Rickson Gracie was once asked what he thought about actor/Aikido master Steven Seagal and if he is legit.
This was Rickson Gracie’s response:
“Definitely. [Seagal] has – based on his training – a deep understanding of the concepts. How good he is in real life, how he will display his effectiveness, I’m not sure. His philosophy is based on proven realities. He believes in technique, and the concepts within Martial Arts.”
So what does this mean exactly. For Rickson, Seagal has a deep understanding of Aikido’s fundamentals. When it comes to effectiveness, he believes that the only way to see how legit he is from live training. This is why it is important to test your technique on resisting opponents in live sparring, to be able to see what truly works.
A martial art and martial artist that doesn’t actively train with his students to test and refine his techniques, cannot improve…
Another important figure but who is not a marital artist is Sammy “The Bull’ Gravano. The famous Gambino Mafia under boss had many dealings with Seagal in the past and in his latest video, he talked about how he first met Seagal in the 80’s and how Seagal was paying protection money to the Gambinos. At one point of Seagal’s career, he decided that he wanted to stop acting and also would not be paying the Mob anymore money. At this point, Peter Gotti, the brother of the famous mob Boss John Gotti, threatened Seagal and the action movie actor started acting hysterical.
Sammy the Bull recalled, laughing: “I lost all respect for him when he started crying hysterically like a big old woman. He was doing all those tough guy karate moves in the movies but was like a big baby in real life.”