I have been thinking for long about writing one or more posts about Steven Seagal. He is a really important figure in aikido, who cannot be left our from a blog about aikido. I have been watching movies with him since I was a kid. Back then I did not know that he was a martial artist, I was just watching the action movies with my dad who was also a big fan of Seagal's signature pony tale characters.I remember that back then I didn't even know his name, I just called him the guy with the pony tale.
Not long ago I discovered a documentary about Seagal Sensei called The Path Beyond Thought. It is a really interesting movie, filmed in the documentary style. There are several interviews with different aikidokas who were practicing in his dojo. I was really impressed by the equal way he was treating female aikidokas at trainings. On the one hand there was no discrimination on the other hand women had to train just as tough as men and reach the same performances. It is a movie I would recommend to watch also for the randori. That was the 1 Dan black-belt exam Seagal Sensei conducted in his dojo. Most aikidoka would have preferred a real life fighting more than the randori they were supposed to endure during the exam. But if you passed that you were strong enough, you have made it to shodan, you have taken the first step.
My interest has been raised by this movie and I started browsing the web for interviews with Steven Seagal. This is an interesting one I have found, with lots of inspiring ideas. What I love about the ideas in the interview is the fact that Seagal Sensei truly understands the complexity of this martial art. I am hoping to be able one day to practice aikido with all its depth. In the mean time I have chosen an inspiring quote to further think about:
"Trust your doubt. Always fight for your beliefs.
That is the path beyond thought."I have been browsing some pictures also, and I found this one really much similar in the easiness and lightness of movement with one of my favorite O'Sensei pictures:
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Steven Seagal Old Film-Techniques
Steven Seagal Official Website
Steven Seagal Unofficial Website (maybe even better than the official one)
Steven Seagal on IMDb
My fave intro:
I love the way he briefly says kimochi, ne! dozo at the end :o)