The Legendary Showdown: How Gene LeBell Made Steven Seagal “Sh*t His Pants” When Doing Judo

The Legendary Showdown: How Gene LeBell Made Steven Seagal “Sh*t His Pants” When Doing Judo

In the annals of martial arts lore, there are few stories as legendary as the encounter between Gene LeBell and Steven Seagal. This tale of martial arts bravado and unexpected consequences has been passed down through the years, gaining a mythic status among enthusiasts and practitioners alike. Let’s delve into the details of this infamous incident that has been humorously immortalized in martial arts history.

The story is told by Lebell own Judo student, former UFC fighter Karo Parysian.

The Protagonists: Gene LeBell and Steven Seagal

Gene LeBell, often referred to as “Judo” Gene LeBell, is a renowned martial artist, stunt performer, and professional wrestler. Born in 1932, LeBell’s storied career spans decades, during which he has earned a reputation for his incredible skills in judo and catch wrestling. He has trained numerous martial artists and has appeared in countless films and television shows as a stuntman and actor.

Steven Seagal, on the other hand, is a well-known actor, producer, and martial artist. Rising to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Seagal became a household name through his action-packed films, showcasing his expertise in Aikido. Despite his on-screen prowess, Seagal’s off-screen persona has often been subject to scrutiny and controversy, leading to a mix of admiration and skepticism about his martial arts credentials.

The Incident

The story of how Gene LeBell made Steven Seagal “shit his pants” is one that combines humor, martial arts expertise, and a touch of humility. According to various accounts, the incident took place on the set of a film in the early 1990s. Seagal, known for his brash attitude, reportedly claimed that due to his training in Aikido, he could not be choked unconscious. This bold assertion did not sit well with the seasoned LeBell.

Always up for a challenge and eager to teach a lesson in humility, Gene LeBell decided to put Seagal’s claim to the test. The details vary slightly depending on who recounts the tale, but the essence remains the same: LeBell applied a chokehold to Seagal, who, despite his earlier confidence, could not escape the hold. As the choke took effect, Seagal lost consciousness. Upon regaining his senses, it became apparent that the action star had lost control of his bodily functions, leading to the memorable phrase that he had “shit his pants.”

The Aftermath

The incident quickly became the stuff of legend. LeBell, always the professional, downplayed the event in public, maintaining a level of respect for Seagal despite the embarrassing outcome. Seagal, for his part, has denied the incident ever took place, though the consistency of the story across multiple sources suggests otherwise.

Lessons in Humility

The encounter between Gene LeBell and Steven Seagal serves as a reminder of the importance of humility, even among the most skilled practitioners. Martial arts, at its core, is about respect, discipline, and continuous learning. LeBell’s gentle yet firm approach to teaching Seagal a lesson underscores the value of experience and the reality that no one is invincible.


Gene LeBell’s legacy in the martial arts world is cemented not just by his skills but by his character. This story, while humorous, is a testament to his prowess and his ability to handle situations with grace and a sense of humor. For Steven Seagal, the incident is a humbling chapter in his career, a reminder that even the most confident among us can have moments of vulnerability.

In conclusion, the tale of Gene LeBell and Steven Seagal is more than just an amusing anecdote; it is a lesson in the enduring values of martial arts. It reminds us that respect, humility, and continuous learning are the true marks of a martial artist. Whether you’re a fan of LeBell, Seagal, or martial arts in general, this story will undoubtedly continue to be shared and enjoyed for generations to come.

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