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Old 08-05-2006, 09:59 AM   #34
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
Re: Steven Seagal Interview

It was late 1988. I had received orders to Kadena AB, Okinawa Japan. It was the last movie my wife and I saw before moving. It was Above the Law. I was absolutely FASCINATED! I had trained in various martial arts prior to this, but this aikido stuff really caught my eye. After the movie, I told my wife; "If I get the chance while we're in Okinawa, I'm going to learn that art." A little after moving there, I heard about an American teaching aikido on the base. Went to the dojo and met the instructor, a young man by the name of Michael Veltri. We use to lay the tatami mats out on the concrete floor. A little firm but made good ukemi skills. My children would sometimes accompany me and alternate between playing on the "cool" equipment that was in the gym, and watching aikido practice, mostly they played though. Soon after, I met Yamaguchi Sensei. Words cannot describe this man. He communicated on a level much deeper than words. I will forever be thankful for having the opportunity to learn aikido from him. Yamaguchi Sensei and aikido have enriched my life so very much.
As I see it, if Steven Seagal did nothing more than lead me to Yamaguchi Sensei, that is enough for me.
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