Seagal Sensei created his own style, from the different teachings he had been taught over a period of years. He received his first Shodan under Ki Society, which you can see in some of his movements, if you know the style.
He now trains under the Aikikai umbrella I believe. His style is now influenced heavily from those he trained under personally. His own school was "Tenshin Bugei Gakuen" in the USA.
Greetings, I read in an article posted by Aikido Journal, Seagal shihan said that there is only "ONE" Aikido! He said that Aikido was created by the founder Morei Ueshiba. He said that how can anyone change what the founder "O-sensei" created is not aikido! Peace, http://www.hillsidejiujitsu.com
Little of topic guys, but ok... Yes, there is only O-senseis aikido or rather noones aikido are like his... but, I believe we who are training seriously under someone with a clear lineage to the founder and who are recognized by one or more of the serious aikido organisations out there are indeed training aikido. That is, if we understand how aikido differs from other MA's in it's principles, the legacy of the founder was just that, and if we are truely practising to get better as humans according to these principles, then we are training aikido.
Honbu district dojo (original main headquarters of Aikido of O sensei the original /not Steven)
His (Stevens) dojo
Tenshin dojo (on web)
Still run by former wife Miyako Fujitani in Osaka Japan( go to site you can see her in stills)has his symbol on doors /movie reel with sword in center distinctly his logo..know it anywhere.
There is a Tomiki (tournament style Aikido) Steven is against this.. this is what he meant it is against the wishes of O sensei to use for tournament purpose therefore the tomiki is not really Aikido but a new branch of something else. non traditional not accepted by purists like Steven.
As I said in another post, Seagal Sensei's aikido was developed through many teachers(Ishisaka, Tohei, Abe, Isoyama) but the guy he spent many hours training with and of course the guy he resembles the most is Isoyama Sensei. This comes directly from Seagal Sensei's mouth from his original forum on his web page AND it comes directly from a guy whom has studied under Isoyama Sensei since around 1958 when Isoyama Sensei left Iwama and became the head instructor in the Japanese Air Self Defense Forces at Chitose Air Base. Isoyama's aikido is DIRECTLY from Ueshiba Sensei. He and Saito Sensei were two very rare people that learned ALL of their aikido directly from the founder. Isoyama's aikido emphasizes kicks and strikes as well as very sharp movements. Very much like Seagal Sensei. Hmm, wonder why?
Here is a great interview of Isoyama Sensei and look at the picture at the bottom!!!
For those that do not know, the style that Shihan Seagal teaches is called Tenshin Aikido. I am a current student of Luis Santos Sensei who is a direct student of Shihan Seagal. My dojo is the Washington Aiki Dojo (www.washingtonaiki.org). Go to the site as there is a wealth of information regarding Aikido and Tenshin Aikido. And as Isoyama has stated Seagal has received instruction from various Aikido instructors, most notably Isoyama Sensei (with whom Seagal still calls Shihan and has much respect for). I hope I am not boring you with this small amount of info.
I'm not sure if this thread is still looked at or active but I read some of the comments and thought I'd like to add my own 'two penn'orth' to this discussion.
I was really surprised to hear that Stephen Seagal was quoted as saying that if someone had changed something in terms of style or technique then they were no longer practicing 'true' aikido. I think this is a really strange thing to say considering that O'Sensei developed aikido from a multitude of different martial arts and adapted different techniques to create a unique style that went through several stages of evolution and was changing even at the time of his death.
Aikido, by it's very nature and in my own opinion, by its own philosophy, is rooted in change. The founder used Aikido to help himself grow spiritually, philosophically and mentally and this process by definition involves change. I doubt very much whether O'Sensei would say someone is not doing 'true' aikido if they develop their own personal style with these type of developments in mind. I would temper that statement by saying that if a practitioner were to develop a style of aikido that fundamentally went against the priniciples of aikido, say with the aim of developing a purely combative and offensive martial art, then that could reasonably be argued as not being 'true' aikido.
I truly believe that any martial art must change in order to grow and develop. Aikido is based upon the principles of nature, the universe and universal rhythmn and therefore by definition will change in the natural course of time. It may not be the 'same' aikido but that doesn't mean it isn't 'true' aikido.
If any one gets round to reading this entry I'd love to get some feedback on your opinions on this.