Does Steven Seagal’s Aikido Work? • Martial Arts Journey

Does Steven Seagal’s Aikido Work? That Aikido is not an effective martial art
is becoming widely known. In the past it was easier to hide this fact,
since there was no world wide web and also functional martial arts were not yet on the
rise to go toe to toe with other martial arts and prove their ineffectiveness. Yet some Aikido practitioners while they do
agree that it doesn’t work to a certain extent, many still claim that it’s just
some styles that are ineffective and take Steven Seagal’s Aikido form of Aikido as
an example of an effective Aikido version. Whether that is the truth or not, in this
Martial Arts Journey video we will be taking a look at whether Steven Seagal’s Aikido
Really Works? The first question we need to ask is Why Do
these people consider Steven Seagal’s Aikido style more effective than that of others. I’d like to point out, that probably the
way Aikido is portrayed in his movies has a big influence on people’s perspective. It is very direct, brutal and distinctly different
from the aesthetic and almost “polite” versions of Aikido, which sometimes is difficult
to imagine in a realistic violent scenario. Having all this violence in Seagal’s performed
Aikido moves on screen definitely makes a better impression on many people. His movie techniques also include a range
of punches and kicks, which are oftentimes left out majorly from many Aikido styles,
once more making them look less effective in comparison. Of course, movies are movies, and what an
actor can do in a choreographed movie scene, does not mean he will be able to perform all
of it in a real life setting. That is why we need to take a closer look
at how Steven Seagal performed his techniques off the movie set. When comparing most Aikido videos that show
Steven Seagal’s Aikido demonstrations, there are still visible differences from regular
Aikido that you would mostly see online and in various Dojos. Seagal’s techniques look more direct, powerful
and more energetic than most Aikido demonstrations. One of such examples, is the entering straight
with an arm towards an attacking partner, while stepping to the side of his attack. While it is not exclusive to his style, it
is less seen in other Aikido styles and many Aikido styles perform it in a much gentler
way, which again makes it look less effective. He also occasionally demonstrates a neck choke,
which is once more a step from regular Aikido and seems to be a step towards a more functional
version of the art. There are also some visible, fast paced hand
deflections that he uses against various attacks, and also some kick defense, which both tend
to be rare in other Aikido schools, yet again making his Aikido style look superior. Having all these details in mind, it is no
wonder that many people see Steven Seagal’s Aikido as the effective version. Yet as Matt Thornton, a famous figure in the
realm of functional martial arts once told me: rougher doesn’t mean it is more effective. In truth, while all these distinct elements
of Seagal’s style definitely make it different and looks more impressive, it doesn’t really
still answer whether his style is effective or not. That is why we need to ask further questions
– of which most import – how to distinguish a functional martial art from a non-functional
one? One of the best phrases I heard I heard dedicated
to doing this is to: “Look not at how the master applies his techniques, but watch at
how the attackers attack”. This is a great principle, which can be applied
to any martial art and it’s demonstrations, so let’s apply it to analysing Steven Seagal’s
Aikido. If you take a look at any demonstration performed
by Steven Seagal – past or present, and you focus and analyse the attackers, you will
soon discover that there is pretty much no resistance offered by them. While the techniques performed by Seagal look
more efficient, generally the attacks of his attackers not only look pretty much the same
as in regular Aikido, such as lounging towards him with both arms extended, or grabbing his
offered hand, but they also apply the same principle of attacking with almost no resistance
whatsoever and they fall in the same prearranged ways as in infamously done in any regular
Aikido style. And while some would say that: “You have
to fall, otherwise you will get injured”, having personally practiced Aikido for more
than a decade and also training in functional martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and
MMA, I can tell you as a fact, that while this logic applies to a few Aikido techniques,
in most of the cases, the idea that you have to fall or you will get hurt, is simply just
a myth. You can easily find a way to resist many Aikido
techniques or spin out of them, and they will cause you no harm. One more major flaw seen in Seagal’s demonstrations,
is that the punches are mostly done in the same manner as in most Aikido schools: by
throwing the punch and leaving the arm sticking out there without retracting it, to – let
the him perform his technique. Any functional martial artist knows that an
effective strike consists of retracting the punch and it is simply unnatural to leave
the arm sticking out there after striking, what even an untrained attacker wouldn’t
do. In Aikido, sticking the arm out after a punch,
implies that a master is supposed to catch the fist mid air as it is in motion, but again,
any real fighter knows that it is almost impossible to do it in reality and thus all of these
techniques which rely on this are completely ineffective. Even if you see a combination of punches that
Seagal defend from, after a couple of strikes are thrown, the attacker just stands there
without offering any live resistance, waiting to be thrown, and all Seagal really has to
do, is to know how to defend against a couple pre-arranged strikes and then to apply the
same static technique without any more difference. With all of this observed, it appears, that
Steven Seagal’s approach to striking defense is not really that different from a regular,
ineffective Aikido style. Some may argue though that sometimes demos
can be different from the way the art is practiced in the school, that is why it is still important
to take a look at his teaching methods, to really find out whether his style is effective
or not. One part that I was impressed with while watching
a documentary about Seagal in his youth, was footage of his black belt tests. While the flaws mentioned before when techniques
were performed with a cooperative partner were still the same, one part of the tests
stood out – and that is when he had three resisting attackers grab the testy with full
force and to try to push him down to the ground. Such a method of pressure testing definitely
resembles the realm of functional martial arts, where a practitioner has to perform
his techniques against people who do not want him to have them applied, and that is where
real application appears. Unfortunately, while I really respect the
fact that Seagal had his students go through such an experience, they also yet again showed
some of the flaws of the teaching method. While it is important to address that attackers
would not use strikes, still the movement and techniques performed by the student would
change dramatically from how it would be trained in regular training and many trained techniques
would not come up in such a pressure tested moment. As it is said, you fight how you train, if
the training is very distinct from how it is actually applied in a pressure testing
situation, that is one more bad sign, usually showing the lack of effectiveness in the training
method itself. While training all the time with live resisting
opponents as in Seagal’s documented special part of the black belt tests, would very likely
raise Aikido to a more functional level, unfortunately it appears that such training method would
be rarely used in his teachings and the rest of the training would be mainly focused on
the regular Aikido methodology, where there is no live resistance and full cooperation
between attacker and defender in performed techniques. This flaw can also be observed in unique footage
where Steven Seagal had a chance to coach a legendary MMA fighter Anderson Silva. Despite the fact that the context was MMA,
most of the times Seagal would still present the training methodology of Aikido, presenting
the same flaws of logic while asking Silva to keep his punch hanging at the end of it,
which would never be done in MMA setting. And probably the reason for teaching this
way was not due to goals of efficiency, but simply because that is the only way those
presented Aikido techniques work. Even in cases where Seagal would ask Silva
to do a faster, retracted punch, Silva would then stay standing without any following movements
and offering no live resistance, until the technique was done unto him. Yet again, any functional martial artist knows
that you fight how you train. Any technique can look effective under coordinated
circumstances, yet in order for it to work in a real fight, the technique has to be tested
in sparring setting against a live resisting opponent. Unfortunately, in the training session between
Steven and Silva, while many static techniques were introduced, no live sparring and pressure
testing to apparently has been done, and relying on my personal Aikido and MMA experience,
I will be bold enough to say, that there was no sparring or pressure testing – because
those same presented techniques would simply not have worked under real pressure, which
functional martial arts are based on. It is no wonder that that the training between
Seagal and Silva was a one time thing. Professional MMA fighters always seek to gain
an edge in their fighting game and they grab everything that works. If Seagal’s teaching method would had been
a game changer, I am quite sure we would have seen many more coaching sessions between him
and other famous fighters. One more important thing to note, is that
what works for Seagal himself, does not yet mean it will work for his students as well. Steven is a big person and it is only a myth
that size does not matter in martial arts, and that it’s only about how well you perform
a technique. Otherwise we would not have weight classes
in MMA, BJJ, Judo, Boxing or any other functional martial art. Using your size and weight alongside your
technique to throw a person is a huge defying factor whether the throw will be effective
or not, and in most cases, Seagal is much bigger than who he is demonstrating his techniques
against, yet again making it look more effective, but in reality leaving a big gap when the
same is expected from other students of his style. Whether Steven Seagal is a good fighter or
not, that is another question to ask, and it could be proven only if he would get into
the ring to fight against another actual fighter, who would be offering live resistance. Until that is done, we can only speculate
whether he is. Yet to answer the question whether Seagal’s
Aikido style is effective or not, we may have just the right amount of information to come
to a conclusion. Is his style more effective than most Aikido
styles? It could be. Especially having in mind that some live resistance
Is offered at least at the black belt tests to train a practitioner’s skills under pressure. Yet is his style different enough to be named
a functional martial art? Probably not. While it is definitely different from regular
Aikido, the fact it still follows pretty much the same training methodology and relationship
with alive resistance like other regular Aikido styles, it is not enough to make it effective. And while it Looks better and more impressive
than most Aikido, how a martial art looks, does not yet say much about how actually effective
it is when faced with a real attacker. Unless a practice is constantly pressure tested
and the same techniques are applied again and again on a live resisting opponent, even
the best looking martial art will never become real. Do you think Steven Seagal’s Aikido is effective? Let me know in the comments. If you liked the video, click the like and
subscribe buttons. If you want to know more about Steven Seagal’s
negative past, click on the video in the corner. This was Rokas and I wish you to own your

99 Replies to “Does Steven Seagal’s Aikido Work? • Martial Arts Journey

  1. 2:57
    Chi sau is an exercise that helps you to develop an ability to gain a position of hands which gives you an advantage upon your attacker.
    Chi sau in real life is 2 seconds applied, for example, someone comes to attack you punching in the face, you avoid that and gain a better position to take him down and run, that's chi sau…

    Compare sparring with chi sau is having no idea about what is for each.

    In a real life situation we have an argument, then you have a prefight situation (where you can finish with aikido, wing chun, tai chi chuan etc techniques) but if the argument goes on, the starts a fight.

    You must understand that aikido, wing chun and all those styles are styles that finish a prefight avoiding a fight (which is better coz in a fight everyone gets wound even being an expert on fighting)

    Tai chi chuan, wing chun, aikido… Those are styles to prevent a fight finishing a prefighting situation (such as a punch, push, slap…)

    Muay thai, kickboxing, boxing… Those are styles for fighting..

  2. Aikido is a good for professions like law enforcement. It might not be a good style for competitive fighting but if you want to learn to subdue a suspect (average dude) without striking or causing serious injury, it is a good method.Judo would also fall in this category. Neither style focuses on strikes but throws and joint locks. I studied both judo and aikido when i was a bouncer a few decades ago. They were very effective for me against most people. I didn't want to strike people in that job because i might get myself arrested or sued. I would like to go back and take some more classes but i just dont have the time right now.

  3. What people don't realize is the form of martial art that Steven seagal claims to use in his movies is more representative of HAPikido instead of Aikido. Regular Aikido will not work in a fight. It's more of a deterrent then an offensive technique.

  4. my coach loves Aikido and has like 2 black belts in it, but he knows its shit in a real fight, only 2 or 3 moves in all of Aikido are useful.

  5. A lot of aikido moves are usefull in selfdeffence but i would never chose it as my main matial art.

  6. Does Seagal's aikido work? Why don't you ask the guys who wouldn't tell him where Richie was or why he did Bobby Lupo? Just ask those guys.

  7. I think everything is better than nothing. If a person and an art is trained correctly and tested while training (sparring) or even while a tournament it can be effective under certain circumstances in the street. After all, a fighting method is just another weapon. If you have the balls and if you know how to use a weapon properly it can make things easier for you. At least, his Aikido helped him knocking out John Leguizamo in real life. 😉

  8. My question is do you think you will win a fight with Steven Seagal everyone has an opinion on his martial arts skills if his style is so fake and ineffective how did he get to where he is now

  9. This is the first time i will comment on youtube….
    Can you understand that there is a lot of people who wants to learn a martial arts, not to learn to fight with someone … je je,aikido ,karate,judo everything is almost useless, only mma is good…maybe for you…but if we are speaking about real life, what about guns , what about knife, a lot of attackers….would you go on ground if you have 2 or attackers?
    You have your "WAY" or "DO"…. and if you want to be good , then concentrate on your fighting skills… I like aikido and judo….i also like tai-chi….i dont want to fight with someone…

  10. The stand up block choke he showed sliva wasn't even right lol.after the block the attackers arm should be on the shoulder as your applying the choke in tbe as matter as you would a rear naked.what was doing wouldn't even choke someone.must have seen it done somewhere n thought he knew how to do it

  11. It works against an opponent giving little resistance, i.e. a person who doesn't see it coming or is not paying attention..
    Aikido has application outside of uke's anticipation of falling or wrists grabbing.
    It does help a lot if you are tall and large.

  12. When I was doing non-strike sparring, I was almost always much SMALLER than my opponents, and all of the non-functional martial art moves were useless. Occasionally you could trick someone with a pro-wrestling move, but what usually worked was a combination of joint locks and high school wresting moves where you come in low and grab a leg, plus a strong defense. My main sparring partner was a pretty tall and strong guy, and we were almost equally matched because we weren't actually trying to hurt each other. Not a practical martial art display. In a real fight, our different strengths would have ended in one of us dead, and probably me losing mostly because he was taller and heavier than me.

  13. I've heard a few accounts that say Aikido DOES work, but only if you actually know how to fight before training it. Which makes sense. Since Aikido isn't competitive and training involves both the guy doing the technique and the guy getting thrown to work together, there's no way anyone could use it effectively without having solid experience in actual fights. Also, even with experience, I doubt a lot of the complex wristlock techniques and flowery takedowns where you first knock the guy off balance would work even then. The founder of Aikido had already mastered a bunch of different martial arts styles prior to starting it, and it was more of a way to explore the principles behind those styles, not an effective style for beating people up on the streets. Or something like that, I don't pretend to have more than a layman's understanding of the founding of Aikido or anything.

    That said, if a guy who knew how to fight studied Aikido and actually practiced the techniques under live fight conditions to understand how to actually pull them off in a fight, some of it probably does work pretty effectively. Problem is, nobody who trains Aikido does that, so its techniques will always be ineffective. And even then, just punching a guy in the head til he falls unconscious is way simpler and more effective than grabbing his arm, doing the lambada with him, and throwing him to the ground with his arm snapped in seven places. I sure as hell wouldn't try to use it even if I knew martial arts.

  14. If you train any martial art in aggressive mode it will Work in any situation and you failed because your teacher is bad

  15. George foreman challenged him to a fight saying that i will only box you fight whatever way you want he cowardly did not answer

  16. Plus all the great Marshall artists all challenged him and he is in hiding he claimed he could beat bruce lee

  17. First of all, anyone who thinks Steven Seagal can't put a serious hurting on them is nuts. 1) The technigues he uses in his films do serious damage, but they are not legal in MMA. If he breaks a guys windpipe, I guarantee he wins the fight. MMA is a SPORT – with rules. The techniques Seagal uses in his movies can be lethal. You don't want to be the jiu jitsu guy that wants to find out how tough Seagal really is.

  18. Why don't you join a martial art class an tell me wot it feels like after a couple of lesson.. instead of listening to wot other people say, thats if you can handle pain …..

    I LOVE AIKIDO. 😁😁😁

  20. I don't know much about aikido, but I get the impression that it is very effective when used by the sensei against his own students in the dojo.

  21. I agree with a lot of what you say in regards to your critique of Aikido and your reference to combat sports such as BJJ, boxing, Muay Thai, Boxing, and wrestling is valid in that these require training against resistance. With that said we still need to keep in mind that these are sports. I have little doubt that high caliber MMA folks and serious boxers/wrestlers can handle themselves in one on one 'duals' against unarmed individuals. However. how do they hold up against a blade or blunt force object wielding individual who is intent with bad intentions and knows somewhat what they are doing? Thai clinches and ground grappling I think are very risky in these circumstances. Don't get me wrong, I say this as someone who trains 3 to 4 times a week at a boxing gym. Also, do you have something personal against Segal? The internet is replete with critiques of him already. Maybe his politics and relationship with Putin bothers you? At any rate what is your opinion of the following video? Would the sport fighters you recommend benefit from this type of training. I think they would.

  22. ANOTHER…'Hate Seagal" video…Notice that Hollywood is NOW on a Hate Seagal binge…? LOL.. Segal the ONLY ACTOR.who can really fight…Norris is too old..The rest?…Play acting.

  23. The narrator..has used '…demonstration' of Seagal..instead of fighting video.. He did that to FOOL…YOU!.. not to be truthful…

  24. Being such a big person, he can afford to be messy and just rely on his mass and muscular strength as opposed to sensitivity of balance, opponent commitment and change of direction. So if a small person tried his stuff…he would die.

  25. None of them work! They are arts. Not to be used for street violence. Scenarios never work in real life so violence and intent are the only tools needed.







  32. Nobody not in the federation of Steven Seagull (in the US) considers his Aikido effective. He actually does not even do Aikido. In my federation he hardly wold pass a first dan examination, and most likely not in Japan either. He is an ACTOR not an Aikidoka. He got his gradings for promoting Aikido not because he is good at it. Unfortunately many of his students think he is/was good at it and promote his bullshido.

    And you, Rokkas: unfortunately have no clue about Aikido either. Does not really help to mostly practice from a book and having no teacher 😛

  33. Well, just to give you a few hints. Catching a hand in air is not impossible. Because: you don't aim for the hand but for the elbow or the shoulder.
    Secondly a full committed strike, you don't pull back. You can't.
    Thirdly: you make a movie about striking and pulling back and don't see that the attacker is actually either pulling back or trying to do so: fail.
    Then we see you again doing Aikido and you do it all wrong … you step back and because your Uke know s you want to do Ikkyo he keeps his hand stretched out … wow. And now you claim that never happens in real life. Out of context argument.

  34. Seeing as how you have Aikido experience, I defer to your opinion but from my analysis of different martial arts over the years, it seems to me that, although Aikido as a self defense system may be lacking in a real world fight, there seems to be some techniques that would be a welcome addition to a more well rounded fighting style. Do you think? 🤔

  35. Steven segall used Hapido in his strikes. I found Steven demo lacking and boring and his teaching useless when I met him when I took Aikido. He really was just one dimensional.

  36. Bloody hell, Rokas!! You will be the judge of whether Seagal Sensei's Aikido is effective or not?? Have you ever watched your own videos?? Do you actually think that Aikido is ineffective? Do you actually believe that what you are doing in those videos is Aikido? You are one of the most incompetent Aikidoists I've ever seen… No technique, no principles whatsoever!! You say you have studied that for more than a decade? well, let me tell you something, I already have more than twice your experience in Aikido and still counting and I can tell you one thing… You don't have a clue what Aikido is and not only that but you also used to have your own dojo! Seriously now??? The only reason that you failed so miserably every time you tried to test your Aikido is simply because you have no skills whatsoever, you never learned Aikido and that's a stone cold fact, perfectly obvious in your videos!!

  37. People can say what they like about aikido But the fact is no one can overcome any asalent when being attacked if you STOP in the middle of your moves. I don't care what you study if you stop your practice you will get hurt in a real fight . would you stop running if you were in a track race ? No
    You wouldn't so why stop in the middle of a fight. Why would someone believe that when you practice any form of martial arts
    That it has to be as real as real can get that's good to have but at the end of the day what are we talking about here. We are talking about
    Doing things correctly makeing sure that our students know how to do the moves and motions and footwork that is applied in the technique were teaching them and makeing sure there safe and last but not least that they fully understand that what I teach you here is for you to practice but its up to YOU to make the effort to do it right because if your practice is wrong and I try to correct you and when you get home and to practice with a friend and your still not doing the moves right and not following through your motion and practicing your stances or footwork then one day someone mugs you and you come in the dojo.
    Situ. What happened to you
    Studend: got mugged.
    Sifu. Did you not have the chace to defend yourself.
    Student. Yes but when I went to use the move. And I knew what to do I but I got countered in the move. Then I was on the ground and he beat me and took my money.
    Sifu. Why did you get defeated.
    Student. Because the art doesn't work.
    Sifu. Wrong you lost cause of you.
    You did not practice the right way like I told you to do giving the assalter time to counter your move
    Because you stopped in the middle of your motion it seems as I've told before not to do that because when you don't practice the whole move then when you use it it fails cause your no longer in motion . the whole point of the practice is to get you to be aware of what your doing to where it comes natural to you so that when you are attacked like just now you can be assured that you will be calm and ready with confidence to follow through with your defence.

  38. Can't it just be for fun? Moreover, fight sports need real fighting training no matter what – go Box, MMA BJJ, or MT. Its important to remember Taekwondo spinning kicks used to be laughed at in UFC and Judo techniques were also regarded as a sport, not a functional martial art – now things are different. So if Aikidoka trained with constant live resistance maybe – maybe, a functional combat "Aikido" could emerge but it wouldn't really be traditional-Aikido then either per its precepts.

  39. If you’re living in Japan studying martial arts obviously aikido there’s hop keto they use those moves and hop keto that clothesline move they use that in hop keto hop keto is a very dangerous martial art

  40. If he was so good why didn't he fight JCVD at Stalone's house? Word was that he sit his pants. And one time litteraly shit his pants after a choke on a movie set by a pro Judoka. Well anyway Aikido is mostly just watered down Jujutsu grappling.

  41. Yeah…I had a few street fights too. Funny enough the assailants all ran at me with flailing out stretched arms. Off course, as good as I am, I read their intention, grabbed their wrist and did the classic "windmill" circular motion. They all did beautifully executed summer salts and lay down motionless. Fuck I am good and weigh 600 pounds….

  42. Steven Segal is a bad example of aikido specifically yoshinkan aikido (hard style). there's a way to practice that's what you are judging. just because you earn a black belt only means you are ready to start actually learning how aikido works. 99% of this video contains fake aikido (aikikai soft style).

  43. Comment section full of Xanax addicted martial art experts, EXPLODING IN VERBAL 🤮, because of someone mentioning Seagal. Lol.

  44. Since you have a decade long experience in aikedo also practised MMA and jui jutsu, u r the legit person to comment on effectiveness of aikedo, real fights are much like MMA fight, therefore MMA is definitely effective in real fights rest all martial arts look fancy, I practice boxing, even though it is some what effective but most of the times u end up grappling then it sucks

  45. Heeey asshole.he is a fat fake.
    Always dressing like a fucking
    Old lady .i wiil kick his fat ass
    Realy easy..inclu ur ass .steve fat

  46. Well never know the answer because Steven has only ran his mouth but never proved anything and is now too old to do so.

  47. If you want to learn to fight take up boxing. Not this gay shit. It'll get you killed on the street. And they wear female dresses? LMFAO.

  48. It seems like you do not know anything aboutMartail Arts.Steven has several more moves than you or anybody will ever know.

  49. In a police setting where you have to use arrest control techniques, Aikido principles applies and works on passive resistence and people without fighting skills. Ground and pound is against department policy….

  50. Really ignorant about the man. Seagal trained in detroit and traveled to Japan. After gaining mastsr he opened his own school in a bad part of town. He constantly had gang members wanting to challenge the "round eye" his skills are legit. Those challengers were left unconscious on the front steps. Just to get the 5th degree master level requires the ability to stand multiple are like a frog living in a well thinking you know by that small circle of sky that you know the whole universe. Sad really sad.

  51. Aikido has good throws and good foot work, movement, deflection etc. As with any martial art, it must be supplemented with other martial arts in areas where it's lacking. I think it's an excellent style actually.

  52. It looks like WWE. the guy just puts his arm out and then does a flip. Oh, yeah…Seagal really flipped his opponent with barely any movement

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