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Old 01-21-2004, 02:31 PM   #1
Zulk
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Some interesting news on Steven Seagal.

Hi everyone,
I was just looking for information in google on Steven Seagal, i found some interesting but also potentially disturbing news here in this link http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal...gal/index.html.

What do you guys think ?


Zulk
 
Old 01-21-2004, 07:06 PM   #2
Amassus
 
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Great article.

It just reinforces what I think about Steven Seagal I'm afraid.

IMO he is a very poor role-model for aikidoka but I will not dwell on that. There are plenty of threads around here that will argue the pros and cons of Mr Seagal.

A friend of mine told me what he thought of aikido before I took it up and explained its philosophy to him. When he heard it was known as a gentle art, he scoffed at it. His only association with the art had been what he had saw of Seagal and of another fellow that left my club many years ago because he was refused his black belt due to poor attitude. As far as my friend knew, it was all about the harsh techniques and taunting your opponents into fighting.

Now he knows what I train for (and for me, technique and self defence are secondary...attitude is first), and is aware that aikido is a whole approach to life, not just techniques. He has a different appreciation for the art now.

It troubles me that his first impression was very different, due to one action star.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
 
Old 01-21-2004, 08:41 PM   #3
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Old news.

Don't worry about it.

Get back to training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
 
Old 01-21-2004, 09:08 PM   #4
DarkShodan
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Bad apple in every bunch

Yeah, it is old news. Too bad. Honestly Seagal was my inspiration to start Aikido. Way back in the "Above the Law" days I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, and still to this day. Then Seagal started getting weird! I finally found a school in my town and remembering the old days of Seagal I joined immediately. Best thing I have ever done in my life! I would like to say thanks to Master Seagal for getting me started in Aikido, but dude, you have issues!

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
 
Old 01-22-2004, 01:32 AM   #5
indomaresa
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wow

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
 
Old 01-22-2004, 06:13 AM   #6
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Lynn Seiser (SeiserL) wrote:
Get back to training.
Nods, nods and nods again.

Darn, please someone turn that into as sig as we need to see it more often

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
 
Old 01-22-2004, 02:18 PM   #7
morex
 
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Hmmm it seems that it is old news indeed, but think Master Segal should get back to training himself.

Morex
ICQ 25185640

"Truth is the only casualty of war"
Marathon
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Old 01-22-2004, 03:00 PM   #8
shihonage
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Re: Great article.

Quote:
Dean Suter (Amassus) wrote:
A friend of mine told me what he thought of aikido before I took it up and explained its philosophy to him. When he heard it was known as a gentle art, he scoffed at it. His only association with the art had been what he had saw of Seagal and of another fellow that left my club many years ago because he was refused his black belt due to poor attitude. As far as my friend knew, it was all about the harsh techniques and taunting your opponents into fighting.
Seagal did nothing else but show exactly how Aikido can be applied to real-life attacks.

He did not make anything "harsher" than it had to be, he simply "blended" with the attacks in a manner that was necessary to make techniques work with these attacks.

I'm sure, if he was being attacked by an old lady with an umbrella, he would've "blended" with the attack in a way which resembles YOUR vision of Aikido more closely.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 03:30 PM   #9
Amassus
 
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Aleksey said,

"Seagal did nothing else but show exactly how Aikido can be applied to real-life attacks.

He did not make anything "harsher" than it had to be, he simply "blended" with the attacks in a manner that was necessary to make techniques work with these attacks."

Hmm...does that include actually taunting people to attack him. I admit that aikido can be harsh but what I am really talking about is the attitude and situation in which he uses the techniques.

Anyway, this topic is for another thread. Sorry to have brought it up.

I agree, Lynn, back to training.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
 
Old 01-22-2004, 03:38 PM   #10
shihonage
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Quote:
Dean Suter (Amassus) wrote:
Hmm...does that include actually taunting people to attack him. I admit that aikido can be harsh but what I am really talking about is the attitude and situation in which he uses the techniques.
Using the attacker's "macho I'm a tough guy" attitude to trap his mindset and to be able to summon his attack at will, is actually a common strategy recommended by self-defense instructors.

Its much easier to deal with a right hook when you can summon it on command.

A self-defense expert, Peyton Quinn (who is by the way a big fan of Aikido), writes about using exactly the same approach in his books on self-defense.

I believe that particular book can be found here.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 03:52 PM   #11
Amassus
 
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That is interesting Aleksey.

Makes sense now that you mention it.

Unfortunately, this friend of mine didn't think much of the guy at the time.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
 
Old 01-22-2004, 04:31 PM   #12
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Great article.

Quote:
Dean Suter (Amassus) wrote:
It just reinforces what I think about Steven Seagal I'm afraid.

A friend of mine told me what he thought of aikido before I took it up and explained its philosophy to him. When he heard it was known as a gentle art, he scoffed at it. His only association with the art had been what he had saw of Seagal and of another fellow that left my club many years ago because he was refused his black belt due to poor attitude. As far as my friend knew, it was all about the harsh techniques and taunting your opponents into fighting.

Now he knows what I train for (and for me, technique and self defense are secondary...attitude is first), and is aware that aikido is a whole approach to life, not just techniques. He has a different appreciation for the art now.

It troubles me that his first impression was very different, due to one action star.
Your friend has some interesting associative tendencies. As a former student of Seagal Sensei's, I can repeat a few of the things we heard often

1. "...I do not make aikido movies. As a matter of fact, I don't even make martial arts movies. Yes, I am a martial artist and the characters use martial arts in the movie, but the movie, itself, is not about martial arts. Martial arts is simply a vehicle that moves the plot along."

He said many times that viewers misunderstood the motivation he had in making movies. He did not want to make "Martial Arts movies, per se. He compared this aspect of his movies to the Manchurian Candidate, when two of the characters have a very serious fight where they used martial arts. Interesting enough, one of those actors appears in Seagal's Above the Law scene, as the main antagonist. I think he was silently paying tribute, but that is my own opinion.

2. Seagal Sensei was very different with his students from what you may have read or seen in any movie. He was very quiet and humble off the mat, answering as many questions that we could muster up. He was also bigger than life on the mat. Just what the doctor ordered, if I may, again, offer my own opinion.

3. It is interesting that you mention a student's poor attitude when not receiving his shodan. Seagal Sensei failed just about everyone that I ever saw take the test, usually more than once, some even four and five times over several years. The most deserving seemed to never get it at all. Somehow he just new that is what would make each of them stronger. Almost everyone made it, and only those too week to stick it out left before reaching shodan, many years later.
Again, just what the doctor ordered. for what you read in the paper... I like to remember the saying, "Believe none of what you read and only half of what you see."

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 01-22-2004 at 04:35 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 05:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for your input Shaun, very enlightening.

I guess you must get fed up with having to defend your teacher time and again.

I have seen many threads about Mr Seagal and no doubt you have seen far more than I.

Good on you for speaking up.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
 
Old 01-23-2004, 07:56 AM   #14
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Re: Re: Great article.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
Your friend has some interesting associative tendencies. As a former student of Seagal Sensei's, I can repeat a few of the things we heard often...

3. It is interesting that you mention a student's poor attitude when not receiving his shodan. Seagal Sensei failed just about everyone that I ever saw take the test, usually more than once, some even four and five times over several years. The most deserving seemed to never get it at all. Somehow he just new that is what would make each of them stronger. Almost everyone made it, and only those too week to stick it out left before reaching shodan, many years later.

...."
He didn't happen to charge those same people again and again for testing for shodan again and again, did he ?
 
Old 01-23-2004, 08:38 AM   #15
vanstretch
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you know john, its interesting and colorful to say that, but so what if Take Sensei did or does? Do you have an issue with a rich guy getting richer? the last time i checked, America is a capitalist society, and so more power to him. PS- if you were just kidding then sorry to go deep on ya. later.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 09:40 AM   #16
Fred Little
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Re: Re: Re: Great article.

Quote:
John Hogan (Hogan) wrote:
He didn't happen to charge those same people again and again for testing for shodan again and again, did he ?
It is interesting to see the way in which the nominal fees charged for testing in aikido dojo so often lead to such questions as this, which seem to implicitly suggest some venality on the part of a particular school or organization.

In my experience (which does not include Shaun's old home dojo), kyu and dan testing fees are generally not treated as testing fees, but as certificate fees, and there is a great difference between the two. The former is a fee paid for the privilege of testing, the latter, a fee paid for issuance of the appropriate certificates following successful (by whatever criteria in place in the particular dojo) testing.

The bulk of the fees associated with dan testing go directly to the appropriate Hombu dojo in most circumstances of which I am aware and do not generate significant income for the students' home dojo. In this situation, those fees are certificate and yudansha passport production fees, not testing fees, per se.

My own perspective on such issues is strongly conditioned by my work as a university administrator. Naturally, students expect to receive their diploma at the time of graduation. At universities which charge a graduation fee, if a student applies for graduation from a degree program for a particular semester, but for some reason does not complete his or her program of study, that fee must be paid in every semester for which the student has applied for graduation.

Why? Because there is a cost associated with production of the diploma. The diploma is a legal document and in many cases a professional credential which must accurately reflect the date of completion of program of study and conferral of the degree.

If a student applies for graduation, a document must be produced. If a student fails to graduate, that first diploma must be destroyed and a new diploma must be produced. The fee is not a "graduation fee," it is a "certificate production fee."

The truth is that the fees associated with aikido training, even in the priciest dojo, are considerably lower than the costs usually associated with playing tennis, golf, or racquetball; taking classes in yoga, dance, tea, or massage; or going out to the movies a couple of times a week once you throw in popcorn and a soda.

In every dojo I've encountered, ways have been found to assist students with genuinely difficult economic circumstances. But in those same dojo, I've encountered a number of individuals who are happy to bitch about monthly dues and testing fees while knocking a cold one or four that they've bought without complaint by the bottle at the local watering hole for 3 or 4 times retail by the six.

The disconnect here is fairly obvious.

In the organization with which I am affiliated, I've seen only one increase in annual dues and kyu testing fees in the last
twenty years. Notably, those increases occurred not because of a top-down decision, but because of a strong push from yudansha who are involved in local dojo management and aware of the costs (as much in time as in materials) associated with management of membership rolls and certificate production. But none of them will see a dime from the increase. Moreover, the increases that were put into place by the organization's shihan were significantly lower than those recommended by dojo managers.

In dojo where there is a local "testing" fee in addition to the "certificate" fee, even that income is nominal when considered against the time required of the instructor to supervise the examinations, deal with the paperwork, and so forth. A differential local fee of ten dollars and a day of ten tests generates only $100. If the tests are only 15 minutes each, that's 2.5 hours. Paperwork is likely to be another 2.5 hours. If those times extend further to a total of 6 hours, even if the instructor pockets the money, that puts the range at somewhere around $15-20/hour. That's what a Salvadoran day laborer in my area makes.

In the case at hand, the difference in order of magnitude between Mr. Seagal's earnings from his movies during the period Shaun has referenced and his earnings (if any) from running a dojo is so huge as to make the question ludicrous.

Maybe somebody, somewhere, really is gouging students on testing fees. But I haven't encountered that someone yet.

Your mileage may vary,

Fred Little
 
Old 01-23-2004, 03:55 PM   #17
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Re: Re: Great article.

Quote:
John Hogan (Hogan) wrote:
He didn't happen to charge those same people again and again for testing for shodan again and again, did he ?
Mr. Hogan,

While I think the question is very disrespectful, insinuating that Seagal Sensei ran his dojo with any impropriety, and thus not deserving of an answer, the answer itself does tell a bit more of the story, shedding light on the character of the Dojo. There was never any charge for any student to take a dan test. The only fees that were collected were the ones forwarded to the Aikikai for passing the test. Please be clearer when asking questions that could be taken in a way that indicates a lack of respect. Of course, if you are trying to be disrespectful, make a statement that clearly says what you think, rather than ask a backhanded question hoping that people may notice. My hope is that you were not actually meaning to be disrespectful, and are simply guilty of a poor choice of words.

So there you have it.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 04:14 PM   #18
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
Mr. Hogan,...So there you have it.
Wow - such much quick judgment. Calling my question "...very disrespectful, insinuating that Seagal Sensei ran his dojo with any impropriety,...". Asking me to "Please be clearer when asking questions that could be taken in a way that indicates a lack of respect....". Saying my question was asked as a "...backhanded question hoping that people may notice...". And saying that my question was "...simply...a poor choice of words".

I asked a simple question, and all you needed to do was answer very simply. Must this simple answer of yours: "There was never any charge for any student to take a dan test. The only fees that were collected were the ones forwarded to the Aikikai for passing the test" be wrapped in the middle of a really defensive answer ?

You, Fred and Daniel, and all other Seagal fans/students, need to chill.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 04:45 PM   #19
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article.

Quote:
John Hogan (Hogan) wrote:
Wow - such much quick judgment. Calling my question "...very disrespectful, insinuating that Seagal Sensei ran his dojo with any impropriety,...". Asking me to "Please be clearer when asking questions that could be taken in a way that indicates a lack of respect....". Saying my question was asked as a "...backhanded question hoping that people may notice...". And saying that my question was "...simply...a poor choice of words".

I asked a simple question, and all you needed to do was answer very simply. Must this simple answer of yours: "There was never any charge for any student to take a dan test. The only fees that were collected were the ones forwarded to the Aikikai for passing the test" be wrapped in the middle of a really defensive answer ?

You, Fred and Daniel, and all other Seagal fans/students, need to chill.

Personally, I did not like the tone of your original question; so much so, that I was only going to post saying it did not deserve a reply. However, following my own recommendation, I made the statement that it seemed off, as off as your follow-up. You did not merely ask a "simple" question, or you would have received a simple answer. I had not read anyone else's reply before I posted. It appears that I am not the only one who fettered out the poor intent from your question. Again, your follow up indicates something like and axe, or a chip, but not having made a clear statement in either post, I am really not sure what you are indicating. Yes, I did get the part about "Chill." If you new me, then you would understand, this is Chill for me. As for being defensive, do not mistake a polite setting aside of your offensiveness, as such. I provided clarity where you deliberately set out to cloud the truth with what now seems more likley some ill feelings towards someone you don't know. Worse, your poorly worded question (giving you what may be left of any benefit of the doubt) insinuated that the dojo that my teacher ran was somehow squeezing money from its core students.

If I inadvertently insinuated that you, your family, or your dojo did as much, I would hope you would set the record straight. If I had intentionally done so, then I would expect you to put me in my place while setting the record straight.

Your inability to deal with what came at you as a direct result of your own actions is a clear indication of what is wrong with society today. Be responsible for your actions. Don't blame it on another, like a child does when confronted.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 05:12 PM   #20
vanstretch
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I believe everything I read and anything anybody says to me too! Yeah, and this includes tv, radio ads and anything else! I am a professional victim and blame everyone for my woes and shortcommings, and if I cant do a technique correctly, its the other guys fault=all the time, and I will try to sue you too if easily offended, I am free of blame and everyone owes me. life is so unfair, I think I'll eat some worms!! hehehehehe grow up John.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 05:46 PM   #21
Fred Little
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Great article.

Quote:
John Hogan (Hogan) wrote:
You, Fred and Daniel, and all other Seagal fans/students, need to chill.
With all due respect John, please note that I am neither a fan nor a student of Mr. Seagal; there is ample publicly available digitally archived evidence of that easily accessible to anyone who cares to look for it.

But I have had the pleasure of training with a number of individuals who studied with the man, and was pleasantly surprised by the seriousness of their practice.

As for the simplicity of your question.....methinks thou doth protest too much. It is true that net-speech doesn't allow for a great many non-verbal cues that we usually use to assess tone and maybe, just maybe, Shaun and I both missed something.

Your original question, with the particular phrase "he didn't happen to etc....." certainly seems to carry an insinuation. But as someone who basically writes for a living, perhaps my expectation that the writer is responsible not only for what is stated, but also for what might be implied, is too harsh a standard for application to your post. My bad.

Shaun certainly doesn't need me to carry his water, and I was reacting, as I initially said, to the broader implication of your question, variations on which I have heard while talking face to face on many, many occasions.

While I've seen a fair range of antics and misbehavior over the years, I've yet to encounter an aikido dojo running on the "belts for bucks" business model, either with exorbitant fees for examinations, or with re-examinations. That was my point.

If you or a friend has been burned by a McDojo belt mill of the kind found in many suburban strip malls, that is regrettable, you have my condolences, and I can well imagine that it might lead to a certain cynicism.

But as an individual with no past or present affiliation with Mr. Seagal who has been quite critical of certain aspects of Mr. Seagal's public persona, I also feel an obligation to be fair, to give credit where it is due, and to point out that your inartfully phrased question -- that might be taken to carry a rather negative implication -- is, as I said the first time, ludicrous.

That doesn't make for good tabloid sizzle, but I can live with that.

Those are my words and I stand by them. If that means you think I need to chill....I can live with that too.

And dare I say, this is pretty chill for me too. Ah well.

Best regards,

Fred Little
 
Old 01-23-2004, 06:23 PM   #22
Lan Powers
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Getting kinda chilly in here.........*grin*

Sorry, just could NOT resist. I first actually saw aikido in the movies By Seagal Sensei. Having just gotten a bare *taste* of what a cool world the martial arts contained as a youngster in a summer recreation program (around 12 As I recall) I devoured all info I could find. This is *pre Seagal. The consensus throughout all research was that the art of aikido was the most difficult, but the most highly developed of all. Kung fu was getting to make a name ....Bruce Lee.....all the cool things that came to light in the seventies. (yeah I am old)

Run the clock up a few years, and the opportunity has finally come to DO what I have always dreamed of.

The point of this rambling post is that Mr. Seagal's movies were the first actual SEEING of what I had only HEARD OF. I will forever remember the magic of that.

Mr. McWhirt summed it up rather nicely, I think

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
 
Old 01-24-2004, 12:57 AM   #23
indomaresa
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actually, that repeated fee thing also popped in my brain. The notion of paying 25000 yen three of four times to achieve a rank is an appaling notion to me.

But I didn't ask it, because it is impolite and uncourteous. Glad someone asked it.

It's clear now

Hombu dojo sure is making money.

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
 
Old 01-24-2004, 02:32 AM   #24
Zulk
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After some deep thoughts on this issue...I realize that deep down I am still Steven Seagal's fan not because of his role in movies, but his aikido. I have an old video clip about his aikido teaching...it's in black and white, it's about him teaching in his old dojo in Japan,...I have been watching it since long time...and even now, everytime I watch the clip, I still respect him as an aikidoka, as a 7th dan holder.

In that video clips his technique is awesome, lightning quick hand movement, concise tsabaki, near perfect irimi, and sharp nage in every aspect...IMHO, by this alone he deserve to be one of the best sensei.

We got in our language an old proverb..."one drops of ink damages the entire bottle of milk". I hate this saying, but I must admit there's some good point behind it. Training Aikido means learning how to control your whole body through your mind at any situation...sometimes we lost the control of our mind, and often it lead to mistake in life. People react to mistake and reputation become sour... Mistake means opportunity to learn, a true aikidoka will constantly have this attitude in mind and strive to reach it.

Probably I should not have posted about this news, it's just a bit surprising to see this website at first, and want to ask your guys opinion on it...

And it did generate a good response. Thank you for the reply especially these guys: Lynn Seiser, Erik Jurrien Knoops, and Dean Suter.

Get back to training it is.

Just a piece of shared thought.

Sincerely

Zulk
 
Old 01-24-2004, 07:12 AM   #25
Hogan
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Quote:
daniel vanhee (vanstretch) wrote:
I believe everything I read and anything anybody says to me too! Yeah, and this includes tv, radio ads and anything else! I am a professional victim and blame everyone for my woes and shortcommings, and if I cant do a technique correctly, its the other guys fault=all the time, and I will try to sue you too if easily offended, I am free of blame and everyone owes me. life is so unfair, I think I'll eat some worms!! hehehehehe grow up John.
Now now, Danny boy - where did I blame other people ? And for what ? Remember, puff, puff, passssss.....
 

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