Friday night saw the premiere of The Voice vs Steven Seagal, and while Michael Schiavello didn’t ask Seagal why he’s so damn fat, he did manage to respectfully ask about most of the kind of stuff us MMA fans might wanna know. Some notes from the interview:
-A preteen Steven Seagal learned martial arts from a cook at a restaurant who noticed Steven’s fast and fluid dishwashing skills.
-He’s used aikido ‘hundreds of times’ in the streets. ‘Aikido has to be able to work against anyone in any style that wants to kill you or your family or your friends or hurt you.’
-He made his potential black belts fight ‘three to five guys’ at once, ‘and they would do anything they could to take you out. And we’d constantly have people with broken noses, knocked out teeth, black eyes, ripped open faces. There was never ever a black belt exam where people walked out without blood everywhere.’
-According to Steven, Bruce Lee would ‘badmouth a lot of the other martial artists and martial arts’ but was very nice to him.
-On his worst movies: “Unfortunately there are many.” “We are subject to the financer and what they want us to do and the studios and what they want us to do and we don’t control the show. So I made a lot of terrible movies and a few good ones.” Probably the most candid things Seagal says in the entire interview.
-Shiavello says Seagal refused to ‘give Lebel more attention’, but said off camera that “Lebel once claimed that he knocked out Bruce Lee, knocked out Jim Brown, that Gene Lebel is a pathological liar, a scumbag, and other choice words I choose not to say”
-On getting in touch with Anderson Silva: “Anderson sent me a letter saying ‘Teach me your lethal stuff.'” Lethal stuff. He says this multiple times. Lethal stuff.
-“A lot of what the old masters had and have is beyond most of your modern practitioner’s comprehension. … I have friends who are in their 60s and 70s who could kill most of the guys who think they’re great warriors that are in their 20s or 30s, kill them instantly. But that’s stuff that most people who hear this will go ‘Come on that’s a joke.’ Well, amongst real martial arts masters, that’s not a joke.”
-On if he would have been an MMA fighter if it had been popular back then “Nah. We believe in keeping all of this as secret as we can and there’s a lot of stuff we don’t teach.”