Steven Frederick Seagal (born April 10, 1952, Lansing, Michigan, USA) - American film actor, film producer, screenwriter, director, aikijin (7th dan Aikido Aikikai), musician, sheriff. Steven Seagal was born into a mixed family, his father - Samuel Steven is American, his mother - Pat (Patricia) is Irish. Steven is the second child in the family, he has an older and two younger sisters. His paternal grandfather came to America as a child with his family from St. Petersburg. The family moved to Fullerton in 1957. Mrs. Pat Segal was a receptionist-administrator at a health clinic and her husband was a high school math teacher. When he was 7 years old, his father took his son to a karate competition. It made such a strong impression on the boy that he may have already determined his path in life. At the age of seven, Stephen began practicing karate. By the time he was fifteen, he was a typical street teenager, living from fight to fight. It was around this time that a coup took place in his life that changed Steven forever. Seagal met Aikido master Shihan Kyoshi Ishisaki, who at the time was a senior Aikikai instructor in Orange County (near Los Angeles). Steven Segal quickly became Ishisaki's best student and participated with the latter in many demonstrations and festivals at the "Japanese Village", then located in Deer Park, California. At the time, aikido was quite unknown in America. With time, quickly surpassing all his American peers in ability and results, and deciding that there was nothing for him to do in the States, he came to Tokyo, the capital of Japan, at the age of 17, to enroll in one of the many academies of oriental martial arts. As a member of another race, he was treated with hostility. The Japanese mocked him and humiliated him in every way possible. Soon, however, the roles were reversed. Now the attitude of hostility toward Stephen was fraught with trouble. At the very beginning of the 1970s, he met a Japanese woman named Miyako Fujitani, who became the mother of his first two children: his son Kentaro and daughter Ayako.In the summer of 1974, Segal received the 1st Dan from Koichi Tohei. In 1975, Segal became the first American in Japanese history to open a dojo here (Osaka, Juso district). He named it Tenshin (Jap. ??), which translates to "Heavenly Soul." Being an American martial arts instructor in Japan proved very difficult; martial arts masters often challenged him to a duel to test his level of training. This went on for two years until Steven Seagal earned his reputation as one of Japan's leading martial arts masters. Steven Seagal's reputation became very similar to that of the intimidating Daito-Ryu Aikijutsu master Sokaku Takeda. Seagal's philosophy in teaching Aikido is simple: "It must be effective outdoors." Many aikido masters have developed many different styles, and their techniques are often very passive. Passive direction in aikido can fail in a fight. Segal doesn't push his students into unnecessary constant fighting. He simply emphasizes: "If someone attacks, be able to defend yourself!" At some point, Segal felt he had reached a stalemate in his development. So he began to seek out the disciples of Morihei Ueshiba. Segal trained under the great masters Seo, Koichi Tohei, Isoyama and Abe. He progressed rapidly to become a 5th Dan, and after becoming the head instructor of the Tenshin dojo, he was awarded 6th Dan Aikikai, and then 7th Dan and the title of Shihan. Toward the end of his research Shihan Shigal met a man who was able to lead him out of a dead end. A great master of calligraphy and aikido, Seiseki Abe. Abe has a 10th dan in aikido and is a master of calligraphy at the level of national treasure in Japan. He was a student of Morihei Ueshiba. He became a teacher of Steven Seagal. Abe reminisced about Shihan Segal:
"Take-sensei in Japan had earned himself a reputation as a great aikido master. And when I met him, he wanted to know more about O-sensei's training. I was impressed by his aikido technique and agreed to take him as a personal student. Later we participated in many seminars together. "In Japan, namely in Kyoto, Steven Seagal first got into the movie business in 1982. He was invited by the famous kendo master Onoha Ittoro to the filming of "The Challenge" as an expert in Japanese fencing. Steven Seagal was asked to direct several scenes of katana sword fights and to bring his students from Tenshin dojo for crowd scenes. After Tenshin Dojo (Tenshin Bugei Gakuen, Heavenly Soul Traditional Arts School) moved to Los Angeles, Sherman Way on Ventura Boulevard in October 1983, Shihan Segal called Osaka and summoned his uchi-deshi Haruo Matsuoka to the US. Matsuoka had just graduated from college and was very excited to join his master's dojo. Matsuoka's presence proved decisive in allowing Shihan Shigal to carry out his far-reaching plans. A presentation was planned to mark the opening of the dojo, to which invitations were sent out to many masters from around Los Angeles.Matsuoka and his assistant Alexander Smirnov currently have administrative and training responsibilities at Tenshin dojo.
In an interview with a journalist, Steven Seagal mentioned that he is also a police officer:
- Journalist. You seem to spend as much time on charity work as you do on film work. When there was a hurricane in New Orleans and a state of emergency was declared, you dropped everything, rushed there and together with the usual rescuers pulled people out of the water and fought the elements!
- S. Segal. If I hadn't done that, my philosophy of life, my principles would have been nothing but bluster for the press. But helping others is part of who I am as a person. Few people know it, but I'm a cop.
- A journalist. What do you mean, a cop?
- S. Segal. Yes, yes, a real American cop. Many years ago, at the dawn of my career, there was an incident like this. A sheriff said to me, "I hear you're a very good shot, boy, don't you want to show me what you can do?" I fired in one series, without stopping, at several targets that had portraits of the opposing man on them. They looked through the binoculars: "Well, boy, you're a chatterbox - you didn't even hit the milk..." As we approached the targets, they looked first at the portraits, then at me, then back at the portraits... It turned out that I had hit the "opponents" in the eyeballs! That's why the sheriff couldn't see anything through the binoculars... Of course, they were taken aback!
- Journalist. After that you were offered the job of a policeman?
- S. Segal. That's right. I was given a police badge, which I still wear, and was offered the chance to train special units. I taught not only firearms but also martial arts. They still invite me often when they need me. So my flights to New Orleans and many other places are both civilian and official duty.
American actor Steven Seagal during his visit to Moscow, he gave an interview about why Russia is attractive and why Seagal liked Moscow.
The purpose of the Hollywood star's trip to Russia was to find material for a new film. He is convinced that in the classic Russian literature you can find a lot of amazing stories. "Indeed, I came for the idea of a new film, and, in general, we think to do a remake of what has already been filmed, taking as the basis of one of the stories of such characters as Dubrovsky, Yemelyan Pugachev and Stepan Razin. Russia is rich in talented people - there are amazing writers, producers, directors, and actors. And I am looking forward to our risky venture together.
Every time he comes to Russia, Steven Seagal tries to spend several months here. He confesses that he loves our country very much: "I can say that I myself am Russian, and I am proud to be Russian. I really love this country and the people who live in it. I have many friends here. I was taught that a man of honor should keep his word, and I see the same attitude in many people here."
During his previous visit to the capital, Seagal met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in whose words and ideas he found much that was close to him: "I was in Russia 10 or 15 years ago, and honestly, it was some kind of ridiculous parody of the country. Putin practically single-handedly transformed it into an amazingly powerful power, actively developing economically, despite the obstacles. Of course, the head of state will never be someone who is liked by everyone without exception. Everyone should have an opinion, my opinion is that Putin has done a tremendous job and I think that Medvedev continues his line in many ways, and together they are a great team."
After a long study of theology and various spiritual practices, the actor is increasingly inclined to believe that origin, country, religion and philosophy are not fundamentally important and that all people are equal.
Segal considers music his passion in life, his collection includes several hundred guitars: "Perhaps music really is my strongest passion, but I believe that helping other people should always be in the first place in everyone's life. When my help is needed for victims, for victims, then I'm a warrior. I get up and go help those in need, including myself," says the actor.