AikiWeb Aikido Forums

AikiWeb Aikido Forums (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/index.php)
-   General (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1)
-   -   Steven Seagal and Aikido, your thoughts (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3236)

john2226 01-09-2003 10:17 PM

Steven Seagal and Aikido, your thoughts
 
First off yes im a Seagal fan:p That being said. I hear many people say his Aikido isnt "real". What do they mean by this?I know the Aikido he does in movies is not the Aikido we do. He seems to improvise and have almost his own style. Last I heard he was 7th Degree Dan. That is a very high rank. I think that deserves some respect. How many of us will attain that rank. I have also heard he is one of the highest ranked Westerners in Aikido. Is this true? Why do people say he is not an Aikidoka? Is it just personal opinion? Thanks for you're thoughts.

MikeE 01-10-2003 12:22 AM

I have been on the mat with Seagal Sensei, and taken ukemi from him.

What he does is very much real. One of his influences (and the person that recommended him for nanadan) is Isoyama Hiroshi Shihan who is know for is powerful technique.

Seagal Sensei is real.

I still wish Isoyama Shihan would have made it to the Aiki-Expo. I would love to take ukemi for him, or at least watched.

Ta Kung 01-10-2003 02:12 AM

I don't know about his Aikido, but his acting sure does suck. Sorry, I couldn't resist... :)

/Patrik

Edward 01-10-2003 02:47 AM

Well, he has never been nominated for an oscar, but I don't think he's any better or worse than other MA actors, past and present, such as Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Jet Lee, Jackie Chan, or even Arnold Schwarzenegger. They all have one thing in common: their acting sucks!

I have no doubt however that his aikido must be very good.

paul keessen 01-10-2003 03:42 AM

His acting sucks indeed.

And for an aikidoka is talks very dirty!

Ofcourse his aikido looks very nice, but we should all remeber the true meaning of aikido!

greetz

paul

PeterR 01-10-2003 04:13 AM

And that is?
Quote:

paul keessen wrote:
Ofcourse his aikido looks very nice, but we should all remeber the true meaning of aikido!


peteswann 01-10-2003 05:55 AM

[quote="paul keessen"]And for an aikidoka is talks very dirty!/QUOTE]

Could you explain this please? Am unsure what you mean by it!! :D

Pete

Ta Kung 01-10-2003 06:45 AM

Maybe he said wiener a few times more then he should have? :)

/Patrik

PS. My little cousin (5 years old) said that his ponytail is to tight, and he wairs it that way because it makes his eyes look like he was from China... strange girl, she is. :)

Tim Harley 01-10-2003 07:20 AM

"or even Arnold Schwarzenegger. They all have one thing in common: their acting sucks!"

Oh, you just broke my heart! Arnold is one of my all-time favs! OK, I must admit, he isn't the greatest actor, but I love the flicks!

:D

Anyway, from what I understand, Steven Seagal's Aikido is real. Last I was aware of, he operates two schools, one in CA and the other in Japan. And those who have had the opportunity to train with him (as has been stated) can tell you that he knows what he is doing.

We need to be careful in judging someone's ability by what Hollywood portrays.

Peace.

peteswann 01-10-2003 08:49 AM

[quote="Tim HarleyWe need to be careful in judging someone's ability by what Hollywood portrays.[/QUOTE]
Well said!! Although I remember seeing a web site that had a write up of a Seminar conducted by Seagal Sensei in France (IIRC) and it was all a bit pants according to this person!!

Seagal was late arriving, rambled for ages about spiritual stuff whilst on the stage wearing one of his shiny spangly jackets and showed them almost no Aikido at all!!

That said, it still doesn't mean his Aikido isn't any good, just that his ego AT THAT TIME must have been colossal to think that was what people wanted!!

There is talk in the media of another court case involving Seagal and the 'mob' - where he has gone to court over them using threats and extortion on him. Some would say that oh, he knows Aikido etc why doesn't he just do what he does in his films etc? Hell, I think he is doing the right thing by not getting in to that type of confrontation with them!! Surely avoiding the conflict is more Aiki...

:D :D :D

Aikilove 01-10-2003 10:02 AM

Quote:

What he does is very much real. One of his influences (and the person that recommended him for nanadan) is Isoyama Hiroshi Shihan who is know for is powerful technique.

Seagal Sensei is real.

I still wish Isoyama Shihan would have made it to the Aiki-Expo. I would love to take ukemi for him, or at least watched.
Isoyama is a great teacher and a good man, and if he thinks highly of Seagal sensei as a person and as an aikidoka then I think he has a reason fo it.

On a more personal note, I happen to have a contact with Seagal sensei, and I think he's a great man.

diesel 01-10-2003 10:17 AM

Quote:

Pete Swann (peteswann) wrote:
Seagal was late arriving, rambled for ages about spiritual stuff whilst on the stage wearing one of his shiny spangly jackets and showed them almost no Aikido at all!!

You also need to take into account that Seagal sensei is very high in the buddhist community. He is recognized as some reincarnated llama. Therefor spirituality means alot to him, quite possibly more then his aikido...

Eric

peteswann 01-10-2003 10:35 AM

It may well be, however I believe (from what I remember reading!) that he was there for an Aikido seminar rather than a Buddhist retreat!! :D

That said, I don't have any problem with him at all!! I kinda like his films and can separate that from 'realtiy'!! Unless I actually get to meet the guy I will reserve judgement in that respect! He must have had a modicum of talent in Aikido for his teachers to give him his grade, AND allow him to run the Family (of his 1st wife I think) dojo!!

Love him or hate him I can't believe someone can get to where he is on BS alone!!

I'd quite like to see proper video of him demonstrating technique rather than film clips!! :D

Tim Harley 01-10-2003 10:37 AM

[/quote]
Surely avoiding the conflict is more Aiki...

:D :D :D[/quote]
That sure is easy to lose sight of, isn't it?!

;)

Peace.

Jeff Tibbetts 01-10-2003 10:41 AM

Hmmİİİ I wasn't going to get into this thread, but now that Buddhism is brought into it I can't help itİ I've heard that he is a devout Buddhist as well, which is fineİ I heard that he also makes a point to wear his Buddhist prayer beads in all of his movies, also greatİ The one thing I have a hard time reconciling is that one of the prime t goals of Buddhism is to extinguish the EGO, the selfİ I'm sorry, but everything I hear about Seagal-san is that he thinks very much of himselfİ His ego would seem to me and many others to be a great hindrance to accepting his Spirituality as trueİ If this isn't true, I think that it is careless of him to have let his public image reflect that, and in all honesty I don't see how it would reflect that on such a scale as it does if there were no truth to itİ Anyone who comes off as macho and self-centered as he does has to then fight a battle to show people how Spiritual he is, and it doesn't help if he's wearing some "shiny spangly jacket" while he's talkingİ Of course, I think the issue is more with what he projects in the media and through his own actions than what he really thinks, how could anyone know that unless they knew himİ As for his Aikido, I just wish he'd use it in his movies, that's allİ I for one am sick of people asking wether I can do all that stuff that he does in the movies :¤

peteswann 01-10-2003 10:55 AM

Just side tracking away from the subject a little (not much honest!!) check out www.tantobeak.com and the cartoon stories in their gallery!! (Start at the beginning!!)

diesel 01-10-2003 10:55 AM

Quote:

Jeff Tibbetts wrote:
Hmmİİİ I wasn't going to get into this thread, but now that Buddhism is brought into it I can't help itİ I've heard that he is a devout Buddhist as well, which is fineİ I heard that he also makes a point to wear his Buddhist prayer beads in all of his movies, also greatİ The one thing I have a hard time reconciling is that one of the prime t goals of Buddhism is to extinguish the EGO, the selfİ I'm sorry, but everything I hear about Seagal-san is that he thinks very much of himselfİ His ego would seem to me and many others to be a great hindrance to accepting his Spirituality as trueİ If this isn't true, I think that it is careless of him to have let his public image reflect that, and in all honesty I don't see how it would reflect that on such a scale as it does if there were no truth to itİ Anyone who comes off as macho and self-centered as he does has to then fight a battle to show people how Spiritual he is, and it doesn't help if he's wearing some "shiny spangly jacket" while he's talkingİ Of course, I think the issue is more with what he projects in the media and through his own actions than what he really thinks, how could anyone know that unless they knew himİ As for his Aikido, I just wish he'd use it in his movies, that's allİ I for one am sick of people asking wether I can do all that stuff that he does in the movies :¤

Since you want to delve into the topic of buddhism.

The Buddhist doctrine of egolessness is what I think you are referring to. Alot of westerners confuse buddhist ego with what is commonly referred to as the Fruedian ego. The Buddhist ego is a collection of mental events classified into five categories, called skandhas...roughly: confusion, identification, exploration, perception, and finally consciousness.

Now aikido and ego is a completely different topic.

As for aikido in his movies... From my understanding he is no longer allowed to use his students as uke's and stuntment just cannot take ukemi for him ( if you watch above the law and his earlier movies, nice aikido). Therefore he has to resort to moviedo.

:circle: :square: :triangle:

Eric

Choku Tsuki 01-10-2003 12:02 PM

Reality Check
 
Steven Seagal is just a person who:
  • has generated a lot of interest in aikido as a public figure;
  • is not a good role model; but from what I have read he is trying to change this perception of him;
  • will never win an Oscar, but I think he tries very hard to be a good actor;
  • has technique that looks to be very strong.

All around, there is a lot to be learned from him.

--Chuck

john2226 01-10-2003 12:30 PM

thanks for all the replies. Interesting viewpoints from everyone here.

Don_Modesto 01-10-2003 12:51 PM

[quote="Pete Swann (peteswannThere is talk in the media of another court case involving Seagal and the 'mob' - where he has gone to court over them using threats and extortion on him.[/QUOTE]More interesting to me is the talk of HIS threats. It seems that some of his people have attempted to intimidate reporters using threats and vandalism.

norman telford 01-10-2003 12:55 PM

hi people has anyone seen his training video PATH BEYOND THOUGHT he isnt acting in that you cant judge seagals aikido by what you see in his movies(its seeing these movies that got me into a dojo in the first place so i owe him a very large thank you) movies arent real the aikido is more like dance as its all choreographed get hold of the prieviously mentioned training video and then say is is not worthy its worth watching for the dan grade test (by his students) alone truly awsome p.s. i agree his acting is a bit dodgy but why to people go to see his movies for the acting or the aikido :)

Philippe(Schpk) 01-10-2003 01:48 PM

Quote:

Pete Swann (peteswann) wrote:
Although I remember seeing a web site that had a write up of a Seminar conducted by Seagal Sensei in France (IIRC) and it was all a bit pants according to this person!!

This one? http://perso.wanadoo.fr/a.a.d/

(you need to understand french, of course).

I was there in June 1999...

peteswann 01-13-2003 02:42 AM

Not sure Philippe!! The account of it I read was in English!! My French is extremely rusty, as I guess most English folks is if they didn't carry it on past their second year in Secondary / Grammar school!! :O)

AikiRooster 01-15-2003 12:50 AM

Seagal Sensei.
 
In my humble opinion, folks that bad mouth Seagal Sensei do so usually out of pure jealousy.

As a true fan of the sir however, I do feel obligated to point out that it is does seem odd with all the charges flying around against the mafia and mafia types by him through the FBI. Granted the media sucks and hate him for whatever reason and they will never print a stroy with the truth about him. However, as aikidoka or students of any style with aiki principles, I don't think it's proper anybody bad mouth a legitimate Sensei authenticated by a legitimate organization. So, unless the sir does something really stupid like commit a priestlike felony, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Also, about his Aikido, I don't understand how anyone that truly knows anything at all about him can deny it's realness, authenticity, whatever you want a call it.

Leave the sir alone, and show your worthy of sharing the aiki spirit which means to back up your fellow aiki like their your family because in essence, they are.

SeiserL 01-15-2003 09:02 AM

I have seen some of his seminar tapes, and his technical looked very good. IMHO, nothing brings more attention to something than those who critize it. Do not worry about Seagal's Aikido, get back to the mat and train your own.

Until again,

Lynn

Michael Brown 01-15-2003 09:23 AM

Hi John,

Seagal came to our dojo, Aikido of San Jose (CA), for a seminar in 1990. There was a great deal of training. He shared some pretty interesting stuff. I am just glad I was never his routine crash-test uke...

Best regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale 01-15-2003 10:30 AM

Hello Mr. Nelson,

Just to give an opposing viewpoint (I personally have nothing for or against the man).

We are talking about someone whose personal life is quite bizarre (the news reports of it anyway) and someone who has either spread misinformation about himself or allowed it to go unchallenged. As far as his aikido, I think the tapes I have seen of him in an earlier time were excellent...and he also seems to have many excellent ex-students, so he did at one time perform and teach what would seem to be excellent aikido.

But in terms of what I would look for in an instructor, I'd be more interested in what a smaller person could teach me about handling larger people than what a big man could teach me about handling mostly smaller people. If that makes any sense. I guess an overall sense of balance (in his personal life and in the discussions about him) would be the perspective that I would look for.

Ron (hey, none of us is perfect) Tisdale

DGLinden 01-15-2003 12:17 PM

I trained for a weekend with Steve when he was a sandan and I was a nidan. If he has grown incrementally he is one of the toughest and smoothest big guys around. He is deceptively long and strong. As a big guy myself, I was impressed, I've also had a few of his students come to my dojo and train and they are excellant.

As a person? Who can judge the public person who is not there in his shoes? He is trying to sell movies. Of his arrrogance though, there is no question although none of this was the question. Hi Don.

Don_Modesto 01-15-2003 02:23 PM

Re: Seagal Sensei.
 
Quote:

Timothy Nelson (Mr.Rooster) wrote:
In my humble opinion, folks that bad mouth Seagal Sensei do so usually out of pure jealousy.

DJM: The Joseph McCarthy argument: "The real problem is with those disagreeing with my viewpoint..."

As a true fan of the sir however,

DJM: "True fan"--echoes of "true believer"...

Granted the media sucks and hate him for whatever reason

DJM: There are reasons. A true fan might prefer plucking out their eye to seeing them. From: http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/pro...ven_seagal.htm

Ned Zeman writes in the October 2002 issue of Vanity Fair: "Seagal's film career is in a death spiral thanks in part to his vile, simian behaviour toward colleagues, women, employees and reporters - not to mention his serial dissembling, his dime-store theology and his all-round vulgarism."

and they will never print a stroy with the truth about him.

DJM: A tautology? IE, if it's not good, it's not the truth? Hmm...

However, as aikidoka or students of any style with aiki principles, I don't think it's proper anybody bad mouth a legitimate Sensei authenticated by a legitimate organization.

DJM: With the caveat: "Without good reason." There are reasons.

So, unless the sir does something really stupid like commit a priestlike felony, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

DJM: Done. He's settled out of court on sexuall harrassment charges and according the the website above, is a bigamist.

Also, about his Aikido, I don't understand how anyone that truly knows anything at all about him can deny it's realness, authenticity, whatever you want a call it.

DJM: I've only heard good things about his aikido. Brings to mind Ellis Amdur's post on lineage where he says he's known too many good practitioners who were bad people...

Hi, Dan.

Erik 01-15-2003 02:58 PM

Quote:

Michael Brown wrote:
Hi John,

Seagal came to our dojo, Aikido of San Jose (CA), for a seminar in 1990. There was a great deal of training. He shared some pretty interesting stuff. I am just glad I was never his routine crash-test uke...

Saw that one myself. He had skill and others who knew him around these parts confirm that. Plus, you have to admire someone who decides to do something then goes and does it the way he has.

Alas, there is the rest of it.

Talon 01-15-2003 03:35 PM

Thats some pretty diturbing articles about Steven Segal.

by the way is this true ?

"NY Post: The [Vanity Fair] piece raises questions about Seagal's prowess as a martial artist, recounting how stuntman Gene LeBell once choked Seagal unconscious during an aikido demonstration, and how Seagal ducked a bout with champion black belt Bob Wall, who promised to rip off his head and defecate down his neck"

If segal is a 7th Dan and some stund guy chokes him out. It makes me wonder either about his rank or the effectiveness of Aikid in general.

No disrespect by any means its just disturbing to me being a student of Aikido.

Thoughts on the matter?

Ron Tisdale 01-15-2003 03:47 PM

Ok, calling Judo Gene Lebell "some stunt guy" is your first mistake. He'd be likely to choke most guys half his age out. In seconds.

Your second mistake is pinning your commitment to your training on the outcome of ***one*** other person in a situation which you didn't witness, and likely don't understand. Exactly **why** would you do that?

Ron Tisdale

Talon 01-15-2003 04:10 PM

like I mentioned before. I did not want my post to come off as I believe all that I read on some web page or have any negative connottation towards Segul Sensei. You are absolutely right that I should not call Judo Gene Labell "some stunt guy" . unfortunately the article that Iread on the above mentioned web site did not mention that Gene Labell had any martial arts background and I personally obviusly did not do sufficient research on the man to get information on his martial arts background.

To answer one of your statements, I do not pin my commitment to my training on the outcome of that one situation I didnt witness. I love Aikido and I dont think I will ever stop training or exploring it till I die.

Please accept my deepest appologies if I have offended you personally or anyone on this board by my post. It was not my intention dto do so. I just wanted to hear some comments from people who I consider the authority on the art instead of the reporters who wrote the articles.

I sincerely thank you for your answer to my post as it enlightened me for one on the martial atrs training of Gene Labell of which I was not aware of.

Paul

Talon 01-15-2003 04:13 PM

Please forgive my dislexia when typing and poor proofing prior to posting.

Paul

Mark Barlow 01-15-2003 04:13 PM

I've been fortunate enough to train with Gene LeBell several times over the last 12 years and have been choked out by Judo Gene twice. Trust me, no one who has been on the mat with him feels it is a disgrace to be choked out by the best in the business. Even though Gene Sensei is in his late 60's, his speed and technique is the match for just about anyone.

Talon 01-15-2003 04:28 PM

This is starting to make alot more sense to me now. Thank you for educating me on the matter of Gene LeBell. I knew that there would be a logical explanation to this aspect of the article.

Of course if Segal Sensei did not expect that level of skill from an oponent, he may have been at dissadvantage as well.

AikiRooster 01-15-2003 05:59 PM

LeBell Sensei.
 
Sensei LeBell is very interesting and I have always been a fan of his also.

www.genelebell.com:

:ai: :ki: :do:

Don_Modesto 01-15-2003 10:10 PM

Quote:

Paul Nowicki (Talon) wrote:
by the way is this true ?

"NY Post: The [Vanity Fair] piece raises questions about Seagal's prowess as a martial artist, recounting how stuntman Gene LeBell once choked Seagal unconscious during an aikido demonstration, and how Seagal ducked a bout with champion black belt Bob Wall, who promised to rip off his head and defecate down his neck"

Regardless of LeBell's famous talents, I've heard that both he and Seagal deny that it happened. This story keeps going around, though. Don't know about the Wall thing. That was news to me, too.

AikiRooster 01-15-2003 11:52 PM

Unfortuantely true.
 
The Bob Wall incident was true. It wasn't just him though. The so-called dirty dozen wanted to fight Seagal supposedly for some bad remarks Seagal made about Chuck Norris when Seagal first became a movie dude.

DGLinden 01-16-2003 07:34 AM

Paul,

You have touched upon one of the great myths of Aikido - that all of its Senseis are unbeatable martial masters. Truth be told, most of them could not last a single round with a modestly tained boxer from a no-name gym.

Sorry, its the truth. The two things which are never spoken are that it takes so many years to get any good at this art that you find yourself old before you are really competant. The second is that most Sensei are not cross trained with good offensive technique.

Lets take the first - There just aren't any pro sportmen over the age of 40 (other than golfers). Timing, speed, strength - they fade and all the Aikido training won't replace the ravages of time. I know most of the Sensei out there actually believe that they can cause some 25 year old to fly over his hand just by waving it in the air but the truth is in the white belts, isn't it? We do learn an amazing amount of wondrous body mechanics that we then apply to motion and balance and thereby execute 'majic'. But face it - we really like our specially trained ukes...

As for the second - As Aikido teachers we are really limited as to our ability to deliver a body or head breaking strike simply because the average Sensei does not do any work on heavy bags or makiwara. Those who do have a real advantage and may actually be able to defend themselves from a trained attacker. Anyone who has seen a boxer take a solid left hook to the head from someone like Foreman or Ali, or Tyson - and keep fighting - should realize that we mere mortals live in a completely different world from this. And believe it, they could hit even the best Aikidoka.

Against an untrained attacker, well, Aikido is just fine.

The really important thing to consider when dealing with high ranked instructors in not their ability to stop Miker Tyson, but rather their ability to deliver the necessary lessons to the class and make it understandable. A good teacher is like a good coach - the knowledge is there, but the body has begun to fail. Paul , don't mythologize Aikido Teachers, they are rarely able to live up to thier own press. And I include myself.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:25 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.