Christopher Li wrote:
Of course, many other major figures in Aikido (including Morihei Ueshiba) also have the details of their life and training researched, examined, and questioned on the various internet forums. I don't recall ever seeing an objection in those cases.
I didn't, haven't and doubt that I will ever object to anyone wanting to know anything about Seagal Sensei. What I have said in the past is that I have seen several camps of individuals creating posts about various things over the years. I have categorized them into four distinct groups. I am sure that they won't make anyone really happy, but I am really not concerned with making anyone really happy. People can put themselves into whichever category they like - it really doesn't matter much to me...
1. Ding Dongs - individuals who have an agenda (typically not stated, often not even known to them) which is in some manner of form to denigrate someone whom they do not know.
2. Sincerely interested Ding Dongs - these are people that have no axe to grind, and no agenda, but are merely curious folk who would just like to know. They really don't have anything to gain by knowing, but they waste a tremendous amount of effort bantering about amongst the websites and via private messages between themselves and others from categories 1, 2 & 3.
3. Other Senseis who don't see themselves in categories 1 & 2 - The truth is if I had a dollar for every time I was present when someone of self-importance said something completely inaccurate about Seagal Sensei to their students either in front of a class or at a major seminar, well... I would have a few dollars, wouldn't I? This is either in regards to his history or his technical base. I get a good chuckle, which is always good for me, right up until the time when they demonstrate something that is supposed to compare to Seagal Sensei's techniques, using specific things which have come to light over the years -- things that we have disseminated via seminars that now other sensei's have adopted into their own repertoire. Now I am all for that, and have no complaints about that at all. However when it doesn't really compare, and is full of openings that one could drive a truck through, well, the chuckling stops there. That says nothing for the countless times I have read things over and over and over about Seagal Sensei that are totally untrue, things I have gone out to specifically correct, only to see the same individuals post the same nonsense over and over and over. But after all, they are Sensei with a capital "S" so let's not argue with emů
4. Those who want to know, to improve themselves, their students and their aikido - The one thing I can say about Seagal Sensei during the years I was at Tenshin Dojo is this; If you had a question he would answer it to the best of your ability to understand it. He left you with much to think about, usually in deep reflection of yourself and your path. That is why I always say to those in any of the first three categories if you really want to know ask him directly. Seagal Sensei is not that hard to reach at all. I haven't seen him or contacted him in any manner in years, but I am sure I could get in touch with someone who would see him in the next 24-48 hours and could get a message to him, should I have something important enough to cause me to do as such.
In all the years that people have posted their best and worst on internet message boards... I have yet to hear of one aikidoka who has done just that. That doesn't mean that there have not been those who have tried, it just means that they found themselves relegated to one of the first three categories, and that really isn't a loss to anyone but them.