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Compare Aikido steven Seagal techniques and daito-ryu techniques

When you see Aikido style of Steven Seagal Sensei it is sure that his techniques are very different compare to Aikikai style.
Techniques are very fast; less circular mouvement; strangulation and atemi (strike to pressure point) are present. So, his style is similar to the jujutsu part of the Daito-ryu aikijujutsu. For people which don't know this matial art, it is an effective brutally fighting method that introduced the great principle of Aiki.
As Ueshiba Sensei was a student for many years of Takeda Sensei (the great master who introduced the daito-ryu to the world) in the Hokkaido area of Japan , daito-ryu aikijujutsu is the root of Aikido. All jujutsu techniques basis of daito-ryu aikijujutsu are present in Aikido (as Irimi, shionage, kotegaeshi, Ikkajo, Nikkajo etc......), but techniques are practice with atemi to the vital point, pressure point application, extremely effective joint lock. See this pictures :


Attack of Uke are always effective (as the grapping).
When jujutsu techniques are ineffective against a man with a great strenght, Aiki principle is applied to break the oppenent's balance. Aiki in daito-ryu is completely different of Aiki in Aikido or Aikikai :here Aiki is harmonized people, love etc.......It is not the real Aiki!!! There are not a clear definition of real Aiki; in brief Aiki consist to harmonied my ki with the ki of the oppenent to break his balance or to control his entire body (in high level of Aiki) Fundamantals include :
Aiki - Spirit or energy unification.
Kokyu - Proper Breathing.
Kuzushi - Breaking the opponent's balance.
Ma-ai - Distance between opponents.
Metsuke - Meeting or focus of the eyes.
Zanshin - Staying attentive at the end of a technique.
Aiki has many complex dimension (spiritual, physical, psychical.......) ant it is complex to learn. See this master who appling one of many dimensions of Aiki (Aikiage) :

In Conclusion: Aikido of Steven Seagal Sensei is very similar to the daito-ryu: powerful and effective wheareas Aikido of Aikikai is oriented to sport, relaxation, meeting between people........But Steven Seagal Aikido don't include the fabulous principle of Aiki that is only present in daito-ryu aikijujutu.


"The fabulous princible of Aiki that is only present in daito-ryu aikijujuitsu" What part of the Aiki have you missed in Shihan Seagal's Technique. You speak of a) Aiki= Seagal speaks at least four languages thats a lot of energy. b) Kokyu= This is considerd a 20 year technique, have you studied this for 20 years? I think Seagal has. c) Kuzushi= Watch Under Seige again and see how he off blances Tommy Lee Jones's face first into the Weapons LCD. d) Ma-ai= Without this Seagal couldn't even do a defense. e) Metsuke= Look at all his photo's, need I say more. f) Zanshin= "F$@#% you and Die"
Shihan Seagal holds the rank of 7thdan in Aikikai and his teachers here in Japan do not practice sport Aikido. You should attend a seminar with one of his teacher's, Shihan Isoyama.
You didn't understand me.
1°) first, i studied Aikido for 18 years (in France) and daito-ryu aikijujustu for 10 years (Japan Hokkaido Kodokai dojo), so i know the kokyu. But to learn kokyu it's not a question of time. The important point is the secrets that you receive from Masters.

2) I love the Aikido of Steven Seagal Sensei. His style is The Tenshin Aikido. His dojo in Osaka is now directed by his previous wife. I know this dojo. I know also Isoyama Sensei. Their Aikido is effective and powerful. Very different of Aikikai style (too fluid, no martiality in techniques). Steven Seagal has a 7 dan Aikikai because Aikikai is the only organisation that give Aikido dan.

3) Aiki is not just Kokyu, Kuzushi, Ma-ai, Metsuke , Zanshin. There are many secrets in Aiki in daito-ryu. It is very difficult to explain it with words. Understand that Ueshiba (great master in Aiki technique) didn't explain Aiki to any of his students. So Any Aikido masters know the real Aiki (exept Gozo Shioda Sensei).
Steven Seagal Aikido doesn't include the Aiki techniques (as Aikiage, Aikisage, Yokoage, AshiAiki, joAiki etc...............) that we can't found in daito-tyu teachings.

In Conclusion i tell it again i very love Steven Seagal Aikido (he is a great fighter) but his aikido like the others style don't include the real Aiki. His AIkido is certainly not a sport but the Aikikai school is.



Old member aikidoka
For someone who has trained aikikido for 18 years (under whom?, style?), you seem to have missed the point of a) aikikai is not a style b) Seagal are aikikai, so is Isoyama etc. c) most if not all the people I've trained with (e.g. Saito, Doshu, Isoyama and mostly aikikai in general) never associate aiki with anything than the things you said is how Daito ryu define it.
You say no student of Ueshiba (except Shioda) know real aiki (daito aiki is only aiki?!?!)... I would be careful claiming stuff like that unless you actually felt their techniques.
You speak of some people... Have you actually felt first hand their aikido, e.g. G. Shioda, H. Isoyama or Steven Seagal

Go On Aiki Love you tell him!!!!!!!!! I hate it when people say Seagal does something other than Aikido, they havent got a clue!!!!.

By the way Aiki Love can you have a quick look at my post entitled "Can you Believe It" also do you know where I can get some footage of Isoyama on tape or any seminar footage. Myt e-mail address is musubiuk@btinternet.com if you want to write privately


I Belong To Steven
Doesn't he do judo and kung fu and kendo?
And of course, aikido like no other!
He is amazing, powerful, awesome!

He is the best!


Old member aikidoka
musubiuk, It seems that you have more footage of Isoyama than I do, so except what you already have I don't have any good leads. Sorry.



Staff member
Dear Daito-ryu fighter,

Thank you very much for your explanations. It is very very intersting !! I like this topic !! :)

in onenesss


I Belong To Steven
Oops, I forgot to mention Steven's karate, silly me...
I am afraid I am quite ignorant to the many posts about aikido, however I am still very interested in them...
Thanks for the all explainations,regarding Seagal Sensei's unique style of tenshin aikido...


Old member aikidoka
I don't intend to come out as a know-it-all, so let's not scare any fan of S. Seagal off of this forum. Daito ryu fighter, I hope you took my response as a question and clearification and not a bash or put-down in any way. It's just that when I read posts like yours presented as facts in a forum like this where many of the readers are not involved in aikido or Daito ryu aikijujutsu and hence take the input as true facts, I would like to make it clear that most of our "info" are not facts but personal opinions sometimes based on lore, myths and mis-conceptions.

Yes it is a very interesting discussion. This discussion is also frequent in the Aiki world.
Some answers to Aikilove:
1) For me style=school. You are agree there are many school of aikido like Iwama Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido, Aikikai Aikido, Tenshin Aikido, Tomiki Aikido and some others........And you are agree that Steven Seagal Aikido is very different of Aikikai Aikido (Steven Seagal are not the same Aikido techniques compare to Morihiru Ueshiba, right!!!)

2) An important question : Do you know daito-ryu aikijujutsu?????
I know Aikido ( like Aikikai style) and daito-ryu aikijujutsu. So i understood the differences of Aiki principle applied in the two martial arts.

3) Of course you can do the martial arts that you want. T have just given to the Aikido community of this forum an introduction to the daito-ryu because this martial is not known like Aikido. For me it is important for Aikidoka (like me before!!!) to understand that Aiki principle is very more complex, more difficult, more powerful compare to what is explained in no daito-ryo arts. So to sense what i say you must train in daito-ryu aikijujutsu and learn the hidden techniques of this martial arts.



Old member aikidoka
Daitoryufighter: S. Seagal, M. Saito (now gone), H. Isoyama, Arikawa, Yamada, Chiba, Tada and Tamura are all examples of world known aikido instructors known for their powerful techniques and they are (were) all Aikikai under present doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.
Aikikai is not a defined style. It is an umbrella covering under it numerous shihan (sometimes with their own organisations around them) around the world and/or national aikido organisations not allways led by any one shihan but sometimes by a group or commitee of aikidokas of various degree.
I think that there are as many styles of aikido as there are people training aikido and except for the minimum demand of techniques to be knowned at a given dangrade aikikai doesn't limit any shihan or instructor how they are suppose to teach aikido.

It is kind of you to introduce Daito ryu to the people of this board.

I don't know how wide or extensive your aikido and Daito ryu training is, but again I would be careful to state "facts" about such complex concepts such as aiki to people who might take your word for it as the truth.

During my training in aikido with different teacher the concept of aiki has varied from pure mechanics of fitting in or timing to very complex and esoteric talks about mystical life force ever flowing around us, and everything in between the two extremes, described to me by japanese as well as non japanese people. How Daito ryu defines aiki aren't necessary the only true description of aiki or even the same type of aiki as other describes aiki. Aiki as a concept has been around for a long time e.g. mostly in traditional sword schools e.g. describing a perticular type of a so called sen-sen no sen or sen no sen (acting the same time or even pre-emptive) action to the oponents action. Perhaps not at all the same definition of aiki as of Daito ryu, but nevertheless just as valid one.

www.aikidojournal.com is a good place to start if you want more info about aiki regardless origin

So you see general claims about what aiki is or isn't should in my opinion be thought well through. The listerner or reader might actually know enough about the subject to be able to contradict the claims or know that it's not the hole picture. But those who do not then get's a picture of the elephants tail only (so to speak) which I find disturbing.

To conclude: Yes, to be able to learn or understand Daito Ryu you need to train Daito Ryu, though moot, a perfectly valid point.

May I ask under what shihan did you train (directly or through students of this shihan)?

Hey Aikilove,

I'm just curious about something. You were referring to opponents actions in your last post. My sensei at the local aikikai dojo in my area said something about the person an aikidoist is working with as not being an opponent once the move had started, but a friend who one is trying to show love to and help then follow their energy to a place where they won't get hurt, like deflection and harmonizing. I'm just wondering, does the term "opponent" in aikido mean someone who you are confronting head on or who is confronting you? or is it just a term for someone you're working a technique with. I am just curious as I am quite new to aikido and wish to know how terms like these apply to the aikido contxt and mindset. Domo Arigato Gozaimashita for your help, sincerly, Aikiboy Lightmystic.


Old member aikidoka
Aikiboy, I was refering to kenjutsu when I wrote opponent. In aikido training we are partners helping each other not opponents.
There are different words in japanese to sometime signify what one mean:
Aite/shite: Aite mostly means attacker or opponent with the defender or technique doer mostly called shite
Uke/Nage(Tori): Uke are the partner recieving the technique that Nage or Tori performs. In this respect Uke/Nage are refered to as partners not attackers and defenders.
Of curse it isn't allways this black and white.



Staff member
Okay, then, I've got a question. If you are working with a partner - uke - to perform aikido, what use is it as a defensive martial art? Since, I'm thinking, out on the street if a bad guy is trying to harm me, he sure as heck isn't going to be my "partner" and just let me throw him out of the way.

I've watched PBT several times, and I noticed something when the students did the 3-man randori. Every time the student who was being attacked let himself get grabbed, so that it was impossible for him/her to wriggle out of the clutch. It was interesting also to see that the "attacking" students all attacked at the same time. When Steven did it, the attacking students were nice enough to attack one at a time, so he was never caught in a clutch.

(Mind you, it was interesting to watch him because he did always have his eye on the next attacker after despatching the first, but still. They never all attacked him three on one at the same time - it was always consecutive, but with the students, the attack always came at once.)

Explain this to me, please.

-TD, curious


Staff member
Umm... PBT is not a movie, it's a documentary about Steven's aikido techniques, and I believe I posed a legitimate question based on what I saw.

Please do not make assumptions unless you know what you are talking about.
I trained for many years in Japan, with great masters of daito-ryu aikijujutsu. I trained with Inoue Sensei, who was a student of Kodo Orikawa Sensei (1894-1980). Kodo Orikawa trained directly with THE GREAT MASTER TAKEDA SOKAKU SENSEI and he obtained the Menkyo Kaiden certificate of daito-ryu. So i don't need to read the aikijournal website to know what is AIKI.
Yes!!!!the definition of Aiki by daito-ryu is only the true definition of Aiki, because their concept of Aiki is the same of the aiki described by Yoshimitsu Minamoto (1056-1127). Don't remember that daito-ryu is the root of Aikido. All techniques of Aikido come from daito-ryu.

You don't know Aiki. Aiki is not love, harmony between people, peace etc.... This concepts are originally from Aikikai and Ueshiba vision of life. Aiki is a very intelligent strategy with great efficacy to control not just the physical power of a fighter but also his mind. i can't define Aiki with words but just see this picture of Kodo Orikawa Sensei:

Aikilove do you understand what you see??? The two Uke are blocked without Kodo Sensei touch them. I can tell you just this : He applied Aiki in particular point of Uke body.