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Old 10-19-2005, 04:36 AM   #26
ad_adrian
 
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

i recently bought
bujutsu
internationsl magazine
australiasia's number 1 martial arts magazine
and on the front it says
shihan steven seagal talks aikido
september/october 2005.
and it has that exact interview in it
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:44 AM   #27
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

A long time ago, there was an article in Vanity Fair magazine. Steven Seagal was actually on the cover of this issue. The title of the article was "Black Belt, White Lies."
I don't have a copy of the magazine any longer. It was an in-depth article, very well researched as far as I could tell.

According to the information on their website, Vanity Fair back issues only go back to 1999, for back issues before this date they recommend going to a chiropractor (!)

For those who are interested, if it were possible to find this issue, it would give a perspective on the subject of Mr. Seagal's aikido history. The writers took much of what is being discussed here in this forum, and really worked on uncovering what they could regarding these subjects.

There was also an article written shortly after the first interview that appeared in Black Belt magazine with Mr. Seagal. This was shortly after the first of his movies was released. This article was a follow-up interview, with explanations by him when asked about his training under O-Sensei. The journalists asked questions regarding the chronology that is the basis of much of the debate.
Has anyone else read this article?

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:47 AM   #28
aikidoc
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Haven't read the article. However, looking at Seagal's birthdate and when he was awarded shodan (1974 summer by Tohei-I don't know if that means he was tested by him) the chronology would seem to be unlikely he ever saw O'Sensei. O'Sensei died in 1969, Seagal was only 18 at that time and I'm not even sure if he was practicing Aikido. He received his black belt 5 years later so if he was practicing, usually 4 years to shodan, it is likely early in his training. More probably, he was with Fumio Demura around that time doing karate. I don't know what rank he was with Demura if any. I did see Demura demonstrate at the Japanese Deer Park in the early 70s and don't recall any non-Japanese. I don't remember when that was however. I believe I was in the military or slightly out (after 1972) so he was probably already been involved in aikido. I do recall it was before I started aikido which was around 1973-4 (I was working on my bachelors at that time). I know the Ki Society had split from the aikikai since I trained with Ki Society initially. My instructor was under Tohei and a godan (Masao Shoji) -I was training at the Torrance YMCA and Clarence Chinn I think had the Gardena group. We did do some training with the Gardena group but I don't recall any with the Orange County group. There was not a lot of Aikido around at the time.

My impression would be given the chronology, Seagal likely saw O'Sensei on tape. Unless, he went to Japan with Demura and happened to see O'Sensei demonstrate then. Seagal's birthday is in April so in 1969 he would have been just out of high school or in it at 18. In 1974 he would have been 23. So him owning his own dojo at 22 as I have seen in one post is likely inaccurate.
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:55 AM   #29
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

I remember Mr.Seagal's reply to the question regarding the chronology in the Black Belt magazine article was something in the way of that, although he hadn't actually met or trained with O-Sensei, when he saw him on film and read his words, he felt as if he were speaking with him. This was in reference to the original interview in which Mr. Seagal spoke as if he had had direct communications with O-Sensei.



Ethan Weisgard
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:22 PM   #30
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
Ethan Weisgard wrote:
I remember Mr.Seagal's reply to the question regarding the chronology in the Black Belt magazine article was something in the way of that, although he hadn't actually met or trained with O-Sensei, when he saw him on film and read his words, he felt as if he were speaking with him. This was in reference to the original interview in which Mr. Seagal spoke as if he had had direct communications with O-Sensei.



Ethan Weisgard
Without in any way questioning Seagal sensei's Aikido, which I happen to think is pretty top notch, I would point out that there is a pattern to his renditions of his background.

He likes to characterize his background in hazy terms and portrays himself as the guy who learned "off the beaten track" so to speak. He implied early on that he had seen O-Sensei and then trained with the old guys who had trained O-Sensei. Well, O-sensei was dead before he could train with him and O-sensei's teachers wer dead along time before that.

He did the same thing with his "special ops" background which was easier to do as the CIA makes it a policy never to confirm or deny whether someone had any association with him.

Now, if you read his current self description about how he learned to be a "bluesman" it was at the knees of the old black Blues Men in Detroit. Now I am not saying that this is impossible, but we can account for his teen whereabouts in CA. So when exactly did he learn the Blues at the feet of the old Detroit legends? It was my impression that the urban blues scene is largely centered on certain clubs in which the players congregate and play til the wee hours, often jamming with each other after the clubs officially close. The guys who do this tend to be night owls... you don't see them much during the day. So how did some young white kid manage to hang with that crowd? If it was before his Aikido days, he would have been too young to even set foot in those places, much less hang around till the wee hours. Anyway, it's just a pattern that he likes to characterize hismelf as having had some special connection with the "guys who know" that other folks haven't had.

I don't question either his bluesmanship or his Aikido but his ability to self promote is unassailable I think.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:42 PM   #31
aikidoc
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Without in any way questioning Seagal sensei's Aikido, which I happen to think is pretty top notch, I would point out that there is a pattern to his renditions of his background.

He likes to characterize his background in hazy terms and portrays himself as the guy who learned "off the beaten track" so to speak. He implied early on that he had seen O-Sensei and then trained with the old guys who had trained O-Sensei. Well, O-sensei was dead before he could train with him and O-sensei's teachers wer dead along time before that.

He did the same thing with his "special ops" background which was easier to do as the CIA makes it a policy never to confirm or deny whether someone had any association with him.

Now, if you read his current self description about how he learned to be a "bluesman" it was at the knees of the old black Blues Men in Detroit. Now I am not saying that this is impossible, but we can account for his teen whereabouts in CA. So when exactly did he learn the Blues at the feet of the old Detroit legends? It was my impression that the urban blues scene is largely centered on certain clubs in which the players congregate and play til the wee hours, often jamming with each other after the clubs officially close. The guys who do this tend to be night owls... you don't see them much during the day. So how did some young white kid manage to hang with that crowd? If it was before his Aikido days, he would have been too young to even set foot in those places, much less hang around till the wee hours. Anyway, it's just a pattern that he likes to characterize hismelf as having had some special connection with the "guys who know" that other folks haven't had.

I don't question either his bluesmanship or his Aikido but his ability to self promote is unassailable I think.
And don't forgett the controversy around the tulku designation.

I don't think anyone questions the quality of his aikido. I don't know about his musical talents-never heard him. The little bit he did in the Fire Down Below did not stoke me to go out and buy an album. He is very good at vague or non-verifiable information about his background and misleading information-perhaps that is why there is mystique with him. I guess the blues thing is why he now taking on a street language persona-tries to talk like a blues person.
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:44 AM   #32
siwilson
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Good Ol' Stevie Segal had just turned 18 (born on 10 April 1952) when O'Sensei died (26 April 1969) and had just turned 12 when Sokaku Takeda died (25 April 1943).

So you can see how much training he must have had with them.

Osu!
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Old 08-05-2006, 05:47 AM   #33
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

I don't think Segal is claiming he trained with O'Sensei:

Quote:
Q: And your experience with 0-sensei?

Sensei: I have very little experience with 0-sensei. I was able to see him several times. I've seen him speak. I was very close to his spiritual teachers and I still am. I think I was the only white person to ever go exactly in the footsteps of 0-sensei in terms'of his mystical training. I became a priest in O'moto Kyo and went to all the aesthetic training with the priest that 0-sensei was raised with. I never really knew him. I never got to butt heads with him on the mat or was thrown around by him or anything else.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:59 AM   #34
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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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Old 08-07-2006, 06:53 AM   #35
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

i didn't even know Seagal practiced Aikido when i started.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:30 PM   #36
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

I learned alot from this interview and if one keeps on the topic of Seagal Sensei in the context of his Aikido, then he is truly an ambassador of the art and very knowledgeable.
As far as his personal claims and his media spotlighted life goes, I would just caution that one should look in one's own closet before judging the man and keep on the subject of Aikido.

Self-discipline is the chief element of self-esteem; and self-esteem the chief element of courage. Thucydides
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:41 AM   #37
Michael Fitzgerald
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
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...
.
hmm, yes, I think I might be a sincerely interested ding dong. nice ring to it *pun*

BTW Shaun, is that a tongue in cheek sign off line at the bottom of your post?
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:26 AM   #38
Sy Labthavikul
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Zombie thread rises from the grave.


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Old 01-14-2010, 01:32 PM   #39
aikishihan
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

I have met Steven Seagal Shihan several times over the years, beginning in Harry Ishisaka Sensei's dojo in Westminster in 1973.

He has always impressed me as a caring, and focused instructor, who cares deeply of the Aikido he espouses, and for the students he teaches.

He has demonstrated his genuine love and respect for the Aikido of the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, consistently and unconditionally.

His methods, and explanations are for others to ponder.

For me, he is a first class martial artist, a sincere and genuine devotee of Ueshiba Aiki, and a Sensei well worth the time to study and train with.

Last edited by aikishihan : 01-14-2010 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:35 PM   #40
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

I don't know how true this is, but I read in an interview with Steven Seagal that he claimed seeing Ueshiba M, do an aikido demonstration at a football game halftime show when he was a kid (I think this was supposed to have happened in Michigan). I'm not sure if Ueshiba ever traveled to mainland US.

I heard a rumor that Seagal received his shodan from Toyoda sensei. I might be misremembering...maybe the person meant he received his shodan at Tenshinkan Dojo...not sure.

Not too sure on the veracity of these statements, but there ya go anyway.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:34 PM   #41
Fred Little
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote: View Post
I don't know how true this is, but I read in an interview with Steven Seagal that he claimed seeing Ueshiba M, do an aikido demonstration at a football game halftime show when he was a kid (I think this was supposed to have happened in Michigan). I'm not sure if Ueshiba ever traveled to mainland US.
Quote:
Q: What master(s) did you study under?

Sensei: I was in and out of Japan as a youth and saw Tohei Sensei when he was still with Hombu Dojo. I studied with numerous teachers who you don't know and never heard of; from Isoyama Sensei to Abe Sensei. Just a bunch of people most of who are dead
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8343

Quote:
Not too sure on the veracity of these statements, but there ya go anyway.
If you're not too sure on the veracity of these statements, why go there at all?

(In the old days, when mastodons roamed the prairies and steppes and humans were making a pact with the devil to serve him on this earth if only he would free us from the tyranny of megafauna, we called that "a rhetorical question." Now that we have replaced the megafauna that preceded us with super highways, parking lots and clouds of data that allow us to externalize our memories we have no time for any characterization longer than "snark." Can there be any surer sign that we have entered into the fourth turn of the wheel, the time called Kali-yuga?)

FL

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Old 01-14-2010, 08:57 PM   #42
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8343

If you're not too sure on the veracity of these statements, why go there at all?

(In the old days, when mastodons roamed the prairies and steppes and humans were making a pact with the devil to serve him on this earth if only he would free us from the tyranny of megafauna, we called that "a rhetorical question." Now that we have replaced the megafauna that preceded us with super highways, parking lots and clouds of data that allow us to externalize our memories we have no time for any characterization longer than "snark." Can there be any surer sign that we have entered into the fourth turn of the wheel, the time called Kali-yuga?)

FL
Oh Fred,You are so elitist... expecting that someone have something to say before he says it.

It's like the posts that start with , "I don't know much about this...." That's the signal to stop right there to my way of thinking but I have been told that this isn't very democratic because only a few people actually know much about a given subject. If everyone else had to keep quiet then most folks couldn't participate. What about the folks that don't know very much about anything? They'd never be able to say anything!

So I think that old farts like us need to change our thinking and be more inclusive. Why limit ones posts to what actually knows when there is so much more that can be said about what doesn't know? Those of us who spend so much time trying to think of something to post would have an almost unlimited supply of topics... Participation on the forums would explode! Jun could become the King of the Internet... and everything would be so much more egalitarian. But then Stan Pranin might go out of business because no one would have to spend all that time and money reading all the material he has taken so many years collecting because it wouldn't be necessary any more to actually know something before writing about it. Oh well, all power to the people!
- George

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:06 AM   #43
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
. If everyone else had to keep quiet then most folks couldn't participate. What about the folks that don't know very much about anything? They'd never be able to say anything!
Ah, No...they could actually ask questions and then LISTEN to the answers!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:40 AM   #44
Fred Little
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ah, No...they could actually ask questions and then LISTEN to the answers!

Best,
Ron
Ron,

On reflection, I'm trying to take George's words to heart and be more understanding, which forces me to concede that in tough times like these, a lot of folks are so broke they can't even pay attention.

Here's to better times!

Best,

Fred

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Old 01-15-2010, 12:41 PM   #45
David Board
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8343

If you're not too sure on the veracity of these statements, why go there at all?

(In the old days, when mastodons roamed the prairies and steppes and humans were making a pact with the devil to serve him on this earth if only he would free us from the tyranny of megafauna, we called that "a rhetorical question." Now that we have replaced the megafauna that preceded us with super highways, parking lots and clouds of data that allow us to externalize our memories we have no time for any characterization longer than "snark." Can there be any surer sign that we have entered into the fourth turn of the wheel, the time called Kali-yuga?)

FL
I am here to say, that is Hearsay heresy!! If we can't say what we thought we heard to the herd why are we here, say you?

[Sorry, I just enjoyed writing that. It adds nothing to the conversation and I should have refrained.]
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:34 PM   #46
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Steven Seagal Interview

Nah, what's aikiweb without a widdle fun?
B,
R

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