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What Belts Does Seagal Hold In Martial Arts?

Sorry I fogot what belts he holds, how accurate am I?

8th Dan Black Belt In Aikido

Black Belt In Karate

Black Belt In Judo

Black Belt In Kenjitsu

Black Belt In Kendo
tenshinaikidoka said:
I do not think he is ranked in Kendo. Kenjutsu (Kendo's brother) he has dan ranking s in!!!! Everything else looks correct!!!!

Ok thanks, but I am still not sure about Judo, I never thought he has studied Judo, if so with who?

And I said Kenjitsu because it was stated in a Black Belt article that he was a Black Belt in Kenjitsu?


Old member aikidoka
How come, at the one place where correct fact about Steven Seagal should be known and used, they are not.

He has 7th dan in aikido.
He has at least 1 dan in s*hit*o ryu karate
He has extencive training in Yagyu shinkage ryu kenjutsu. (I'm not sure if that school even uses the dan grade system) and I can't remember him stating what grade or level he received in that.

If he has higher grade and/or grades in other arts I would like you to point to the interview with him or the head office of the art stating this.

He recieved 7th dan 1995 by the current doshu of aikikai. Regulations demands at least 15 years between 7th and 8th dan within aikikai. High officials within aikikai annually publish a list of dangradings at the annual kagami biragi. He has not been in any of those since 1995. And as far as I know he has never shown intrest in breaking away from aikikai.

Please, let's not do him any un-favours by spreading wrong facts about him.

He didn't get his 7th Dan from the current Doshu, he got it from the previous one, O'Sensei's son, Kisshomaru. Steven Seagal was the last person that Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba gave a 7th Dan to before his death, and if memory serves the last people he gave rank to at all. He die one month after awarding Seagal with his 7th Dan. The current Doshu is Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, O'sensei Morihei Ueshiba's grand son.

...so much for getting the facts straight ;)

PS - Kendo and Kenjitsu are really the same thing. The difference lays in who's teaching you and not so much it's "kendo" or "kenjitsu." Kendo simply means "the path of the sword" or "the way of the sword," where as kenjitsu means "the method of the sword" or "sword system." The difference simply being what you make of it. A 'jitsu' brings to mind a thought of something ridged, or as a science, that one might teach to conscripts. A 'do' usually is implicit to an 'art form' and is how a Master would typically think of his stile. People try to make it out like a 'jitsu' form is more practical and a 'do' form is more for self-betterment but that just isn't the case. I have personally studied what my Sensei called "kendo" and I can tell you it was EXTREMELY practical, unlike that of the modern kendo federation. Which the modern kendo like what is studied in the schools of Japan give the martail arts and kendo in particular a bad name. Modern Kendo is really no more than a sport. But back on track... Between the two terms it really boils down to how the individual looks at what he is doing, as both Kendo and Kenjitsu are both equally valid when speaking about a give sword form. As both 'kendo' and 'kenjitsu' are both just generic terms anyway. Like the form I learned is call Kohgen Itto Ryu, there is no 'ken', there's no 'do, there's no 'jitsu' in the name at all, and it is a VERY traditional form developed by the Shinsengumi in Kyoto during the Meiji Restoration in 1868. (The Shinsengumi where the Tokugawa Shogunate Samurai Police force to deal with the 'ronin' Samurai of the era.) Hope that clears a few things up. :)


Old member aikidoka
Bushido said:
...so much for getting the facts straight ;)
First of, you know I meant the current doshu 1995! That would be Kisshomaru.
Secondly for someone who are hot for facts you don't seem to get the facts straight yourself - Kisshomaru Ueshiba (2nd doshu) died 1999. That would be some 4 years after Steven Seagal recieved 7th dan!

Regarding Kendo vs. Kenjutsu - This topic has been up previously I believe, just do a search. But... since you are so lucky as to be able to study a traditional swordschool, what would your instructor refer to what you are doing (in general)? Kendo or Kenjutsu?
I know of instruktors of Kashima shinto ryu that refer to what they are doing as kendo but if you ask them the difference between kendo and kenjutsu they say something like: We do kenjutsu, they do kendo (refering to the sport that many many people train today). So the general consensus is usually (and the one I used regarding SS grades) that
Kenjutsu = traditional schools of fencing - such as Yagyu shinkage ryu, kogen itto ryu, kashima shinto ryu etc. where training is focused on how to defeate your opponent with a real sword (even when not training with one)
Kendo = Modern sport under the All Japan Kendo Federation, that in 99% of the cases train with the sport in mind, not how to effectively defeate your opponent with a real sword.

I know many uses the term kendo today when refering to traditional fencing schools but I think the distinction is so great the there is no reason not to refering to kenjutsu in one case and kendo in the other for clearity sake.

pantera said:
Thanx thanx, hum hum. Don't give me too much flowers, would you! i might take a big head, if you see what i mean :D
Fear what??!!:eek: What does fear a feline like you!!!!! I don't give you flowers, just praise your humor sense, because you have it!! :D

BTW..Of course I see what you meant! :D
Well Aikilove,

If you meant the Doshu of '95, I'm sorry, I miss understood you. You said current so I took you literally. Usually when one says current they are referring to the point in time they are writing not the point in time that they are talking about.

I do believe I am correct as far as the times go. I remember talking about it back in the dojo when it happened, however, if you could direct me to a credible place with the info of when Seagal received his 7th dan that would be most helpful.

As far as Kendo and Kenjitsu go, I'd really like you to reread what I wrote. Like I said I study Kohgen Itto Ryu and my Sensei, when he is not calling the art by name, refers to it as Kendo. As I pointed out Kendo and Kenjitsu are both equally valid terms as they are both just general terms anyway. Also as I pointed out people, such as yourself, like to say that Kendo refers to modern kendo or something that isn't so much about actual sword work, and kenjitsu is for the traditional effective stuff.

Where as if you really want to get down to it, there are really three terms and they have specific meanings.
1) Kendo refers to a practice or study involving the Shinai and is used to simulate the fighting experience. (has nothing to do with effective or not, just that it is a very free form)
2) Kenjitsu involving the boken and is used to train the technique aspects of sword engagement. (like wise no means as to what specifically you are studying other than it is boken and is highly directed, no or little free form, at least in the beginning)
3) Iaido involving a live ken or a Katana and is use to teach to aspects of actually handling a live blade.

Any real and true sword system is going to make use of all three forms of training, because they are all necessary and are interdependent.

So as a 'general' term kendo and kenjitsu are both equally valid, as a specific term, hopefully neither is completely valid. I'd hope for anyone who truly wishes to learn how to handle the sword would not just limit themselves to kenjitsu or kendo training. But the idea that kenjitsu is specifically reserved for traditional training and that kendo is reserved for modern train is ludicrous.

It's like the argument that there is a difference between Wing Chun and Wing Tsun, other than spelling. It just boils down to what your instructor calls it. The name doesn't make it effective one way or the other.


Old member aikidoka
Second doshu died January 4th 1999, If you want more information about that, go to http://www.aikikai.or.jp/Eng/index.htm aikikai headquarter homepage.

The fact that Steven Seagal recieved 7th dan 1995, and subsequently performed at the nippon budokan at the annual All Japan Aikido Demonstrations is well known. If you want hard fact you have to look at aikikai headquarters registry from 1995 kagami biragi where they announce that years dangraded people within aikikai.
The clip from the demonstration you can see at www.aikidojournal.com
In a recent thread here on this boards you can see the same demonstration from a different camera. I don't know how legal it is to show it here though.

So 2nd Doshu died 1999. Seagal received 7th dan aikikai 1995.



Incarnation complete
Aikilove said:
You're welcome... but don't trust me either, find out for yourself.

Who grades Steven now or even instructs him I mean how does he progress I mean does he recieve instruction you know I mean does he call anyone sensei on a regular basis
Aikilove,Tenshinaikidoka or Little Dragon please help answer this.


Old member aikidoka
Who instructs the doshu now a days? There comes a time (not for everyone though), when one is pretty much on ones own regarding further progress and training. People who have created something of their own (like an organisation or a style etc) have to train themselves by training with their students. Once a while it happens that these people goes to seminars and get new ideas, but mostly it's about keeping training.

In the old days one was expected to train and be devoted to a master for some time until the master said that you had to go out and experience other things for a while. Usually this ment going out and challanging other MA-exponents. If one was successful in this (sometimes refered to as musha shugyo) you went back to your teacher and recieved a kaiden (a scroll) saying that you now had received full transmission from this school. You were then expected to go elsewere and start up a school for yourself. Of curse you were welcome to come back to you teacher but further development was up to your own personal training from then on.