Monday, July 9, 2012

Influences: Steven Seagal

Ever since I saw the movie, “Above The Law” I was hooked forever as a Steven Seagal fan. (And yes, it is spelled Seagal, not Segal.)

I owe my skills in martial arts to this guy. I wanted to be able to fight like him. Lucky for me, I had a few friends around me who could help to train me in Aikido. (His brand of punishment) It is a true art form of fighting. I got to be pretty good at it. Not Seagal good, but pretty good. It bailed me out of many a tight situation. In fact, I might have been dead years ago had it not been for the fact that I learned Aikido. I have had people come at me with knifes, baseball bats, chains, you name it. I have also had to fight 2, 3 and in a couple of cases, upwards of 11 or people at a time.

My family could sit around a fire and talk stories about how they had seen me in action, taking on punks and thugs, being wowed by how well I could defend myself. Even scared that I was going to kill somebody in self defense. (I often worried about that one myself) Or worse yet, be killed because of it. But, I survived. (For now) LOL Still, they could tell you stories. (In fact, I might tell one myself in “Story Time” someday)


Steven Frederic Seagal was born April 10, 1952. He is an American action film star, producer, writer, martial artist, guitarist and a reserve deputy sheriff. A 7th-dan black-belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as an Aikido instructor in Japan. He also became the first foreigner to operate an Aikido dojo in Japan.


He later moved to the Los Angeles, California, area where he made his film debut in 1988 in “Above The Law“. By 1991, he had starred in three successful films, and would go on to achieve greater fame in the film “Under Siege” (1992), where he played Navy SEALs counter-terrorist expert Casey Ryback. However both “On Deadly Ground“ (1994, which he directed) and “Under Siege 2: Dark Territory“ (My personal favorite) (1995) did poorly in theaters. During the later half of the 90s, he starred in three more theatrical films and a direct-to-video film called “The Patriot“. Aside from “Exit Wounds“ (2001) and “Half Past Dead” (2002), his career shifted almost entirely to direct-to-video films (often low budget productions and shot in Europe or Asia). Between 1998 to 2009, he appeared in a total of 22 of these. At the age of 59, he returned to the big screen as Torrez in the 2010 film “Machete“. As of 2011, he's currently busy with the third season of his reality show “Steven Seagal: Lawman”

Seagal is also a recording artist and guitarist and the founder of Steven Seagal Enterprises. In addition to his professional achievements, he is also known as an environmentalist, an animal rights activist and a supporter of the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, and the Tibetan independence movement.


Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, where he lived until he was five years old. His mother, Patricia (1930–2003), was a medical technician, and his father, Samuel Steven Seagal (1928–1991), was a high school math teacher. His mother was of Irish ancestry and his father was Jewish. In a Russian interview, Seagal once stated that he had a Mongolian grandfather (either Buryat or Kalmyk). His parents relocated to Fullerton, California, where Seagal attended Buena Park High School in Buena Park.

Seagal moved to Japan in his late teens and became the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in Japan. He was trained by Harry Ishisaka and received 1st dan degree (Shodan) under the direction of Koichi Tohei. He continued to train in aikido as a student of Seiseki Abe, Koichi Tohei (whose aikido organization, Ki Society , Seagal refused to join in favor of staying with the Aikikai), Kisaburo Osawa, Hiroshi Isoyama and the second doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He attained a 7th dan degree and Shihan in aikido.


When Miyako's father retired from his job as an instructor, Seagal became the new head of the organization known as Tenshin Aikido in Osaka (affiliated with the Aikikai). Seagal is known by his students as Take Sensei. Seagal left his dojo in Osaka, his then wife Miyako, being the care-taker of the dojo up to the present day. Seagal initially returned to Taos, New Mexico, with his student (and later film stuntman) Craig Dunn, where they opened a dojo, although Seagal spent much of his time pursuing other ventures. After another period in Japan, Seagal returned to the U.S. in 1983 with senior student Haruo Matsuoka. They opened an aikido dojo, initially in Burbank, California, but later moved it to the city of West Hollywood. Seagal left Matsuoka in charge of the dojo, which he ran until the two parted ways in 1997.


Initially, he worked as the martial arts coordinator for the films “The Challenge“ (1982) starring Scott Glenn and Toshiro Mifune, and “Never Say Never Again“ (1983) starring Sean Connery and the film, “A View To A Kill“.


He has helped train Brazilian mixed martial artists Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. Silva, who is the reigning UFC Middleweight Champion, went on to knock out Vitor Belfort with a kick, in their fight at UFC 126 in February 2011, and Machida also credited him for helping him perfect the crane kick that he used to knock out Randy Couture at UFC 129 in May 2011.


In 2009, A&E Network premiered the reality television series; “Steven Seagal: Lawman”, focusing on Seagal as a deputy in Louisiana. In 2010. In 2011, Steven Seagal produced and starred in a 13 episode television series entitled “True Justice”.

In addition to acting and aikido, Seagal also plays the guitar, and his songs have been featured in several of his movies (such as “Fire Down Below” and “Ticker“). In 2005, he released his first album, “Songs From The Crystal Cave“, which has a mix of pop, world, country, and blues music. It features duets with Tony Rebel, Lt. Stichie, Lady Saw, and Stevie Wonder. The soundtrack to Seagal's 2005 film “Into The Sun” features several songs from the album. One of his album tracks, "Girl It's Alright", was also released as a single in parts of the world alongside an accompanying music video created for it.


Seagal's second album, titled Mojo Priest, was released in April 2006. Subsequently, he spent summer 2006 touring the United States and Europe with his band, Thunderbox, in support of the album.




He owns a dude ranch in Colorado and a home in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, a wealthy neighborhood in Los Angeles. He has adopted many animals from shelters. Seagal is a Buddhist.


Seagal has seven children from four relationships: In Japan Seagal married his first wife, Miyako Fujitani, the daughter of an aikido instructor. With Fujitani, he had a son, model and actor Kentaro Seagal, and a daughter, writer and actress, Ayako Fujitani. Seagal left Miyako Fujitani to go back to the United States.


In the United States he married former “Days Of Our Lives” actress Adrienne La Russa, despite his divorce to Fujitani not yet being finalized. During his marriage to La Russa he met actress/model Kelly LeBrock, with whom he began a relationship and who eventually became pregnant with his child. When news of this emerged, Seagal's marriage to La Russa was annulled and he then married LeBrock on 5 September 1987. His three children with LeBrock are daughters Annaliza and Arissa, and son Dominic. In 1994, LeBrock filed divorce papers citing "irreconcilable differences". During this time it emerged that Seagal was having an affair with Arissa Wolf, who was hired to be a nanny to Seagal and Lebrock's children. Seagal has a daughter with Arissa Wolf, Savannah.


Seagal is currently married to Erdenetuya Batsukh (mong. Эрдэнэтуяа Батсүх), better known as Elle, and with whom he has a son, Kunzang. Elle is from Mongolia. She trained as a dancer from her early age at the Children's Palace in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. After her graduation from high school and the Children's Palace, she pursued a career as a professional dancer. She won numerous dancing contests and she was considered as the top female dancer in Mongolia. She particularly excelled in ballroom dance. Erdenetuya first worked as Seagal's interpreter when he visited Mongolia in 2001.




In addition to his biological children he is the guardian to a Tibetan child, Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo. Rinzinwangmo, or "Renji", is the only child of the 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet. Renji studied in the United States at American University, and Seagal was her guardian and bodyguard.




An only son, Seagal has three sisters, one older and two younger. In addition to his seven children, he has two grandchildren by his eldest son Kentaro Seagal born in 2006 and 2007.


What I like the most about Steven Seagal is how he is one of the few actions stars who actually looks like he could kick your ass. Where Van Dam was a "pretty boy" (as most other action stars are as well) Steven wins the fight before even throwing a punch by simply eyeing you down with that menacing look of his.



Though age has caught up to him, I also like the fact that he continues to remain active in film, music and his causes. He is always doing something, even if it's training other fighters or whatever. You have to admire people who have more than one thing going for them. He is a man of many talents and I think he is often times over-looked by the majority. There are still so many people who are unaware of his musical/songwriting abilities.




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Source: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_word_movie

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

7 comments:

  1. Okay, I'll Leave NowJuly 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Under Siege. The cook! That was soooooo great!

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  2. I actually liked the second one "Under Seige 2: Dark Territory" better. It featured a young Katherine Heigl.

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  3. With all this phlandering, bigamy and a crazy way of life, he reminds me of Marlon Brando.

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    1. Marlon Brando is on my "Legends" list. I just haven't worked myself to him yet. LOL But you are so right. I never thought about it before.

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  4. OMLLLL I LOVVVE YOU STEEVEN SEAGAL!!!!!

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  5. He is so hot, and I have watched many of his films many times. Shame he is such a philanderer but I guess noone is perfect. He just likes his ph's Philandering & Philanthropy.....and PHWOARSOMENESS ;)

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