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 news flash (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2183)

mike lee 07-13-2002 10:35 AM

Steven Seagal news flash
 
On July 12 the New York Times News Service released a story about Steven Seagal quaking in the face of a pair of unarmed gangsters. Read all about it. Excerpts:

Steven Seagal, the action film star cited as a Mafia extortion target, has told investigators that after he stopped working with his longtime producer he was ordered into a car in Brooklyn last year and shuttled to a landmark restaurant where he was threatened by mobsters, officials and lawyers involved in the case say.

He was so intimidated, he recounted, that he agreed to turn over $700,000, although investigators are still trying to trace the money....

In one of the more cinematic moments, people familiar with the case said, Seagal told investigators that in February 2001 he was visiting Nasso and Nasso's brother Vincent, also a reputed Gambino associate, in Brooklyn when he was ordered into a car to accompany both brothers and another reputed Gambino associate later charged in the case, Richard Bondi. After a switching of cars to throw off any pursuers, the journey ended at the Gage & Tollner restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn where Anthony Ciccone, a reputed Gambino captain known as "Sonny," and Primo Cassarino, a reputed family soldier, were waiting in a back room. It was here, people familiar with the case say, that the threat was made.

Not long afterward, people close to the investigation said, a tape recorder in one of the prime bugged locations, Brioso's restaurant in Staten Island picked up Ciccone and Cassarino chortling over scaring Seagal. "They were laughing about it, saying it was right out of the movies and `if we only had guns in our belts, it would be really good,"' said a lawyer who heard the tape.

A month later, Seagal told investigators, he was visited unexpectedly at his home in Los Angeles by Julius Nasso, Ciccone and Cassarino, and that he subsequently paid Ciccone $700,000 through Nasso.

DaveO 07-13-2002 03:03 PM

Well, ignoring for a minute the fact that one can generally discount about 70% of what one reads in the media and that this sounds way too much like Mr. segal's cheesy film plots, I'd like to point out life ain't no movie. While I personally think his films are bloody silly, you don't question the skill of a 7th dan aikidoist. Supposing for a minute (which I don't believe) that everything happened as reported, anyone, Segal included, would be foolhardy to act tough against the Gambinos, Aikido or no Aikido. Black belts do not deflect bullets. If I had his money, I'd probably say 'here -take this 700G' as well.

mike lee 07-14-2002 04:04 AM

His name is spelled S - E - A - G - A - L.

The two "gangsters" were reportedly unarmed.

The "New York Times" is one of the most reputable newspapers in the world.

Xehupatl 07-14-2002 04:18 AM

so?
 
He may have won the battle, but he would lose the war.
So what would it have done for him if he had "beat up" the gangsters? Man violence doesn't solve anything when those guys have powerful friends!

Arianah 07-14-2002 08:07 AM

I agree with Dave. Why is it that people feel that just because this guy makes movies and has a high rank that he is supposed to be superhuman or invincible? It's funny how everyone prints all these stories of him being threatened or hurt by someone, even if they're true, as though simply to degrade him. I have no great love of Steven Seagal, but I don't feel the need to point out every time something happens where he is not quite the "GREAT ASS-KICKING AIKIDO MASTER" that people feel he should be. Maybe he should have just beat them all up; then the problem would surely have been solved (statement made, tongue firmly in cheek.) Many high-ranking aikidoka have no trouble saying that if some mugger wants money, they will hand it over before trying to fight their way out of a given situation. I think that's smart--it may not be as screen-worthy, but you're a lot more likely to live the next day.

Sorry about this little rant. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sarah

mike lee 07-14-2002 08:33 AM

So, even if the stories about Steven Seagal reported in solid news sources are true, the media shouldn't print them because some of us already actually know that he is not really superhuman.

DaveO 07-14-2002 12:44 PM

Mike, what's your point?
From everything I've read about Mr. S-E-A-G-U-L-L (lol - sorry, couldn't help it), in real life he's a warm, caring, smart man, a highly skilled martial artist and a second-rate actor. I respect him, though I'm never likely to meet him. In a situation like this, I'd respect him more for backing down rather than being 'Joe Kill'em all' and beating the tar out of the two 'gangsters'. That's an easy way to get dead quick, if the story is to be believed.
And on that note; the NY Times is indeed a reputable newspaper, but remember newspapers are staffed by people - people with their own ideas and agendas, like anyone else. A newspaper survives by making money, and in order to make money, it must sell papers. To sell papers, it must have stories people want to read, and in today's society, that means a certain amount of senationalism; even in the NYT.

Arianah 07-14-2002 05:51 PM

Quote:

mike lee wrote:
So, even if the stories about Steven Seagal reported in solid news sources are true, the media shouldn't print them because some of us already actually know that he is not really superhuman.

I really don't want to argue about this. I suppose I had a minor problem with this:

Quote:

On July 12 the New York Times News Service released a story about Steven Seagal quaking in the face of a pair of unarmed gangsters.
It seems as though you feel that he should have fought them instead of handing over the money. He's certainly got enough of it, and if he wants to use it to avoid a potentially nasty confrontation (the unarmed gangsters most-likely have armed friends who would hold a grudge), I say that he's probably smart.

It isn't what the media prints, but how it is presented. From your comment above, one would assume that, unless you held some strong feeling one way or the other about Seagal previously, the article influenced your perception of the situation, where you felt that Seagal should not have backed down without a fight. With his movie career and high rank, he has gained a tough, superhero image, and when he doesn't act like one of the characters in his movies, people think that he is a wimp. No matter how much aikido experience I had, I would have handed over the money as well.

I suppose it just sounds to me like you feel that he should have fought his way out of this. What do you think he should have done instead of giving them the money?

Sarah (who wants to make it clear that she is not arguing, merely disagreeing. ;))

batemanb 07-14-2002 08:18 PM

Re: Steven Seagal news flash
 
Quote:

mike lee wrote:
On July 12 the New York Times News Service released a story about Steven Seagal quaking in the face of a pair of unarmed gangsters. Read all about it. Excerpts:

Steven Seagal, the action film star cited as a Mafia extortion target, has told investigators that after he stopped working with his longtime producer he was ordered into a car in Brooklyn last year and shuttled to a landmark restaurant where he was threatened by mobsters, officials and lawyers involved in the case say.

He was so intimidated, he recounted, that he agreed to turn over $700,000, although investigators are still trying to trace the money....

In one of the more cinematic moments, people familiar with the case said, Seagal told investigators that in February 2001 he was visiting Nasso and Nasso's brother Vincent, also a reputed Gambino associate, in Brooklyn when he was ordered into a car to accompany both brothers and another reputed Gambino associate later charged in the case, Richard Bondi. After a switching of cars to throw off any pursuers, the journey ended at the Gage & Tollner restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn where Anthony Ciccone, a reputed Gambino captain known as "Sonny,Eand Primo Cassarino, a reputed family soldier, were waiting in a back room. It was here, people familiar with the case say, that the threat was made.

Not long afterward, people close to the investigation said, a tape recorder in one of the prime bugged locations, Brioso's restaurant in Staten Island picked up Ciccone and Cassarino chortling over scaring Seagal. "They were laughing about it, saying it was right out of the movies and `if we only had guns in our belts, it would be really good,E said a lawyer who heard the tape.

A month later, Seagal told investigators, he was visited unexpectedly at his home in Los Angeles by Julius Nasso, Ciccone and Cassarino, and that he subsequently paid Ciccone $700,000 through Nasso.

The only info I have on this is the quote above, seems to me after reading it, that it is Mike who says "a pair of unarmed gangsters", unless that was in another excerpt not shown above. In the actual excerpts that are printed, the supposed mobsters say "if we only had guns in our belts, it would be really good". That doesn`t mean that they were unarmed, their guns could have been anywhere else on their bodies other than in their waistbands.

Now I am not a big Seagal fan, yes I have seen most of his movies, they are enjoyable hokum, but they are not all that good, and they are only movies. He is an Aikikai 7th Dan, I respect that, I respect every grade in Aikido, whether it`s 1st kyu or 9th Dan. For some reason, everyone seems to think that he is some kind of super master, which means that he should be able to take care of a couple of supposed thugs(bored at work on Friday, I coincidentally found myself going through the message board on his offical website, reading that should give you an indication of this). Get real folks, the movies have a strange way of picturing people larger than life, which is very often different from reality. Unfortunately, when you become famous and in the public eye, you become an open target for all kinds of strange folk, not to mention the press who like nothing better than to build people up before knocking them down. There maybe some truth in the stories about him, I don`t know, nor do I really care. I just find it a shame that everone jumps on the guy (or any other famous person) for what is reported in press, cos` we all know how honest reporters and newspapers are.



Love, light, Joy and Laughter

Bryan

guest1234 07-14-2002 09:39 PM

I think the points made that fighting representatives of a crime family, with or without guns in their waistbands, is not smart was very valid. So, Seagal Sensei is a smart man.

He went to the authorities with that info, so he is an upright man (interesting that he chose to avoid a physical confrontation and chose instead to use the police, someithing I think we've discussed here in the past).

The NY Times (when I read that a few days ago I wondered when it would make it to this site) is a reputible paper...but mistakes are made. A few years ago CNN and some reputible papers made retractions of their original versions of Operation Tailwind. Never believe all of what you read or are told.

I did not notice if the quotes above contained all that was in the article, but it was reported Seagal Sensei is caught between his previous producer and the mob, who like money-making violent movies, and Seagal Sensei's desire to change the message of his movies as it is not in keeping with his Buddhist beliefs and his religious advisors opinions. Given this, you would expect him not to 'beat up' his opponents (with or without guns) if there were a more peaceful solution (a more aiki solution?).

Personally, I think if he did what was reported (turn in Gambino associates to the authorities) it took a lot of courage. He could just pay the men and walk away. What he did protects others less able to pay.

MaylandL 07-15-2002 12:22 AM

Quote:

ca wrote:

...

He went to the authorities with that info, so he is an upright man (interesting that he chose to avoid a physical confrontation and chose instead to use the police, someithing I think we've discussed here in the past).

...

Personally, I think if he did what was reported (turn in Gambino associates to the authorities) it took a lot of courage. He could just pay the men and walk away. What he did protects others less able to pay.

Hear hear...I couldn't have said it better.

All the best for training.

mike lee 07-15-2002 04:03 AM

Quote:

The NY Times (when I read that a few days ago I wondered when it would make it to this site) is a reputible paper...but mistakes are made.
What specific mistakes were made in this "New York Times" news report on Steven Seagal and the mob?

Quote:

one can generally discount about 70% of what one reads in the media
Based on what? I would think that the source would be a major factor, i.e. Which source is more trusted, "Newsweek" or "The National Enquirer?"

Quote:

I just find it a shame that everone jumps on the guy
I seems to me that nearly everone on this thread gives strong support to Steven Seagal. Should we kill the messenger?

:D

Kami 07-15-2002 04:39 AM

Just a small point :
I'm no Seagal fan but I'm not also his "sworn enemy"...
Seagal himself made the fact public, going to the justice and pressing charges against his former associate, declaring he was in league with the mob. He is a famous man, an aikido figure and every thing concerning him, what he says or does, is public domain and interesting for aikidoka and the general public.
Since the beginning of his career, he was involved in hazy stories and many of those were widespread by himself (a non-existent connection with the CIA; his involvement with the Yakuza in Japan; etc...)
I agree I don't see a reason for concerning ourselves so much with him - he's human, he's subject to failures, he should not be a hero figure - but he's in the public eye and subject to a lot of curiosity. Those who have no curiosity, just let it go.
I think that's all.
Best

Bruce Baker 07-15-2002 08:04 AM

Ride with the bad guys
 
I don't know what kind of stories you have seen in the papers, or news compared to what you have personally witnessed or been told about first hand by people on the inside of what is touted to be disorganized crime or the non existent crime familys, but in my short time of exposure in the Atlantic Highlands, NJ, former home of Lucky Luciano, I could tell you stories you wouldn't believe or you would relate to a hundred different movies.

These are not reasonable or sane people, as least in the sense of thinking they are average humble people going about their business of everyday life. They operate by the loopholes within the laws, they push the envelope to shreds if they think they won't be caught, and they consider themselves average working guys who have to do bad things because killing people is part of the game to get ahead. And all of that is just the surface of what is hidden beneath.

Obviously, there were some individuals who thought they should try to extend their own prowess as powerful figureheads, so they invite this guy who is so bad in the movies to dinner, and they push him ... just enough to make him agree and not put up a fight, but enough to stroke their own ego's.

On the other hand, resistence would probably be met with a mugger attack, preceded by a couple of bullets to the legs, or maybe a body which may or may not have been found later?

When you hear stories of people accidentally blowing their heads off while cleaning their shotgun, while on the other hand they are positively living way, way beyond their means ... let's just say, until you are exposed to the insanity of being invited for a ride, you can't judge or make a judgement about any of this.

It just goes to show, that we need to recognized the difference in our ideal hero of the movies, and our ideal hero's in real life.

It is not always the actor, but sometimes you or the people you know who quietly go about making life more sane, more protected without undue restraint, and sometimes they are average, not hero's at all.

I would say, the way Mr. Seagal handled the situation was about as good as it gets with the facts as they were presented.

Choku Tsuki 12-18-2002 01:34 PM

News Update:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Dec18.html

MikeE 12-18-2002 04:20 PM

Okay everyone.

Back on the mat...its time to train again.

:)

Bruce Baker 12-19-2002 07:51 AM

I thought we were on the mat, talking while we were training?

Never mind, my mistake.

Brian Pettit 12-22-2002 01:57 PM

The real point here is somthing that I have always said...

It is not about if he could beat anyone up or not or to "use" his training. It is the fact that he is involved with this type of thing!

He is a HORRIBLE representative for Aikido or any martial arts. The fact that he is a 7th Dan makes it that much worse! His character is the question here! Not about his movies or his ability to kick ass. He is embarrassing to Aikido.

The person is the problem for all of us.

Brian

Mel Barker 12-22-2002 03:33 PM

He's not a problem for me.

diesel 12-22-2002 06:18 PM

Quote:

Brian Pettit wrote:
It is not about if he could beat anyone up or not or to "use" his training. It is the fact that he is involved with this type of thing!

He is a HORRIBLE representative for Aikido or any martial arts. The fact that he is a 7th Dan makes it that much worse! His character is the question here! Not about his movies or his ability to kick ass. He is embarrassing to Aikido.

The person is the problem for all of us.

Brian

Why is he embarrasing to aikido? Do you think the late Doshu Ueshiba would have awarded Seagal sensei his 7th dan in 97 if he thought his aikido was not good or that he was an embarrasment to aikido? No where in his movies does it say "Steven Seagal will be doing aikido in this movie. All aikidoka judge him on this and not his clips of him actually doing aikido at his school."

Why is he such a problem for you?

Many people said the same about Bruce Lee when he started doing movies, jealousy? ego? It's a shame they never trained with him. Some people just do not like others that are successful. So much for ego-less aikidoka.

Cheers,

Eric

mike lee 12-23-2002 04:03 AM

way off base
 
A culture that glorifies graphic violence is a sick culture. It has nothing to do with martial art or aikido.

The old "Kung Fu" TV series was far more instructive in the proper attitude, ways and use of martial arts, and in the proper behavior of a martial artist.

Most films don't even attempt to show the essence of the arts, they just show the crudeness. In the end, there can only be a negative effect on society. This is the stark reality of the situation.

Steven Seagal was in a powerful position to do something about it, but he now appears to be too self-absorbed. I would not consider him to be a good role model or a represetative of aikido. He simply comes across as nothing more than a bully. Ultimately, it's everybody's loss. It's a tremendous waste of talent and a shame.

Roy Dean 12-23-2002 01:41 PM

Mr. Lee,

I find your delight in Seagal's misery disturbing.

Steven Seagal was an inspiration for many Aikidoka to begin training, including myself. He brought aiki techniques to the masses, and people were drawn to the physical potential of the art. Just because what he presented to the general public isn't your ideal representation of Aikido doesn't mean that what he did offer was a disservice.

Would you have not quaked in your boots when confronted by two mafia thugs, Mr. Lee?

Kind Regards,

Roy Dean

mike lee 12-24-2002 02:11 AM

harsh reality
 
Quote:

Just because what he presented to the general public isn't your ideal representation of Aikido doesn't mean that what he did offer was a disservice.
It doesn't have anything to do with my "ideal representation of Aikido," it has to do with the fact that he's a member of Aikikai, and as a high-ranking member of that organization, he, in effect, is a representative of that organization.
Quote:

Would you have not quaked in your boots when confronted by two mafia thugs, Mr. Lee?
I have fought gangsters in the past as many as seven at one time. But that was easy. The most difficult challenge was a 270lb bodyguard who was once on the national judo team. (He now walks with a limp.)

I've also "faced off" with a former professional hockey player. He backed down.

If you don't know how to look death in the face, then you can never really say you're alive.

I didn't have anything to do with Steven Seagal getting himself in a postion of being harassed by gangsters. If you feel "disturbed" by such events, there's not much I can do about it.

opherdonchin 12-24-2002 10:32 AM

Quote:

I have fought gangsters in the past as many as seven at one time. But that was easy. The most difficult challenge was a 270lb bodyguard who was once on the national judo team. (He now walks with a limp.)
Alright, I'll bite. How did you find yourself in situations where these fights were your best alternative?

Williamross77 12-24-2002 11:00 AM

I don't think that any one who knows the way "these types " work would have found roughing them up to any advantage, usually if things don't go their way, a shotgun blast from a dark corner is the way they settle it up. I know of no technique that can avoid that, shot guns are harder to dodge that regular bullets.

About Mr. Lee's fights, I can see how this could happen, I found myself up against 5 guys one night several were boxers, they started it and i finished it, it felt like aiki because they jumped on a friend who knew nothing about fighting, so i had to "protect him", sometimes Aiki is standing up but sometimes being prudent is more so.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:25 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.