I'm from the Aikido is a form of Jujutsu school and not likely to be impressed with Wally J.'s uniqueness.

Cheers

Peter R.

BKimpel
10-06-2003, 01:13 AM
While many Aikido techniques do favor “with the joint” movement, not all of them do. Quite a few Aikido techniques go against the joint (hijijime (elbow lock/throw), sankyo (arm twisted), reverse sankyo (arm straight), and a few of the kansetsu (pins)).

Most of Segal’s movie techniques are Aikido (except the odd kick or punch, which are assumingly goju-ryu Karate (really atemi is atemi though)).

His parrying/opening movements are all based on the movements of the Aiki-ken – check out some of his teachers (such as Seiseki Abe) and you’ll notice quit a bit of familiarity.

Certainly they were all categorized as Jujutsu originally (Daito-ryu Jujutsu I’ll even wager ;)), but they are Aikido now!

Bruce

tedehara
10-07-2003, 09:22 PM
I wear this wrist watch. I notice that whenever I need to know the time, I can turn my wrist to look at the face.

When someone applies sankyo, the wrist also turns. It is not the 360 degree, Linda Blair head spin of The Exorcist, but it does move around within certain limits.

Like Peter noted, aikido does apply stress to the joints. But the stress comes when the nage pushes the uke's joint past its normal limits. Therefore, you take ukemi.

I can think of one kokyu-nage that uses a lock on the elbow. But even there, the lock is used to maintain the lead, no real pressure is put on the elbow itself.

I'm also thinking that you would go against the joint in a technique if your style was closer to ju-jitsu or aiki-jitsu.

Jeanne Shepard
10-10-2003, 12:00 AM
When I tell people I practice the same martial art that Steven Seagal does, their eyes get big, and they back away from me.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I kind of like it.

Jeanne