Steven Seagal: The Man The Myth The Whatever

"Last time I had my training camp here in the states.  We Practiced that particular kick with Steven Seagal a lot and I've must have done that kick over a thousand times, and I went back Brazil I just kept training that kick, and obviously it worked out pretty well. - Anderson Silva post fight interview UFC 126

I really don't know what I'm more surprised about after the main event of UFC 126.  The devastating knockout of Vitor Belfort via foot to the face, or the fact that particular kick was helped perfected by none other then Steven " what's my line " Seagal? After hearing from Silva and Segal talk about the preparation of the mind blowing kick, the many MMA fans around the world did a collective "wah".  No way in this beautiful earth of ours was that kick, taught by " The Glimmer Man".  Now your Probably thinking this is going to be another bashing of the former great action movie star.  Actually it is not,........................well not fully but you'll see where I'm  getting at if you keep reading. 


To bash Steven Seagal in this fan post would be stupid at best.  Especially when I have been following the movie star's career ever since his first starring movie role " Above The Law". And I have been a fan ever since.  Do I think he's the end all and be all of martial arts?  No I don't, But that never stopped me from being a fan of his.  I always knew there were plenty of martial arts masters around the world that can break him in two, but that didn't stop me from admiring his work, or his Aikido background.  I mean you don't become a Seventh Dan black belt in Aikido for sitting down doing nothing.  It has to account for something in the wide world of martial arts.  Or maybe the fact that he was the first foreigner to operate a Aikido dojo in Japan.  Maybe that can give him a little more of your respect.  I mean, that would show a little in his resume that he knows how to train someone in the fighting field. 


Now, like I said this isn't a total love fest for Mr. Above the law.  I know the man cannot act.  If you were to put a paper bag over his head and told him " act your way out of that" the man would probably just die of asphyxiation from choking on bad monologues.  But, I like every other kid who grew up watching his films were in awe of his almost realistic fighting scenes.  There still hasn't been a action star who's fighting scenes would make me cringe and feel sorry for those poor stunt men falling over with wrists bent over in a magnetic speed.  Which in reality, he did indeed hurt the poor stunt men.  A famous legend or story, whatever you may call it, in L. Jon Wertheim's non- fiction book called "Blood in the cage: Mixed martial arts, Pat Miletich, and the furious rise of the UFC". Wertheim tells a not so favorable story about our favorite pony tailed warrior.  In it he talked to one of the all time great stunt men and Judo masters Gene LeBell( who also taught Bruce Lee how to grapple) about an incident he had with Steven Seagal on the set of the movie Out For Justice:

Between takes, Seagal boasted that he held a black belt in aikido.  A stuntman pointed to LeBell then pushing sixty years old, and said, "Yeah? That old man could choke you out easy."  Seagal laughed dismissively, adding that he'd never heared of the guy.  Word drifted to LeBell, and a few days later Seagal joked to him "Old man, these guys are saying you could choke me out."

"I've been around since the last supper," LeBell is said to have responded.  "I'm so old, my first movie was Birth of a Nation.  But could I choke you out? Yeah."  With that, he grabbed Seagal, threw him to the ground, and choked him out.  When Seagal came to, he cursed LeBell and told him he hadn't fought fair.  "You ready now" LeBell said calmly.  Seagal nodded.

As he had just done, LeBell again lunged for Seagal, pinned him to the ground, and put him to sleep in a rear naked choke.  According to one version of the story, while unconscious Seagal lost control of his bowels-having had, quite literally, the shit beaten out of him.  LeBell then dragged Seagal to a storage area as the other stuntmen gleefully looked on.  When the star awoke, LeBell was standing over him.  "You know, you ought to show a little respect." LeBell never worked on another Seagal movie.


Not exactly the best story to hear about one of your childhood heroes, but as an adult it's not too disheartening. We've heard plenty of stories about movie stars acting too much like Pre- Madonna's(look up the story about Jean-Claude-Van Damme and the hell's angel in the strip club, that's kinda of a laugh)and then to later be put in their place.  And I, like other children of a young age, thought that these action stars were the baddest men in the planet.  Until we saw little string bean Royce Gracie choke out men over hundred pounds heavier then him. That change the whole viewpoint of the fighting world. Suddenly fans of many Kung-Fu or Karate Stars were questioning the abilities of there heroes.  But there are still many that still get the respect they deserve (especially now recently Chuck Norris ).  Not Steven Seagal, For every year he was making movies the more of a joke that he became.  From his horrible acting to his growing stomach, everything was becoming a comical skit.  Even me, a huge fan of the former great was giving a good joke or two about the Under Siege star.  But after UFC 126, many MMA news forums and fan posts were bashing and even writing humiliating articles on the Aikido master.  And yes a lot is warranted on the man, but I had come to realize that if I were to have the same martial arts credentials as Steven Seagal, I would probably have an ego myself.  I mean I don't know if I would be as weird as Seagal but I do know I would be proud of my accomplishments.  Just look at his biography pre- 1987.  You would come to realize that this isn't a man who's background deserves to be coughed or laughed at.  You might actually say to yourself, " hmmmm not exactly the useless karate master that I thought he was"


In conclusion, make your interpretation of the man.  But don't do it only to bash him cause everybody else is doing it or, because if you even consider defending him you'll be embarrassed,and considered a newbie, don't know anything, about nothing fan. The kick that Silva used on Belfort probably isn't the hardest move to consider to learn.  I'm sure Silva has done that kick in the past to many opponents, just not at the mechanical way that became a knockout Saturday.  But what Mr. Seagal taught him was just a couple of more refinements to the kick. That's all. And Anderson Silva did the classy thing and showed acknowledgment to the person that helped him refine the move. That's all, no harm no foul(well except to Belfort).  So don't slap around comments against Seagal cause you think it's cool, and make your own mind up.


Stay Bloody My Friends!




\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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