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Rhaevin80
05-21-2004, 12:05 PM
Steven Seagal doesn't look like he uses true Aikido to me. I mean I'm not in Aikido, but he kicks the crap out of people in his movies. How is that Aikido?

vanstretch
05-21-2004, 04:16 PM
Brian, Hi, have you ever rented a movie lately at your local blockbuster? Have you noticed that the photograph on the DVD or VHS cover usually shows a male weilding a pistol pointed upward and he is usually in a three-quarter turn pose and turning his neck so to look, leaner, cooler, more menacing? Have you considered the art of photgraphy and all it entails? Did you know there was this thing called show business ?And that these highly paid actors are making sooo much money so to live out the fantasies of the masses? Did you ever wonder if the camera crew just aimed their gear at Seagal and in a few hours that everyone towled off and went home no problem? Is it possible that in this land of make-believe that there are people called stunt choreographers, stand-ins, doubles, video manipulation for better final effect, editorial priviledge etc,etc,etc??? Did you think that the people that Seagal "beat" on his videos didn't go have a beer with the guy that evening and were maybe actually his friends? Did you know the difference between fantasy and reality? Did you consider any of the above? Ever ? Have i actually consumed way too much coffee man? Somebody help me!!

John Boswell
05-21-2004, 04:29 PM
water... daniel. start drinking WATER. :p

You're right, Brian. Seagal Sensei doesn't do a lot of aikido in his movies. Doesn't mean he can't, just that he's doing something else... making a movie.

Ironically, I think using Aikido EXCLUSIVLY in a movie would absolutly rock and kick total butt! Why he doesn't try, I have no idea. *shrug*

Peace out.

Rhaevin80
05-21-2004, 06:26 PM
I was just wondering why people keep saying rent Seagal's earlier movies to see him do aikido. I just watched one, and didn't really see aikido in it. That was really all I was saying. Sorry if I upset you danny. I was basically in a round a bout way trying to see if he really did aikido in his movies or another MA.

Rhaevin80
05-21-2004, 06:29 PM
Oh by the way thanks for making me look like a retard danny.

Lan Powers
05-22-2004, 12:19 AM
Often folks have used the pun, "Movie Fu" regarding the filmed stuff of Seagal Sensei. I have seen a few clips of his actual aikido training, and he looks like he is very skilled. This has been discussed a few times before, but it is a recurrent idea here. *shrug
You seem to have come to the right conclusions on what you have seen on film....since you are perceptive enough to make the distinction, (obviously not a retard) you might like to train in the real deal....
Welcome
Lan

batemanb
05-22-2004, 02:24 AM
I was just wondering why people keep saying rent Seagal's earlier movies to see him do aikido. I just watched one, and didn't really see aikido in it. That was really all I was saying. Sorry if I upset you danny. I was basically in a round a bout way trying to see if he really did aikido in his movies or another MA.

I think most people are refering to Nico (Above the Law) which contains a few seconds of actual footage of Seagal in an Aikido dojo when he was younger. Other than that, there`s only a few techniques here and there.

rgds

Bryan

SeiserL
05-22-2004, 11:37 AM
IMHO, if we all spent as much time training as we do watching and criticizing Seagal movies, all of our waza would look better.

IMHO, never confuse movie stunts for the real deal. On tapes I have seen of Seagal seminars, his waza was very good.

Now get away from the television and back to the Dojo.

vanstretch
05-23-2004, 06:56 AM
Hi Lynn, thats what i was trying to convey, using the socratic method, albeit-under the influence of coffee beans!! thanks again. daniel.

Dario Rosati
05-23-2004, 05:36 PM
Steven Seagal doesn't look like he uses true Aikido to me. I mean I'm not in Aikido, but he kicks the crap out of people in his movies. How is that Aikido?

What Lynn says.

His aikido (expecially when he was younger and not yet famous) looks extremely good to me, judging from some very short movies/tapes you can find around.

Remember? I'm the one of the "rougher" sensei :D

Bye!

32bit
05-23-2004, 08:57 PM
[B]hi, i'm Michael from Trinidad for those who don't know where that is it's on the caribnbean and i have recently been interested in joing aikido and iot is becouse of a training session i downloaded from kazaa (itwas in black and white though) i saw the speed and the control which Steven segal used and defened again multiple attacks which could prove helpfull in today's world. i would like to say that he is very skilled at what he does not only becouse in his movies the bad guys never hit him but is that not the purpose to defend uself and not be hurt that is what martial arts is used for to injur or subdue an attacker and take control of a situation.

vanstretch
05-24-2004, 05:03 PM
Hi Michael, if I may; in the MOVIES the bad guys do attempt to HIT Seagal and in some scenes it even looks like he is being hit . As I ranted earlier up this post and desperately would like to reiterate; that is fantasy, that is stunt choreography, that is film making. It is an art as a martial art is an art, does this make sense? I can tell you this story to make my point; Ok,there is an atlanta area gym frequented by many big name Pro wwf wrestlers and the like(main event gym, marietta ga), and one day a young man ran in there and up to a Big name guy and told him that this other Big name guy was going to smash his head in because he saw it last night on TELEVISION. The naive young man thought that he was warning the other celebrity of impending disaster. The Big name guy that was advised of this told the young man the following; "Son that was acting, I am an actor and those threats were part of the theme of that particular segment that was taped for your viewing pleasure, that was fantasy=this is reality, understand?." And I only had one cup Lynn!!

Infamousapa
05-24-2004, 06:41 PM
No offence to anyone in this forum but i think you guys are all blinded and saturated with what you learn or read in training aikido..I currently train in Aikido and I love the art..However you guys think Aikido is going to happen like we train in the dojo..Just like the eager student who gets his bachelor's in buisness but has no experience,and has never worked is going to fit right in a buisness deal and work everthing out..I beleive STeven Seagal is doing 100% aikido in his movies,But not your aikido or your dojos aikido...Its his Aikido with his attitude and his way with words..I beleive a lot of you aikidoka out there are not fighters and probably never got into a fight and thats ok.But you got to understand Seagal is doing Aikido in his movies..Its along with his Italian attitude and his style..A lot of you people out there practice aikido to fill up a void in your life and have a better sense of well being.But you got to understand in order to apply in the streets or shall i say in reality you really got to get the aggressor mad at you and you got to bring the devil out of them so you could see their energy come out and use this against them..However everyone has their own style of stepping up the plate againt bunch of bullys,gangster of aggressors.And i honesty thing STeven Seagal shows his style of aikido in his movies..Some of you Aikidoka are living in spriritual fantasy out there and need to understand eveyone after learning basics should have their own attitude of how to apply the art and what works for them..Just like a basketball player learns basics of defending,blocking,shooting,dribbling.But in the very end he has acquired his own way of doing things to get around in the court because he has to work with what god has given him speed,height,will,jumping ablility..What im trying to say is Steven Seagal is the real deal and he shows it in his movies,Dont be so blinded by your void..Our dojo is our home our basketball court our class..But once out in the street you apply your aikido the way you can work with what you got..

Lan Powers
05-24-2004, 07:02 PM
Like I said.... movies use choreagraphed movie fighting=movie fu.
(well done in his movies , as a rule, and I enjoy watching it, even if it is not too fashionable to admit to it these days.)
Choreagraphy makes the end product, the scene, look "real" to the majority of the public. What would actually happen in a differant environment would vary widely with circumstances.

*However you guys think Aikido is going to happen like we train in the dojo..*

Where did you get that idea from?
Lan

Green Machine
05-25-2004, 05:23 AM
Greets to ya all

I have to have my say here, Steven Seagal does do aikido in his films and as mentioned the fights are choreographed, the stunt people are also able to do aikido anyone with enough knowledge will recognize high falls being performed by the attackers. :D

However if you want to see a film with no acting in just pure aikido starring Steven Seagal then the title to look for is
The Path Beyond Thought I have seen this film and it is brilliant it is like a biography and the aikido in it is all done in the dojo or outside the dojo with aikido students, so if anyone wants to see Steven doing proper aikido then The Path beyond thought is the film to get. This will definately end the debate as to can he or cant he do aikido.

Domo Arigato Andrew :D

vanstretch
05-25-2004, 11:26 AM
Hey guys, good points, Lan I agree with you on the Seagal persona, and his drawing power due to Aikido skill,his past mystery,or whatever it is that gives him that star quality. I can only speak for myself and if i have been blunt or harsh toward the naive then they deserve to be at least educated(fantasy and reality get blurred when the discussion is martial arts in the cinema), and i have no problem taking advice, yet i will give it also. I have been a cop for 8 quick years and have been in alot and seen alot, hell, any cop'll understand this, and the one thing i know how to get to is the reality of the situation, and cut thru the crap to do it rapidly. I am also sensitive and understanding and many times people have mistaken kindness as weakness. That somehow is my drawing power and at times i just lay it down as i see it. Im not sorry if i have offended anyone. I like seagal movies , and PBT also. I am saying essentially this; we all like seagal and he has brought alot to the art. We all like aikido and/or have an interest in it too. Lets face it,in american aikido dojos new students eventually bring up his name and the discussion starts yet again. I think its great, just educate these interested parties of the reality of movies and the reality of real life if need be. Some people just don't see a difference. Take care. Daniel.

Ken Weaver
05-25-2004, 08:10 PM
Hi All,

Just a couple of thoughts on the topic from a person who studied under Segal and Matsuoka in the Mid 80's (before the movies started)

1. It's just a movie..but it is very similar to his real style in the dojo.
2. He has incredible grace and power.
3. Matsuoka sensei was the stunt double for some of the "hard" scenes.
4. He was humble in the face of Abe sensei's visit and obviously loved Aikido.


I'm glad he made the movies..they are pretty entertaining afterall..but I'm sorry I lost him as an instructor. I've got pictures of Abe sensei's visit if anyone would like to see them.

-Ken

Charles Hill
05-25-2004, 10:35 PM
Did you think that the people that Seagal "beat" on his videos didn't go have a beer with the guy that evening and were maybe actually his friends?

You could be talking about a typical Aikido practice here.

Charles Hill

Lan Powers
05-25-2004, 10:51 PM
Cool Ken... I would love to see them..thank you for your openness.

George S. Ledyard
05-26-2004, 12:17 AM
Does anyone know where the movie Path Beyond Thought can be obtained or is it out of print. I'd always meant to get that one for my collection.

James Giles
05-26-2004, 01:11 AM
Does anyone know where the movie Path Beyond Thought can be obtained or is it out of print. I'd always meant to get that one for my collection.

I think it might be out of print. I saw one up for auction on Ebay a few weeks ago: a horde of people were bidding on it, and the winner ended up paying a pretty high price for it.

I have seen links on the web that say you can buy the movie from Seagal's website, but I have not had any luck with any of the links.

batemanb
05-26-2004, 04:41 AM
Does anyone know where the movie Path Beyond Thought can be obtained or is it out of print. I'd always meant to get that one for my collection.


Hi George,

You could try here

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/stevenseagal/noname.html

Let us know if you can get one.

rgds

Bryan

Dyusan
05-26-2004, 06:52 AM
:hypno: Daniel, quit the coffee man it will hurt you. Seagal has done many good things for Aikido and many things I would not do. His style of Aikido and what he portrayed in his movies helped bring the art out to a larger group of people. But what he portrays in his movies is not real. They are fun to watch but you can't go around breaking arms and blowing off legs in real life.

john.burn
05-26-2004, 08:05 AM
IMHO, I was very unimpressed with The Path Beyond Thought to the point I gave my copy away! Some of the older footage was interesting but the more recent stuff was... very unimpressive. The way he was speaking to his students was, in my opinion, quite shocking and the students of his on the tape did nothing more than suck up to him saying how good he is and how amazing his Aikido is.

Just my opinion!

George S. Ledyard
06-04-2004, 03:30 AM
Hi George,

You could try here

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/stevenseagal/noname.html

Let us know if you can get one.

rgds

Bryan

Hi Bryan,
I was able to purchase the video with no problems. I have to say, I was very impressed. You don't get to see Seagal's straight Aikido much in his movies. He is quite good. If you look at his arms they are always quite relaxed and his speed is a result of that relaxation.

I was not at all offended by his tone with his students as someone was. I have at times chided my own students with much the same tone. I says "do that and you are dead". It wasn't personally humiliating or degrading, just emphatically letting the person know he needed to change what he was doing or die. Obviously the students at his dojo trained very hard in their day.

Thanks for the info on where to find it!

mrjam2jab
06-04-2004, 11:42 AM
Great...first you guys burst my bubble about the fight scenes in Segal's movies THEN you turn around a ruin the WWE thing for me too... :-)

I think Segal does use actual Aikido, his particular style, but it is embellished thru editing and camera angles to make it more interesting to watch...movie-fu as mentioned before. They probably think they need to do that to get the viewers attention.

James Giles
06-04-2004, 01:53 PM
Hi Bryan,

Thanks for the info on where to find it!

I thank you Bryan as well. And thank you George for letting us know there were no problems with the order. I started to order one from that link before, but for some reason it looked a little risky. I am glad to know its legitmate.

DaveO
06-04-2004, 04:41 PM
But you got to understand in order to apply in the streets or shall i say in reality you really got to get the aggressor mad at you and you got to bring the devil out of them so you could see their energy come out and use this against them.

Erm.....

OK; this is the first time I've ever made a response like this on this forum; God willing it'll be the last, and I'll gladly accept any reprisal but ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?????
You're being attacked - the only use for defensive aikido - and you want to make the guy mad at you? That's not street-savvy, dude; that's freakin' insane!
Sorry; don't mean to be a jerk but you've just brought the combat vet out in full force on this one. :mad: You've been in fights? You're an expert then?
Is your idea to get him so mad he'll throw himself at you? That might work in the schoolyard; but on the street - the real live hairy street; not the cardboard cutout most people think about - that's the easiest recipe for suicide I've ever heard!
Try it if he's armed. Or if he's got friends. Or if he's substantially bigger than you are. Or if he's more experienced than you are. Or if he has any one of a thousand advantages at his disposal.
You want experience? OK - count the scars on my body. I stopped counting some years back when I passed 200. I've got more bones broken than unbroken in my body - passed the 50% mark 2 years ago. I've had 4 deliberate and specific attempts on my life; not including combat - that's a completely different dynamic. There's not a single moment I'm not in pain anymore. I'm alive - there are two confirmed and five probables that aren't because they tried to attack me.
THAT'S what happens when you get people mad at you, son. THAT'S violence. Holy crap; as far as violence goes; I'd rather deal with a fight a hundred times over than any of the examples of real violence I've survived.
And want to know the kicker? This is it - Think the above makes me an expert on the subject? Ir doesn't - far from it. I'm just a guy who lived through a hard job during a seriously tough time. I look to others - who are true experts - for guidance.
Some of them are on this forum.
You want to tell them what 'violence' is all about? Grow up, lad - before your ideas get you killed.

Now; let's look at that statement: "you really got to get the aggressor mad at you..."
Which means; he wasn't before? Which means, you provoked him? Which means you started the fight? Just what kind of aikido are you practicing?
In my experience; aikido is by far the best defensive system I've seen to date. Now I'll grant you; most clubs do not train their people in effective defence; at least none I've been in. (Or rather, one. Not my own.) But then again; most don't develop an attitude of provoking an aggressor in order to 'do aikido' on him. But aikido itself - if the mind is held steady and the concepts learned well - is highly effective against the vast majority of attacks in which a defence can be applied. Segal Sensei's aikido is no doubt excellent; but the stuff shown onscreen is hollywood claptrap. If you think that's an analog of reality; you're in for a major fall.
Aikido is a peaceful art - about restoring order to a chaotic situation. This is not simple mumbo-jumbo spiritualism; it's the very cornerstone of what makes aikido work. First; to keep you away from the situation in the first place. Second, to help defuse the situation without violence. Third, to effect the defence with the minimum energy and force necessary. This is important - if you try to force aikido, if you try to muscle through or use it to achieve a violent end, it will not work on the street.


Rant mode off - I apologize to the forum for my behaviour.

Anders Bjonback
06-05-2004, 02:49 PM
I tried watching one of his movies, Above the Law. His amazing aikido almost made it bearable, but as I was more and more repulsed by it, I ended up turning it off. Just not my kind of movie. But his aikido cool to watch, though. I'd rather watch some sort of instructional video with him demonstrating technique--it sure would be a lot more entertaining for me than his movies.

Peter Seth
06-29-2004, 06:49 AM
I've actually trained with segal and he does have great insight into aikido and practices this and other arts as one, depending on the situation. He does 'Big Man's' aikido as he is a biiig man. 6'5'' with forearms as big as my thighs.
But he definitely has the 'feel' of aikido and has the nous to realise that in practical situations the more you can bring to your defence the better chance you have of surviving.
Actually in my 40+ years in the arts I have found that aikido principles used as a mental and physical art can be used as a 'base' to incorporate any other art as required, for most situations. Ie: Become your attacker, give an opponent nothing to fight, he will therfore only be fighting himself - (hard to do) and this is where other arts can be brought in as backup.

Pete

PS: I found him to be a 'Gentleman', who took time to talk, especially to my 12 year old son who he 'gently' threw to the ground as he explained the principles. A nice man! He wasn't as gentle with me though. Ouch!

JoHo
06-29-2004, 07:52 AM
Dear all
yes it is a kind of mystery Sensei Seagals Aikido.
on the internet i found this link yoav.8m.net/
look for Seagal, there is a huge file of Sensei Seagal. where he train in a Dojo (not a movie clip!)
the quality is not so good but gives a good impression of his Aikido Keiko.

regards
Horst
With the conquest of my mind, I have conquered the whole world

Benjie Lu
08-26-2004, 07:59 PM
You could try this link:

SS Aikido (http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~sws99dsc/rdgaikido/SS_Aikido.mpg)

His aikido is very impressive, I must say... the man is obviously very skilled. I hope the SS bashers take a look at this before saying that he doesn't know aikido...

In aiki,

Aikidoiain
09-15-2004, 06:30 AM
I'm a big a fan of Steven Seagal (we even share the same birthday! 10th April).

I think he's a 7th Dan in Aikido. He has also studied Kenjutsu, Goju Ryu Karate, Kendo etc.

There's tons of Aikido in his films! In fact, I made up a "fight scene collection" edited from his films, so I could view his techniques in slo-mo.

He's the real deal. His on screen presence is AWESOME!

I think he's just great. He was the first non- Asian to open a dojo in Japan. He's well respected in the Aikido community.

Why does everyone keep knocking the guy? He's brought Aikido to the masses - who else has done that?

Iain. :ki: :)

Nick Simpson
09-15-2004, 06:37 AM
"He's brought Aikido to the masses - who else has done that?"

Morihei Ueshiba - aka O'Sensei.

Aikidoiain
09-15-2004, 06:46 AM
Nick - you know that I meant through the movies.

Iain. :ki:

Nick Simpson
09-15-2004, 09:44 AM
Hehehe, sorry Iain, I couldnt resist it ;)

billybob
09-15-2004, 12:31 PM
But what he portrays in his movies is not real. They are fun to watch but you can't go around breaking arms and blowing off legs in real life.

now that's kokyu waza i've never been taught! hahahaha

twice, i have made the mistake of criticizing someone else's sensei ---- and i used to have a straight nose.

billybob

kironin
09-15-2004, 01:08 PM
"He's brought Aikido to the masses - who else has done that?"

Morihei Ueshiba - aka O'Sensei.


More like Koichi Tohei Sensei and many other pioneers in the 1950's and 1960's. People that were on TV and doing large demos and seminars before young Stevie joined a local California dojo after seeing one such demo. In Japan, he did not open a brand new dojo, he ran his first wife's already existing family dojo. Many of the elder Japanese shihan that moved out of their country for paltry pay to slowly grow programs over decades and have in recent years passed away or will in the not too distant future.

But the time Seagal had his flash of movie stardom in the late 80's and early 90's, there were already established schools all over the globe due to the perseverence of many people for the love of this art.

Seagal is a capable Aikidoist, but his role in the history of Aikido past being a fading film star is minimal. My younger students say
Seagal who ? Yet they wouldn't have found aikido if Tohei Sensei had not had a powerful effect on my teacher.

With Hollywood the attention span on any martial art is pretty short. The school down the block open to the masses everyday is not there because of Seagal.

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-15-2004, 05:10 PM
More like Koichi Tohei Sensei and many other pioneers in the 1950's and 1960's. People that were on TV and doing large demos and seminars before young Stevie joined a local California dojo after seeing one such demo. In Japan, he did not open a brand new dojo, he ran his first wife's already existing family dojo. Many of the elder Japanese shihan that moved out of their country for paltry pay to slowly grow programs over decades and have in recent years passed away or will in the not too distant future.

But the time Seagal had his flash of movie stardom in the late 80's and early 90's, there were already established schools all over the globe due to the perseverence of many people for the love of this art.

Seagal is a capable Aikidoist, but his role in the history of Aikido past being a fading film star is minimal. My younger students say
Seagal who ? Yet they wouldn't have found aikido if Tohei Sensei had not had a powerful effect on my teacher.

With Hollywood the attention span on any martial art is pretty short. The school down the block open to the masses everyday is not there because of Seagal.


Um... Yeah.

And they say that all the good a person does is undone with one bold stroke of bad. Tohei Sensei single-handedly broke the Aikido community in half, creating a cavernous rift that has yet to heal to this day. Like him, respect him or not, there is no denying that he went against what his own teacher taught due to the pressure, influence or what have you from the other teachers in his life.

Craig, I don't seem to remember Seagal Sensei forever fracturing the Aikido community, but I'm sure you are about to tell me otherwise... The least you could do from time to time is be fair and balanced. However even the fair and balanced guy from Fox News is a conservative-nazi (read that as nazi for conservatism, not a nazi & conservative...)

AsimHanif
09-15-2004, 08:41 PM
The statement was referring to "the masses" not the aikido community
Tohei Sensei was the first influential instructor to introduce aikido to the U.S and because of him the seed of aikido gradually spread throughout the country but it was still mainly practiced by a very underground sub culture.
With one movie, Seagal Sensei put the word aikido into mainstream society on a global scale.
Seagal Sensei had the advantage of a very powerful medium. They both fulfilled their missions well and it's hard to know right now the impact that Seagal Sensei has had on aikido. I DO know. when I try to describe aikido to the uninitiated I usually say "something like what Steven Seagal does", and people know what I'm talking about. If I drop the name of Koichi Tohei, I would definitely get a blank look.
The statement was referring to "the masses" not the aikido community.

Infamousapa
09-15-2004, 11:57 PM
I've got more bones broken than unbroken in my body - passed the 50% mark 2 years ago.

kironin
09-16-2004, 01:39 AM
More like Koichi Tohei Sensei and many other pioneers in the 1950's and 1960's.

I could have made a long list of teachers. One person has chosen to reply in a barely rational way at a low level that I am not going to go down to.

here is an interesting interview...
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=365

Michael Cardwell
09-16-2004, 02:23 AM
IMHO, I was very unimpressed with The Path Beyond Thought to the point I gave my copy away! Some of the older footage was interesting but the more recent stuff was... very unimpressive. The way he was speaking to his students was, in my opinion, quite shocking and the students of his on the tape did nothing more than suck up to him saying how good he is and how amazing his Aikido is.

Just my opinion!

I quite agree, I had the same reaction to The Path Beyond Thought, Seagul seems to run his dojo more like a army drill Sargent than a aikido instructor. On the other hand I like most of his earlier movies, were he still does aikido, true you have to pick out the aikido from the other Martial arts that he does, but it is cool when you see actual aikido techniques in movies.
I have never trained with Seagul sensei, so I can't say this for sure, but he seems to be confused some times about what martial art he is teaching. His techniques seem to flicker back and forth between aikido, aiki jujutsu and something else. I'm not saying that is wrong for a general self defense class, but it is wrong to call it aikido. Don't hold crap in your hand and call it pudding, aikido is aikido and people need to stop trying to change it into something else. :)

kironin
09-16-2004, 02:23 AM
I DO know. when I try to describe aikido to the uninitiated I usually say "something like what Steven Seagal does", and people know what I'm talking about.



There are plenty of the masses who have seen Seagal's movies who never even heard the word 'aikido' .

and if you say "what Seagal does" , you really think people know what you are talking about ? Are they imagining, wacking people with two halves of a pool stick, filipino knife fight with Tommy Lee Jones, smashing someone's face into a console, posturing in macho bar fights, killing. Just what images are you giving them about aikido ?

the general public at an aikido demonstration can easily get the wrong impression, much less watching a movie that is there for entertainment.


The statement was referring to "the masses" not the aikido community.


okay, and the point ?

are you saying I should care that the movie going masses has seen Seagal use a kotegaishi to throw a guy into a jukebox ? or wipe the floor with a much smaller person like Matsuoka ?
in what movie was some part of a fraction of Aikido as an art or philosophy in any form conveyed while entertaining the masses ?

Aikido community does not exist in a vacuum, it comes from many teachers everyday interacting with the masses. Seagal's impact given his mixed publicity and fading stardom due to his minimal ability to act is really quite questionable.

His impact on those who he trained as an aikido teacher is a separate matter. Respectable, but not on the scale of Yamada, Chiba, Kanai, Tamura, etc. in terms of an impact on the masses that continues.

kironin
09-16-2004, 02:33 AM
If I drop the name ...

why drop any name ?


thinking about what aikido is to you in as few a words as possible as a response can be a useful exercise.

and if you tell them it's what so and so action film star does, they may assume they think they know what it is and ask no more.

PeterR
09-16-2004, 02:44 AM
His techniques seem to flicker back and forth between aikido, aiki jujutsu and something else.

..........

aikido is aikido and people need to stop trying to change it into something else.

Hmmm - and what exactly is Aikido?

Pretty sure you would have issues with what I call Aikido also.

Michael Cardwell
09-16-2004, 05:43 AM
Hmmm - and what exactly is Aikido?

Pretty sure you would have issues with what I call Aikido also.

Perhaps I would, but wither I would or not does not matter. I'm sure that lots of people have sightly different ideas about what aikido is, and how to best practice it. Maybe you should go to the primary source, i.e. Osensei, watch all the video footage of him and read all of his writings, and then ask yourself if your idea of aikido closely resembles his. I should think that would matter to you. Just my thoughts on the matter. :)

AsimHanif
09-16-2004, 10:06 AM
What's wrong Craig? Did I strike a nerve?
I notice that everytime someone makes a statement about the Ki Society that you don't agree with, you take it personally. Why can't we just agree to disagree? As an instructor and mentor of people I would expect better of you. I have great respect for much of what the Ki Society teaches and I try to convey that. But because I get out and experience other methods I don't have blinders on. It is obvious that your statements are based on arrogance and lack of experience. I suggest you get on the mat with people from other styles and experience the diversity of aikido. Not just in the physical but also in the physical and spiritual makeup of each person. I am so happy I got the chance to train with Wolfe Sensei of VKS, who trains in reality. So my commnets are no way a dis' of the Ki Society or Tohei Sensei.
I will not even attempt to explain my comments to you here. I will send you a PM though. I think they are self explanatory to anyone with an open mind. I suggest you go back and re-read them because as usual, you have misquoted statements that were made.

kironin
09-16-2004, 04:03 PM
What's wrong Craig? Did I strike a nerve?

I think you are reading too much into my reply which really didn't have anything to do with Ki Society.

I didn't think your comments in anyway dissed Ki Society and I really don't understand how you read that into to my reply. If everyone agrees to disagree, it would be a pretty inactive forum. I haven't taken anything someone says personally about the Ki Society in a long time so the rest of what you posted is a bit puzzling unless of couse I struck some nerve.

I would suggest you go back and read my replies to you. There is no reference to Ki Society in there.

L. Camejo
09-16-2004, 04:31 PM
and if you tell them it's what so and so action film star does, they may assume they think they know what it is and ask no more.

This is very true, I've experienced this at times when I've used Seagal's name to help explain what Aikido is. These are often during times when I just don't have the time or energy to go into a lengthy explanation as Aikido tends to be a bit different from the typical "it's either Karate or Judo" mindset we tend to have here in the general public. Mostly I refer to the movie Nico where there was actually some Aikido being done in a dojo at the beginning of the movie.

Of course imo, if they can take my 2 line explanation and assume that they know what it is and ask no more, then they either "already know what it is" or probably wouldn't have the patience to find out through training anyway. In either case it's all good, less waste of time and energy on both sides.

I see no problem with folks using Seagal's name to help explain what Aikido is, since imho everyone has a different opinion of exactly what that may be and it ranges from the minor to the extreme. Just train at the level you're supposed to and those who like it will come find out more, those who don't will keep on walking.

LC:ai::ki:

kironin
09-16-2004, 04:45 PM
Of course imo, if they can take my 2 line explanation and assume that they know what it is and ask no more, then they either "already know what it is" or probably wouldn't have the patience to find out through training anyway. In either case it's all good, less waste of time and energy on both sides.
LC:ai::ki:


granted. but you never really know.

now that I think about it,
that's why when someone asks about it, I prefer to invite them to come try a class. I tell them that is the best way.

I think I will drop making any explanation at all from now on. :cool:

oudbruin
09-16-2004, 09:02 PM
Steven seagal is like the samual adams of aikido- prior to his arival , there were only one or two "big" names in aikido. I have to admit I like the guy because we share the same birthday 4-10-51, and he has had the balls to do a lot of things most other people only dream of.
If that makes him a showboater, so what? He's not a bullshitter. He's the real deal.
Because of his films , you can talk about aikido in walla-walla or mahopic and chances are the person you've talked to has seen seagal sensai in a film. Prior to that you had no one showing aikido to john q . public. And what thanks does he get? he's been slamed and accused of being a fraud and worse. I've heard a couple Sensai state that he isn't doing aikido..
Well, I don't see those guys making films and bringing aikido to the public and showing the power of aikido.
I'm most likely going to catch heat for this opinion, but it's my two cents worth.
Bruce

aikido_diver
09-16-2004, 09:39 PM
I would have to agree with Bruce. The reason many of us get into AIkido is because of Steven Seagal. I mean the moves he does for TV looks great but that is what some call "movie fu".

Many people in the Aikido world put him down for his efforts but I say that isnt the real spirit of Aikido. I'd prefer to just work hard in the dojo and forget about politics (the reason I left Wing Chun). However I have watched the 'Path Beyond Thought' - which is a documentary about Steven Seagal's Aikido, granted I'm only a beginner in Aikido, but he still does some pretty good techniques, including Randori!

Well this is just my opinion and I hope we all can just go to the Dojo and forget about such nonesense.

Cheers everybody!

stuartjvnorton
09-16-2004, 10:01 PM
Perhaps I would, but wither I would or not does not matter. I'm sure that lots of people have sightly different ideas about what aikido is, and how to best practice it. Maybe you should go to the primary source, i.e. Osensei, watch all the video footage of him and read all of his writings, and then ask yourself if your idea of aikido closely resembles his. I should think that would matter to you. Just my thoughts on the matter. :)

Oddly enough joining the o'sensei cult doesn't interest me one bit.
My original sensei was a uchi deshi for Shioda kancho & tried to imitate him, until Shioda came to him 1 day & said "Why are you imitating an old man's aikido? You are young."

There's a great quote attributed to Chida sensei (that I'm about to butcher) in Angry White Pyjamas. The students told him they were shaving their heads to get them psyched for their impending grading: "You get your hair cut & think about training. Better to train & think about getting your hair cut."

PeterR
09-17-2004, 12:07 AM
Perhaps I would, but wither I would or not does not matter. I'm sure that lots of people have sightly different ideas about what aikido is, and how to best practice it. Maybe you should go to the primary source, i.e. Osensei, watch all the video footage of him and read all of his writings, and then ask yourself if your idea of aikido closely resembles his. I should think that would matter to you. Just my thoughts on the matter. :)
This is exactly my point. I've already stated on these forums that I am far less impressed by SS than some would like but the fact remains that he was dojo-cho of a Japanese dojo for 15 years. I would think that he would have a far greater idea of what Aikido is about than many. I'm also sure he's watched the footage of Ueshiba M. probably more diligently than I.

It's pretty well impossible for any of us to go to the source but some of us make a huge effort to get as close as we can and that is not a few pieces of celluloid. The physical side of Aikido depends heavily on the age and body type of the individual. SS does some reasonably good big man Aikido - it would be down right silly of him to try and become a kaiso clone.

His job in the movies is action star non Aikido teacher.

kironin
09-17-2004, 03:00 AM
It's pretty well impossible for any of us to go to the source but some of us make a huge effort to get as close as we can and that is not a few pieces of celluloid. The physical side of Aikido depends heavily on the age and body type of the individual. SS does some reasonably good big man Aikido - it would be down right silly of him to try and become a kaiso clone.

His job in the movies is action star not Aikido teacher.

exacto mundo!

Being about his height, I have no problems with his aikido. Some of his non-movie aikido randori that is caught on film is as good as it gets.

His movie career has rewarded him with wealth and fame. I think he will get by if some of us don't care for some things he has done or represents.

It's just a little sad that some are so willing to blow his part in aikido history so way out of proportion.

AsimHanif
09-17-2004, 10:13 AM
I remember many of my friends getting into martial arts because they saw "Enter the Dragon" or "5 Finger of Death". At that time it was all "kuroty" to them. Some of them have gone on and done quite well in various arts. If the name of SS gives someone something to identify with and gets them into the dojo, then maybe over time they will learn something more than what they saw him do on the screen.

Kevin Masters
09-17-2004, 10:41 AM
The reason many of us get into AIkido is because of Steven Seagal. I mean the moves he does for TV looks great but that is what some call "movie fu".

It's kind of the same for me. I really don't like his movies. To me they're kinda dumb. I have fun watching them and laughing at the genre though. However, it was a Steven Segal interview in some MA magazine where I was first exposed to the idea of Aikido. I thought he was an interesting person and he really portrayed the art in a way that made me want to learn more about it.
Shortly after that I saw the Woodstock Aikido "Aikdo is not a Dog" demo and the rest is history.

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-17-2004, 02:12 PM
exacto mundo!

Being about his height, I have no problems with his aikido. Some of his non-movie aikido randori that is caught on film is as good as it gets.

His movie career has rewarded him with wealth and fame. I think he will get by if some of us don't care for some things he has done or represents.

It's just a little sad that some are so willing to blow his part in aikido history so way out of proportion.


Craig,

Thanks for a more well balanced post. Yes, my last was completely off to one side. However, my purpose in posting it was not to make a statement about Tohei Sensei. I mean after all he certainly stands on his own, regardless of what I may think, say, or otherwise. I posted it as a balance to your previous post and others you have made along the way. Nothing personal...

Having read your last post, it immediately brought something to mind that you may not have considered. I hadn't really considered it either until I noticed where you are from. I am from NY. I also spent many years in Los Angeles. In these parts, for obvious reasons, I do believe you will find a disproportionate number of people who actually have been influenced to look into Aikido as compared to perhaps Texas, where you are from. Now it just so happens that when I was in LA, everyone seemed to know about Seagal Sensei when I mentioned that I practiced Aikido. When I came to NY, I made it a point, and still do, never to be the one to mention Steven Seagal Sensei, even though to do so might have some obvious commercial advantages. However, if I had to guess, I would put the percentages at over 90 as to those who when I said Aikido, they would immediately say something about Aikido in relation to Steven Seagal.

Perhaps then it has something to do with where we are. Perhaps both sides may be accurate. It could easily be said that in NY, or Los Angeles he is a bigger part of the general consciousness than in Texas. If this is somewhat accurate, I think you might agree that we may both be on to something.

Lorien Lowe
09-18-2004, 11:34 PM
Every quote I've ever read or heard from people who've actually trained with Seagal Sensei make him sound very impressive in terms of Aikido; if I ever had a chance to attend a seminar by him, I'd jump at it. Otoh, I am totally unimpressed by his movies. For one, I don't think most 'bad guys' are that stupid (unless really, really drunk), and for another, I'm female and can't stand the blatant t&a sans any sort of personality or character.

-Lorien

BKimpel
09-19-2004, 12:56 PM
Heh heh – now I’m gonna get in real trouble for this comment:
Not only was Steven Segal the reason I started Aikido (way back in 1989-1990)…but I actually didn’t even know it was him at the time (cause he was still unknown at the time).

I saw a commercial for Above the Law and said, ‘Holy cow, Bono (from U2) is wiping the floor with some wicked ninja-moves. I gotta get me some of those moves’.

Perhaps the saving grace (so no one will lynch me):
The real reason I started Aikido was because after the Above the Law commercial (didn’t see the movie yet), my dad told me that they actually practiced Aikido at the YMCA I had been taking Karate so I dragged a couple of buddies down to a class the next day.

The sensei noticed quite a large crowd of spectators, and conveniently decided to demonstrate shiho-nage (the full throw from standing position). After uke’s feet whacked the light fixture a few times, we were hooked!

stuartjvnorton
09-19-2004, 09:12 PM
‘Holy cow, Bono (from U2) is wiping the floor with some wicked ninja-moves. I gotta get me some of those moves'.

:D

Funniest thing I've heard in ages!

Chris Li
09-20-2004, 12:54 AM
This is exactly my point. I've already stated on these forums that I am far less impressed by SS than some would like but the fact remains that he was dojo-cho of a Japanese dojo for 15 years. I would think that he would have a far greater idea of what Aikido is about than many.

Not to quibble, but according to "Watashi no Aikido" (published by Seagal's first wife) he became dojo-cho in 1976 - and essentially left for the US starting in 1979, giving a total of 3 years or a little more, not 15.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
09-20-2004, 01:19 AM
Not to quibble, but according to "Watashi no Aikido" (published by Seagal's first wife) he became dojo-cho in 1976 - and essentially left for the US starting in 1979, giving a total of 3 years or a little more, not 15.
Good quible - I stand corrected. Now I wonder where I got the 15 years in Japan from (much less dojo-cho). He arrived in 1970 so that makes 8 or 9 years max training in Japan.

Chris Li
09-20-2004, 01:37 AM
Good quible - I stand corrected. Now I wonder where I got the 15 years in Japan from (much less dojo-cho). He arrived in 1970 so that makes 8 or 9 years max training in Japan.

Again according to the book - Fujitani claims to have met Seagal for the first time in 1974 (she was a san-dan, he was still a 1st kyu) on a trip to California. He went to Japan later on that same year, which gives him around 5 years of time in country.

Best,

Chris

kironin
09-20-2004, 01:44 AM
Perhaps then it has something to do with where we are. Perhaps both sides may be accurate. It could easily be said that in NY, or Los Angeles he is a bigger part of the general consciousness than in Texas. If this is somewhat accurate, I think you might agree that we may both be on to something.

In Texas, it's more likely that they will think it some kind of Karate. Is this aikido anything like what Chuck Norris does ?
;)

It's true. I have only passed through the LA airport and my time spent hanging out in NY was before Seagal made his first movie. I was aware of Aikido when I lived in Boston and it was only after a few years of training in Virginia that I became aware that there was some action film star that was said to have a background in Aikido.

of course we are both just talking about the US.

on other continents ?

I could imagine more connection might be made because Hollywood action films are said to be more translatable because the dialogue is secondary to the action in the story.

PeterR
09-20-2004, 01:44 AM
Interesting stuff - eh?

Now you got me wondering where I got the 1970 date from.

There is an interview (http://www.shambhalasun.com/Archives/Features/1997/Nov97/Seagal.htm) where he says quite clearly that he went to Japan in the late sixties.

Chris Li
09-20-2004, 02:35 AM
Interesting stuff - eh?

Now you got me wondering where I got the 1970 date from.

There is an interview (http://www.shambhalasun.com/Archives/Features/1997/Nov97/Seagal.htm) where he says quite clearly that he went to Japan in the late sixties.

Well, he was born in 1951, so that would have made him pretty young to be travelling around Japan - still it could be true that he visited at that time. Anyway, according to the book he moved to Japan to live in 1974 and married Fujitani in 1975 (this date, at least, seems to be confirmed by his official bio). Also, according to Fujitani he couldn't speak Japanese in 1974 and was still a white belt, so any prior adventures in Japan were probably not that significant.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
09-20-2004, 03:11 AM
Ok my bad - I understand where the 1970 date came from. I'll shut up now.

Aikidoiain
09-20-2004, 04:11 AM
Steven Seagal is great! I'm sure he gets enough flak, so I wish people would just leave him alone!

I've visited his home site and he's a good man. I love his films. Earlier in his career, he worked as a fight choreographer for films, then became a celebrity bodyguard - eventually, one guy he was teaching said that he had so much charisma, that he should be in the movies. I have to agree - his movie presence is simply awesome!

Big Fan.

Iain. :ki: :D

Aikilove
09-20-2004, 06:42 AM
Cris, I can't speak Japanese, and untill recently I was a white belt too, but I can assure you that any trip to the birthplace of Aikido would be very significant to me back then!
I must say that I feel a little uncomfortable reading consistent unfavourable writing from your and others side about someone who recieved 7th dan by the second doshu, regardless of who it is. It's like you have an itch that needs to be scratched, you can't help but enlight us all about your inside (japan) information about these issues. Like hearing old ladies speaking to each other about the barbershop owner next door:

-Did you know, she came from Bangladesh.."Oh!murmurmurmurmurr".. "Yes It's true I heard it from the mother of a frequent customer... she probably didn't even have a proper education either!" "Ohhhh! murmurmurmurmurrrr...!"

Me I have never met S. Seagal, so I wouldn't dream of judging him.Until I do (if I ever), I'm not going to convey anything but respect towards him, as anyone else. I don't have any particular oppinions about him, like most people seem to have. I just find it strange to read this endless negative remarks about an aikido teacher that has recieved nothing but kind words from the second doshu himself.

Chris Li
09-20-2004, 11:45 AM
Cris, I can't speak Japanese, and untill recently I was a white belt too, but I can assure you that any trip to the birthplace of Aikido would be very significant to me back then!
I must say that I feel a little uncomfortable reading consistent unfavourable writing from your and others side about someone who recieved 7th dan by the second doshu, regardless of who it is. It's like you have an itch that needs to be scratched, you can't help but enlight us all about your inside (japan) information about these issues. Like hearing old ladies speaking to each other about the barbershop owner next door:


Have I written something unfavourable? To my knowledge I haven't - not once. All I did was make comments on the factual record. By "not significant" I meant that in all probability he spent no real length of time training or living in Japan before 1974.

In any case, there were at least two child molestors who received high ranks from Kisshomaru doshu, so that alone doesn't confer sainthood.

Best,

Chris

Aikilove
09-21-2004, 02:43 AM
What ever you say Cris.

Aikidoiain
09-21-2004, 05:55 AM
I've been told that in the opening scene in "NICO" (in the dojo) one of the three old Japanese men, nodding their heads' in approval, is Kenji Tomiki.

Is this true?

Iain. :ki: :)

Aikilove
09-21-2004, 08:51 AM
Unless my memory fails me, I think Tomiki sensei died 1979, and the movie was made in the late 80s (1988?). So unless the footage was taken almost a decade before the movie was released, it would be highly unlikely that it was Kenji Tomiki in that scen.

George S. Ledyard
09-21-2004, 11:54 AM
In any case, there were at least two child molestors who received high ranks from Kisshomaru doshu, so that alone doesn't confer sainthood.

Oh Chris,
Say it ain't so...

davidraybell
09-21-2004, 01:22 PM
I don't know about yall, but here in Oklahoma, we don't see a lot of Aikido.

Also, as a mass comm major, the power of mass media has been pounded into our heads from day one. you only get one opportunity to make your point clear. I'll admit that my first class was a college p.e. credit that sounded like a cool class to take. I had no idea what aikido was.

But then I took the class and -- lo and behold -- I'd seen these moves before! Seagal sensei did them in all of his movies! Cool, I get to learn to tear peoples arms off!

But, my sensei taught us that that isn't the way of Aikido. It's the way of harmony. No breaking guys arms off? No shattering people's knees? What about Seagal?

My sensei taught us that aikido is an adaptable art. That while we don't teach to snap peoples arms in two, if uke doesn't stop, you can. Other arts teach violence, but aikido teaches compassion.

That includes not talking bad about someone behind their back.

But what do I know, I'm just a white belt. :D
dave

Chris Li
09-21-2004, 03:41 PM
Oh Chris,
Say it ain't so...

If only it weren't - but then, the two cases I had in mind are fairly common knowledge. There are also other, lesser, instances of sexual harassment and/or abuse by high ranking Aikikai instructors that you come across now and then that are less well known. Now, I'm not saying that this is a common problem, but in any large group of people there are bound to be a few bad apples. My point was simply that the posession of a high rank doesn't mean that somebody ought to be exempt from scrutiny.

Best,

Chris

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-21-2004, 03:53 PM
That includes not talking bad about someone behind their back.

Dave,

I'm not sure how its done in Oklahoma, but here in NY there is a big difference between "not talking bad about someone behind there back..." and "Saying it to their face." With that in mind, would you like to clarify exactly who you were speaking to and what you were trying, but not succeeding in saying in the above quotation...

But what do I know, I'm just a white belt

You may know more than you are letting on. I guess when you answer the question above, we shall all find out. Of course, it could turn out that you know less than you think - but hey, that is why we are all still practicing.

davidraybell
09-21-2004, 05:04 PM
I'm not sure how its done in Oklahoma, but here in NY there is a big difference between "not talking bad about someone behind there back..." and "Saying it to their face." With that in mind, would you like to clarify exactly who you were speaking to and what you were trying, but not succeeding in saying in the above quotation

Apparently, I was off the mark. :blush: Forgive me. I was under the incorrect impression that the thread for the most part was "talking badly" about Seagal Sensei because of the way he practices and puts aikido to use.

I would like to try to clarify my position further. I have always been taught that O-sensei studied many arts and then began to develop aikido based on all of them. Also, that he never stopped learning, or perfecting aikido and that it is never perfect.

As always, please correct me if I am wrong. My sensei taught us that aikido is fluid. That it adapts to the situation. Sometimes a strike (atemi?) is warranted. More often, however, we avoid strikes. "Never meet force with force." He said that aikido is the way of harmony, and sometimes it is more harmonious to do something different, something outside the box so to speak. I hope that I have made things clearer, but I fear I have made them more difficult. So, I will quit while I am only slightly behind. :D

As for my signature, it is an adaptation of a USMC saying:
But, what do I know, I'm only a Lance Corporal.

But, what do I know, I'm only a white belt.
Dave

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-21-2004, 11:56 PM
Apparently, I was off the mark. :blush: Forgive me. I was under the incorrect impression that the thread for the most part was "talking badly" about Seagal Sensei because of the way he practices and puts aikido to use.

Well, some people are talking badly about him, but they cloak their contempt by purporting to simply be enlightening the rest of us with the "facts" as they see them. Typically they are wrong, but hey, that doesn't seem to bother them. For example, judging by some of the "facts" presented here, my teacher began studying with Seagal Sensei while Seagal Sensei was a white belt... Having seen the videos of those trainings myself, sometimes I can't help but to wonder. Of course, when Seagal Sensei supposedly returned, according to these same facts, my teacher would have been studying by himself back in Japan. But hey, they read it in a book written by another pissed off ex-wife - who has nothing to gain by making it seem like Seagal was just a passing influence on the dojo there in Juso. Of course, I could be wrong. See, I didn't read the book.

Last time I checked, Rule number one was, "Believe none of what you hear or read and only half of what you see." But again, perhaps that is just the way it is in NY, and not Oklahoma or Hawaii.

I would like to try to clarify my position further. I have always been taught that O-sensei studied many arts and then began to develop aikido based on all of them. Also, that he never stopped learning, or perfecting aikido and that it is never perfect.

Well, when in doubt, consult rule number one...

As always, please correct me if I am wrong. My sensei taught us that aikido is fluid. That it adapts to the situation. Sometimes a strike (atemi?) is warranted. More often, however, we avoid strikes. "Never meet force with force." He said that aikido is the way of harmony, and sometimes it is more harmonious to do something different, something outside the box so to speak.

I think what you are saying, without saying it, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that what you saw Seagal Sensei do in the movies was outside of the box, according to the harmonious ways of Aikido - right? I would wait for you to concur. However, I think it important to remind you that they were only movies. Seagal Sensei, himself always used to say, "I don't make martial arts films, I make films that have martial arts in them." He also said, "I have never made an Aikido film." However, that never stops all the naysayers, and I have met plenty of them on and off the mat over the years, from complaining that what Seagal Sensei does isn't Aikido. I always ask them if they happened to have trained with him at any point, and they reply, "Well, he doesn't do aikido, so why would I...? I guess that they never heard of rule number one. Go figure.

Aikilove
09-22-2004, 02:34 AM
Hey Shaun, I'm going to NY the first to the 13'th of October, any chance we can hook up? I'll by the first round...

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-22-2004, 02:45 AM
Hey Shaun, I'm going to NY the first to the 13'th of October, any chance we can hook up? I'll by the first round...

Jakob,

If I am in town, there is a good chance. Please write me privately. Thanks.

Chris Li
09-22-2004, 02:54 AM
Well, some people are talking badly about him, but they cloak their contempt by purporting to simply be enlightening the rest of us with the "facts" as they see them. Typically they are wrong, but hey, that doesn't seem to bother them. For example, judging by some of the "facts" presented here, my teacher began studying with Seagal Sensei while Seagal Sensei was a white belt... Having seen the videos of those trainings myself, sometimes I can't help but to wonder. Of course, when Seagal Sensei supposedly returned, according to these same facts, my teacher would have been studying by himself back in Japan. But hey, they read it in a book written by another pissed off ex-wife - who has nothing to gain by making it seem like Seagal was just a passing influence on the dojo there in Juso. Of course, I could be wrong. See, I didn't read the book.

Well, if you have other dates, please feel free to post them. I was very open in stating that all of the dates came out of the book and from nowhere else.

FWIW, http://stevenseagal.com/ (which says that they are the "official site") says:

"Seagal Sensei received his 1st Dan from Koichi Tohei in Orange County in the summer of 1974"

Which is exactly what the book says, and what I stated in the earlier post...

It also says that he left for Japan immediatly after that, which again matches the book.

Since he was born around 1951-2, that seems about right, both for going to Japan, and for being sho-dan.

Now, he married Kelly LeBrock around 1987 and Above the Law came out in 1988 - we know that he had opened a dojo in california some time before that, so the 1979 date can't be so far off. Keep in mind that even the book says that he was in Japan occasionally while pursuing his activities in the US after 1979 - I cited that date since it seems to be more or less the end of his full time residence in Japan.

Once again, I haven't made any negative comments - not one. I've just discussed dates which are part of the public record, so there's really no need to get defensive.

Best,

Chris

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-22-2004, 03:35 AM
Well, if you have other dates, please feel free to post them. I was very open in stating that all of the dates came out of the book and from nowhere else.

FWIW, http://stevenseagal.com/ (which says that they are the "official site") says:

"Seagal Sensei received his 1st Dan from Koichi Tohei in Orange County in the summer of 1974"

Which is exactly what the book says, and what I stated in the earlier post...

It also says that he left for Japan immediatly after that, which again matches the book.

Since he was born around 1951-2, that seems about right, both for going to Japan, and for being sho-dan.

Now, he married Kelly LeBrock around 1987 and Above the Law came out in 1988 - we know that he had opened a dojo in california some time before that, so the 1979 date can't be so far off. Keep in mind that even the book says that he was in Japan occasionally while pursuing his activities in the US after 1979 - I cited that date since it seems to be more or less the end of his full time residence in Japan.

Once again, I haven't made any negative comments - not one. I've just discussed dates which are part of the public record, so there's really no need to get defensive.

Best,

Chris

Um, okay, I'll bite. Just a few thoughts.

1. If Seagal Sensei was born in 1951, how is he 19 in 1974?

2. As for the "official" website. I doubt that Seagal Sensei has even seen it. Most of the information on the Aikido page isn't even close to being correct, while some of it is so out of date, that it has got to be at least 5 years old.

3. If you aren't being offensive then I am not being defensive

4. As for negative comments, that is a matter that depends on one's level of perception. A person simply doesn't have to say anything at all and can still be totally negative. Do you think that I am the only one who happens to notice it? Let's check with our new friend David B...

Chris, I am not taking what you are saying as personal, or against me. I am not offended by your comments, nor do I think that you are being intentionally obtuse about the whole thing. However it would seem more honest if you didn't pretend to not know that others notice your bias... I mean, while we can't tell from your stark profile what your aikido leanings are, you are in Hawaii... Perhaps it is Tohei Sensei's magical "Ki" power that is affecting you, and you really aren't responsible for your own thoughts or comments. Does it really matter?

...about the only thing we know for sure is:

1. he abused alcohol and cocaine
2. he was a petty criminal
3. he was a typical silver-spoon, spoiled, rich kid
4. he owned a baseball team
5. he basically failed at everything that was handed to him
6, 7, 8, 9, & 10.... He lied, he lies, he will lie, he is a liar

....Oops, that's that other guy. Okay I guess, cause no one wants to admit the truth about him, either.

kironin
09-22-2004, 03:41 AM
For example, judging by some of the "facts" presented here, my teacher began studying with Seagal Sensei while Seagal Sensei was a white belt...

I haven't seen the book either but from what was posted here,
the timing did seem a little late from what Chinn Sensei told me in a casual conversation some months ago. He knew Seagal's first aikido teacher very well in California when Seagal was in Chinn Sensei's words "a scrawny but enthusiastic teenager" in the dojo. (Chinn Sensei's been in Aikido for almost 50 years, first Hawaii he started as a teenager under Tohei Sensei, then California)
(OC Aikido (http://www.angelfire.com/ak/ocaikido/dojo.html) )
My recollection is Chinn Sensei described him as having ikkyu before going to Japan in late 60's. He may have done his shodan for Tohei Sensei in California or Japan. Seems more likely that would have happened in California. The conversation really was about other things around that period of time in the late 60's early 70's, but being a white belt in 1974 sounds a bit off.


He also said, "I have never made an Aikido film."

That should give pause to those who like to drop his name as a way of describing what Aikido is by refering to what he does in Hollywood movies.

I have hours of private films of him teaching and demonstating Aikido at seminars. I have practiced with students that practiced in his aikido organization associated with the Tenshin dojo in L.A. I have no doubt he does Aikido. I just have big reservations about telling people who ask about aikido to think about Seagal movies or using his action stardom as some way of legitimizing aikido. I think that is a bit pathetic unless you are under 15.

kironin
09-22-2004, 04:00 AM
... I mean, while we can't tell from your stark profile what your aikido leanings are, you are in Hawaii... Perhaps it is Tohei Sensei's magical "Ki" power that is affecting you, and you really aren't responsible for your own thoughts or comments. Does it really matter?



for the record, Chris is a pretty recent transplant to Hawaii.
From what I have seen him post on Aikido-l and other places over the years, he spent a long time in Japan training often at Aikikai Hombu.

Really Shaun, Hawaii has quite diversity of Aikido even though it's not as large as California. It's quite possible that Chris has never set foot in Ki
Aikido related dojo. Go down and visit Aikikai of Delaware.

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-22-2004, 08:14 AM
That should give pause to those who like to drop his name as a way of describing what Aikido is by refering to what he does in Hollywood movies.

I would agree. There are quite a few angles that can be drawn from it though. He meant that he didn't make a movie about aikido. He also meant that the characters he played were not aikidoka. Therefore, although he used aikido techniques at certain times, there was no implicit need to dress them up in harmonious outer layers.

I have hours of private films of him teaching and demonstrating Aikido at seminars. I have practiced with students that practiced in his aikido organization associated with the Tenshin dojo in L.A. I have no doubt he does Aikido. I just have big reservations about telling people who ask about aikido to think about Seagal movies or using his action stardom as some way of legitimizing aikido. I think that is a bit pathetic unless you are under 15.

I would love to know where the footage originates, and with whom from the old LA dojo you trained. I was the dojo archivist and have all sorts of things that have never made it out to the public. The best videos are in Matsuoka Sensei's possession. Although we got to see them from time to time, copies weren't made. I have no doubt that he was doing aikido nor that we were doing his aikido. While I understand your reservations, I disagree for two reasons. First, there are very few places that you can do to see any "on the street" aikido - pure aikido, as aikido has been adapted, albeit in an inefficient, fragmented manner into many arts due to Seagal Sensei's influence. Second, do you think if Seagal Sensei didn't do aikido he would have been in the movies, or a house hold name? What I mean is, his stardom certainly is based upon his involvement in the art. He went from that scrawny, enthusiastic teenager to a world-renown mega-celebrity. Aikido being his chosen path certainly is legitimized by his transformation and accomplishments. Of course, Aikido doesn't need legitimizing for those who already practice, or are looking to practice. For the naysayers, though, like our friends over at bullshido.com, it may at least give them pause.

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-22-2004, 08:26 AM
for the record, Chris is a pretty recent transplant to Hawaii. From what I have seen him post on Aikido-l and other places over the years, he spent a long time in Japan training often at Aikikai Hombu.

Yes, I do believe he was in Saitama, Japan.

Really Shaun, Hawaii has quite diversity of Aikido even though it's not as large as California. It's quite possible that Chris has never set foot in Ki Aikido related dojo. Go down and visit Aikikai of Delaware.

I didn't think he had been in a Ki society dojo. I was making light of his proximity to Tohei Sensei as a possible reason that he wasn't responsible for his own thoughts or posts. I thought that this was obvious. As for California, I have seen some of the worst Aikido in California, often just blocks away from our old dojo. Ever since we moved out of West Los Angeles, the scene has worsened. Count this as fair warning, "We'll be back!"

AsimHanif
09-22-2004, 10:56 AM
I won't be as diplomatic as Shaun.
You know Craig, you are a bit ridiculous. I was trying to take the high road but I think you really need a re-education.
Your attempt at legitimizing your argument is just silly. You really need to stop trying to make your case by spinning what other people say.

"That should give pause to those who like to drop his name as a way of describing what Aikido is by referring to what he does in Hollywood movies."

Duh...SS saying he hasn't made an Aikido film doesn't mean that he did not do any aikido in his films.

I suppose kicking and punching is not aikido to you but of course you believe in "no touch" throws. Give me a break.

"I just have big reservations about telling people who ask about aikido to think about Seagal movies or using his action stardom as some way of legitimizing aikido. I think that is a bit pathetic unless you are under 15."

Who said his movies legitimize aikido?

I would love to have you come to Harlem, the Bronx, or any other inner city and talk about Ki right from the start. Let's see how many lives you touch if that is your purpose or do you just like to hear your own voice?

Chris Li
09-22-2004, 11:46 AM
Um, okay, I'll bite. Just a few thoughts.

1. If Seagal Sensei was born in 1951, how is he 19 in 1974?


I don't know. Either one date or the other is inaccurate, he didn't go to Japan when he was 19, or he went when he was 19 and still a white belt. As I said before, if you have better information than me why not post it here?

Chris, I am not taking what you are saying as personal, or against me. I am not offended by your comments, nor do I think that you are being intentionally obtuse about the whole thing. However it would seem more honest if you didn't pretend to not know that others notice your bias... I mean, while we can't tell from your stark profile what your aikido leanings are, you are in Hawaii... Perhaps it is Tohei Sensei's magical "Ki" power that is affecting you, and you really aren't responsible for your own thoughts or comments. Does it really matter?

If you look through my posts you'll see that I have discussed and questioned dates and places for many people, including Morihei Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Minoru Mochizuki and others. Am I biased against them as well?

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
09-22-2004, 11:53 AM
for the record, Chris is a pretty recent transplant to Hawaii.
From what I have seen him post on Aikido-l and other places over the years, he spent a long time in Japan training often at Aikikai Hombu.

Basically, yes, although the longest time that I spent going to hombu on a regular basis was in the early 80's. I got tired of the crowds and spent most of the rest of my time in smaller dojo (some Aikikai, some not). Didn't do too much Ki Society, although I got a chance to train with Koretoshi Maruyama when he was still teaching with the Ki Society in Tokyo.

Anyway, still more or less Aikikai in Hawaii :).

Best,

Chris

kironin
09-22-2004, 01:36 PM
I didn't think he had been in a Ki society dojo. I was making light of his proximity to Tohei Sensei as a possible reason that he wasn't responsible for his own thoughts or posts. I thought that this was obvious.

Fine, I guess the humor was lost on me since it wasn't obvious to me that Hawaii is that close to Tochigi prefecture but I guess when you live in NY.

:p

kironin
09-22-2004, 01:54 PM
I would love to have you come to Harlem, the Bronx, or any other inner city and talk about Ki right from the start. Let's see how many lives you touch if that is your purpose or do you just like to hear your own voice?

Okay Asim, give me a date and location ?
My finances are a bit tight, but I will do my best.
I regret I haven't done as much as that sort of thing as I should. You might ask Steve Wolf about the community outreach programs they did at VKS (at least use to when George Simcox Shihan was alive and a driving force there). One of the female teachers as I recall ran a successful program for women inmates at some local prisons. This was focused on Ki training. I remember one of the instructor classes where she described how she went about the training with inmates. I think originally they got in to prison system to train guards but somehow this happened. My memory is vague as it's been quite a while.


Maida Sensei in California is doing something similar at the Santa Rita jail in California...
http://www.kiaikido.org/Workshops.html

Ki Development in the Criminal Justice System

The NCKS offers ki development classes for individuals incarcerated either in jail or juvenile facilities. These sessions provide participants the opportunity to examine their own understanding of power and strength and reconsider the efficacy of anger and tension. Through lecture and participation in ki exercises, breathing and mediation, students experience a new possibility for responding and relating to the stress of incarceration. As one students said, "It's a cool "anger management class."



Santa Rita Jail Personal Responsibility/Ki Development Class
Reading for Life
Reading for Life is a comprehensive pre-release program for low-literacy level students incarcerated in the County jails. Library service and literacy/life skills instruction is provided to the more than 4,000 men and women held in County jails through Jail Services. Reading for Life is designed to increase the literacy skills, self-sufficiency skills, sense of responsibility and self-esteem of its students.

"This class has helped by having more self-control, thinking about things before I act. And also relaxing more. Sensei gives out a lot of good information."

"There have been times when living in small quarters with another man I've tended to be upset, angry even hostile. In a way, this class has helped me to be more calm and patient. Because I realized that he is in there with me also. So what am I doing to irritate him? We have to live with each other so might as well make the best of it."

"The way I use this class is when things happen and I want to flash I find myself stopping and actually catching myself before doing things. Plus, I guess it helps me be more self-conscious. Even though lately I happen to daydream but I'm actually conscious that I¹m daydreaming and see I'm working on it and this class is helping me accomplish that. It also helps me out in arguments on actually avoiding them."

"The things I learn about relaxation and concentration I apply to my life here. It is a remedy that rubs against the rough edges of my mind and body, thus making daily the rough edges smoother and more smoother. Daily these techniques are put into practice for a clearer conscious(ness). My anger is more in control and my choices are more clear."

davidraybell
09-23-2004, 12:58 AM
I think what you are saying, without saying it, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that what you saw Seagal Sensei do in the movies was outside of the box, according to the harmonious ways of Aikido - right?
Yes this is pretty much what I was trying to say. What he does isn't Aikido, but like so many others have said, it includes aikido.

Seagal Sensei, himself always used to say, "I don't make martial arts films, I make films that have martial arts in them." He also said, "I have never made an Aikido film."
So it wouldn't be a stretch to go the next step: "I have never made an Aikido film... I have made a film with Aikido in it..."

Other than that, let me pose the next question. Why do we care if Seagal Sensei is used to give a BASIC idea of what aikido is? Doesn't he use the foundation? Doesn't he use the techniques? Like I said, when I first started Aikido, that is what I expected. I was disappointed that there wasn't any contact like that. I was mad that I was learning this "soft art." But then I was taught about harmony and ki and the whole aikido principle and I'm glad that it isn't that way. In fact that is the reason I keep coming back.

I just came back from practice tonight where we were working on kote gaeshi (spelling?). I was uke and got flipped over my own arm and had to sit out because of the pain. (note I have several pins holding my wrist together) I am certain that some of the moves, no matter how movie fu they look are based in reality.

It's like advertising a Corvette. We talk about how it can do 175 mph and 0-60 in 5 seconds... But we don't teach you to drive it like that. Those are the things that get the average person to come test drive the car. It is up to us, the aikidoka to teach the new guy how to drive.

But what do I know, I'm just a white belt.
Dave

John Boswell
09-24-2004, 02:11 PM
...about the only thing we know for sure is:

1. he abused alcohol and cocaine
2. he was a petty criminal
3. he was a typical silver-spoon, spoiled, rich kid
4. he owned a baseball team
5. he basically failed at everything that was handed to him
6, 7, 8, 9, & 10.... He lied, he lies, he will lie, he is a liar

Are you all still talking about Segal Sensei or Pres. Bush? :D

Okay, that was funny... but seriously, people say anything and everything about famous people. I personally had very little respect for Segal until I saw his video,"Path Beyond Thought" and got to see some of his skill in aikido. True, he's now over weight and a bit full of himself... but the man can back up his talk with his aikido technique. As the chinese would say, his "kung fu" (fighting skill) is excellent!

um... okay. I'm done.

PS: Vote for Dubya! :)

PPS: For those of you wanting to Bush-Bash... don't do it! Jun will get ya!! :p

Aikidoiain
09-24-2004, 02:23 PM
Have you no shame? Steven Seagal is a high ranking Aikido Sensei, and he is not here to defend himself. Some of your allegations are a disgrace to both Sensei Seagal and Aikido. Why don't those who have "put this man on trial", take a look at their own flaws and guilt, before judging another?!

I think it's a disgrace!

Iain. :ki: :(

Chris Li
09-24-2004, 02:55 PM
Okay, that was funny... but seriously, people say anything and everything about famous people. I personally had very little respect for Segal until I saw his video,"Path Beyond Thought" and got to see some of his skill in aikido. True, he's now over weight and a bit full of himself... but the man can back up his talk with his aikido technique. As the chinese would say, his "kung fu" (fighting skill) is excellent!

Despite accusations that I'm somehow biased against Segal, I've always enjoyed watching him do Aikido - he has a clear idea of what he wants to do and executes it well. OTOH, I could have done without all those hero worship sequences on the "Path Beyond Thought".

Best,

Chris

John Boswell
09-24-2004, 03:21 PM
Do what I did, Chris: watch it with the volume OFF. ;)

I'm just here for the Aikido. :D

And Iain, was that last comment directed at me??? I wasn't judging him except for the ego and weight comments. Please note I was quoting someone else. As for what I DID say: A) He's put on a buncha weight! Look at him 15 years ago and compare to now. I'm not lying. And B) He is full of himself to some degree and I'd say it to his face... respectfully! He carries himself in the public eye in a less than humble manner. If you deny that, then you're lying to yourself. But remember to I said he can back it up. Anyone that walks the walk while talking the talk will never hear me just flat out insult them. I don't have to like em, but I won't come right out and say they suck or something. That's just asking for a good demonstration of technique! ;) (I'll pass on taking ukemi from Sensei Segal, thanks!)

MOVING RIGHT ALONG....

PS: Why doesn't Segal Sensei hit the forums once in a while? He could do so under a psudonym. Who'd know?? In fact, I'd love to hear from him and other 7th and 8th dan's on these boards. I think it'd be a great thing!

Lorien Lowe
09-24-2004, 03:59 PM
Has anyone seen the soda pop commercial?
Despite the negative connotation of an aged/down-and-out actor taking on commercials, I actually really liked this one and felt better about Seagal after seeing it. He actually pokes a litte bit of fun at his own ego.
"Yeah, I can't believe it's me either."

-Lorien

AsimHanif
09-24-2004, 04:09 PM
I couldn't agree more Chris.
One thing for sure, his name has an impact. Look at this thread.
As they say, "all press is good press".

dan guthrie
09-24-2004, 09:43 PM
I know I'll hate myself for extending this thread but does Seagal sensei still have a dojo in California? Not necessarily one he teaches at but one claiming his legacy or style?

Eric Cyr
09-29-2004, 02:44 PM
Hi my name is Eric. First let me say what a great honour it is to be able to be part of an Aikido forum and secondly to be able to voice and share an opinion. I am very pleased to make all of your aquantances.

I agree with everything you have all said. I believe Taka Sensei or Steven Segal has done both good and bad things for Aikido however I don't think O'Sensei would agree that what Steven Segal was doing was good for Aikido. Chuck Norris is a very good spokes person for Karate as you probably all agree but you must all realize the negative impact his portrayal of the art in his early movies has influenced peoples perceptions and reasons for taking martial arts.

I think Steven Segal set out to prove a point. Have you guys heard the phrase marsh mello martial arts? I heard many people use this phrase about Aikido before Steven Segal made his appearance on the silver screen. Not any more!

His portrayal of Aikido has however left audience members with a less than appropriate percepetion of what Aikido is. The intent is not to kill!

We all strive to unite ourselves harmoniously with the attacker to defuse and negate his inner demons and bring back balance. The principles of Aikido can be implimented through fisical conflict on the mat or on many other battle grounds i.e. spousel matters or getting a promotion at work. This is easily done with conflict in daily life. If the day came however where you had to save lives by taking lives, your Aikido will look like what Steven Segal does in the movies! I guess the true question is what you percieve as Aikido. There is a big difference between Aikido and Aikijujitsu but it is the intent that is the main difference. The techniques are similar if not the same! When the intent is to win at all cost, you are doing Aikijujitsu, when everyone wins, you are doing Aikido.

Remember that Aikijujitsu came first and also remember that now we have a choice, Thanks to O'Sensei.

shihonage
09-29-2004, 02:58 PM
I know I'll hate myself for extending this thread but does Seagal sensei still have a dojo in California? Not necessarily one he teaches at but one claiming his legacy or style?

There's a dojo in Irvine, California which is being ran by his leading student, Matsuoka Sensei.

Mr. Matsuoka also happened to be the uke in several of Seagal's early films.

akiy
09-29-2004, 03:35 PM
This just in:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040929/new007_1.html

"Steven Seagal now can add "nutritional bar formulator" to a list of talents that already includes veteran actor, singer/songwriter, guitarist, and Aikido black belt. Maintaining an unrelenting schedule that would tire younger entrepreneurs, the 53-year-old Seagal has just completed two movies, "Into the Sun" and "Submerged." His album, Songs from the Crystal Cave, released earlier this year, has already hit the pop charts in Europe."

The article lists his new website at http://www.stevenseagalenterprises.com/...

-- Jun

Aikilove
09-30-2004, 02:20 AM
Jun, I wouldn't call that his new website, so much as a website to promote his products.
There are an unofficial site with great info about Seagal. www.steven-seagal.net i believe.